As simple as it sounds, consistently leading nurturing that works are really hard. You have to get up to speed quickly on the latest email marketing technology, outbound service providers, and industry best practices. At Publicis Groupe, 46% of marketers are under 30 years old with five or fewer years of experience in their role. It’s no wonder there are growing pains along the way due to limited time and resources.
First, let’s look at what optimal nurturing looks like – 10 key components essential for building a high powered program:
1) Constant testing
There are more than 10 million permutations of subject lines for an email campaign alone, so give yourself permission to test everything! From calls to actions (CTA) to segmentation levels and design, you can’t afford NOT to test. When it comes to nurturing best practices, you’re not expected to get it right the first time or even in your second or third attempt. Plan on failing forward.
There’s a big difference between being personal and being pushy – don’t be pushy! Be relevant is a much better way of following up after they’ve opted in to receive marketing emails from you. Using advanced data analysis is an effective way to determine their characteristics, interests, and behaviors based on the actions taken before they are opt-in for marketing communications from your brand. This includes everything from industry verticals, age groups, geographic regions, and specific interests including hobbies, geography, brands, purchase behaviors, and so on.
3) Smart Call-To-Action
The CTA is really the crux of your nurturing program. You can’t expect prospects to take specific actions (call, click or download) when they’re not expecting to do it – that’s like asking someone out for dinner during lunchtime when clearly their mind is on getting back to work! Nurturing should be implemented in support of a campaign; don’t launch an email initiative without thinking about how you’ll use nurturing across all channels (social, mobile, and email). Stick with only one or two CTAs per message, don’t make them complicated, and always provide clear next steps based on their unique needs regardless if they’ve opted in via email, social or mobile.
4) Use Quality Content
It’s not enough to simply provide the answer to what the customer is thinking – you also need to provide value! Nurtured content needs to be creative and easily consumable – use thought leadership materials and real-life examples of how your company has helped similar customers. Tools like PromoterApp and app development company can help measure Overall Customer Satisfaction (OCS) across all channels and lead funnels allowing you to see which customers are promoters vs. detractors. You’ll then be better equipped with supporting those that love you, asking forgiveness from those who aren’t impressed, and converting new prospects so they never forget about you again…
Don’t send a cookie-cutter email, send a custom one. Personalization is about more than inserting their first name into the subject line and greeting them with “Hello John.” It’s also about ensuring that the messaging and campaign creative match what you know about them – if they’re an avid snowboarder, use imagery in your email that features winter sports – don’t focus on an image of a boat!
6) Use Predictive Analysis
By focusing mainly on advanced data analysis, predictive modeling and automated segmentation, marketers can easily identify customer behaviors such as which messages are opened (or not), how often they click through to read more and even how much time it takes them to read through the entire message. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes accordingly.
7) Data-Driven Decision Making
No more guessing about what’s working and what’s not. By using analytics tools such as PromoterApp, marketers will be able to measure Overall Customer Satisfaction (OCS), predict referral behavior, and capture customer’s voice. This means you’ll know beyond the shadow of a doubt which nurturing messages are working best for each customer and which ones need to go back in the oven for further refinement.
8) Customer Journey
People don’t think about purchasing in terms of a linear journey; the customer experience is decentralizing into many different paths. Your nurturing program needs to be able to push and pull relevant messages as well as discover their interests, pain points, and behaviors accordingly. This means that your customers will receive content at relevant stages throughout the decision process based on events, actions they’ve taken previously, signals from their social graph, and recent purchases. It also requires marketers to have insight into what’s happening across all channels including email, social media, mobile devices, etc.
You can’t truly understand how your nurturing program is impacting revenue if you’re not capturing the right data – install tracking tags across all marketing channels so you can measure OCS, lead quality, and revenue impact.
Don’t let your nurturing program fall through the cracks – tie it into your campaigns so that you’re always able to see how each customer is progressing based on what messages are sent to them over time. This will allow you to uncover any gaps in the funnel, better assess what’s working and adjust messaging accordingly… Marketers have long understood the value of customer relationships – nurturing helps us understand how well we’re building those relationships based on actual interactions across multiple channels, but it takes more than just sending emails or tweets at random intervals hoping for a response. Nurturing should be implemented in support of a campaign; don’t launch an email initiative without thinking about it.