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Segmenting and Retargeting Predictive Qualified Leads (PQLs)

Congratulations! You’ve finally got your predictive lead scoring software up and running. Your model is working and you’re finally able to see the forest for the trees when it comes to identifying your best marketing leads. But here’s where the real #MKTGnerd fun begins: segmentation and targeting!

Or should we say – retargeting? Retargeting is the practice of advertising to people who visit your site or open your emails through display banners and social media ads. While many B2C eCommerce companies are famously good at retargeting (I’m looking at you, Zappos!), more B2B marketers are adopting the practice into their digital marketing mix in increasing numbers. You may even already be using retargeting today, but without the benefits of incorporating your predictive scoring data into your current campaigns.

(Not currently using retargeting? Check out popular vendors such as Perfect Audience, AdRoll, or Retargeter.)

How Predictive Scoring Can Benefit Retargeting

The beauty of using predictive scoring data in retargeting is that you can serve advertisements to the prospects in your database with the highest probability of becoming your next customer. Meaning you can better manage your retargeting budget by advertising to leads that are the best fit for your product and service rather than simply just retargeting anyone who comes to your website. You’ll likely want to still want to keep some “target everyone” retargeting campaigns on to capture new names at the very top of your funnel if you’re currently experiencing success with those. But ultimately, you’ll likely want to rethink how you structure your campaigns once you’re able to segment out your most qualified audience.

Let’s talk segmentation. Without good segmentation based on our predictive data, we wouldn’t be very good at this whole predictive marketing thing! So at the top, you’ve got your A ranked predictive leads: the people in your database who are both the right fit and very engaged with your content. They tend to get passed to sales right away. But what about everyone else? What about the leads that fall into the B, C, and D grade buckets?

For the purpose of this article, we’ll consider B leads to be the leads who are a great fit at the company or account level, but might not be personally engaged enough at the individual level to pass along to sales yet based on your scoring thresholds. And what about C and D? Well those C leads (engaged, but not a good company fit) and D leads (not engaged and not a good company fit) can just stay in your regular nurture stream for the time being where they can hopefully move up the lead food chain!

As marketers, it’s our mission to turn those B leads into A leads by getting them to interact with our content and become more familiar with what we have to offer. Why? Because we want those folks to have some idea about what your company does when one of your sales reps reaches out!

So let’s say we’ve segmented a list of these B leads using your marketing automation platform. How can we get in front of them again? Well there’s a few different retargeting techniques we can employ:

1. Email-based Retargeting

To get your B leads identified to your retargeting provider as a B lead you’ll need to hit them with some fresh cookies. Not the chocolate chip kind – the kind that identifies them on your retargeting list. If you don’t, they’ll just look like just another website visitor to your retargeting platform and they won’t see those special ads to push them into the A pile! You’ll also want to exclude them from your typical “target everyone” retargeting campaign too – this way you can track how your B leads respond to their dedicated campaign.

Emailing your B leads using a pixel tracker or special landing page link is the best way to identify them to your retargeting platform. Pixel tracking would add any leads who open a specific email to be added to the retargeting list. A special landing page link (utilizing utm query strings for campaign or content) is another way you can set up your retargeting list to identify which web visitors are B leads.

Want to make building your retargeting list for B leads more automatic? Consider building this email into your nurture to trigger an email for leads when leads pass the threshold for becoming a B grade lead.

2. CRM Retargeting

CRM retargeting is the newest flavor of retargeting and for the purpose of getting in front of your B leads, and one of your best options since all you need is a list of emails instead of running an email campaign first to get people back onto your site. You give your retargeting provider a list of emails and they match them to a database for cookie-ing to serve your ads. However, not every retargeting provider gives marketers the ability to do retargeting this way. Current vendors include ReTargeter, Bizo and Madison Logic.

3. Facebook Custom Audiences

Similar to CRM retargeting, Facebook custom audiences offers an email-centric solution for serving ads. Try creating a facebook custom audience on your facebook ads accounts using all your B leads. However be warned that you may need a very large list of leads since you could run into a match rate issue with business email addresses (most people tend to use personal vs. work addresses for Facebook), so you may have to include leads from lower segments to get yourself to the minimum audience number.

While you may not see nearly as much volume in terms of impressions or clicks on your predictive retargeting campaigns compared to retargeting all your web visitors – you should see more qualified leads converting on your offers. Be sure to experiment with different lower funnel content and offers for your predictive retargeting campaigns to prevent ad fatigue and figure out what works best to re-engage leads and improve their scores.


   Image Credit(s):                Infocux                    

Written by

Sam Coren
November 14, 2014