20 Plus Ideas for Automated Marketing Campaigns


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Despite a sizable investment in marketing-automation software, many marketers approach marketing with an ad hoc approach — a series of blast emails designed to fill a newly identified gap or need. While this approach does at least keep your company name in front of your audience, there is copious overhead in the creative and deployment processes that create an unnecessary drain on your resources.

Marketing automation, be that a drip or a nurture campaign, will capitalize on the repeatability and scalability of a design series that is developed specifically for the:

Campaign type

With any marketing campaign, your primary goal is to increase engagement, raise lead scores, and determine sales readiness in order to pass the lead to sales at the most-appropriate moment. Achieving this with a series of unrelated one-off blast emails is exponentially more difficult than the development of a consistently designed and carefully deployed automated program.

In this article, we will discuss various implementations of the three email types — one-off blast emails, top-of-mind drip marketing, and purchase-enticing nurture marketing — and how you can use this combined approached in order to meet the primary goal.

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20 Plus Ideas for Automated Marketing Campaigns

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION..............................................5 Lead scoring.........................................................6 Lead Life cycLe 7 BLAST CAMPAIGNS ........................................8 WeLcome incoming prospects ......................8 segment into appropriate campaign.........8 DRIP CAMPAIGNS (TIME BASED)......................10 stay in touch.......................................................11 recycLe Leads......................................................11 recover Lost opportunities..........................11 re-engage subscribers ....................................12 re-engage customers .....................................12 reassess.................................................................12 evangeLize ...........................................................12 train customers................................................12 address buyer’s remorse................................12 NURTURE CAMPAIGNS (EVENT BASED)...........13 acceLerate interest .........................................13 foLLoW Live/recorded events......................13 augment saLes interactions........................13 nudge shoppers.................................................13 no budget .........................................................14 too smaLL ..........................................................14 distracted .........................................................14 abandoned........................................................14 up-seLL and cross-seLL...................................15 referraL and LoyaLty .....................................15 foLLoW up free triaL.......................................15 remind of contract reneWaL....................15 bLast, drip, and nurture..................................15 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 2 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  2. 2. drip marketing nurture marketing blast email marketing automation Lead scoring Lead life cycle KEYPHRASES PAGE 3 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  3. 3. are looking for ideas for your drip campaigns. are looking for ideas for your nurture campaigns. Would like to know more about marketing automation. Would like to improve engagement and conversions. spider trainers can heLp if any of these describe you, spider trainers can help. We are marketing-automation architects and we will analyze your need and create a campaign for you that will ensure your return on your email-automation software investment — even when you’re feeling the pinch of full workloads and too-few resources. spider trainers is a network of more than 80 experts in email development, web development, search-engine optimization, analytics, graphic design, ad creation, multimedia creation, social-media postings, writing, and editing. We bring all of these disparate talents to bear on your project, to ensure that every functional requirement is met with the expertise it requires. our publications are designed to help you identify need, understand the topic, and enable you to engage in development discussions. While we may be guilty of giving too much information, we know that the empowered and informed client is the successful client. We hope this guide does that for you. We look forward to learning more about your needs. please contact us at 651 702 3793 or cmeyer@spidertrainers.com. YOU SHOULD READ THIS DOCUMENT IF YOU: PAGE 4 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  4. 4. despite a sizeable investment in marketing- automation software, many marketers approach marketing with an ad hoc approach — a series of blast emails designed to fill a newly identified gap or need. While this approach does at least keep your company name in front of your audience, there is copious overhead in the creative and deployment processes that create an unnecessary drain on your resources. marketing automation, be that a drip or a nurture campaign, will capitalize on the repeatability and scalability of a design series that is developed specifically for the: audience campaign type messaging timing goals roi With any marketing campaign, your primary goal is to increase engagement, raise lead scores, and determine sales readiness in order to pass the lead to sales at the most-appropriate moment. achieving this with a series of un-related one-off blast emails is exponentially more difficult than the development of a consistently designed and carefully deployed automated program. in this article, we will discuss various implementations of the three email types — one-off blast emails, top-of- mind drip marketing, and purchase-enticing nurture marketing — and how you can use this combined approached in order to meet the primary goal. INTRODUCTION PAGE 5 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS ?! 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. — MarketingSherpa ?! the primary goal of any marketing is to increase engagement, raise lead scores, and determine sales readiness in order to pass the lead to sales at the most-appropriate moment.
  5. 5. in pursuit of your primary goal, all marketing can contribute to the measurable value of the prospect or lead. this value is known as the lead score and is sometimes shown in a combination of letters and numbers, but more often, perhaps, as a value on a scale you define in advance. common, positive-scoring activities for email are to add points for sent, open, clicked, viewed a form, and so on, as shown below in figure 1. the higher the lead score, the more sales ready the prospect is deemed to be. depending upon your goal, certain activities could result in a negative number, thus reducing the overall lead score. for instance, if you send an email on a topic in which you have determined your prospect is interested and they open and then visit your website, you might add two points for opening, but then subtract ten because the visit was actually to the careers section of your website. this type of page visit likely indicates they are more interested in a job than they are in purchasing your product and should therefore net a lower score than another recipient who opens and clicks to visit the offer landing page. marketing content for your campaigns should correspond with the interest or activity level demonstrated by the recipient. PAGE 6 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS LEAD SCORING Figure 1. Lead scoring can be as simple or as complex and you need in order to help you and your sales team determine sales readiness. In addition to the scoring features of your email- automation system, your CRM likely offers lead scoring options as well. ?! for more information on lead scoring, click to download The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring from marketo.
  6. 6. every lead has a life cycle and in order to develop effective blast, drip, and nurture campaigns, you must determine rules, definitions, and strategies for each phase of this life cycle — and this is not a marketing- exclusive effort, it is a company effort and must involve sales and company leaders. engaging in this exercise will ensure that a lead is never lost along the way or has an extended period of inactivity. further, it will identify leads that have no interest in your product that can be retired from your list in order to maintain your sender reputation. for more information on sender reputation, click here to download Spider Trainers’ eBook, Marketing Metrics. using lead scoring there are three recognized stages a lead’s life cycle in which marketing can participate: Buying cycle. determine where in the sales funnel the lead resides, at which point they are sales ready, and when the lead will be forwarded to the sales team. Sales cycle. provide direct nurturing from the sales team. Retention cycle. manage the lead through nurturing campaigns and determine if the lead should be retired or recycled. in a lead-recycling program, you will determine when a lead will be returned to marketing for further nurturing and to which program. this can occur when, for whatever reason, the lead has not been engaged by the sales team, or sales has contacted the lead and has determined that the lead is not sales ready. automated-marketing programs focused on the lead’s life cycle removes the sales team’s burden of following up with lower-ranked leads — in other words, these programs warm the cold call. depending upon your sales cycle, you can either drip emails at predetermined intervals and/or provide emails automatically responding to action or interaction of the lead with a lead-nurturing campaign. as we pointed out in Marketing Metrics, your triggered campaigns are the start of a long-term relationship with your lead. you must show respect and honor opt- outs, be respectful and send at acceptable intervals, and show an interest in them specifically by sending messaging that is relevant. use your triggered campaigns to maintain permission to stay in contact with your lead, establish key ideas, perspectives, viewpoints, authority, and trustworthiness, and evaluate and respond to their progress through the buying process. LEAD LIFE CYCLE PAGE 7 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS ?! during the last five years, the average sales cycle has become 22 % longer, typically with three more decision makers participating in the buying process. — SiriusDecisions ?! 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. — Gleanster Research
  7. 7. blasts are single, one-off emails commonly used by marketers to announce advertisements or promotions to the majority or entire customer list. also known as a single-event email, mass email, bulk email, many marketers use blast emails exclusively, even if they have invested in email-automation software. for some, developing triggered campaigns presents an overhead in design and deployment they do not feel prepared to address, and blast emails are perceived as easier to build and launch on an as-needed basis. Like most automated processes, the bulk of the effort is founded in the set-up, but the reward that is gained from the automatic deployment throughout the year easily justifies this effort. further, drip and nurture campaigns can benefit from the reuse of design components, which reduces the development requirements. Let’s get started exploring some ideas. WeLcome incoming prospects 1 blast emails are ideal for addressing the first goal of a marketing strategy: processing the incoming lead to determine which leads should be diverted immediately to sales, which leads require nurturing, which leads need to be reminded of the relationship (stay top of mind). for those leads that are sent to sales, at any point in the process, there must be an agreed-upon process and service-level agreement in place for how sales will follow up with the leads they receive from marketing. further, and as mentioned earlier, there must also be a process for sales to return the lead to marketing if follow up is not executed promptly or when sales determines the lead is not sales ready. SEGMENT INTO APPROPRIATE CAMPAIGN using the welcome email as the catalyst for segmentation, depending upon the recipients’ interaction with the campaign, you will use demographic, bant (budget, authority, need, timeline), completeness of data profile, behavioral attributes, and lead score in order to drop the names into appropriate triggered-campaign buckets, or segments. this segmentation effort groups together like leads in order to facilitate appropriate marketing messages for the group. BLAST CAMPAIGNS PAGE 8 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS ?! companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. — Forrester Research ?! Drip email. a series of email messages geared toward education, branding, or positioning of a product to prospects or leads that have subscribed and requested information. drip marketing is typically ongoing and generalized messaging.
  8. 8. PAGE 9 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS Figure 2. In this illustration, we have started with a blast welcome email and depending upon engagement, segmented the lead into either the drip or nurture campaigns. ?! 46% of marketers with mature lead-management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads. — Forrester Research
  9. 9. drip marketing is the process of staying top of mind with your list with a predetermined design and on a predetermined schedule. it’s most often a generalized message sent to a large audience and with the purpose of enabling segmentation or the migration of the lead into a sales-nurturing campaign at the appropriate time. as an example, and in an over-simplified view, your leads would enter your marketing program by completing a form, event registration or scanning, through a rented or purchased list, or perhaps through partnering efforts. as prospects become a lead for the company, they will first receive a blast welcome email, followed by drip emails to determine interest, and as interest is established, migrated to a nurture campaign that will foster that interest through the sales funnel or convert that lead into a customer through your ecommerce system. this approach is illustrated in figure 2 on the previous page. in order to create messaging for each type of email that resonates with your leads, you must understand who they are, their interests, their behaviors, their demographics, their needs, their buying process, and more. this is accomplished through the exercise of creating persona profiles — a profile of the type of leads you have, not a profile of every individual lead. if you need help with this project, click here to access our B2B persona profiler or click here for our B2C persona profiler. While this tool is a very generalized approach, it will at least help you to grasp the concept of defining personas for your marketing. your drip campaign can be described as the early stage. you should provide thought leadership and best practices through content marketing focused on education, branding, or positioning. in the middle stages of your sales funnel, the lead recognizes they have a problem and have begun exploring solutions. their accelerating interest drives them to engage with one of your drip messages, such as watching a video or downloading resource. this interaction is met with a pre-destined auto-responder nurturing email and thus, the start of their journey through your nurturing program. in the late stage of the sales funnel, leads are narrowing down their options and beginning to justify and prepare. nurture emails should contain company- specific information containing evaluation and affirmation messaging. DRIP CAMPAIGNS(time based) PAGE 10 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS Figure 3. Drip campaigns are time-based: send a message, wait, send message, wait, and so on. At the point of engagement — when the recipient clicks — they should be shuttled off to a nurture campaign, which provides responses based on interaction.
  10. 10. no matter the stage, it is critical that you provide content relevant to their buying stage and their buyer persona. content customized by the category in which the leads falls is more valuable than content categorized by industry. read on for some ideas for the focus of drip campaigns. stay in touch 2 drip campaigns are commonly known as stay-in- touch or top-of-mind campaigns. this approach is useful for keeping in touch with prospects that are not ready to go to sales, but also identify leads that should be retired. in addition to keeping you top of mind, provide content that will build trust and establishing credibility for your company. a drip campaign also provides ample opportunity to build more personal relationships between leads and your sales team members when you send email from an actual person or make introductions. add a from address and signature lines with the name of the lead’s salesperson to establish the salesperson as a trusted advisor in their buying process. recycLe Leads 3 depending upon the length of your sales cycle, you may find that many of your leads are seemingly dormant for long periods of time. Without interaction with your campaign, it’s impossible to measure their position in the sales cycle, or the interest in your product. drip campaigns allow you to stay in touch until such a time as the lead becomes more active. by offering a wide variety of content on a wide variety of topics, you will likely trigger action within your list that enables you to segment off a small percentage with each message. for instance, if your drip campaign is promoting a video series, offer topics that span tech support, customer support, benefits, and the like. When the recipient views a particular title, you will have perhaps been able to identify where exactly they are positioned in the sales funnel and in what type of product they are interested, thus enabling segmentation into a more specific set of nurture emails ideally suited to that interest. recover Lost opportunities 4 marketers most often build campaigns in order to convert the lead into a customer, but leads that have selected a competing company will often suffer through buyer’s remorse three to four weeks after purchase. this presents an opportune time to educate them on the benefits of your products and focus on the competitor’s shortcomings. use educational content with messaging helpful to companies not using your solutions and not messages that sell. at the end of this recover phase, return inactive leads to your stay-in-touch campaign. if the product they have purchased is subscription, licensed, or saas model, the lead is only lost for as long as that contract remains in effect. your more- aggressive sales messaging should start at a point that educates them well in advance of the contract’s expiration. PAGE 11 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS ?! Progressive profiling. dynamic form fields that progressively capture basic and then additional information on the person submitting the form. for example, in order to access marketing content you offer, a prospect fills out a short form. With each new resource requested, the prospect completes a short form with new questions. the responses to new questions are added to responses you have already collected, thus progressively profiling the prospect.
  11. 11. re-engage subscribers 5 there are myriad reasons for subscribers to stop engaging, too many emails, new spam filter settings, irrelevant messaging, and change in needs. if your subscribers have not engaged for a pre- determined period of time, use a re-engagement campaign with a series of offers specifically reminding them of the relationship they have with your company. this campaign will likely prompt a higher round of unsubscribes, but if they truly do not want to receive your messages, it is detrimental to continue to send emails and expensive to continue to send direct mail. re-engage customers 6 dormant customers are usually easier to re- engage than dormant subscribers, because personalization that contains previous purchase details can be used to remind them of a positive experience and recommend similar products in which they may be interested. reassess 7 With automated campaigns, your marketing department will be experts at identifying sales readiness and kicking leads over to the sales team, but in cases where sales determines the lead needs more time, you need to have a ready plan for reassessing where they actually are in the funnel and start providing them information key to that stage. similar in content to your stay-in-touch campaign, reassessment campaigns are tailored specifically to your need to reassess a lead’s sales readiness. evangeLize 8 not every segment in your list is a potential customer. you may have lists of analysts, press members, alumni, testers, and new employees, for example. each of these lists is an opportunity for evangelizing a drip campaign; a campaign to keep everyone informed and involved with your company. train customers 9 once a lead has become a customer, don’t stop there. ensure that every customer has a successful experience with your company, before and after the sale. create an educational series of videos or webcasts targeting your current customers to make sure that they are engaged and content with your product. happy customers are the foundation for word-of-mouth marketing — work to make sure they are saying great things and not complaining. head off at the pass your competitors with a recover campaign targeting your new customer. address buyer’s remorse 10 buyer’s remorse tends to set in at three to four weeks whether it's a competitor's product, as mentioned previously, or when it is your own. so before your new customers have a moment to start reconsidering their purchase, send out messaging that reminds them of why they chose your company in the first place and the benefits that they will continue to receive as a customer of your company. PAGE 12 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS ?! companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quota. — CSO Insights
  12. 12. nurture campaigns are long-term engagements designed to nudge leads that have disclosed an interest in your solutions through the sales funnel. nurture email programs are pre-designed and deployed to nurture potential prospects that are not in the market this moment, but that need to learn more about your company and product in order to consider purchasing from you. this type of program may run for weeks, months, or years depending upon your buying cycle. With the longer-term campaigns, it’s not usually possible to identify all of the marketing messaging and communication in advance (it may well become out of date before deployment), so instead you must focus on the structure and criteria. this is best done by designing the theme and drafting a schema just for the extended components of the campaign. in the following sections, i’ll give you some ideas for the focus of nurture campaigns. acceLerate interest 11 in order to give sufficient nudges at opportune moments, you must first send messages and second monitor interactions. this is the focus of an accelerator campaign. done well, the lead is guided along the sales funnel at a pace faster than they would traverse it on their own. interactions such as site visits, videos watched, resources downloaded, and the like will trigger relevant auto-responder emails to offer the next in the line of content focused on the same topic. foLLoW Live/recorded events 12 meeting your leads, either online or at live events are the ideal starting point for a nurture campaign that builds upon their demonstrated interest. your first email should be a blast welcome, thank you, or nice to meet you email that allows you to shuttle the disinterested into a drip campaign and the interested into a fast-paced nurture campaign. augment saLes interactions 13 you shouldn’t keep your marketing- automation program all to yourself, share with your sales team and work with them to develop a nurturing program that digitizes sales nudges where possible. this campaign can also be used along with progressive-profiling forms to augment their contact information and lead profile so that the sales person can follow up with calls and interactions with a personal, tailored touch. NURTURE CAMPAIGNS(event based) PAGE 13 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS ?! Nurture email. a series of email messages sent to specific recipients based upon their previous actions or interactions and their place in the buying cycle. also known as closed- loop, just-in-time, or transactional marketing. ?! nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non- nurtured leads. — DemandGen Report
  13. 13. nudge shoppers once a prospect has made it as far as your ecommerce site or spoken with a salesperson, they are ready to be reminded of their cart content or of the sales discussion. the design of this type of email relies heavily on personalization of the messaging to contain information about what is in their cart, when offers are expiring, new offers that can be applied to the cart or impending sales, and much more. the key to nurture- messaging success is the reminder. here are ideas for reminder types. NO BUDGET 14 b2b companies tend to sell products that are more expensive and represent a larger hit to a department or company’s budget. as such, the likelihood that your marketing is perfectly aligned with their buying cycle is slim. that’s why the timing of nurture campaigns is so important. With consideration for end-of-year budgets, start your campaign just before the new fiscal year begins and include reminders along the way of where they are in their budget year. escalate the messaging urgency as time passes. TOO SMALL 15 another consideration within the b2b space is the company that’s too small to afford the purchase from your company. though too small today, tomorrow might be another story. design a campaign to continually remind them of the benefits your company offers and provide engagement links for tracking interest and lead scoring. follow them socially and through search-engine alerts, to be at the ready with a campaign specifically targeting announcements about acquisitions, investments, and other news that might affect their ability to take on this expense. DISTRACTED 16 every business deals with the distracted lead and distraction should not be mistaken for inactive or disinterested. before kicking your lead to the archive bucket, consider a distracted campaign that provides very high value content in order to truly discern the disinterested from the distracted. PAGE 14 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS Figure 4. Nurture campaigns are action/interaction based. Messages (auto-responders) are sent in response to the recipient’s action (an event) with the message.
  14. 14. ABANDONED 17 Like the distracted leads, there are many reasons for abandonment, but not all of them mean the end of the road for your leads. in the case of lost budget, the opportunity exists that next year’s budget will bring changes in your favor. here again, it’s important that you have campaign messaging that will root out the actual status of your lead, before you delete them from your list. UP-SELL AND CROSS-SELL 18 in an up-sell/cross-sell campaign, you are engaging current customers and developing opportunities to turn them into repeat buyers. personalization plays a big part as you remind them of recent purchases and suggest items that are similar or that complement that purchase. as marketers, we all know that it costs less to maintain a customer than find a new one, and this campaign may well be your best return on investment. REFERRAL AND LOYALTY 19 companies across the world and industries have found success with referral and loyalty campaigns. referral or loyalty programs provide cyclical benefits that are enjoyed by both the consumer and the company. the buyer gains access to specialized discounts and rewards, as these are redeemed the company accumulates copious and detailed information about the buyer. this information is in turn used to provide continued and relevant offers to the buyer, and so on. here again, the success of this campaign is attributed to personalization and referencing their buying habits and responding with messages that show deference to those habits. FOLLOW UP FREE TRIAL 20 if your product has a free-trial period, automatically fire off messaging that ensures success during the trial: training, case studies, success stories, testimonials, faQs and the like. also send a reminder at least a week before the trial expires with the option to extend the trial period or to make the purchase immediately. remind of contract reneWaL 21 continuing with the repeat customer nurturing ideas, eliminate manual renewal processes when you launch a nurture campaign for your clients with reminders about new benefits, new pricing, new training resources, and contract-renewal dates. bLast, drip, and nurture automated marketing is rarely about choosing blast over drip, drip over nurture, it’s about finding the right PAGE 15 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS ?! Lead nurturing emails get 4 – 10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. —SilverPop/DemandGen Report?! nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. — Annuitas Group ?! 61% of b2b marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. — MarketingSherpa ?! Loyalty programs. marketing programs that track customer behavior and reward those customers for their brand loyalty. these programs provide the issuing company with a wealth of consumer information as buyer behavior is tracked through a unique buyer id.
  15. 15. mix to convert prospects into customers, but without overwhelming any one group at the risk of spam scores and sender reputation. since some leads will naturally fall into more than one bucket (segment), you need to monitor the collective number of messages they receive from you and you need to ensure that the messaging does not conflict. settle on three or four message streams; there is a point of diminishing return and that occurs when using more than five campaigns. PAGE 16 ©2013 SPIDERTRAINERS