Scoring email leads

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After a decade of blistering growth, Pyramid Consulting reached a point that will be familiar to many marketers: it was time to formalize and organize its lead-generation system. Pyramid provides global IT services and IT staff augmentation services. Headquartered in Atlanta, in 2010 it was named one of Inc.'s 5,000 fastest-growing companies, but it didn't have a lead-management process in place, according to Randall McCroskey, Pyramid VP-enterprise solutions. “Most lead generation was done through events, cold calling, referrals and networking,” McCroskey said. Pyramid decided on an email marketing strategy and brought in LeadLife Solutions, Atlanta, to help design the program. LeadLife is a marketing automation company that offers lead-generation solutions, including email programs. The goal of Pyramid's program was to “establish a framework” for lead generation and increase engagement rates with the company's product line, as well as helping the sales department score leads to determine which were hot and should be followed up immediately. The challenge was tackled from two angles: a content strategy and a simple lead-scoring system that operated in real time. The approach to content was built from the ground up, using material that was already available to Pyramid's marketing department or writing new content. “The strategy was to educate our audience on why they needed to engage Pyramid for mobile technology services,” said Nancy Thompson, account executive at Pyramid Consulting. “The content was unique to the emails. Pyramid had some white papers and other sales collateral, but most content for this program was created from scratch.” As for qualifying leads, LeadLife helped design a system of email marketing metrics to paint a picture of a prospect's behavior and interest. “[The program] tracks all [of a] prospect's digital behavior, such as clicks, page views, time spent on pages, frequency of visits and form-fills,” said Lisa Cramer, president of LeadLife Solutions. “For Pyramid, the scoring was used to measure each prospect's engagement, which was a combination of clicks and page views. Based on their scores, they were assigned a rating to indicate whether they were a hot, warm or cold lead.” One of the advantages to this system, McCroskey said, is that it operates in real time. “We are able to see behavior of accounts we are currently calling on, some of which were slow to respond to traditional methods of engaging,” he said. “Real-time notifications allowed for warmer calls for the sales team, and the scoring and rating system helped us prioritize our time.” Ultimately, the program allowed Pyramid's sales team to schedule more sales meetings, and it increased engagement rates in the company's email marketing efforts 100% compared to previous email marketing campaigns. LeadLife's Cramer said Pyramid's success was due in part to observing a few bits of advice. “Start simple and build on your lead-management campaigns,” she said. “You don't need to have it all figured out at the outset. Also, use technology to fit your business process, not the other way around. And finally, always measure what you do. Otherwise, you won't know how to improve.”
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