Relevance is the most important variable in lead nurturing campaigns; the message, channel, and timeliness of the communication must resonate with your target audience. This holds true for every interaction in a drip or trigger campaign, not just the point of contact with a prospect. That’s why marketing automation solutions are so important to nurture marketing. It’s just not possible to manually engage and monitor prospects at different stages of the buying cycle without automation and behavior-based interactions. While the most basic email marketing tools can be configured to send drip and trigger nurture campaigns, these solutions don’t have cross-channel visibility to infer purchase intent based on prospect behavior. Knowing, for example, that a prospect, clicked an email campaign, visited 5 pages on the website, downloaded 2 whitepapers, and attended a webinar could be invaluable insight into purchase intent. Compare this to someone how merely clicked on an email and it’s pretty clear which lead sales should focus their finite time on.
Over time, early adopters of nurture marketing have learned that less is more. You don’t actually need highly complex communication flows to realize superior benefits from lead nurturing. It’s not necessary to develop a new lead nurturing process for every campaign. Find a few engagement processes that work well and use them as a template to insert new creative and content into. It’s more than likely that one or two types of simple nurture marketing campaigns will suffice – “KISS Campaigns (Keep It Simple Sweetheart Campaigns) reduce your pains.” Customized campaigns become very difficult to manage over time and even more difficult to build.
The following are examples of actual (and successful) lead-nurturing campaigns configured inside marketing automation tools. The identity of the brand / organizations have been concealed.
A software company wants to offer a free software trial for marketing qualified prospects. The company knows that 60 percent of the time, when prospects actually try the software they eventually buy a licensed version. Historical data suggests 80 percent of prospects forget to use the software within the 30 day trial period. The company wants to extend the trial offer to 45 days for prospects who do not log-in to the trial software within the first 30 days.
- The customer receives a promotion or visits the company Web site and signs up for free trial.
- Two days later they get an automated email inviting them to free online training. Registering to the free online training automatically triggers a drip-campaign which includes daily tips and tricks for using the software.
- On day 15, they are queued for a sales call. A sales rep reaches out to ask if they need any help or have questions. Reps are trained not to hard sell during this call.
- On day 30 they receive an email notification that trial is ending and a special discount is available if they buy now. If prospects have not clicked the trial registration link in the email, they receive a follow up email offering 15 more days to evaluate the software.
- On day 45, the prospect receives an email promotional offer for 10 percent off if they register for a licensed version of the software within 24 hours.
Overview: A cruise company wants to setup an up-sell and cross-sell dialog for all customers who register for a cruise. The scenario is defined as follows:
- Send a confirmation email within a day to all the people who book a cruise.
- If the email is not sent within two days, send a direct mail confirming the reservation.
- Send an email to the customer after five days of booking a cruise informing them about selecting preferred dinner times and the show times. Include a link in the email to collect the user preferences from a website.
- If the email is not sent within two days, call the customer to inform them about dinner and show timings and collect their preferences.
- Wait for another 2 days and then send a free offer for a show (for repeat customers )or offer a discount of 10 percent on tickets for first-time users.
Overview: A trade association in the life sciences industry is planning an annual tradeshow. The company wants to create a nurture marketing campaign that builds momentum for the event through a series of awareness marketing messages. The company is using an automated solution with features that include: event registration, reminder emails, post event communication, and sales force engagement.
- Send an email invitation 30 days before the event date inviting people to register with a link
- Recipients that register should receive an automated event confirmation email with event details as well as information that confirms they are registered for the event.
- Resend email invitation to initial non-responders of the email – seven days after the initial emails was rejected. The second email should reiterate the importance of the event and invite recipients to register.
- Reminder emails to registered respondents. Schedule several event reminder emails to ensure prospects attend the event. Send an email three days before, 1 day before, and 30 minutes before event start time. The emails will include links to view information related to the event to help educate the audience.
- After the event segment the attendees from no-shows.
- For no-shows, send a follow-up email. Let them know they were missed, but they can download content or visit the association Web site for more information.
- For attendees, thank them for their attendance.
Overview: A financial institution wants to setup a viral marketing campaign to acquire customers. The company wants to offer a free trade to customers who generate referrals that sign-up for a new account.
Overview: A computer retailer wants to create a customer acquisition sweepstakes dialog for a digital camera. The target audience includes: existing computer retailer Pentium 4 customers who don’t own a digital camera, Information Week subscribers, Web site visitors to a Web banner on Yahoo’s main page, a Billboard on a major freeway, a TV ad during super bowl, and a print ad in Outdoor Photography magazine.