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Lead Scoring 102: Select Lists

There’s been a lot of focus on lead scoring recently, especially in the Eloqua community.  Historically, Eloqua has offered one of the most powerful lead scoring models, which is built on the Program Builder engine.  Program Builder doesn’t score high on the user-friendly scale which has pushed Eloqua to launch an entirely new lead scoring engine built on the same type of model (co-dynamic lead scoring).  With all this attention I thought it would be a great idea to write a few posts on my experiences with lead scoring.  These posts will assume you are familiar with the basic 101 of lead scoring.  To kick things off let’s talk about scoring on select lists.  This post is most useful to Eloqua users scoring in Program Builder but the theory can apply to any marketing automation platform.

Lead Scoring with Single-select Lists

In my opinion (and the opinions of many others I’ve talked to), scoring on single-select lists is the most powerful method of scoring profile data.  It gives you a finite number of values within a field to score on and the data is usually very clean.  Contact Washing Machines can be employed to help populate single-select lists from text values stored in other fields.

Lead Scoring with Multi-select Lists

Multi-select lists can be even more powerful.  However, with power comes great responsibility – the responsibility to manage this complex field type.

The best way to filter on these fields for the purposes of scoring (or segmentation for that matter) is to use a ‘contains’ operator to determine if the value you are looking for exists within the target field.  Be sure that the text string you are looking for isn’t present in other values that you may not want in your results.  For example, when querying a ‘Skills’ field for the value ‘Marketing’ you will also return values such as ‘Marketing Automation’, which you may or may not want.  This can also work to your benefit if you structure the data properly.  If you offer values such as ‘Marketing – Automation’, ‘Marketing – Communications’, ‘Marketing – Public Relations’ you can filter for ‘Marketing’ to get a list of all marketing disciplines or you can filter on specific disciplines to get the most accurate results.  To take advantage of this you must structure your values accordingly when setting up the field.

Another issue facing multi-selects is whether or not to score multiple matches.  Going back to our ‘Skills’ field you may be offering the following:

  • 5 points for ‘Automation’
  • 10 points for ‘Communications’
  • 15 points for ‘Public Relations’

If a contact has both ‘Communications’ and ‘Public Relations’ in their field you have several options:

  • Score on ‘Communications’ and give them 10 points
  • Score on ‘Public Relations’ and give them 15 points
  • Score on both and give them 25 points

There is no right or wrong option.  The solution is really determined by your business case.  When building your lead scoring program to score on only one option you will need to develop a priority order of the values you wish to score.  If a contact is a match for a higher priority value you can score them then remove them from being scoring on the remaining values and preventing any further matches.  If you wish to score for all matches you will need to run the contact through a filter for each of the criteria you are scoring on.

Summary

In summary, it’s important to determine what types of fields you are scoring on and how you want to score them to match your business case.  From there you can develop a strategy for architecting your program.  Remember – you have many options.  This adds complexity to building a lead scoring program but ensures that leads are scored the way you need them, not the way your marketing automation provider wants you to score them.