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Getting a large funnel of leads is a big part of the job for any marketer. However, once you have a good volume of leads, you need to do something with them. Specifically, you need to have good qualifying parameters set up so your sales team doesn’t spend a ton of time with leads who are either uninterested or just not ready. To find out who is really interested in your product, you need to set up your lead scoring properly.

When it comes to Pardot, your lead scoring is based upon specific actions taken by your prospects, such as email opens, link clicks, downloads, etc. The idea here is to establish how much the prospect is interested in you. The more engaged the prospect is with your website and your content, the more confident you can be that they are interested in you and your product/service.

Alternatively, how interested you are in the prospect is a separate scoring system in Pardot known as prospect grading. In this article we won’t be discussing grading, other than to say that it is through the grading system that you can determine your ideal lead based on industry, geography, title, etc. This grade gets attached to the prospect so that when a prospect seems interested in you, via lead scoring, you should have sufficient data to determine how much you want to engage with that prospect.

So without further ado, here are our quick tips to help you get the best results from your Pardot lead scoring.

Assign different scores for different pages and different actions.

As one of the foundations of any good lead scoring plan, you need to be sure that you have some variety in your scores. You most likely have a few pages on your site that are “more important” such as a pricing page or product detail page. These pages should have higher point values than say, “about us” or your blog page.

Similarly, not all actions are equal. While it is great that someone has clicked on a number of your emails, and maybe even downloaded a paper, it certainly isn’t as much of a positive flag as someone who has submitted a form on a contact page.

Negative scores and degradation

Negative scoring can be just as important as varying your scores for “more and less important” actions and pages. Over time, prospect scores can easily become inflated, as clicks and pageviews slowly add up. Negative scores can help keep this in check, such as assigning negative scores for views of your “Jobs” page, as you don’t want to be focusing your time on job seekers, or automatically be deducting points for a prospect who has been inactive for a certain period of time.

Keep an eye out for Spam

Unfortunately, there are a lot of spammers out there, and for whatever reason, they may be filling out forms, and being entered as prospects into your system. A couple things to look for that may indicate a spam prospect: a form that is filled out without the expected capitalizations in the name or company fields, or inputted field data that is basically gibberish words.

One other thing to keep in mind is that leads using an email address from either Gmail or Yahoo may indicate less reliable prospects. Whenever possible, try to focus on prospects with business email addresses. In any of these cases, keep an eye out for prospects whose data doesn’t seem to be in line with what you normally see. If something seems off, they might not be a good prospect.

Setup a lead scoring threshold

Once a prospect gets to a certain point threshold, you can set up notifications for your Sales team. This ensures that Sales only get notified after a prospect has gone through a certain level of qualification. A simple automation rule should do this trick nicely. Pardot recommends initially setting this threshold at 100 points, if you are going by their built-in scoring rules. Take some time to think and plan for what your ideal scoring threshold is, based on your frequency of marketing content, and how you are scoring each action. And don’t be afraid to tweak your threshold over time if you aren’t getting the results you need right off the bat.

Think twice when you assign points for email opens

Learning this one the hard way can really throw off your scores. Don’t get us wrong, email opens are essential for marketing, but they aren’t the best indicator of interest or engagement. After all, some people open all of their emails just to have a clean inbox! An email opened does not necessarily equal email read. 

If you are sending out a lot of emails, you should really consider not assigning a score for individual email opens, as it can give you an inflated score, that really doesn’t reflect how interested the prospect is. Better metrics to consider for emails will be click-through and content downloads.

Discuss your scoring model with the Sales Team

From the get-go,  marketing and sales should get aligned on this process. Sales can help you determine which metrics have been the best indicators of a quality prospect in the past and they can help you decide at what scoring threshold they want to get notified about individual prospects.

With all of these tips on board, you should be well on your way to having a better-qualified group of leads.


-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz team