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Tapping the Power of Modern Scoring

Bill Nussey, Silverpop
by: Bill Nussey (@bnussey)
13 November 2012

A 5 to 10 percent response rate sounds great in a world overrun with interruptive advertising clutter. That is, until you realize that 90 to 95 percent of the audience found the content irrelevant.

Every marketer I know wants to communicate to each of their customers individually. In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research found that the top concern among marketers was personalizing their communications based on each individual customer’s behaviors. Automation promises to solve this need, but for many marketers, embracing individualized campaigns seems daunting.

Fortunately, there’s a simple bridge between the traditional world of audiences and the future of individualized campaigns: scoring. Imagine if you could easily identify highly engaged contacts who had opened an email in the last 30 days, visited your website five times this month, and commented on a post on your company blog. Imagine if you could easily determine your “top 10 percent” — those customers who are performing actions that, in the context of your specific business, indicate a high level of connection. And not just over all time, but within whatever time frame you specified — the last month, for instance.

Scoring not only makes this easy, but does so in a way that’s similar to building segments and audiences. And once scoring is in place, your options multiply. You can start out with the basics and use scores to segment your customers. You can also use them to drive dynamic content, serving up articles and offers that reflect the precise score level for each customer. And, best of all, scoring is one of the simplest ways to get started with automation – the moment a customer’s score reaches a certain threshold, a message or sequence of messages can launch in real time.

If you’re ready to cut through the clutter and move toward delivering personalized content to smaller and smaller segments – all the way down to segments of one – scoring can help you make the transition.

More Channels, More Behaviors, Better Scoring
Today, technology has evolved to the point that marketers can incorporate behaviors from an extensive list of channels into each of their scores. In case you’re wondering, the list is nearly as long as the range of communication channels now available, including signing up for a newsletter, watching a video, clicking in an email, commenting on a blog post, abandoning a shopping cart, calling sales or support, requesting a demo, signing up for a Webinar, socially sharing a piece of content, viewing a specific Web page and many more.

Scoring isn’t just about what someone does do, though. It’s about also what they don’t do – and how recently they’ve done it. Has a person visited your website in the last two weeks? Clicked on an email in the last month? Modern scoring systems look across behaviors and change scores based on inaction as well as action.

These advances in marketing automation technology are enabling marketers to execute individualized campaigns economically, providing the opportunity to think more about each customer and less about the generalized audiences they belong to. Put another way, scoring bridges the gap between old-style, audience-focused blasting and real-time, automated individualized dialogues.

Real-Time Dialogues
So, how does behavioral marketing automation and modern scoring enable you to transition from calendar-centric marketing to communicating when the buyer is ready to hear from you? In short, the two combine to provide a real-time element previously missing from scoring platforms. Now, when a scoring threshold is crossed, automation can kick in immediately to act on the new level of interest or engagement, enabling you to deliver incredibly relevant, timely content.

Instead of sending content on your timetable, you send it when each individual recipient performs an action that suggests they’re ready for the content. In fact, you never actually hit “send” – you establish the rule sets, and marketing automation does the rest. That’s a seismic shift from the days of manual scoring segmentation, when marketers would pull a list of contacts in a certain score range and send them a message on the company’s timetable rather than the customer’s.

These days, even bulk messages are becoming individualized. For example, you might design a single email for your entire database, but then build in rule sets so recipients won’t be sent the email until they perform certain actions that cause them to reach a specific score.

By then adding pieces of behavior-driven dynamic content to messages, or routing contacts down different messaging paths based on how they interact with you, it’s easy to see how you can provide highly individualized communications across your database.

Beyond Email
Modern scoring enables you to do a ton of cool things with email, but its power reaches well beyond the scope of email. Today, you can use behavioral scores to trigger real-time responses both online and offline. These might include serving up customized Web content, targeted landing pages and unique pages within Facebook, or prompting a call from a salesperson or a direct mail piece from the printer.

Expect the future to bring even more game-changing scoring capabilities, as technology evolves to enable the capturing of additional behaviors across mobile, social and even offline channels. By incorporating all this data into your system, you can do cool stuff like building a scoring model to determine whether each individual customer prefers to receive promotions via email, website, mobile app or SMS.

That’s exciting news for marketers who understand that engaging today’s more sophisticated buyers requires more than just carefully segmenting your list and delivering the most appropriate message to each group. If you want to engage on a more personal level and connect with segments of one, behavior-driven scoring is a great way to generate the kind of real-time, automated dialogues that will help get you there. And the good news is, it’s here and it’s easier than ever to get started.

Related Blogs:
1) “Tips for Identifying Key Contacts Through Behaviors and Scoring
2) “Behavioral Marketing: What It Is and Why It’s So Exciting
3) “Contact Scoring: Your 10-Step Quick-Start Process


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