In this 2-part article, we look at how to improve your marketing automation nurture programs by reviewing both external and internal factors. Both articles in this series are for marketing automation users who already have a nurture program setup and for those who understand the fundamentals of nurturing leads.
In Part 1, Revamp and Reengage: Are Your Nurture Programs Effective?, I wrote about the first 3 steps which dealt with external factors to your platform:
- Goal Review:
- Who are we wanting to speak to?
- What are we wanting them to do?
- Why are we wanting to nurture people?
- Content Review:
- Is it relevant & timely?
- Content Review:
- Is it valuable?
In Part 2, we will look at the last 3 steps that focus on more practical and tactical elements of your engagement programs:
- Structure Review
- Reporting Review
Step 4: Structure Review
Inside your marketing automation platform, you will notice a couple of things if you have managed your system for a while.
- Product enhancements to your marketing automation platform are much more visible when looking back at programs you built 2-3 years ago.
- You may feel a sense of embarrassment. It’s normal. We all have grown as marketers, and we have all improved efficiency and logic in our programs. We’ve grown and developed new ways of doing things, and this is one reason we should go back and review our programs regularly.
First, let’s start with a review of your program structure. For most of us, we use program templates. What often ends up happening, however, is that we continue to refine and improve our templates, but we don’t go back and update our existing programs with these enhancements. Now is a great time to compare your existing program and compare it to your best practice template. If you haven’t updated your template lately, or if you don’t have a template at all, now is the time to think about creating/updating it to ensure all the great features you are adding to this program, are carried over to other programs that you create.
Look for template enhancements you have made, like changes in scoring or reporting, and note updates and changes that will be useful in this program. It is a good idea not to implement the updates right away. Nothing is worse than making an update and realizing that your reporting is no longer an apple-to-apple comparison requiring new baselines to be created.
Next, you will want to examine the cadence and send time. This is where good reporting comes in handy so you can know when your database is most responsive. It is also important to think about other programs you may have built since you last updated your nurture program to ensure you don’t send everything on Tuesday at 10 am. Nothing is worse than getting 5 emails from the same organization all at once (although, I am sure you have set up communication limits to prevent this). A good marketing content calendar can also help you keep track of your email programs and keep you organized.
Step 5: Reporting Review
The greatest enhancement we have been given in digital marketing and the evolution of marketing platforms is how we can capture data and report on our success. This has given marketers the ability to prove their value in the organization. Depending on the type of nurture you are running, you can measure success in many ways.
Recently I was working with a client who wanted to remove inactive prospects from their database. Before we began, we set up a nurture program with the goal of reactivating the prospects and moving them off of the deletion list. For this, tracking opens or clicks was all that we needed to show signs of life.
Another common engagement program, especially for a SaaS organization, is a post-sale, welcome to the product nurture (or program). While many times we just build our 5 emails and walk customers through the product for a few weeks, to help build their skills, it is equally important to measure engagement, to understand product usage.
When you are thinking about reporting and what type of tracking/reporting you want to set up, ask yourself simple questions:
What do you hope is the outcome of your program?
- More customers? More Revenue per customer?
- More engagement? Awareness?
- Product usage? Brand loyalty?
Step 6: Implement
The last step is to execute. Now that you have examined your goals, reviewed your content for relevance, timeliness, and value, assessed the structure, and aligned our reporting to our goals, it is time to develop an execution plan that incorporates these elements and put that plan into place. If this step feels like a bit of a letdown, you are doing it right! Once you have done all the work to get to this point, the implementation should be a simple process. You know what you want to build, why you want to build it, and getting the updates into your specific marketing automation platform should be simple.
Want to get some help with some great nurture plans? Reach out to our team! We build and update nurture programs for our clients on a weekly basis and are ready to help you take your marketing to the next level.
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