Do email open rates and click throughs tell the full story for marketers and their sales colleagues? Your brand’s latest campaign has landed in your audience’s inbox and, in return, you’re chuffed because you’ve achieved a 30% email open rate and it’s well above the industry average.

As well as adding that to your report, you might also feed this information into your sales team who follow up with personal phone calls to those recipients that are truly engaged. But disaster hits when they’re then met with a bunch of responses ranging from ‘I didn’t mean to click on this email’ to ‘who are you again?’

That cold call is a killer in the marketing and sales world. It not only has the potential to damage your brand’s reputation, but you have to sit back and recognise what a huge waste of time it’s been for all concerned. Plus, you know damn right that your sales guys will never let you forget – nor should they either!

For example, those open rate percentages could be skewed with people stumbling across your email, but they’ve probably not read it. And, more often that not, your carefully crafted message that you’ve agonised over is in the prospect’s ‘delete’ folder as soon as you’ve hit the ‘send’ button.

Don’t enter into the realms of being a lazy marketer because that’s not you.

Vanity metrics don’t cut it in the real marketing world

I’m not saying you should get rid of these measurements altogether, but rely on them at your peril!

As a savvy marketer, what you need to know is how engaged your recipient is in your brand’s message. The best way to measure that? Lead scoring.

In its simplest form, imagine placing a metaphorical number above the heads of the individuals who check out your website or interact with your product or service for a certain amount of time. Those with the higher scores are the ones that are naturally invested in what you have to say – and could become a customer for life.

Armed with that level of information, your sales team will be thanking you too, because they know that when they pick up the phone, they’ll soon be speaking to someone who truly understands your brand and wants to know more. It might seem simple in its approach, but it’s damn effective.

Bringing sales and marketing together – a match made in heaven?

For you as a marketer, delivering the hottest leads to your sales team at the earliest opportunity means they can focus on hyper-personalised conversations that come with a killer conversion rate – and one your competitors can only dream of.

After years of both the sales and marketing departments notoriously being at loggerheads, marketing automation can act as the ‘referee’ and put to bed any kind of rivalry that was once there.

Now is the time to come together and refine the way in which you measure your brand’s engagement. When you do, you’ll not only fuel more meaningful conversations, but you’ll avoid the infamous ‘blame game’ and achieve that ‘perfect marriage’ between sales and marketing – a partnership that you’ve been longing for.

Adam Oldfield, founder of the UK’s most disruptive marketing automation provider Force24