Contact scoring overview

Score and rank your contacts against a scale that you create, based on their engagement with you and the data you hold on them.

Laura Russell avatar
Written by Laura Russell
Updated over a week ago

Contact scoring gives you and your business a way to manage and prioritise your most promising prospects for further engagement.

Before you start

Things you need to know:

  • Contact scoring is only included in certain plans by default. To otherwise access Contact scoring, you can either upgrade your plan or purchase Contact scoring as an additional feature.

Create and calculate contact scores

To use Contact scoring, you should first set up the score thresholds for when your labels are applied, for example, Red hot when a contact's score reaches 80.

Then, you must set up your scoring rules and allocation of points. This uses the segment tool to set up conditions that a contact needs to meet in order to be scored against it, for example, contact data field IS_A_VIP is Yes.

How Contact scoring is calculated

Contact scoring uses two metrics:

  • Activity - a contact’s behaviour in terms of interaction with your campaigns, as well as their tracked activity on your website. Our contact scoring model calls this Engagement.

  • Data - a contact’s profile type; their demographic. Our contact scoring model calls this Suitability.


Engagement relates to the behavioural data you store for your contacts, for example, opens and clicks for campaigns. It's useful to think of this score as a contact’s level of interest in you.

The more a contact has engaged with a campaign you've sent them, the more you can be sure they're interested in what you have to offer. As such, you want to ensure that your rules score these behaviours so it impacts positively on a contact's ranking.


Suitability refers to information that you're likely to already have recorded against your contacts, such as their job title, industry sector, company size, location and so on. This sort of profiling enables you to score a prospect against the type of customers you usually sell to and rank their suitability accordingly. Think of this as your interest in a given contact.

It's likely that you know the profile of the type of customer that you most commonly sell to, so you can ensure that your rules segment on contact data fields that contain this information, and use it to adjust a contact’s ranking.

If you don't already capture this type of information about your contacts, then it's probably time to think about doing so!

Overall contact score

The overall contact score for a contact is the average of their suitability and engagement scores. For example, if a contact has a suitability score of 20 and an engagement score of 50, then their overall contact score is 35.

If the average happens to fall on a half, the overall contact score is rounded up to the nearest whole number. For example, a suitability score of 5 and an engagement score of 10, which has an average of 7.5, is rounded up to 8 overall.

Contact scores are recalculated automatically once every 24 hours. So, it's best to check for changes in your contacts' scores across a minimum 24-hour period. If you last checked your lead scores at 9am on a Monday morning, then check them next after 9am on Tuesday morning to see any difference; any sooner could be too early for any re-calculation to have taken place.

Recalculation timing

Due to the rolling way the re-calculation process operates across all accounts over this 24-hour period, we can’t provide a fixed time of day for when recalculation occurs for your account.

Here's an example to help explain: let's say you have a rule that assigns a score of 20 points to contacts who have clicked any link in any campaign at least five times in the last 30 days. A contact has met this rule, and they have their 20 points for it. However, on the 31st day they no longer meet the rule because some of those clicks now fall outside of the required 30-day period. Re-evaluation on this 31st day would see them lose those 20 points.

Benefits of Contact scoring

Contact scoring has become a key part of lead management, and it can produce great revenue results and increase your sales team's efficiency and productivity.

The key benefits of using Contact scoring are:

  • Improved sales efficiency - focusing your sales team's attention on those contacts that are rated as most valuable.

  • Improved marketing effectiveness - intelligence gained from ranking the types or characteristics of contacts that matter the most ensures that your marketing team know where to concentrate their efforts.

  • Enables marketing and sales to work better together - contact scoring provides a common framework that your marketing and sales departments can use to discuss generated leads; they're able to talk the same language.

  • Improved ROI - fine tune your efforts across your business as you target your most promising prospects in the most effective way.

A contact scoring use case

A typical contact scoring scenario is pretty straightforward: you want to gauge who your hottest leads are and then, when they become Red hot, pass them to your sales team at their optimum conversion point.

Initially, you need to decide what score threshold qualifies a prospect as a Red hot lead. No need to worry if you have no idea what this score should be; you can always adjust this figure later. Getting the best results from Contact scoring can be a trial and error process if you're using it for the first time.

As examples, prospects can build their score by:

  • regularly opening emails sent to them.

  • routinely clicking links in emails.

  • frequently visiting pages of your website.

  • downloading whitepapers or product information.

  • signing up for conferences.

If contacts are taking these actions, they're displaying a very high level of interest in what you’re offering, and this is reflected in their score and ranking.

Contact scoring is, therefore, designed to highlight the contacts that you have the best chance of selling to, nurtured by your careful marketing efforts.

Other Contact scoring use cases

By using Contact scoring alongside marketing automation, there's plenty of scope to employ some real ingenuity.

Some ideas to inspire you:

  • Engage low scorers by using marketing automation to make a tailored program that warms them up.

  • Reward your most engaged contacts with discounts, new content to share, and other incentives. Turn these contacts into brand advocates.

  • Use a program to re-target previously hot contacts who have since cooled.

  • Use contact scoring's flexibility and get creative; try something different like measuring customer happiness. Complaints could lower a score, which in turn triggers incentives to stay loyal. Positive reviews increase scores and trigger rewards for loyal customers.

Next steps

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