Set up automatic lead scoring

 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is scheduled to be retired on May 15, 2018. After that date the service will no longer be available. Please plan accordingly. For details, see the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing can score and grade all leads automatically based on behavior-tracking data, lead configuration, and other criteria defined in your lead scoring models. The system is extremely flexible so you can configure and assign lead scoring models to match the precise business needs, priorities, and processes in place at your organization.

To work with lead scoring models, you must have Edit/View Lead Scoring Models privileges. More information: Work with user accounts and staff contacts.

To work with lead scoring models, go to Settings > Rules and Models > Lead Scoring Models. This brings you to the Lead Scoring Models list page, which provides many of the standard controls for searching, sorting, filtering, adding, removing and viewing items in the list, plus other common features. For details about how to use these common controls, see Learn how to work and get around in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

Whenever you create or edit a lead scoring model, the settings listed in the following table are provided.

Field or Section

Description

Active

Select this check box to activate the current record; clear it to deactivate the record. Active records are always shown on the list page and are also available for use in other parts of Dynamics Marketing. Inactive records are usually hidden in the list view and aren’t available elsewhere. When you delete a record on the list page, it’s not actually deleted, just set to inactive. On the list page, you can toggle to show or hide inactive records in the list.

Name

Enter a short but descriptive name. This value will identify the current record in list views, type-ahead fields, drop-down lists, and other areas of Dynamics Marketing. Choose a value that you and all other users are likely to recognize in the future.

Type

Assign a type for the lead. This value can be useful for sorting and filtering your records and for supporting internal processes or policies. Your admin can customize the values available here; see Create custom drop-down values and folders for details about how to customize drop-down values. (Category type = Lead Scoring Model Type.)

Automatic rescoring

Dynamics Marketing rescores all leads periodically, but only applies those lead scoring models that are enabled for the feature. Select this check box to include the current rule in the automatic rescoring schedule.

Description

Enter a description that can help you and other users remember what this record is for and how it should be used.

Created by

Shows the name of the contact that created the current record. This is automatically set to match the current user when the record is created, but you can also change it. The specified contact must already exist in the database; type-ahead assistance is provided (or enter “%%” as a wildcard to scroll through all contacts). This setting can affect which users are able to see and edit the current record, depending on the users’ security settings and team memberships. More information: Work with user accounts and staff contacts and Define and manage teams.

System_CAPS_noteNote

You can edit this value while creating a record, but it becomes read-only once you save it.

Rules

This section is available once you have saved a model at least once. It includes a table of rules that establish the conditions and score adjustments triggered by the current model. See the following sections for details about how to work these.

Grades

This section is available once you have saved a model at least once. It establishes a collection of thresholds by which a lead grade will be assigned, including the grade at which the lead will be marked as sales ready. See the following sections for details about how to work these.

Use the Rules section to establish a set of rules for your model. You must save a new model at least once before you can work with this section.

  • To add a new rule, choose the New New button button at the top of the Rules section. A pop-up window opens; use it to set up your rule as described in the following subsections and then choose Submit to add it to your model.

  • To remove an existing rule or rules, select the check box for each rule you want to remove and choose the Delete Delete button button at the top of the Rules section.

Each lead scoring rule is made of a Condition, which defines where and when the rule applies, and an Action, which establishes how a given lead’s score will be affected when the specified condition is true. All rules take the form:

  • Field | Operator | (Value) | (Where) = Action

The presence or availability of the value and where elements depend on your choice of field and operator.

Some examples are listed in the following table.

Field

Operator

Value

Where

Action

Due date

is between

June 15, 2015 and July 15, 2015

Update score with 10

Due date

is null

Update score with -10 (lower the score by 10)

Email message

is in set

Welcome, Thank You

For each click

Update score with 30; devaluate 1 point per day, until a minimum score of 5

Event

any

For each attendance

Update score with 50

Email address

contains

contoso.com

Update score with 10

Web sites

is in set

contoso.com

visit duration is greater than 10 minutes

Update score with 20

Each lead scoring rule tests the value of a specific field from one of the following: the lead itself, a related contact, or a related lead-interaction record. You can also test for behavior records of contacts related to the lead (such as email opens or website visits). When you are establishing a rule, you must start by specifying which field you want to test by using the Field drop-down list in the New Rule pop-up window. This drop-down list applies the naming convention outlined here to help identify the source of each available value:

  • Lead-interaction records: Field names that begin with “Interaction:” refer to fields from a related lead-interaction record. Dynamics Marketing creates a lead interaction record each time a contact submits a landing page, registers for an event, or attends an event. More information: Lead interaction records 

    System_CAPS_noteNote

    Email results (opens, clicks, and so on) are also a type of interaction, and they are recorded, but they don’t generate lead interaction records (they have their own type of records). To score these types of interactions, use the “Lead Contact(s): Email Message” Field setting.

  • Lead fields: Field names that begin with “Lead:” refer to field values from the lead record being scored.

  • Contact behavior and attributes: Field names that begin with “Lead Contact(s):” refer to marketing activities related to a lead interaction of contacts associated with the lead (including data about website visits and email interactions). When the lead is associated with an account (company), the score will accumulate email and website interactions from all contacts associated with that company. For leads associated with individual contacts (not accounts), custom contact fields are also available and are categorized with the “Lead Contact:” prefix (see also Create custom contact fields for market segmentation).

  • User-defined fields: Admins can establish user-defined fields both for lead-interaction records and for the leads themselves. When these are available (none are enabled by default), they will not necessarily use the previously mentioned prefixes because your admin provides a custom name for each of these fields. This name may or may not tell you whether the field is coming from a lead interaction record or from the lead itself; speak with your admin if you’re not sure.

The following table summarizes each of the Field settings together with advice for how to configure rules based on each of them. The available settings vary by field type.

Field setting

Description

Interaction: Campaign

Tests the Campaign field of each related lead interaction record.

Interaction: Description

Tests the contents of the Description field of each related lead interaction record.

Interaction: Due Date

Tests the Due Date field of each related lead interaction record.

Interaction: Email Address

Tests the email address of the contact that generated each lead interaction record. You might use this, for example, to identify contacts from a specific company according to the domain name in their email address.

Interaction: Event

Tests the Event field of each related lead interaction record. This will typically be the name of an event that a relevant contact registered for or attended.

Interaction: Landing Page

Tests the Landing Page field of each lead interaction record. This is usually the name of the landing page that generated the interaction.

Interaction: Name

Tests the Name field of each lead-interaction record. This is usually the name of the landing page or event that generated the interaction.

Interaction: Phone

Tests the phone number of the contact that generated each lead interaction record. You might use this, for example, to identify contacts from a specific area code.

Interaction: Priority

Tests the Priority field of each lead interaction record.

Interaction: Program

Tests the Program field of each lead interaction record.

Interaction: Session

Tests the Session field of each lead interaction record. This value is only available for interactions generated from event registration and attendance.

Lead Contact(s): Email Message

Tests for various types of email interactions, such as opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, and so on. You must specify which email messages to check for (you can’t test for general mail interactions).

Lead Contact(s): Web Site

Tests website visitation records so that you can score based on the number of visits, length of visits, and so on to specific websites.

Lead Contact: Custom Field

Tests for values of specific custom contact fields. You can only use this type of scoring rules with single-contact leads (not for companies or accounts). Note also that custom contact fields are not the same as user-defined fields (UDFs). More information: Create custom contact fields for market segmentation

Lead: Campaign

Tests the Campaign field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Due Date

Tests the Due Date field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Name

Tests the Name field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Priority

Tests the Priority field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Program

Tests the Program field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Sales Rating

Tests the Sales Rating field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Source Code

Tests the Source Code field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Status

Tests the Status field of the lead record itself.

Lead: Type

Tests the Type field of the lead record itself.

Operators define the type of test that the lead scoring rule will make against values of the type defined by the Field setting, which also affects the types of operators that are available for the condition. Most of these should already be familiar to you and include standard operators such as equal to, greater than, less than, contains, and so on, however, some are special. The following table gives a brief overview.

Operator

Description

Equal to, not equal to, between, greater than, less than, less than or equal to, greater than or equal to

These are all standard comparisons for evaluating numbers and dates.

Is null, is not null

These operators check to see whether any value at all has been entered for a given field. Note that values such as zero or a space do not count as “null”.

Is in set, is not in set

These operators are provided for fields that check for related records, such as campaigns and email messages. For these, you must list one or more related-record names. For example, when you want to check for email clicks, you must specify the email messages that you want the rule to check against. In these cases, the Value will be a Type-ahead field.

Any

This operator is similar to “is in set”, but allows the rule to test all records of a given type. For example, you can make a rule that increases a lead score for attendance at any event, or choose Is in set to score for attendance at just one or more specific events. This type of rule is expensive in terms of database access performance, and is therefore not always available even when it seems like it might be useful (notably, for email messages).

The actions available can vary slightly according to the type of condition you have established, but all rules include the Update score with action because this is the ultimate purpose of all rules. Note that you can set this value to both positive and negative integers, so some rules can actually decrease a lead score.

Some types of rules (for example, for landing page submissions) allow for a depreciation schedule as part of the action. These will cause the score contributed by a given rule to fall over time. So, for example, you might score +40 for a landing page submission, but devalue that score by 1 point per day, so that after 40 days the lead is considered to have gone cold and that submission no longer has any effect on the score. For rules where devaluation is available, you can also establish a minimum and maximum score beyond which devaluation will cease to have an effect.

Use the grading system to apply a grade to leads based on their score. Each grade has a name, usually consistent with a selected metaphor (for example, hot/warm/cold, A/B/C/D, or gold/silver/bronze), and is associated with a range of scores. In addition, you can mark a grade as “sales ready”, which identifies all leads having that grade (or higher) as being ready to be forwarded to a salesperson. If you are using the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365, only sales-ready leads are synchronized to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Use the Grades section to establish your grading system. You must save a new model at least once before you can work with this section. Use the following techniques to establish your grading system:

  • To establish a grade, choose a row, enter a name in the Grade column, and define the corresponding score range using the From and To columns.

  • Your grades must be continuous (no gaps between grade scores) and must not overlap (there must be a unique grade for each possible score).

  • By default, the table includes five rows, but you don’t need to use them all and you can have as many grades as you want. To add rows in the table, choose the New New button button at the top of the Grades section.

  • To remove a row from the table, select its check box and then choose the Delete Delete button button.

  • To mark a grade as sales-ready, select its check box and then choose the Set Sales Ready Grade Set Sales Ready Grade button button. Higher grades will also be marked as sales-ready.

  • To remove the sales-ready status from all grades, choose the Remove Sales Ready Grade Remove Sales Ready Grade button button.

To have an effect, a lead scoring model must be assigned to a company, program, or campaign using the Lead Scoring Model setting for the appropriate entity (More information: Company settings and configuration, Create and manage your campaigns, Manage programs). Each lead then inherits its scoring model from the company, program or campaign associated with that lead. If models are assigned at more than one of these levels for a given lead, then the most specific available model will apply (the hierarchy, from least to most specific, is: company > program > campaign). Note, however, that if a lead has campaign assigned to it and that campaign does not have a scoring model, the lead will also have no scoring model, even if the belongs-to company does have one (the belongs-to company model will only apply to leads that do not have a campaign or program assigned). For more information and some examples of how scoring models are assigned to leads, see also Overview: Working with Leads).

Each lead therefore has (at most) one lead scoring model that applies to it. To see which model actually applies to a given lead, open its Lead maintenance page, expand the Scoring section (if needed) and inspect the Lead Scoring Model value. More information: Create and manage leads

Though you can create leads manually and import them from an external system, most of the time you will probably allow Dynamics Marketing to create them automatically when a contact submits a landing page (More information: Create and customize landing pages). You can control this process by defining a lead-creation strategy and scope policies at the company level for the site company and each client company (More information: Company settings and configuration). These settings define the marketing context that each lead belonging to a given company represents as follows:

  • The lead creation strategy establishes whether a lead represents an interest in a specific campaign, program of campaigns, or all of a company’s products. The choices are “per campaign”, “per program” and “per client/site”. For example, when using a per-campaign strategy, each lead reflects an interest in that campaign only, so new leads will be created for other campaigns; but when using a per-client/site strategy, each lead represents a combined interest in all campaigns run by that company.

  • The creation scope controls whether leads are associated with individuals or organizations. The choices are “per prospect company” or “per prospect contact”. When using a contact scope, each lead is associated with just one person and the score reflects actions by that individual. But when using a company scope, the lead score may be based on the combined interactions of all contacts associated with that company.

When a lead scoring rule is triggered by a contact interaction, Dynamics Marketing first checks to see if a lead already exists for that marketing context; if so, it updates the score for the existing lead; if not, it creates a new lead and initializes its associations and score appropriately.

System_CAPS_tipTip

Landing pages are a central component for lead creation and scoring. You must therefore configure them in a way that is consistent with your lead-creation strategy. So, for example, if a company is using a per-campaign strategy, all of the landing pages belonging to that company must also be associated with a campaign. Likewise, companies using a per-program strategy must have all of their landing pages configured with a program. Dynamics Marketing enforces this by marking the appropriate fields as mandatory when you are configuration a landing page (based on the lead-creation strategy established for the company the page belongs to). Be sure to check your landing page configurations if you change the strategy for a company. More information: Create and customize landing pages

Any time you score or rescore a lead, Dynamics Marketing identifies the correct scoring model and applies its rules using all of the relevant data collected for that lead. Leads can be scored as follows:

  • Individual leads are scored when they are created in response to a relevant scoring rule. (These new leads will also be checked against the existing lead-assignment rules and assigned if possible. More information: Set up automatic lead scoring)

  • Dynamics Marketing can automatically rescore leads on a regular basis. You must enable this option for each lead-scoring model where you wish to use it by selecting the Automatic Rescoring check box on each relevant Lead Scoring Model maintenance page. The default setting is to rescore every hour, but you can increase this interval if you want by adjusting the Scoring Latency setting on the Marketing Automation page. More information: Configure email marketing and marketing automation options

  • You can configure Dynamics Marketing to automatically rescore a lead each time you open (or save) its Lead maintenance page. To enable this, select the Score Lead on Opening check box on the Site Settings page. More information: Configure site settings

  • To manually rescore all leads, go to the Leads list page and choose the Score Score button button. Note that this operation may take a long time to complete if you have a large number of leads. More information: Create and manage leads

  • To manually rescore a specific lead, go to its Lead maintenance page and choose the Rescore Rescore toolbar button button. More information: Create and manage leads

  • To manually rescore all leads that use a given scoring model, open the relevant Lead Scoring Model maintenance page and then choose the Score Score button button.

  • To automatically rescore a lead during an automated campaign, include a Scoring tile at the appropriate place in your campaign canvas. More information: Automate campaigns with the campaign canvas

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