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Pardot Lead Nurturing 101 - Items to Consider Before Your First Campaign
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Pardot Lead Nurturing 101 - Items to Consider Before Your First Campaign


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  • Although Nurturing is almost universally appreciated as being a good idea, many Marketers struggle with how they will nurture
    Nurturing is a good idea…particularly now - Due to economic drivers, many buyers of B2B technology (particularly CAPEX), are taking longer to close.

    What is nurturing? It is the systematic delivery of relevant content to prospects over your sales process
    The Goal? - Move the recipient forward in the sales process
    Push v. Pull content – Most Marketers develop terrific content and design campaigns (PPC, SEO) for prospects to PULL content from their website.
    Statistics indicate that prospects who pull data rarely return beyond their initial interaction with your content repository.
    Since these people have opted in, nurturing allows you to drive more value from every piece of content that is PULLED from your website by PUSHING out supporting, relevant content

    The Experts Say – In 2009, Aberdeen Group noted that 80% of the “Best In Class” companies will implement a Lead Nurturing strategy by 2010.
    To Stop Lead Loss by Sales
    To Stay Top of Mind with prospects across a long sales cycle

    A review of customers utilizing Marketing Automation provided the following statistics:
    • 9% higher average deal size for nurtured leads vs. non-nurtured leads • 23% shorter deal time for nurtured than non-nurtured leads.
  • No Such Thing as “One Size Fits All”
    Personalized, Relevant content will increase response rates
    According to Jupiter Research - Targeting leads to higher response rates. Relevant emails drive 18 times mores revenue that broadcast emails.
    According to Aberdeen Group - Personalization leads to higher response rates. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rate by 11%

    Prospect v. Customer Facing Content – Newsletters are appropriate for your customers, however they may not drive a prospect’s purchasing decision

    Granular Segmentation - What should you segment based upon:

    Explicit Segmentation:
    Job Title – Deliver content based upon the prospect’s job title – e.g., Contains “Administrator, Technician, Information”
    Department – Does the Department = IT, IS
    Shortcoming: This could put the highest level manager in a department (e.g., CIO), and a low level employee (Network Technician) into the same segment.
    These individuals would likely respond to different types of information
    CIO would need ROI based information while the Technician would respond to information about how your solution simplifies their life.

    Role – What do they actually do at a company or in the decision making process?
    Many people make up the decision making team – Technical Buyers, Economic buyers and Decision Makers. One type of content doesn’t speak to all
    Who makes up your decision making team - Deliver content that will move each closer to a sale

  • Stephen Covey’s Habit 2

    Covey recommends starting with a Mission Statement – What do you want to be and do. What do you want to be when you grow up?

    Similarly, Begin at the end for successful campaigns by defining “Success”

    Specifically – What type of leads are you nurturing, and what are you trying to accomplish?
    Education? Broad Content - Deliver whitepapers, which are considered to be very broad, and can help build the need for the solution
    Green Leads to MQL? Deliver Case Studies, webinar invitations, etc….which help establish ROI for your solution.
    Top of Mind? Sales Driven Nurturing (we will discuss later when discussing “sales driven” nurturing)

    Example – If you are promoting a product trial, content should be focused on the use of the product, features / functions, and status messages reflecting the remaining time for the trial.

    Story - I recently worked with a customer who wanted Nurturing to “Sell” their product. Initially, I said that it probably wouldn’t work, however the customer outlined the segment (People who sign up for a trial), the content (tech bulletins, success stories), and the end point (transition from a trial to a paying customer).

  • Authenticity:
    Sending during Business Hours only improves response rates
    Suppress content over weekends & after hours. – Send when it is most likely that the recipient is at his / her desk.

    NOTE: Emails over weekends may have their place (e.g., I see better response rates from executives from emails sent over weekends because they are more likely to read these messages on Saturday / Sunday than a middle manager)

    Be mindful of all the different touches a prospect gets
    You may want to suppress a prospect in a nurturing campaign from other types of touches (e.g., suppress Webinar Invites) so they do not receive messages too frequently.

    Complementary touches improve effectiveness compared to Drips Alone.
    There may be a scenario where a call that accompanies a nurturing email may be impactful (e.g., following up on an automated / drip marketing case study) – An example may be to follow up on the case study with an offer to do a 1:1 demonstration on how company “A” achieve such terrific results by using your product or services..

    Frequency – Incorrect Frequency results in high opt outs (too frequent) or low response rates (too infrequent)
    Conventional wisdom – Send each 7-10 days, so the prospect is accustomed to hearing from you, however it’s not so frequent that it becomes a nuisance.
  • Starting with the end in mind – When would you like to start?

    For “Green” leads who are not yet MQLs?
    For prospects who signed up for a trial?
    For leads who have not been contacted by Sales (I know…your sales people claim to call everyone, but you can trigger off of the “Lead Status” field, ensuring that leads who don’t have their status changed from “Open” will automatically be nurtured on behalf of the sales person.
    Unresponsive to Sales – NEWS FLASH – Just like many of you haven’t spoken with me when I’ve called you, people don’t always take your sales people’s calls. Nurturing of non-responsive prospects (see “Content Mix”) can help keep your brand in front of a prospect when they don’t take calls from Sales.

    When they close – No brainer, but you don’t need to continue nurturing after a prospect becomes a customer.
    When you’ve hit “the end” – Did you achieve success (e.g., they moved from a free version to your paid product)
    Once you’ve run out – You can’t nurture forever – Statistics indicate that prospects buy within 24 months of considering a product. Don’t nurture for years....base it upon your sales cycle.

    Transition to a more specific program or an accelerated program based on actions and/or interests.
    Did they move from Education to MQL?
  • Single Use content is expensive and not scalable
    Content should be designed to be utilized across multiple channels:

    Take for example, the Whitepaper - The whitepaper can be:
    utilized as a call to action for a PPC campaign (delivered via an auto-responder)
    Added to your content / resource library (protected by a form)
    Syndicated across industry specific sites
    Utilized as a step in a drip marketing campaign
    Blasted to a segment of your database

    Go Green with Content – Dust off an old whitepaper and repurpose / rebrand it
    New Logos
    New Screen Shots
    New Analysts Statistics

    Blog Series – Multiple blog posts about a specific value proposition can be utilized as a focused nurturing campaign

    General to Specific – Building a relationship with a prospect is similar to dating – You generally won’t have one wild night in Vegas where you meet and elect to get married in a drive thru wedding chapel by Elvis.

    Whitepapers are great for education and building a need
    Case studies outline how you’ve successfully overcome pain points, justify ROI
  • Heavy HTML
    Best for Marketing Focused Information because:
    it has a sleek look and feel
    The appearance matches the company’s brand

    Text Only
    Best for Sales-looking emails
    E.g., - Your sales rep wasn’t sitting around with Dreamweaver, building an HTML email to send to a prospect.
    Text, combined with “from address” branding (e.g., from looks like it originated from a sales person’s Outlook client rather than the Marketing Department

    Brian Carroll, who wrote “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale” calls this nurturing with “The Human Touch” because it looks like it came from an engaged sales rep (even though the rep does not actually send the message).

    Good Rule of thumb – If the “From” address is “Marketing@” then the content should be HTML
    If the “From” address is personalized from a sales rep, Text is acceptable

    Depending on the campaign, it may be appropriate to send out a mix of HTML and Text emails.
  • Do’s
    Granular Segmentation (based on titles & departments or personas) to deliver relevant content
    Covey’s Rule #2 – What are you trying to accomplish? Develop your content mix based upon the goal you are attempting to achieve
    Timing – Don’t touch too frequently (every 7-10 days) and use complementary touches like a sales rep call to support the nurturing campaign.
    General to Specific – Don’t try the Vegas wedding – Send out relevant information over time that will build a relationship, by sending out general information at first, and more specific information as the relationship intensifies.
    Know When to Stop – If you’ve defined success, you’ll know when you’ve achieved your objective, and will transition the prospect to another campaign, or stop a nurturing campaign

    Nurture your entire DB – This is a terrible idea because many leads were generated quite some time ago. You’ll see high bounces, and high opt outs because the prospect may not remember opting into your campaign.
    Newsletters – They are Customer Facing, not prospect facing. They are terrific to keep customers up to date on new happenings with your company or product, however they are too general to be impactful in the buying process.
    Do it manually – We talk to a number of companies who dedicate an employee to manual nurturing processes. Affordable marketing automation technologies like Pardot allow that marketer’s time to be spent on more strategic endeavors (webinars, content development, etc…)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Lead Nurturing 101 Things to Consider Before Your First Campaign Presented by: Derek Grant, VP of Sales
    • 2. What is Prospect Nurturing? • Delivering relevant content to prospects over time • Designed to move the recipient forward in the sales process • Push v. Pull content • Aberdeen Group – 80% of Best Class Companies will nurture in 2010.
    • 3. Know Your Audience Segments and Personas • There is no such thing as “One Size Fits All” content. • Personalized, relevant content results in higher response rates • Prospect v. Customer Content • Granular segmentation is key • Explicit Segmentation:  Job Title or Department contain “IT” or Tech • Personas:  Technology buyer vs. Economic buyer
    • 4. What Are You Trying to Accomplish? • Covey Had it right • Mission Statement (Define “Success”) • Education • Green Leads to MQL • Brand Building / Top of Mind Example: • Nurturing during a 30 day trial should convert to a customer Start with the End in Mind
    • 5. Make it Appear Authentic • Business Hours improve response rates • Be mindful of other touches Frequency • Often enough to be expected • Not so often it is a nuisance • Rule of Thumb – Every 7-10 days Be Mindful of Timing
    • 6. Start • Not an MQL • Unresponsive to Sales Stop • Once success has been achieved • Once all relevant content has been exhausted Transition • Stop one program and start another one Know When to Start & Stop
    • 7. Content Go Green with Content • Develop multi-use content • Dust off old content • Blog Posts General to Specific • Don’t get too specific too soon. • Whitepapers = general, broad • Case Studies = specific, pain points
    • 8. Heavy HTML • Marketing collateral • Appropriate for white papers Text Only / Light HTML • With “From Address” branding • Brian Carroll – Nurturing with the “Human Touch” • Appropriate for Case Studies and “personal notes” Content Mix
    • 9. Examples of Nurturing Simple Uses for Nurturing Marketing: • Educate non sales-ready leads • Re-engage stale leads Sales: • Standardize Communication • Stay top-of-mind throughout the sales cycle • Reconnect after a loss
    • 10. Nurturing Do’s and Don’ts Do • Use Segmentation & Personas • Start with the End in Mind • Be Mindful of Timing • General to Specific • Know When to Stop Don’t • “Nurture” your entire database • Assume that Newsletters nurture • Do it Manually
    • 11. About Pardot • Pardot provides Marketing Automation to mid-market B2B Technology companies • Founded in 2007 • Over 350 Successful Clients • “No Hassles” approach: • No Contract • Low Monthly Cost • Unlimited Database Size • Complimentary On-boarding
    • 12. Questions?
    • 13. Pardot 950 East Paces Ferry Rd Suite 3300 Atlanta, Georgia 30326 404.492.6848 877.3B2B.ROI Derek Grant VP of Sales Thanks for Your Time