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Medical Marketing Lead Scoring

So when your website and Inbound Marketing efforts are cranking away and your list of leads continues to grow, how do you know which leads are ready to buy and which require more nurturing? Join Marc as he discusses an important topic in Inbound Marketing — Lead Scoring

Medical Marketing Lead Scoring : Monday

“Lead Scoring in Medical Marketing”, Presented by Marc Ohmann,

Hi Everybody,

This is Marc Ohmann with Digital Solutions, back for another Medical Marketing Monday.  Today we’re going to talk about a topic that is critical to an Inbound Marketing Campaign and that is Lead Scoring.  For those of you who don’t know what Lead Scoring is, today we’re going to give you an overview of what goes into an effective lead scoring and why you would want to have one in place.  To begin let’s talk about the problem that exists with a lot of websites.  Once you have a good website set up, maybe you’re running AdWord campaigns, or you’re getting rankings for some search phrases.  You’re driving traffic to your site and you’re even converting some of that traffic into first name, last name and email addresses, along with other profile information.  A lot of clinics run into the problem of what to do with all the leads they end up with, 50 leads in month one, 50 to 100 in month two, another 50 to 100 in month three and all of a sudden there’re a ton of leads, each of them in a different stage of the buying cycle.  Some of the leads provided worthless data, while others provided great data.  Now how do you know what to do with all of those leads?  A lot of clinics simply dump the leads into their email database.  The clinic then sends their newsletter which isn’t targeted towards the product or service the person was interested in.  Those newsletters tend to have diminishing returns overtime.  Now the clinic has this problem where they ended up with too many leads and not only too many leads, but leads they aren’t using effectively.  They aren’t segmenting the leads into where they’re at in the buying cycle.  Is that person thinking about purchasing, or are they seeking out information.  Does that person live in your area, could they possibly buy from you, or do they live in Australia.  Is that person in the right age group or are they simply a kid looking on the website.  We need to know this information so that we can market to them correctly.  What happens when we don’t do that is we get poor conversions from our email campaigns, people aren’t clicking through because we aren’t sending them the right message and that results in a low return-on-investment and a high unsubscribe rate from our email list.  Now one of our goals for the site and how we measure success from our efforts on that site is through our email list.  How many names, how many leads are we collecting, email addresses and high unsubscribe rates is working backwards.  That person gave us their information and at one time they trusted us and now we abuse that trust by not providing what they thought they were going to get.  That’s a big problem and the solution is of course Lead Scoring.  Now for a couple of stats, a Gardner Survey found that 70% of leads are not handled properly and that’s what happens when you drop everybody into the same email list and you get a high unsubscribe rate because people simply didn’t get what they thought they were going to get when they signed up.  Now that’s a problem because leads are valuable and to not handle them properly and have them turn around and go away is a big problem.  Another study from HubSpot found that 50% of the people that come to your website fill out a form and give you their information, but they’re not ready to buy yet, they’re simply looking for information.  That doesn’t mean they’re not going to be ready to buy two, three, four, or six months down the road.  They’re very valuable profiles to collect on the site, but they simply aren’t ready to buy today.  Bombarding these profiles with a sells message isn’t appropriate.  What is needed is a tool called Lead Scoring.

With Lead Scoring we begin profiling these people so that we can market to them appropriately based on their demographic and based on their behavioral characteristics.  What feeds that profile is explicit data, insight they provide on your website through the form such as age, gender and location which will help you segment out only the people living within our location because these are the people we want to try to sell to.  Now we don’t necessarily want to ignore people living abroad because they can create links to our site and create buzz about us on the internet.  They’re still valuable, but they aren’t likely to buy.  They’re a different type of user.  We want to treat each of them uniquely, so that we’re marketing effectively and often times we segment on age, gender, location and other data that’s appropriate for your clinic.  Now we also have implicit data, this is more behavioral data.  The profile of this person is based on how they interact with your brand, how they’re interacting with your website, or in person in the offline world.  What that means a lot of times is email interactions, how they responded to the last emails you sent.  Are they clicking through and when they do click through what are they clicking onto in that visit?  What do their website visits look like?  The user that is ready to buy is often coming back to your product services page day-after-day, looking at the pricing and getting ready to make that decision.  That’s a key indicator that someone is ready to purchase and they should be handled appropriately.  What forms did that person complete on the site?  What was provided and was the information valid, or did they enter a fake name or fake email address?  Those are also indicators of their state-of-readiness to buy.  Did they watch any of your videos, did they come to your open house, did they come in for a visit, did they interact in the offline world?  All of that data needs to be compiled and put into a score so that we can let the cream-of-the-leads float to the top, while not ignoring the bulk of the leads down below.  We want to nurture the top leads to get them to buy and that’s how we get more effective return-on-investment (ROI).

What happens through all this is we move our leads into two categories, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).  An MQL is a lead primarily looking for information and they’re in the educational stage of their buying cycle.  That person has an idea of what they want to pursue and they’re looking for information.  If you provide the right kind of information on your site you can be that educational resource and move them along the buying process towards your products and services.  When you look at search traffic online, you see that there’re all kinds of searches where people want to get educated on today’s procedures.  The ePatient is all about education online.  A Doctor tells them they need something, they go online to confirm it, to review it and to see what other people have done.  Education online is huge and if you can provide that information it’s a step in the right direction.  You’re being there to fulfill the sell.  Therefore, the MQL is looking for information.  They’re primarily a shopper, is this something I need and where’s the best place to get it done if it is something I need.  The message to them is primarily educational.  Now that doesn’t mean that we have to totally ignore the sales component in our message, but our message for them to find value in it is to provide education as the primary component and not necessarily promotion.

A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a step up from the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).  The SQL users generally come in at the MQL level, where they provided a name and email address.   We began marketing to them and we saw that they were looking for information.  We continued to provide that educational material, when at some point the MQL became an SQL based on some action they took.  Maybe they started visiting your pricing page, maybe they filled out a contact us form or a consult request form that moved them up to a SQL position.  Now we know that person is a little closer to buying.  A SQL is looking to purchase.  Now is the time to set out your differentiators as your primary message.  You explain why they should purchase from you.  They’re ready to buy, maybe they just need a little nudge, a little incentive, a coupon, a discount, some type of promotion to get them to move so that they’ll come in.  Here the message is primarily promotional.  This is where we nudge them along to help them make that decision on why they should purchase from you.  Now the tools that go into this are highly complex, but a good tool makes all of this data easy to use and easy for an agency to use so that you can actually start to segment your list out by these two groups.  You can now market to them differently, improving your ROI, reducing the unsubscribe list and start getting more out of the email list you worked so hard to build.

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro and also on Google Plus

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