Marketing automation is a frequent buzzword in today's marketing landscape, but it may be one of the more complex subjects to describe, much less implement and execute. It may seem simple on the surface, but digging deeper into the concept reveals how intricate it can be.
On the back of our Marketing Automation 101 article posted late last year, we'll dive a bit into how to set your strategy for success with marketing automation, particularly things to consider in setting up nurture campaigns to maximize your marketing effectiveness and hit your sales goals.
Getting started with nurture campaigns
Nurture campaigns are an aspect of marketing automation consisting of a series of automated workflows aimed at providing new and interesting content to leads to move them through the conversion funnel. Say you've just released a new whitepaper and a new contact to your database downloads this whitepaper. After an initial conversation with this contact, you realize that they are still researching their options and not ready to buy, so what do you do? Starting them on a nurture campaign allows you to send tailored content periodically, learn more about their interests and helps to determine their buying interest - hopefully converting to a sale.
When you create these campaigns, the main goal should be to provide exciting content centered around the main interest area of your contacts. Be it industry specific content, product or service specific content, or general information on your company, you should be mixing up what you send - blog posts, videos, case studies, event invites etc. - to learn what they engage with most and push them through the funnel. These campaigns can take many forms and there is no exact science on the number of email touches, frequency of communication, or longevity of the campaign. It all depends on what works for your business, so make sure you test and adjust as needed.
Segmentation to help you succeed
One way to help set yourself up for success is to segment your contacts prior to kicking off nurture campaigns. Segmentation in regards to marketing is grouping customers or prospects by characteristics and behaviors to target their needs more effectively. This means creating customer or prospect profiles based on things like demographics, interactions with your content, and other factors to personalize the information and content you send them.
Your database of contacts likely contains a mix of people who are farther along the buying cycle, people who are still researching, and people who probably won’t purchase, so it’s not possible to create broad messages that will somehow appeal to all of those types of people. Segmentation allows you to hone in on smaller, like-minded groups of people so you can differentiate your marketing and match your content with the likes and expectations of different groups in your database.
Look out for the second installment of this series walking through the actual set-up of workflows for nurture campaigns and tips, tricks, and things to look out for in doing so.
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