Lead Scoring in Act-On

By John Nielsen

Lead scoring is the process of evaluating and assigning points to prospects and leads using marketing automation tools. Points are distributed based on the attributes associated with a qualified lead.  It is important to understand whom you are marketing to when managing a campaign, sending irrelevant content to your followers is a quick way to lose.  To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, below are a few tips one can easily follow to update your contact lists and help identify priority focus using lead scoring.

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Marketing Automation: Selecting the Right Solution

So, you’ve realized that you need Marketing Automation! What now?

With a variety of different solutions available – from enterprise to start up – how do you know which solution is right for your organization? Marketing Automation evaluations typically involve both a diverse stakeholder team and a myriad of potential solutions.

  • Diverse choice – many marketing automation suppliers, sales force automation solutions, eMail marketing solutions, etc.
  • Committee buying – the need to facilitate a group of stakeholders in the decision (often including the board of directors)
  • Stakeholder viewpoints –managing a variety of needs (tactical vs. strategic) to align sales, marketing and technology teams
  • Political persuasions – more often than not, key team members bring pet projects and pre-established preferences
  • Organizational culture –implementing a marketing automation solution involves business alignment across the organization – the culture must be supportive and aligned to adopt the new strategy.

We recently published this eBook to serve as a guide to provide you with the information you will need to assess marketing automation vendors and choose which solution is right for you.  Our view? The process should be objective and facilitative to align the organization around a clear choice. Need help? We can help you facilitate the process with our Objective Solution Selection (OS2) methodology:

  1. Document Requirements
  2. Determine the short list
  3. Conduct the evaluation
  4. Rank the vendors
  5. Perform due diligence

Marketo & Eloqua: Some Lead Nurture Metrics

Here are some metrics that Marketo and Eloqua suggest as what you might expect from successful lead nurture programs. Given the complexity of effectively implementing a personalized lead nurture program, it is interesting to see where the impacts might be and what benefits you might expect.




Marketo pointed to these metrics in a recent webinar invitation:

  • Fewer marketing-generated leads ignored by sales (from 80% to as low as 25%)
  • 150% increase in contact-to-lead conversion rate
  • 2-3x lift in conversion rates on raw leads to qualified opportunities
  • 20% more sales opportunities
  • 225% increase in volume of prospects that convert to sales opportunities
  • 7% points higher win rates on marketing-generated leads
  • 6% points lower rate of “no decisions”
  • 2x increase in bid-win ration
  • 47% higher average order values



Eloqua points to the following metrics and a case study in one of their white paper guides:

  • Improved conversion rates at every stage of the demand waterfall, most significantly at the top of the funnel
  • Nearly eliminated “unrated” leads in its database as a result of the discovery nurture
  • Increased suspect-to-MQL conversion rate from 8% to 11% on net new leads entering the system
  • Saw an additional 30% of “suspects” (or new visitors) convert to MQLs over time due to its seed nurture
  • Drove a 64% increase in SQL productivity from corporate sales development through cultivate nurtures
  • Increased by 118% the number of opportunities entering the pipeline

Component-based Marketing Automation

An effectively designed website is only one element of an effective web marketing ecosystem. To achieve effective  web presence and drive qualified leads, we developed an easy to remember mnemonic “AEIOU” (attract, engage, influence, optimize, understand).

AEIOU helps to consider the strategies that make up a digital marketing strategy. But to really power the  strategies, companies need marketing automation tools. Platforms like Hubspot (, Act-on ( and Marketo ( and many others  are very powerful ways to manage multi-stage buyer processes and map content and engagement at each stage of the process – nurturing relationships from awareness to customer.

When budgets are a little smaller or the sales cycle is a little less complex, we often recommend using a component-based approach as a marketing solution. Some of our preferred solution components and web services include:

  • WordPress content management system- we often recommend WordPress due to its ability to integrate nicely with other preferred web marketing systems and the ease of use our clients enjoy (
  • Unbounce landing page setup – easy to create and test marketing landing pages to drive qualified leads (
  • MailChimp – email marketing system – we set up custom email templates for this easy to use email marketing tool and measure the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns (
  • Revenizer – a marketing dashboard we created (sister company) specifically to help measure the effectiveness of web and social presence and increase revenue from web marketing campaigns (
  • CRM –  Salesforce is the leading CRM and is often a great choice, however it is worth looking at many of the more “social CRM” solutions like Batchbook.

In selecting these solutions, we recommend that you find sets of solutions that work well together with strong APIs and integrations. If your needs are not too complex a component based approach can be a very affordable and effective way to deliver marketing automation.


Marketing Automation – Sounds Too Easy

Is “Marketing Automation” an Oxymoron?

I like the term “Marketing Automation” – sounds great…. This is going to automate my world of Internet visibility, demand management, lead generation – fantastic. I will simply plug in a trusty CRM tool like Eloqua or Marketo, hook it into my application… and – like magic – next week, the leads will start to poor in. Right?

I don’t think so….

Marketing Automation is incredible technology. I love it!  However, I see it as only a small part of the overall solution. There are two broad elements of the category according to Wikipedia – demand generation and marketing workflow automation. I think the workflow automation part is pretty nice to have… taking care of repetitive tasks with software tools… But it takes a lot more than technology to get it right. Demand generation also requires a lot more than automation. What are the underlying values of the brand experience? The offer?  Actually, using the software is a very small part of what makes integrated marketing and sales successful. There are a lot of questions to consider.. here are just a few:

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