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Act-On Software

Lead Scoring Rules Overview

When a prospect lands on your website, opens your emails, fills out your forms, or just simply interacts with your content, the prospect is showing an interest in your company or products.

Creating a set of scoring rules helps you to identify your prospects' buying interest and helps to ensure that only qualified leads transition from marketing to sales. When assigning a lead score it’s important to have both marketing & sales work in tandem to determine the actions or activities that are most valuable to the sales process.

Since your prospects' lead score will be based on their level of interaction with your content, the lead score will be a great indicator of the sales readiness of the lead.

Your Act-On account comes with ten common activities your prospects may engage in, and allows you to assign a custom score for each activity.

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Ready to expand your lead score model? Use Multiple Score Sheets to gain insight into who your best leads are within your database using different scoring attributes.

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Follow the steps below to setup your Act-On Scoring Rules

  • Click Contacts, and select Scoring Rules.
  • Add values for each profile and/or activity.
  • Update the Pick Time Period.
  • Click the Update Scoring Rules button.

There are two attributes when setting your scoring rules: Profile-based and Activity-based.  Below are the steps to setup the scoring rules for each of these attributes: 

  • Under the Profile section, click Add Profile Condition to set up a condition.
  • Add a descriptive name for your condition, such as "High-Level Executives." This description is what will display for your reference on the Scoring Rules page.
  • In the next field, type or select the field name of interest, such as Industry or Job Title. This should match the name of an actual field in your lists.
  • Choose a condition such as Equals or ContainsEnter the values you want to assign a specific score to, such as "President" or "CEO".
    • If there is more than one value that qualifies, enter them all in the box and separate them by semicolons, e.g. "President; CEO; VP"
  • Click Save.
  • In the Scoring Rules page, enter a score value to correspond to your new condition.


For SalesForce Hot Prospects users:

The score that displays on the Hot Prospects screen does not yet take the profile attribute scores into consideration, and will continue to display score based on behavior only. This enhancement will be available in an upcoming release!  


Specifying behavior-based scoring rules

  • Click Contacts, and select Scoring Rules
  • Under the Activity section, select the time period of interest (or select ALL for lifetime lead scoring)
  • Assign a unique numeric value to each specific activity.
    • Items in the default list (Was sent a message, Opened a message, Clicked on a message, Viewed a form, and so on) apply to "generic" characteristics: they don't apply to a specific message, form, document, page, or webinar.
    • If you prefer, you can assign a numeric value to activities for specific items, instead (or as well), as described in the following steps.
  • Below the list of activities, click the drop-down list -- Add scoring for specific actions --, and choose one of the options.
  • In the window that appears, select the specific messages, forms, documents, pages, or webinars you want to test for the specified behavior.
  • When you finish, click the SUBMIT button.
  • You can edit an existing rule by clicking the choose link next to its name. You can delete a rule by clicking the X at the far right end of its row.
  • Move the pointer over an icon next to the rule name to see a description of the selected item; click the icon to preview the item.
  • Repeat steps 1 through 3 to define as many specific actions as you like.

    AOmegaphonesmall.pngYou'll probably want to assign higher numbers for more "desirable" behaviors: opening a message is good, clicking in a message is better, and registering for a webinar is even better, for example. Your scheme might consist of assigning a unique value for each behavior to create lists or segments that precisely identify a particular behavior or combination of behaviors: if you assign a different power of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8, and so on) to each rule, the sum of scores for any given address will tell you exactly what that address has done; there's only one combination of behaviors that results in a score of 3, or 6, or 10, for example.


Sample Behavioral Score Setup 

The Lead Scoring matrix below follows guidelines common to successful Act-On programs. Act-On recommends using a target qualification number of 40. With this methodology, lead scoring will become a fundamental tool for identifying the qualification of a lead based on their engagement. By deploying Act-On’s recommended scoring methodology, leads will generally fall into the following categories:

Marketing Funnel Stage/Act-On Lead Score

  • Unengaged 0
  • Top of Funnel (Engaged) 1 - 10
  • Middle of Funnel 11 - 29
  • Bottom of Funnel 30 – 39
  • Marketing Qualified / Sales Ready 40 - 60
  • Hot Leads for Sales 60+ Scoring Values

Time Period: Start of Buying Cycle to Close of Sale

Target marketing-qualified lead to sales-accepted lead hand-off = 40 points: The goal is to define a point when your prospect is ready to talk to sales. By having a target score in mind, we can rate other behaviors relative to this end goal.

Activity Score Philosophy
Was sent a message 0 I could send you 40 messages today.  If you never open these, are you really any more sales qualified than the next person?
Opened a message 1 Seeing that a message has been opened is nice, but it doesn't really indicate "buying interest."
Clicked on a message 1-5 Clicking on a message, even to view it in a browser, shows we have the prospects attention, but isn’t buying behavior. Subtract your “Downloaded Media” score from 11. If this is greater than zero, that should be the point value here.
e.g. Downloaded Media = 10 | 11-10 = 1 | Clicked on Message = 1
Viewed a form 0 It's good that a prospect viewed a form, but hesitance may indicate the prospect isn’t seriously evaluating yet. The prospect will get points for this assigned from the “Visited a Web Page” score.
Submitted a form 10 Submitting any form means your prospects have become ready to trade information for content. This is a strong indicator.
Downloaded media 5-20 Downloading Act-On Media Assets means prospects have now come in contact with content you have designed to guide their buying journey.  This is often a very strong indicator, and should reflect this in the score.  Typical scoring at this stage is 10.
Visited a landing page 2 This is often a good indicator, and typically weighted more important than a visit to your website. The prospect will get points for this assigned from the “Visited a Web Page” score.
Visited a web page 8 Obviously, we want to score traffic to your site. If you knew a prospect was on your site, how many pages would they need to view for you to want sales to engage with them? (Divide this into 40)
Registered for a webinar 5 Registering for a webinar is a good indication of interest, but also helps you gauge the prospects priority on the topic.
Attended a webinar 35 If the prospect actually registered and attended, we can almost assuredly consider them sales ready and want to make sure we get this information to our team immediately.
Clicked on an organic search listing 5-10 This is a very flexible category that can result in accidental visits.
Clicked on a paid search ad 5-10 PPC is a priority, and weighted heavily.
Unique: Visited Pricing Page 40 Your pricing page should be rated very heavily.
Unique: Submitted Contact Us Form 40 Certain forms are far more indicative of buying interest. Submitting a Contact Us Form will result in a prospect becoming immediately qualified.


Multiple Score Sheets will allow you to create up to 4 additional scoring sheets in addition to your default score sheet that can be used to expand your current scoring model. Multiple Score Sheets lets you customize your lead scoring rules for different teams, regions/geography, products/divisions, customers vs prospects, or any other segmentation of your marketing efforts.

Step 1. Add Additional Score Sheets

The process to setup and use Multiple Score Sheets is the same as above, with the exception of adding additional sheets.

To add additional Score Sheets, navigate to:

  • Contacts > Scoring Rules.
  • Click the blue + icon.
  • Add a Sheet Name and click Save.
  • Follow the scoring setup guide in the above accordions to populate your sheets.

AOmegaphonesmall.pngWhere are Multiple Score Sheets used?

Multiple Score Sheets are found in:

  • The Change Field Value step in automated programs and list maintenance programs, when setting the field to overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • In query segments based on overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • When creating a new list based on overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • When using the Change Column Value feature on list menus, to update the selected field to overall behavior score or campaign score.

*Please note Multiple Score sheets will not be calculated in hot prospects nor will it be available in the Contact’s activity history at this time.


Step 2. Using Multiple Score Sheets

After creating Multiple Score Sheets you are able to utilize them with the options below.

From Contacts > Marketing Lists:

  • Click the drop-down arrow next to the list you would like to segment and choose Create a Segment.
  • Enter a name for the Segment then click the --Method-- drop-down and choose Query.
  • Under Behavior, click Specific Set of Behaviors and choose Overall Behavior Score.
  • Select your scoring sheet and set the score that must be met.
  • Click Save.
  • Repeat for any additional segments you would like to create


From Automation > List Maintenance Programs

  • Click New.
  • Add a Name and Description for the program.
  • Under Program Contacts, click select to choose your source list.
  • Click Add Step > Change Field Value.
  • Click the Specify Field drop-down and choose Behavior Score.
  • Change Set Value To to Set Value to Behavior Score and select the score sheet.
  • Repeat for each additional score sheet you would like to add.
  • Click Done > Save.


Automated Programs

Either select an Automated Program to edit or begin a new program.

To utilize Multiple Score Sheets:

  • Click the Program Flow tab.
  • Drag the Change Field step into your program.
  • Hover over the step and click Edit.
  • Update the step name (optional) and select a list to modify.
  • Under Select a Field choose Behavior Score.
  • Under increase the value by, choose set value to behavioral.
  • Choose the score sheet and repeat the steps for any additional score sheets you would like to add.
  • Click Submit.


Lifecycle: One score sheet can be used for prospects while another is used for customers. A customer score sheet would listen for engagement with customer marketing content and trigger a threshold for upsell opportunity.

Regions: One score sheet for North American buyers versus another for EMEA

Business Units and Product Lines: One score sheet for durable goods versus another for consulting services -- leads qualified through a distinct marketing processes.

Personas: One score sheet for deal influencers versus another for decision makers.

AOmegaphonesmall.pngBest Practice:

Have multiple fields to capture each field separately, especially when updating to CRM.



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