BtoB

How can urgency and lead score be determined by recipients’ inbox actions?

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How prospective buyers interact with your content after it has been downloaded is as important as the initial download. As b-to-b marketers, we must determine where our most relevant interactions take place. What were the steps that led the prospect to download the content? What was the time frame in which the content was consumed? How did the prospect re-engage online after the content was consumed?

First, track website movements to identify your buyer personas. Knowing who you are addressing is the first step toward developing effective conversations. Activity around pricing and case studies indicates a certain persona, for example. Tracking these movements reveals the type of content that will stimulate future interest.

Next, consider the time frame of content interaction. High-level content must be instantly gratifying. No forms or barriers, just simple clicks to download. Many organizations stifle lead flow because all content is behind forms or conversely, never tracked.

Next, place more valuable content behind forms. Think of baiting a fishing hook. Give buyers content that enables them to do their jobs better, then test for commitment with a well-placed form. Content behind forms should be distributed through a follow-up e-mail with links to download the request. Why not just give it to buyers after they complete the form? Because distributing the content via e-mail tells us if the content made it to the buyer (no fake e-mail addresses), whether the prospect clicked the e-mail link and, more important, the time frame within which this occurred. If a buyer immediately opens the resulting e-mail and downloads the content, that’s an engaged buyer. Buyers who don’t open the requested e-mail are not engaged. Nurture the lead until you create demand.

Last, determine whether prospects re-engage online after viewing content. How long after receiving the e-mail do they revisit the site? A shorter amount of time indicates greater interest. If you send a nurturing e-mail on ROI metrics and the prospect appears on your site reading the pricing page a minute later, depending on the lead score, alert the sales rep. That’s an opportunity to be proactive that most organizations miss.

By tracking behaviors online with e-mail (and social media), we create the magic urgency figure. That’s the X factor that bridges the gap between conversations that indicate interest and those that turn into action.

Justin Gray is CEO and founder of LeadMD (www.leadmd.com), a marketing services firm focused on organic lead generation and the successful deployment of marketing automation.

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