Marketo’s Demographic Lead Scoring – Some Less Frequently Used Scores


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Lead Scoring isn’t hard, but it does need regular tweaks. We have been adjusting ours every quarter or so for over three years, so I thought I would share some of our less obvious but super important scoring attributes.

Here are some of the demographics we score that you might not normally consider:

Bad data. Sometimes people will fill out a form with a first name of 111 or a first name of asdf, causing a mess in your database. How do we mark these leads as bad names? We take off points for the following:

  • First Name contains: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9 (Most of us don’t have a number in our name.)
  • First Name does not contain: a; e; i; o; u; y (You typically have a vowel in the first name, right?) Note: we don’t want to miss people that have abbreviated first names so we don’t take points off if the names are: J.T.; JT; JD; J.D.; RJ; R.J.; JR; J.R.; T.J.; TJ; DJ; D.J.; BJ; B.J.; CJ; C.J., J.J.; JJ; K.T.; KT; P.J.; PJ
  • First Name starts with or contains: abc; asdf; qwer; sadf; aaa; sss; qqq; xyz; ?; !
  • We have similar rules for last names, but don’t take points off if the last name is Ng (since it’s a valid last name that does not contain a consonant)

Those that aren’t going to buy. Some people just aren’t the right target for our product because they won’t have the buying ability, like an independent contractor or a student. Company names and titles we reduce points for include:

  • Company Name includes: Unemployed; Self; N/A; Agency; Marketing; freelance; In Transition; Marketeer
  • Job title includes: Intern; Consultant; Assistant; Professor; Owner; Recruiter; Student; Educator; Unemployed; TBA; Actively Seeking; Actively Looking; no name; TBD; No Name decided; No name decided yet; Individual; Entrepreneur

Domains indicating that someone isn’t getting ready to buy. We have consistently found that when someone is in early stages of researching a company they will use a personal email address, and then when they are closer to purchase they will use a corporate email address. Because of this we lower the lead score if the email domain includes:


Leads that can be found in an external database. If you were considering a social media job candidate, you would have concern if you couldn’t find their Twitter account, right? Well, this scoring approach is similar. We give extra points for leads we can match with external databases, like or InsideView. By doing this, we can ensure we are getting those that are definitely real people. Note: these people may also get additional points when the match is made because we are scoring on other information that the external database can provide like company size, revenue, number of employees, industry, location, etc.

Big score reduction for competitors. Simply stated, they aren’t likely to buy.

There are many other lead scoring rules to consider, but these are great ways to tweak your current campaigns. Let me know if you have any others that are a little out of the norm that should have made my list so we can learn from each other.

For an even deeper dive into lead scoring best practices, take a gander at our Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring, designed for both novice and experienced practitioners, offers advice, best practices and techniques to help you get the most out of every lead that enters your database.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Maria Pergolino
Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.


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