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Viridity ups conversions with lead scoring

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Viridity Software was in stealth mode until late last year when it introduced its first product, a data center energy management program. The product entered a wide-open field, so building a list and educating IT directors and CIOs were going to be the company’s biggest hurdles.

Providing thought leadership in the form of webinars and white papers, as well as using search engine optimization so people could find this content, has been a big part of the solution.

“We’ve erred on the side of providing advice and information,” said Steve Keilen, VP-marketing at Viridity. “It’s really not selling as much as giving people ‘Did you know?’ advice.”

When visitors come to the site, they are asked to sign up for an e-mail newsletter. Since beginning the search optimization effort in the first quarter, the e-mail list has ballooned from fewer than 3,500 names to more than 16,000 to date.

Viridity also tweaked its approach to e-mail. In the beginning, it had a poor response to its one-off e-mails: Prospects weren’t taking the time to view webinars, and few downloaded video. So Viridity added lead scoring and Web analytics to the mix, hoping to convert a higher percentage of e-mail subscribers into customers.

Today, the company sends out e-mails that include links to multiple webinars as well as links to white papers. Once people are signed up for the company’s newsletter, it uses a combination of inbound marketing software (HubSpot) and CRM software (Salesforce.com) to follow them carefully.

“We’re using HubSpot to manage the Web site content and for analytics, so we can optimize search,” Keilen said. “Once someone signs up, we can watch where they have been on the site [and] what they are downloading. It’s a classic, ‘Expect what you inspect.’ You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Lead scoring, in particular, is very important because interactive marketing is combined with inside sales. Once an e-mail about a webinar goes out, for example, if someone actually follows up and views video or downloads materials, they get a call from inside sales to qualify them as leads.

“Human touch is very important in the process,” Keilen said. “We try, between e-mail and phone, to give a higher scored lead no more than four touches within a two-week period. If they’re nonresponsive, we leave them alone, putting them back on the monthly newsletter list. But we’re finding the higher-scored leads are actually creating good prospects.”

For example, a webcast this month resulted in 10 people coming to the site to register, which put them into the high-touch process. Using this approach, Viridity has put more than two dozen customers—all qualified by inside sales—into the sales pipeline.

“It’s always a learning process, but by constantly looking at analytics and tapping our inside sales force we’ve been able to convert more of our prospects to actual customers,” Keilen said.

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