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.
Personas: 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: 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?
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.
STOP: 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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
Don’ts 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…)
Pardot Lead Nurturing 101 - Items to Consider Before Your First Campaign
Lead Nurturing 101
Things to Consider Before Your First Campaign
Presented by: Derek Grant, VP of Sales
What is Prospect Nurturing?
• Delivering relevant content
to prospects over time
• Designed to move the
recipient forward in the
• Push v. Pull content
• Aberdeen Group – 80% of
Best Class Companies will
nurture in 2010.
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
Technology buyer vs.
What Are You Trying to
• Covey Had it right
• Mission Statement
• Green Leads to MQL
• Brand Building / Top of Mind
• Nurturing during a 30 day trial
should convert to a customer
Start with the End in Mind
Make it Appear Authentic
• Business Hours improve
• Be mindful of other touches
• Often enough to be expected
• Not so often it is a nuisance
• Rule of Thumb – Every 7-10
Be Mindful of Timing
• Not an MQL
• Unresponsive to Sales
• Once success has been
• Once all relevant content
has been exhausted
• Stop one program and start
Know When to Start & Stop
Go Green with Content
• Develop multi-use content
• Dust off old content
• Blog Posts
General to Specific
• Don’t get too specific too
• Whitepapers = general, broad
• Case Studies = specific, pain
• Marketing collateral
• Appropriate for white
Text Only / Light HTML
• With “From Address”
• Brian Carroll – Nurturing
with the “Human Touch”
• Appropriate for Case
Studies and “personal
Examples of Nurturing
Simple Uses for Nurturing
• Educate non sales-ready
• Re-engage stale leads
• Stay top-of-mind
throughout the sales
• Reconnect after a loss
Nurturing Do’s and Don’ts
• Use Segmentation &
• Start with the End in Mind
• Be Mindful of Timing
• General to Specific
• Know When to Stop
• “Nurture” your entire
• Assume that Newsletters
• Do it Manually
• 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