Does it feel like lead nurturing is a battle between you and the lead? It shouldn’t be. Leads want to learn. They entered your marketing funnel because they had a problem, and you provided them with insight. Instead of battering them with information, you can develop a Lead Nurturing Program to keep them engaged and moving through your funnel. According to Edward Unthank of Etumos, you just have to find the Sweet Spot where you teach and they accelerate.
Now that we have a sense of why lead nurturing is a challenge, let’s start with the basics of lead nurturing and how you can master creating this type of Marketo program.
What is Lead Nurturing?
According to Marketo, “Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses on marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.”
What is a Lead Nurturing Campaign?
A lead nurturing campaign is a series of emails that are sent based on a lead’s behavior. Marketing automation tools capture and store this information and allow marketers to deliver targeted messaged that are timed around the actions the lead has taken.
I’ve discussed the Journey Session in my 2016 talk, however, this is the first time I’ve gone through it in this detail. This is the top concept to learn if you build ANY email program in ANY system. It works very well with Marketo’s Engagement system and it is the basis for every campaign brief I write.
There are five steps and five questions to go through.
- Whiteboard session (Journey Session)
- Process Chart
- System Doc
- Build in Marketo
Five Questions: The Journey Session
The Journey Session is a campaign brief framework that ensures you have the details required to build the correct workflows in a marketing automation platform. Ideally, you bring together the 3 to 5 people (including Sales in some cases), to answer the five major questions. This should be a whiteboard meeting of 30 to 120 minutes. As a marketing operations professional, you will take the information and translate it to a specifications document with details from the database.
|Question||Answers||What this is|
|Entry||SFDC Leads who filled out the free trial form on US Site.
Form Source=Free Trial
|Who should enter this drip?
When should they enter?
Account Type=Paid or Opp Stage=Closed Won
|What’s the goal of this nurture for the Person and for the Marketer? What positive action needs to occur for this chapter to end?|
|Cadence/Timing||One Email in first 10 minutes
1 email every week on Tues at 10:30 am PST
|When should the emails or other touches occur?
Matters for how you build.
|Exits – Bad||•Unsubscribed
•Excluded: Account=Cancelled OR Exhausted+No Opp
|Which negative behaviors mean an end to this Chapter?
Are there people we should exclude?
|Content||1 intro email
5 emails, 1 per week
|Need a strong commitment from marketers to add more content or deliver it on time. Content type may influence Cadence, etc.|
If you cannot answer one or more of these, you should stop until you can.
Regular vs. Irregular Cadences
A regular cadence is similar to “Once every Tuesday at 4 pm.” Usually seen in standard nurtures or stay in touch programs.
An irregular cadence is “Send an email now, then wait 3 hours, then send again, then wait 2 days, then 6 days…” You see this usually with onboarding programs or TOPO style BDR programs.
This matters because how you build this in Marketo will be very different if it is Regular or Irregular. In general, a Regular cadence is easier to build in Marketo because you can use Engagements which are simpler to maintain once running.
Engagements: Regular Cadences
Within a stream, Engagements are Regular and only Regular. You can certainly move people around across streams to speed or slow content. As a rule, though, it is best to consider these only for Regular Cadences with strong content production. This is rarely worth it for 3-4 emails that you never update or add to.
Smart Campaign: Irregular Cadences
Most of the time an Irregular Cadence means building a smart campaign with a series of Wait Steps.
Engagements+Smart Campaigns: Semi-regular Use
There are some scenarios, such as send a free trial welcome email immediately, but then sending a second email in X time. This may influence your thinking of the initial use of Smart Campaign for an Irregular Welcome and then a Regular Engagement for long term follow up.
Engagements: Launch Sequence
Best to see the slides here. Essentially, you will run a lot of batch campaigns to manage the Entries and Exits. You need a way to describe the timing of these against the Cast/Cadence. It can get complex very quickly with multiple streams, cadences, and campaigns.
Engagements: High Volume Considerations
When pushing out 100,000 or 1 million leads into an Engagement, you may want to consider using multiple streams and staggering Cadences to ensure that your email reputation is maintained. You may also want to avoid a Campaign Queue backlog with 50 nurture casts around the same time and day each week.
Struggling with Mastering Time (let alone your nurtures)?
Etumos can help with the technical setup and support, as well as improving upon your strategy and execution. We’re here to nurture.