Leverage Digital Behavior to send the Right Message at the Right Time
Pop Quiz: Sales rejected over 90% of Marketing’s Leads this quarter, what do you do?
We see this a lot. Typically, the definition of a Lead is someone with a heartbeat. Meaning that a visitor only did one thing – like downloaded an asset. Do you personally want to be called by a Sales rep for downloading one document off a website? We’re pretty sure the answer is no.
Conversion, warming up Leads, Making MQLs, whatever you call it, is what every Marketing department focuses on.
The answer to a high lead rejection problem is a Nurture Foundation.
Our definition of a Nurture Foundation is not a series of email marketing campaigns that you press the ‘send’ button on to a segmented audience. Not even close. If you’re continuously hitting the ‘send’ button, you’re missing a key benefit of Eloqua – automation.
The word “Foundation” in an email marketing Nurture Foundation is included because you architect an infrastructure of automated pathways (the foundation) that Customers can go in and out of on their journey with you.
Emails that require manually pressing the send button should be reserved for the date driven Events and Product Announcements; communication that are complementary to foundational pathways.
Characteristics of a Nurture Foundation
- Addresses the Customer Journey – all stages of the Customer Journey are covered, from the Awareness stage all the way through to the Advocacy stage.
How to make the most of it: Beyond the classic Awareness, Education, Evaluation stages, don’t forget about New Customer Onboarding with some TLC, and only cross-sell after the TLC.
- Relies on Content (Content is King!) – and should be appropriately aligned to all stages of the Customer Journey.
How to make the most of it: At every stage the customer is asking something different. Your content should address those questions AND be in a stage appropriate format. Don’t dump 5 page case studies on them when they’re only ready for a 1 minute video.
- Takes Time – since Nurture means to care for and encourage the growth of a customer’s interest in us and our solutions over time, take that time. Tell them Why, How, and What, in that order. And wait to know they’ve heard it.
How to make the most of it: Depending on your Sales Cycle, have a few emails at every stage starting with Thought Leadership and really setting up the Problem you can solve, before you talk product features.
- Tracks the Content Consumed – since customers go on this Journey at their own pace, track their digital behavior to know where in their journey they are, and fast track them if they consume the right content.
How to make the most of it: Track which content they consume and the recency of that consumption from one piece to another. Include ALL the places they can consume it from (tracked links).
- Listens for Interest – automatically move them from one solution pathway to another. Listening for THEIR interest takes precedence over what YOU think they should be interested in.
How to make the most of it: Start by assuming interest based on like Profiles, but use their engagement (or lack thereof) to tell you their true interest. Carefully design the right balance of pathway movement to avoid jumping from one topic to another.
- Uses Automated Pathways – we said it already and we’ll say it again. Long-living, architecturally sound, automated pathways.
How to make the most of it: Lead sources, segments, feeders, page tag groups, wait steps, decision rules – they’re all needed in this architecture.
As Modern Marketers, we strive to marry traditional marketing strategy like — content is king — with modern technology, knowing where a customer is in their journey, and inferring which products/solutions they are interested in, using digital behavior.
Go Slow to Go Fast
Getting your nurtures right takes time! It’s not easy to build all of the pathways, with all of the right content – with all the right motivational messaging – for every solution –and for every stage of the journey. We know; we’ve been helping our customers do this for years. The trick is to take a phased approach to get there.
Good email marketing nurtures are critical for ongoing success and make it possible for Marketers to:
- Rest easier at night knowing all their contacts are getting the Right Message at the Right Time. (Imagine being able to say that with confidence!)
- Focus on Event, New Product Announcement and other Channel marketing
- Fine-tune and optimize their nurture pathways over time by reviewing the KPI’s that Matter that will tell you what’s working and what to improve.
You’re closer than you think
It’s not about coming up with the next flashy, amazingly worded, award-winning campaign this month or this week. It’s about designing a customer journey with aligned content — you can reutilize existing content — and then beautifully architecting these different pathways.
Don’t let your Sales team say Marketing Leads suck. Don’t let them think they should cherry pick and throw the rest away. Take the time to Nurture your leads, warm them up, and shorten the sales cycle.
This is the essence of Modern Marketing. This is a Nurture Foundation.
What does your Nurture Foundation look like? Do you have to come up with a topic you think a specific segment might want to know about on a weekly or monthly basis? How often do you hit the send button? If you’re not thrilled with your answers, it’s time for a change – and we’re here to help!