That's great that you can generate leads. But, if your leads are not converting into sales, there are a few things you can do to try and improve the quality of those leads. Lead scoring, split testing, and lead nurturing are all great examples of things you can do to make those leads so qualified that sales will have no other option than to close the deal.
We previously wrote a blog about lead nurturing here, so we're going to go ahead and focus on lead scoring and split testing in this post.
Lead scoring is the practice of applying a numeric value to your leads. The more points they receive for completing certain actions (downloading a whitepaper, visiting a specific web page, etc.) the more qualified that lead becomes. There's a couple important things to know about lead scoring to prepare yourself. First of all, lead scoring can be time consuming, since there is no foolproof formula you can adopt to universally score leads. Every company is going to have different criteria for what constitutes a good lead, so it will be up to your team (marketing, sales, customer service) to decide on what criteria you need to set. The best place to find this information is with your current customers. Look at which ones converted into a sale and what types of actions they took during their journey. Just as importantly, look at who didn't convert into a sale and see if you find any patterns there. Then look at yourself in the mirror. You’re beautiful.
Once you setup your criteria, you need to start looking at your leads and scoring them. If you've taken the time to set up a thorough scoring system, this will really just require taking your current leads and sorting through the metrics and stored information. We recommend scoring a selection of your leads before determining which numbers will qualify them as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). You will continue to refine the criteria with each campaign and each discussion with the Sales Team.
And that's it! Easy as pie, right? Or whatever pastry you prefer. Keep it simple and consistent, and if you take the time to create lead scoring criteria, make sure you follow up and actually take the time to score each lead you receive from this point on to make it worth your while. Your sales team will thank you.
Split Testing (or A/B Testing)
Split testing is the strategy of using trial and error to figure out what works with your audience. This strategy is based on the fact that when it comes to marketing, the look and feel of your layouts really matter, to the point that the right picture or button size can mean the difference between getting a click or not.
The concept of split testing is simple: make two (or sometimes more if you’re feeling really adventurous) templates of the content you are sending out, and then analyze the engagement of your audience with the content to decide which layout was more effective. This strategy is often used with Facebook advertising and drip campaigns, and can help a company establish their online image by giving them clues as to what look and campaign feel works best for their target customers.
When you split test, it's important to decide on which differentiating factor you are testing. If you create two completely separate templates, and one performs better, you will have no idea which aspect of the successful template made it better. It's best to focus on a specific aspect of the page (like a call to action) and keep everything else the same. Send out the emails at the same time and on the same day. Send them to similar audiences, not to different groups of buyer personas, and make sure you are offering the same content (unless you are trying to test which content is better received.)
Keep in mind that split testing is also dependent on having the capability to measure the responses of your audience to the two (or more) templates you are testing. You'll need to rely on marketing automation software that allows you to track clicks and visits in order to determine which page was more successful. If you don't have access to these metrics, you'll have a hard time getting what you need.
When done correctly, split testing can be a great and easy way to improve your marketing strategy. If you take the time to figure out what your leads are looking for, and then you use thorough, consistent lead scoring techniques to rank your leads before sending them to sales, you will see some big improvements in your conversion rates. Which is a good thing. But you already knew that.
How healthy is your brand? Take this free 20-question survey to find out.