Based on how you have configured lead scoring, leads will begin accumulating score values based on the information you have gathered about them, as well as the event activity they have taken with your website.
Lead scoring is a fantastic tool to help segment and prioritize the leads that land in your sales funnel, but one of the key considerations a business should take into account when using our Lead Scoring system is how long score value should remain static, without decrementing. In order to mitigate this and provide an accurate reflection of the lead's engagement, lead scoring uses lead score decay.
This article will provide information on lead score decay.
Half-Life and Decay
When a lead provides certain important information or takes part in an activity on a website, they will accumulate a lead score based on how you have configured lead scoring. A lead score half-life is the amount of time it will take for our lead's score to be half as valuable as it was on the day of the lead's last interaction. Lead score decay is effectively a half-life, and represents the amount of time it should take for a lead to be half as important as it used to be.
A lead score half-life ensures that leads are categorized appropriately based on their most recent activity history. If the half-life feature is not used, then lead scores will always increment (or remain static), even if the lead has not taken part in an activity in weeks. This can result in incorrect or problematic lead information. Utilizing lead score half-life allows a Sales team to have an accurate snapshot of the hottest leads at any time. The importance of a lead's half-life will vary based on many factors, including industry, target audience, and the buying cycle. Identifying a half-life will likely take contributions from many different teams to get a key understanding of the desired timeframe.
It is important to note that decaying a lead's score does not mean that you are giving up on that lead. Rather, it is allowing for you to use automation to segment leads based on where they are at in the buyer's journey. This allows you to market to them more effectively.
Setting Lead Score Rates
When configuring lead scoring, take into account an estimated duration of time that, if a lead does not take part in any activity that increments their lead score, then the score value will decrease over such time.
To set half-life and decay values, do the following:
- Click Lead Scoring in the left toolbar.
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- Scroll to the Activity and Decay Timing section and select a time period from the Lead Activity Period drop-down menu.
- Click the toggle to On in the Turn Decay On/Off section.
- Set a time period in the Rate of Decay (Half-Life) section.
- Click Save.
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Once you have set your lead score decay time period, all lead event activity will decay based on that timeframe. The decay will be calculated daily across the chosen time period. If the lead takes part in no further event activity during that time period, that the lead's score will have decayed to be half the value of the initial score.
Lead scores will not decay if a lead:
- Fills out a form
- Visits a tracked page
- Clicks a link in an email
- Views a Media Center asset
Lead scores can be incremented by either an event activity a lead takes part in (such as a website visit or a form submission) or information the lead provides (information in fields like First Name, Last Name, or Email). It is important to note that activities will decay over time, while information does not.
To put this into perspective, if a lead submits a form with their name, email, and title, the value of that information will not change. However, the event of the form submission (and associated website visit) will decrease over time. If a lead has not been on a website over the course of a few weeks, that previous event is not as valuable due to the duration that has passed since the form submission or visit.
If a lead takes part in an event that would increase lead scoring during the decay period, their lead score will grow based on the specific event. For example, if a lead gets a certain amount of points for providing their email address (information) and another amount of points for visiting a website (event activity), their lead score will grow based on the lead score rules you have configured.
As the lead's score decreases over time, the next event activity a lead takes part in that increases their score will count from the current value, which includes any decay up until that point. For example, if a lead had a score of 100 which decayed down to 60 after the course of a few months, and that lead then took part in an an event that increased the lead score by 20 points, the new lead score would be 80.
Decay activity is event-specific. As an example, consider that a lead took part in Event A on 1 January, which accumulated 80 points. The lead later took part in Event B on 1 February, which accumulated 60 points. Event A would be one month into its decay when the points from Event B are added to the total lead score value. However, this does not reset the lead score decay on Event A. The lead score will continue to decay for the set time period, with Event B's decay beginning on 1 February.