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Automated lead funnelling in the event industry
Being in the event industry, one of our main challenge is the short & repetitive sales cycle (events or groups of events happening once or even twice a year). Paring this with a 100% web-based sales model, a time-sensitive pricing plan and a large amount of up-to-date information to communicate at any given moment, we ended up with a very dense email pressure and realised that lead funnelling is a must in order to maintain a healthy database while still communicate effectively.
As returning clients already have their interest confirmed and therefore are directly eligible for a sales approach, our funnelling models only concerns pure prospects (who have never participated our show) and old clients (who have not returned for a while - typically more than 3 years). It consists of 3 phases:
Target audience: new outbound leads (acquired via external data acquisition) - who have little to no insight about the product.
Objective: onboard & warm up new leads, identify interested & digitally active contacts, as well as keep in touch potential buyers who are not yet ready.
Campaign structure: consists of 2 parts: a multi-steps campaign with at least 3-4 emails with educational, industry-related content to qualify for the next level, as well as a monthly newsletter to keep in touch with non-engaged contacts. Contacts who qualified from the multi-step campaign will exit the campaign and move forward into Awareness campaign. Contacts who finish the campaign without being qualified will receive the monthly newsletter
Qualification conditions: email reactivity, web visit
Target audience: Nurturing qualified leads + low-engagement content-based inbound leads (e.g white paper downloads)
Objective: Introduction the product (event in our case) & single out highly-engaged contacts with the real interest in buying.
Campaign structure: A multi-steps campaign with 3-4 show-related emails. These emails features basic information about the show: value proposition, trailers, conference programme,… The CTA of awareness emails are: Find out more. Qualified contacts will exit the campaign and be sent to the Acquisition campaign. Contacts who don’t will finish the campaign and receive the monthly newsletter.
Qualification conditions: awareness or other show-related emails reactivity, repetitive web visit
Target audience: Awareness qualified leads + highly engaged inbound leads (via get notified or contact us web forms).
Objective: convert & help sales team to accelerate conversion
Campaign structure: The Acquisition campaign consists of several emails with a more punchy and direct messages, inviting the prospects to buy the product. The CTA in our acquisition emails are normally “Register now”. The messages could be pricing, promotion, deadlines or reasons to attend (or buy). Depending on different pricing cycles, the acquisition phase could be made in to one or several multi-steps campaigns - each corresponds to one pricing period. Contacts once entered the campaign will continue to receive emails until they register to the event (or buy the product).
Qualification condition: buy the product
Campaign Qualified shared filters: In order to simplify both the campaign canvas and the segmentation for each of the three campaign type, I have created a shared filter that can be used to both filtering out qualified contacts from a campaign (used in the canvas) and adding them in to the next one (used in the segment). This shared filter can be created using a different conditions: email reactivity, web visits, lead score, SFDC campaign member or opportunity status if synchronised,…
For example, an Awareness Qualified shared filter that I’ve created looks like this:
The shared filter is used in the Awareness Campaign canvas:
And to create a segment for the Acquisition Campaign:
Result: On the very first event we deployed in MAPIC 2018, while we can’t compare the nurturing emails, awareness emails & acquisition emails results are much improved:
Acquisition: unique open rate: 37,67% (2018) vs 18,94% (2017)
click-to-open rate: 3,19% (2018) vs 3,17% (2017)
Awareness: unique open rate: 21,34% (2018) vs 17,85% (2017)
click-to-open rate: 3,24% (2018) vs 2,60% (2017)
The funnelling model have been since deployed on the majority of our events. After being fine-tuned and with improvements on the email contents, our acquisition campaigns now have unique open rates varying around 50%-60% with click-to-open rates anywhere from 4% to 7%.
This lead funnelling model was inspired from the following courses:
A Modern Marketing Approach to B2C - Best Practices