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Oracle Eloqua – Lead Scoring

Most people are familiar with lead scoring, but do you feel confident that you are maximizing it’s potential?  If you are using Eloqua, the ease of setting up lead scoring is phenomenal!  The key to success in Lead Scoring, is continual review, which is where the issues come into play.  In this short post, I will walk you through how Eloqua sets up Lead Scoring and some of the pitfalls of lead scoring.

The ease of Lead Scoring in Eloqua is probably the easiest you will find in a Marketing Automation Platform that has this functionality out of the box.  There are two views when deciding on what criteria to have scored…(1) Profile – think of this as the information about the company that the person works for, their title, or simply put their LinkedIn profile; (2) Engagement – think of this as all the content marketing has sent out or created, items on the website people visit, webinars hosted by your company, or even trade shows.  These two aspects are the backbone to Eloqua’s Lead Scoring.  We call it the Lead Scoring Model for those technical geeks out there, model, the way something looks.  So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what this is all about…

Profile: this is data driven, the data that is housed in Eloqua can be used to examine if the person is the right person to make the purchase.  Title is a good criteria, but there are so many titles that the better option is Job Function or Job Role, those can be standardized.  Industry, this is another great one, because a lot of times there are specific industries that have a higher tendency to buy, this is usually a standardized list as well so, easy peasy.  Region, Country, or other unique fields to your business will be important to making sure that the score indicates a buyer worth talking to.

Engagement: this is activity and recency driven. Activity is the interaction with marketing materials that have been sent to them or that they have sought on their own.  Based on the activity, engagement factors in what they recently interacted with.  For example, a contact clicks on an email that was just sent but doesn’t interact with anything else, eventually their engagement score will go down because they haven’t interacted with any marketing material in a specific timeframe.  Some of the most common engagement criteria to look at is email clickthrough, website visits, form submits, and page tags (there are many others that can used as well).

Getting to the actual score, is system set, meaning you will always have a score generated by Eloqua that is an A-D and 1-4. The piece that you can configure is the point span that it covers. The image below shows the sliding scale that indicates what range each of the letters or numbers pertain to.  You may want your D1 to be smaller than the rest, or maybe you want to have C/B & 3/2 be narrow.  Either way, the scale is out of the box set as you see in the screen capture, but it is customizable to what your company may deem more appropriate for a score.

If your CRM is connected to Eloqua, it is important to share this information with Sales.  At first, all the details can go to CRM, I don’t recommend thresholding at this point.  What I mean by thresholding is delaying or not sending to sales purely based on the score, since it is new, a time of review is needed to make sure that ‘we’ve got it right’.  At some point, thresholding may be warranted but at the beginning stages not so much, as we don’t want to miss out on a good lead just because lead scoring is new and didn’t send it over.  Give it 3-6 months before you look at thresholding, this will give enough time to review the criteria and edit it to ‘get it right’.



  • Data: not clean or standardized – best way to fix this, clean up the data you have, best to start with a Contact Washing Machine in Eloqua. Set up a daily cleanse of contacts so that when dirty data is found, it can be cleaned up, eventually CRM will get that way as well.  In the cleanup process, make the fields that are used for Lead Scoring standard, meaning have them be picklists…makes life easier!
  • Low Score: What happens when the data isn’t there and the person scores low? The  best way to fix this is to have progressive profiling on your forms so that you can gather additional details regarding who they are on subsequent visits instead of asking all at one time.  Another way, is to use third-party data such as DemandBase or D&B data, both of which can be implemented on Eloqua forms or within Eloqua.
  • Inactivity: contacts that have stopped interacting with marketing materials, most commonly because they aren’t in the buying process any longer due to a purchase or moved companies. In this case, these contacts may be best in a nurture campaign or depending on length of inactivity removing from the marketing database.  Timing of the removal is crucial because if you do it too soon, you will lose critical information. If you keep them, you can expand the number of contacts in your database beyond what is in your limit and that can cost you more money.  A good rule of thumb is depending on your sales cycle, but a year to a year and a half of inactivity is a good point to look at removing contacts from the database.
  • Reviewing: After the initial review period, don’t forget about it. Lead scoring is an ever evolving ‘thing’, it needs to be looked at periodically to make sure that it still pertains to the sales cycle and the business.  As business evolves so does the need for Lead Scoring.  Put an event on your calendar every six (6) months to review it, to make sure that the details are still relevant.

Happy Lead Scoring!

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Amy Anderson

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