There is so much you can do with marketing automation, but it takes ample planning, testing and execution. You may get a little dizzy with all the possibilities, but here is something we can recommend that works for us and makes marketing automation, specifically nurturing campaigns, more manageable. Here’s one of my highest recommended marketing automation campaign tips:
The extensive logic required for a campaign that moves a new lead through close (and beyond), especially in B2B, can be incredibly complex, not to mention draw out over many months or even years. Instead of trying to move a lead down a long and winding “customer journey” road in a single campaign, break it up.
When they first enter your pipeline, put them into an initial nurture campaign that helps to qualified them. Then, after they’ve qualified themselves (e.g. how soon will they be buying), move them to a brand new campaign. This is most effectively done using segments and lists. When someone qualifies for a segment or list, it moves them into the next campaign, triggering the next set of nurturing steps.
Quite often your qualification process is going to require a brief conversation with a company representative, so once that conversation has been completed, have your rep move them to a respective list. This singular update will set forth the next campaign chain of reactions. Better yet, if you can get someone to fill out a follow-up form, you can automate the list assignment process based on the responses. This is an advanced practice, however, and often dependent on your internal sales process and resources. Plus, if someone has filled out your form and become a lead, they are often ready for a conversation. Making them complete more information before you have a conversation may put them off.
After you’ve qualified them (follow-up web form or conversation), they’ll be moving to a new campaign. To start, there are at least 3 campaigns I recommend: “rapid close” campaign, a “fast track” education campaign and a “long term” education campaign. The campaign names should be self-explanatory, but I’ll briefly describe:
- “rapid close” means they are ready to make a decision now. Send them just the essentials to help them become a customer
- “fast track” education is a closely spaced email campaign (every 2-3 days) with 6-8 different emails/pieces of content that helps educate the lead more deeply on solving their problems and your solution can help
- “long term” education would be a monthly email drip series, much like the “Warm Up Cold Leads with Marketing Automation” I had previously described.
Within each of these campaigns is a key call to action that, when triggered, moves the lead to the next nurture stage in the funnel. Perhaps they’ve become a hot buyer and should be on the “rapid close” now. Maybe they’ve shown interest (downloads/web page activity) in your “long term” educational content that indicates a move to the “fast track” education cycle is in order.
People in your pipeline are often in one of those 3 stages of nurturing. You can go more deeply into this process, refining your strategy to have additional stages, but it just adds to the complexity. To learn more about this, I recommend the book “Balancing the Demand Equation” by Adam Needles.
Keep in mind, too, that you may have different categories of business/products/services. You’ll need to have multiple “fast track” or “long term” educational nurture campaigns that shares content specific to what category your lead has shown interest in. These interests can be discovered and defined by explicit content or web pages they’ve viewed on your site, that’s tracked and reported in your marketing automation tool . This next level of relevant campaign nurturing is something marketing teams must seriously consider when they are trying to effectively communicate to their leads. Without it, you’ll be much less effective.
Ultimately, by creating smaller campaigns and moving leads in and out of them as needed, it will be easier to manage, update and measure the success of each of these smaller campaigns that are part of your larger customer journey map.