The eight levels of Loyalty

Door to door salesman

For years, we used to believe and say that in order to be a great salesman you should have been able to “sell ice in winter”. But I wonder: why sell ice in winter, when we could earn more “bucks” selling it during the summer or in the desert regions – where people would also be willing to pay much more for it – allowing us to achieve a much better ROI?

With this in mind, the ability of selling door-to-door for example, used to be seen by all salesmen as a sort of art form, in which you could really separate the “true” salesmen (who could be destined for more important situations) from the not-so-good salesmen.

keep calm and closed won

As of today, the role of a salesman has changed drastically, because more and more phases of a purchase are happening on-line: sometimes the entire process happens on-line. Think about Amazon, Zalando, etc etc… However, still today B2B deals rarely happen solely on the web without a direct contact by a salesman. It’s usually the first part of the process which in most cases happens on-line, without the inputs of a salesman. With regards to B2C instead, the chances of a deal happening completely on-line are always getting higher. Our salesman can’t “look in the eyes” of his potential customer, making it harder to predict/understand his behavior, reactions or preferences.

The first approach between a potential client and a service or product happens through search engines approximately 16% of the time. The actual decision of making a purchase happens thanks to mail marketing in about 9% of cases, with an average order value which is 17% higher when compared to social media. Mail marketing has therefore shown to be the key, and sometimes even the decisive phase of a sale: “closed won.”

It’s for these reasons that a mail marketing system must know when to apply the right amount of discretion or “pressure”, based on the client and his attitude at any given time as he goes towards his full blossoming as a customer. If we are too discrete, we will probably be stepped over by our competition, while if we are too invasive we could go past their level of patience and end up losing the customer.

zmot diagram

So how can we measure the right dosage, relatively to each client, from week to week…or dare I say…from day to day, getting to the last phases of a purchase where we might even like to get down to an hourly level? The key moment in a purchase has been defined by Google, who can analyze our behaviors based on what we search for on the web and the frequency with which we make those searches. They called it ZMOT ( which later leads to the famous FMOT (

AltosMail logo

AltosMail has been specifically designed to help the customer along, taking him to the ZMOT through a constant “feeding” process (lead nurturing), feeding it the desired food, at the desired time (pardon device!).

The time of obsessive-compulsive e-mail marketing campaigns is over! You know what I mean: Those that had an opening rate of 3%, a click through rate (CTR) of 3/1,000 and an unsubscription rate of 10%!

Getting back to the example of our salesman, left stranded in front of a door as he waits to do his job. We’ve decided to give him a helping hand, by placing a sort of reversed “peep-hole” on each door that he will have to knock on. This will allow him to understand if it’s the right time to knock, or if he has the right product for that household. Obviously the reversed peep-hole will have raised your concerns about privacy, so what if instead of that, we placed a sort of thermometer with only 8 levels, next to each door?

loyalty thermometer


This is why we have included in the AltosMail platform a very important instrument, to help the marketing staff understand the predisposition of a particular client with regards to the purchase of our products, thanks to his on-line behaviors.

By defining the different levels of interest of our customers, it becomes possible to adapt our marketing strategies in order to make them more efficient, just like the door-to-door salesman who can immediately adapt to his potential customer based on his physical reactions and behavior. Based on the lead’s reactions when they receive our marketing e-mail, and on how they behave on our website, we can understand and define how close they are to actually buying. We decided to name this aspect “loyalty”, and we gave it 8 different definitions, which AltosMail can detect automatically (if properly set up), or they can be placed manually.

These eight levels range from the first, optimal level for a purchase, down to the last in which it is probably best we stop performing marketing campaigns on that lead. This last lead would be the one that the door-to-door salesman adds to his “black book” in order to avoid getting hit by a broom next time he knocks on that door. Here are the 8 levels and their definitions, starting from the most “ripe” customer and getting down to the most “bitter” one, both for B2B and B2C businesses:

thermometer SAL

1 – Engaged Lead & SAL (Sales Accepted Lead):

  • B2B

    Leads that have been considered by the sales staff ready to purchase or ready to start dealing.

  • B2C

    With regards to B2C this corresponds to the number of customers that have actually purchased.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In case of the door-to-door salesman, this could be compared to someone who opens the door with a smile because he already knows the product and couldn’t wait for the salesman to pass by his house.

thermometer MQL

2 – MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead):

  • B2B

    Leads that have been considered by the marketing staff ready to purchase or ready to start dealing .

  • B2C

    With regards to B2C this could correspond to the number of visitors who abandoned their cart before buying.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In case of the door-to-door salesman, this would be similar to a person who welcomes him into their home and shows interest towards the product, seriously evaluating the offers, but they might need some sort of “bonus” or simply more time to be convinced.

thermometer Converted lead

3 – Converted Lead

  • B2B/B2C

    This is the number of unique visitors who were converted at least once (no repetitions). The conversion could be the purchase of a good or service, but it could also be the download of a resource (white paper, video, free ticket), a contact request, etc etc…

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In case of the door-to-door salesman, this could be a person who welcomes him into their home, taking interest towards the product and asking several questions. He needs to know more about the product and its benefits before actually deciding to buy or not.

thermometer Returned Visitor

4 – Returned Visitor

  • B2B/B2C

    Number of returning visitors, which is the first positive level of loyalty. These are the leads on which the process of segmentation and “progressive profiling” activities can continue.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In case of the door-to-door salesman, it would be similar to a person who welcomes him into their home, but with very little enthusiasm. He lets the salesman tell them all about the product but he doesn’t ask too many questions.

thermometer Unique Visitor

5 – Unique Visitor

  • B2B/B2C

    Total number of visitors who came to our website. This is when they are just starting to get to know you, maybe because of curiosity, but there is not enough interest yet to categorize them in the first positive level of loyalty.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    This would be like a door-to-door customer who accepts the brochure but doesn’t let the salesman in their home, telling him that if they will be interested, they will let him know.

thermometer Bounced Visitor

6 – Bounced Visitor

  • B2B/B2C

    Number of visitors who get to the landing page but leave immediately, without visiting any other pages, maybe because they were disappointed or not at all curious. This is the first level of negative loyalty.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    This customer, in the door-to-door scenario, might have shown interest at first, but he would have ended the meeting in a hurry. He understood that he has no real interest in what the salesman has to offer.

thermometer Unsubscribed Lead

7 – Unsubscribed Lead

  • B2B/B2C

    These visitors have unsubscribed from the mailing list and no longer wish to receive e-mails. We can consider them a “missed customer” and the next approach would have to be carefully evaluated, because the brand might still be of interest, it’s just the product that must be changed or proposed differently.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In a door-to-door situation, this client would have answered through the speaker, or shut the door in the salesman’s face, asking to be left alone because he has no interest in what is being offered.

thermometer Reported Lead

8 – Reported Lead

  • B2B/B2C

    This lead finds the behavior of the firm inappropriate and he intends on reporting it to the authorities, or to the company who sent the newsletter. If properly set up, the system will automatically remove this lead from the mailing lists of future e-mails.

  • Door-to-door Salesman

    In a door-to-door scenario this person would have answered in an angry manner, threatening to call the authorities if the salesman didn’t leave immediately.

As we can understand from the description of each level, it is important to use a different sales technique for each category of “loyalty”, in order to move the most leads possible towards the first categories. While the door-to-door salesmen could change their strategy based on their intuition, their experience and other (more or less) subtle information, your staff today needs the help of a technological instrument, based on precise, measurable data. This will allow them to have clear definitions and well defined sales techniques, which should allow your company to have the edge against the competition.

We find this to be a real simple and helpful tool. More importantly, we find it to be extremely efficient, because it can drastically reduce costs and time, both in the marketing and the sales departments (or even the legal one in case of an aggressive reported lead!).

Costs Down Revenue Up
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