Launching a successful lead nurturing campaign can seem like an intimidating task. These campaigns often have many moving parts and usually require participation and sign-off from different teams and/or members of management. Unforeseen roadblocks in your data, process or automation platform can result in the scope of the project shifting dramatically or growing out of control. So, if you’re just getting started with a new project or are revamping your current campaign process, make sure your team is set up for success by checking off these 7 points before hitting the start button.
1. Design your database to fit (and fuel) your strategy
Put your database to work and add as many custom fields as you need. Custom fields are critical for segmentation as they allow you to zero in on specific target lists and deliver truly personalized experiences and communications. These fields will also help you report out and gather insights at a much more granular level during or after the campaign. Examples of custom fields may include site behavior/engagement items like site visits (lifetime/last 30 days, etc.), app opens, newsletter signup dates, content downloads, etc. They can (see: should) also include more specific and personal items relevant to your business and your customers’/consumers’ lives. Some examples:
- A retail business might want to think about collecting info such as favorite brand, shoe size and color preferences
- An automotive business would want to know what kind of car their customer drives, and if they prefer to pay for oil changes or do that themselves
- And a technology company would want to know when prospects may be looking to evaluate a new solution (within the next 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?) and what solutions those prospects are using today.
Depending on your technology choices, the task of setting up custom fields might require development work outside of marketing or sales, so it is important to understand the scope of your project. Define the exact work needed and ask for timelines if you require assistance from a developer or CRM admin.
Pro Tip: If your CRM system allows for descriptions for each field – use them! If not, keep a running library in an excel document of what each field’s name is, what data it’s capturing and storing, the data type, if any behavior will update the field and any special notes like which automation it triggers or influences.
2. Have a visual campaign flow
This recommendation might seem subjective or optional at first, but having colors and shapes that correspond with the decisions and actions in your campaign flow are important. This is how the human brain recognizes and processes information best. A visual builder will help you create more easily and logically, and it will make your campaigns more digestible for other team members.
Additionally, your campaign builder should be editable and adaptable to accommodate updates after its been launched. For example, if a new whitepaper or webinar recording becomes available and you want to incorporate it into a campaign, you’ll want to be able to quickly and easily make edits without causing delays or having to create a new campaign from scratch.
Pro Tip: Open your plans up, and invite more team members to offer feedback about possible improvements. New perspectives from around your organization (and even outside of it) can help you find new triggers and paths to success. And when your campaigns are mapped out visually, getting someone new up to speed is painless and they can begin contributing immediately.
3. Get personal
If building a lasting 1:1 relationship with contacts is your ultimate goal, then personalization is your most charming weapon. Having a marketing automation platform that allows you to speak with your audience on the level they expect is very powerful. This means being able to identify any piece of valuable contact data and display it where appropriate throughout the customer journey. But, truth be told, at this point, personalized greetings (“Hello [First Name]”) and field displays (“I see you are [position] at [company]”) are table stakes.
Expectations have been elevated. Today, impactful personalization means delivering communications through the channels your contacts prefer. It means presenting content in the format that they prefer. It means recognizing when you have content or an offer that matches up with a contact’s persona, a specific field value or recent engagement history (from anywhere across your organization), and optimizing that contact’s experience in real time, or at the very least, realigning/coordinating the best next communication. Ultimately, your leads are giving you personal data every time they interact – make sure your system is able to take advantage of it!
Pro tip: Date and time fields are incredibly valuable pieces of personal information for sales teams. Make sure your team is paying attention to exactly when their leads are interacting. Did a lead visit the website immediately after a webinar? They must have liked what they heard – prioritize following up ASAP to catch them while your brand and product are top-of-mind. Notice a lead downloaded an e-book over the weekend? Make them the first call Monday morning to ask about their interest. A good marketing automation platform will not only see all of this, they will allow you to set up internal notification triggers to exactly the right team or person responsible for taking action (and you can even automate that best next action).