Marketing automation example

Simple lead qualification with Sitecore Marketing Automation

I often receive question if Sitecore can also a platform for lead management. Sure, it can. On the one hand, Sitecore can evaluate the quality of your leads and on the other, Sitecore might provide personalised content to increase the quality of unqualified leads. And when the leads ready to make a purchase? Let Sitecore automatically inform your sales department that you have a lead ready for them. Let’s have a look how to simply evaluate the lead quality in Sitecore.  

Sitecore Contacts

To evaluate leads we need data. The Sitecore comes with a robust database where you can store all the information about your visitors/customers. Sitecore store every interaction of each visitor with website or email (if Email Experience Editor is used). When you use marketing features you can also track marketing interaction such as: which goal has your visitor achieved, what his interest is, what campaign he participated or if he’s part of some marketing automation process.

Sitecore Marketing Automation

Sitecore has done an amazing job when they introduced a new feature for marketing automation last year. Since Sitecore version 9, we are able to easily design effective marketing automated processes within nice drag and drop interface.

Every Sitecore marketing automation process consists of three parts: a start, process elements and of course end of the process.

Start – Selection of contacts that will be selected for the automated process. We can either to select contacts who complete specific digital goals, events or outcomes or we can select contacts who meet specific rules – specific behaviour of contacts, their demography attributes, campaign participation etc.

Marketing Automation Elements – main bricks of the whole process. We can define what will happen to contact in such a step (send email, update consent, add to lists, etc.). We can wait for certain actions to be done by contact. And we can decide what will happen next when a certain condition is met or not by the contact.

End – The precise moment when contact is no longer under any elements of the marketing process.
With out-of-the-box elements, you can automatically send emails or change behaviour values of contact. Here is just an example of how the marketing process in Sitecore might look like.

Example of Sitecore Marketing Automation
Example of Sitecore Marketing Automation

Engagement value as a scale for qualifying leads

So we know we can automatically process data stored in Sitecore for individual contact. Let’s have a look at how tracking digital goals can help us to evaluate lead quality.

Sitecore tracks digital goals as specific activities performed by visitors. You can track if visitor register to your website, make a purchase, download brochure, etc. You can assign engagement value to a goal to measure the engagement of your visitors collected from all goals they complete.

Here is the example of digital goals with engagement value:

Download brochure – 25 EV
Register to a website – 50 EV
Make a purchase – 100 EV

We usually assign values on a scope from 0-100. More value a goal has, more the goal is important for the business.

When a visitor completes more goals during his visit he collects all the values from all the goals. According to our example a visitor who register to our website and download a brochure during one visit, he collects 75 engagement value for his visit. After some time when Digital goals are set in the system, we can see the average engagement value of our visitors.

Engagement value helps us to define a scale for lead quality. In our example, the lead quality will be set according to the following categories: cold, warm and hot. Name of the category represents lead readiness to sales.

When we know the lead categories, we can assign engagement value that visitor needs to reach to evaluate the lead quality. The lead categorization should be done according to actual values of already collected leads and their values, but for our example, we can use the following values:

Cold: 10-50 EV
Warm: 50-80 EV
Hot: 80-100 EV

A marketing automation to assign the lead quality

We track engagement values to identify lead quality. Now we need to design process which will evaluate the lead quality for each visitor. To do that we will use outcomes and custom marketing automation element to register a specific outcome (Tomas Knaifl will follow with the development part in a separate article).

The outcome is another label we can assign to individual contact in Sitecore. The outcomes are handy when you need to change them trough API from a different application. This is especially helpful when Sitecore is integrated with CRM. We’ll set up outcomes in marketing control panel according to our lead qualification scale:

Sitecore Outcomes to track different lead quality
Sitecore Outcomes to track different lead quality

Once the outcomes are set in the system we need to develop a custom function to register selected outcome in marketing automation plan. This function allows us to assign the lead quality outcome to a visitor when he reached required engagement value.

In our scenario, we enrol a visitor to automation when any digital goal is complete by the visitor. Then we define a simple process to set a specific outcome when certain engagement value is achieved by the visitor. When the contact has engagement value higher than 80 EV we register outcome hot lead to this outcome. When it is between 80 and 50 EV, we register warm lead, for the rest, we register cold lead.

In this example, Sitecore recalculates lead status with every additional goal complete by the visitor. so we can change lead status when different lead status is achieved by the visitor.

Here is the example of our process and condition that must be met to assign given outcomes:

Example of our marketing automation process
Example of our marketing automation process
If visitor has more than 80 EV he will be qualified as hot lead
If visitor has more than 80 EV he will be qualified as hot lead

Simple, but efficient start to nurture your customer

There exist many ways how to manage lead qualification in Sitecore. With this approach, we achieve simple lead qualification of visitor collecting values trough digital goals. In the next article, we will look what data collect and send to CRM to leverage your sales process.

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