Happy and engaged customers are critical to current and future business. Not only do customers pay you, but they also determine future sales through word-of-mouth and their feedback, which helps you to improve your product or service. Customers provide so much untapped value, which is why nurturing your relationship with them is critical. Hence, we decided to nurture the leads who are important to us but not yet ready to buy.
Our goal was to create a lead nurturing camping to assist the lead/prospect down the inbound marketing sales funnel and keep them involved and engaged with Oracle. Which would indeed fetch Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) delivered to the sales team.
Prior to Nurture Campaigns, normal Email campaigns were used to market our products. To be more precise, predesigned emails are sent on a predetermined schedule geared towards education, branding, positioning, or selling of the product. These marketing emails were distributed to a broad audience. With nurture emails, they are delivered to a proper targeted audience mainly qualified contacts with the goal of converting them to the next stage in the sales funnel (Qualified contacts are those who have expressed some form of interest in a topic, product or service). Thus through nurture we followed a systematic process of building relationships with these contacts. Hence, the difference between the content in a Nurture Campaign vs that of a normal Email Campaign is that we knew the buyers’ interests. Consequently, the emails for the Nurture Campaign can begin to market our services or products that will speak directly to their needs or interests. Ideally they were designed to have a long lifespan - 12 - 18 months at least (assuming they will be constantly be monitored and optimized during the duration of the campaign). So we had to use messaging, content, and offers that won't expire anytime soon.
We followed few best practices to make our nurture effective:
- Sender Name: Personalize, build brand recognition and be consistent
- Subject Line: Keep it short: Convey value within the first 35-50 characters and always try to build trust
- CTA: Keep it short within 2 to 5 words and create sense of urgency by using action words
- Images: Keep them relevant to the content and keep total email size within 100kb
- Content: Use short sentences and bullets, keeping total body count within 150 words. Personalize when possible.
- Timings: Keep global time zones in mind when sending emails
- Segmentation: Break our list into segments and customize the message based on the segmented list
By doing these we were able to achieve the following:
- Time to Conversion
If the lead is taking a month to make a purchasing decision, then we made sure that we are spread out the communications to keep them engaged throughout the month. We don’t want to pummel them with sales pitch. We started out by sending useful, low-pressure information with content-based calls-to-action; then slowly transition these call-to-action to buy.
- Level of Activity
How many of the website pages do leads usually visit before converting into a customer? Knowing these benchmarks helped us appropriately space out our communications.
- Open and Click-Through Rates
We had to keep an eye on the open and click-through rates of each of our campaigns emails. We had to look for drop-offs or other anomalies in open and click-through rates, and test different messages and subject lines to reduce them.
THERE ARE 2 STEPS TO A GREAT NURTURING CAMPAIGN
- Determine target audience for the nurturing campaign
- Build the Eloqua nurturing campaign
- Determine the nurture type based on target audience; i.e.: Pre-MQL, MQL, Re-engagement, etc.
- Discuss campaign flow architecture
- Review and complete the Content Inventory Checklist
- Review segment possibilities using Endeca
- Develop content plan for emails and landing pads including the number of emails for each campaign flow
- Create MRM Program Codes
- Work with your Nurture Best Practices Manager - Kick-off Call with Nurture Best Practices Manager, PMO and List Analyst
- Work with BDC/BDR/BDGs to properly prepare them for the leads they will receive.
- Review: Campaign purpose and content and finally lead follow-up
1. The digital team has created and assembled the content and basic framework. i.e. primary campaign creation in MRM.
2. Once we had our target audience chosen (we used Eloqua Segment List to pull this information) and our messages were in place (Email content), it’s time to start building our nurturing campaign. Hence, we have built the campaign in the campaign canvas.
3. This also help adjust Frequency of contact i.e. Daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Or, here’s a radical suggestion – ask people how often they’d like to hear from you?) and Days of the week and the time of day you want your message to be delivered.
4. We created Landing page with Progressive profile form to collect basic information of Contacts
5. Responses are scored in Eloqua as per the lead scoring models based on their Profile and Engagement.
6. Once the nurturing campaign is active, we had to evaluate and measure the performance of the campaign. This was done through CXD BI reporting.
By Implementing Lead Nurture, we found that Lead nurturing emails generated an 8% CTR compared to general email sends, which generate just a 3% CTR. On an average there was a 20% increase in sales opportunities when compared to non-nurtured leads. The Management is happy with this performance. We started focusing only on APAC Region initially. However, seeing the kind of improvement in the process we are soon to start with other Regions.
Helpful Marketing Cloud Courses:
B2B Fundamentals and Email