Better lead scoring improves conversions at e-mail services vendor

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As director of demand generation at Durham, NC-based Bronto, it's Sally Lowery's job to show her bosses a tangible return on ad spend at the end of every quarter. After all, Bronto, an e-mail marketing services provider serving more than 3,500 organizations, knows a thing or two about marketing software.

So imagine Lowery's frustration with the “clunky and unsophisticated” marketing automation and demand generation software that Bronto had been using prior to 2009. Lowery declined to name the previous solution.

“We didn't have availability to test and trend,” Lowery said. “The reporting was lacking. We wanted to find something that was more flexible, with a more intuitive user interface, so that we could drive more campaign strategy.”

Bronto turned to Marketo's lead management solution and the company hasn't looked back. According to Lowery, Marketo offered an “amazing interface” that allowed her to change and flex lead scoring without the help of Marketo or Bronto's IT department. Marketo allowed Bronto to change campaigns “on a dime” and provided better back-end analytics that allowed Lowery and her team to be “flexible in testing and tweaking messages to improve performance,” Lowery said.

In little more than 18 months, Marketo helped change the outcome of Bronto's entire e-mail marketing, lead qualification and sales endeavor. For every 1,000 respondents Bronto receives, it now turns 5.87% into deals. Bronto's paid search converts at 12.52% and e-mail marketing converts at 42.35%. The lead to sales-ready conversion rate has increased to 46.95%, an improvement of more than 17%. The company's opportunity-to-won deals have improved by 23%.

Marketo's solution is directly responsible for most of these conversions. In 2010, 64% of the pipeline was provided by Bronto's lead qualifications team, amounting to 54% of overall sales. The demand generation solution influenced 86% of all closed deals and reduced the number of days to close a win by 34%, including an impressive 71% decrease in days to opportunity.

“We're now able to identify which leads are sales-ready and which leads have stopped being active within the pipeline,” Lowery said.

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