17 Things you should know before launching a Nurture Program - Quick Checklist

Blog Post created by b81ae4ecc4103111742f9d1faae780d3c817d739 Expert on Apr 4, 2017

Before launching a nurture, you need to have the answers for combination of business and Marketo technical questions.  This is a list of questions that will help you to prepare, launch and monitor your nurture.

If you take the time to find an answer to this questions with your team, the planning and launching of your nurture should be easier and faster. From my experience, it is always easier to go through your checklist. There are so many elements involved in a successful nurture that it is so easy to forget some of the key elements.


1. What is the objective of your nurture?


Having a clear objective of your nurture will assist you with many other decisions that you will have to make when you build the content and you set this up.  Some examples are the Calls to Action that you would be using, cadence, tone of your content.


Different nurtures have different objectives.  Some examples that I have seen are:


- Nurture to handle objections (based on a sales rep conversation)

- Nurture to educate your prospects about the benefits of your product


2. What is the path that you would like your audience to follow?


When I start my nurtures I have a clear path that I would like my audience to follow, for example:

I would like to share content that provokes curiosity and therefore my lead wants to talk to one of my reps to know more about my product.

It could be booking an appointment for a demo for example.


3. What is the CTA that you would like to have? Is this CTA aligned to your goals?


When it comes to CTAs you have to watch that your CTAs are inspiring enough but also aligned to your goals.  You might have CTAs in your emails and also in your landing pages so make sure you have given some thought to what you would like to achieve but also keep in mind that the goal of nurturing is exactly that 'nurture' and that means giving away good quality content.  So not all your CTAs should be book an appointment now, you might want your audience to read a bit more about you or watch an inspiring video that will trigger that curiosity.


4. How many pieces of content will be included on your nurture?


Well, Marketo really makes it clear, you should page attention to your exhausted content, so from the platform perspective you should have enough content to continue that relationship with your audience.  The reality is that your strategy might be to nurture for a limited period of time.  If that is the case, you need to define how that journey will look like and define how many pieces of content you should be including.


5. Should all the pieces of content be included as part of the nurture?


While you identify the pieces of content that you would like to push out, there might be some content that you would not like to include as part of a nurture program.  I had one scenario with a Non for Profit Organisation that wanted to add "Asks" based on current news of the day.  Due to the nature of nurtures, this was not really possible, so that type of content is pushed from an email program or newsletter.  This is to show that sometimes, not all your awesome content would be part of a nurture.


6. What are the assets that you need to support your nurture?


I have seen so many nurture programs in progress that never get launched because there is no proper planning for the assets required.  Your assets could be content, images, discount codes, landing pages, PDFs.  Make sure that you have a list of what you need and if some of these assets are hard to find or build you can start your plan with what you already have.


7. How often would you like to send your emails?


What Marketo calls 'cadence' when it comes to Nurtures, is the day, time and frequency when your emails will be going out.  Is this weekly, monthly, night time, day time.  It is ideal that you do some research to define what suits best to your audience and it is part of your Engagement Program Plan.


8. What would be the best time to send your emails out?


What time is best for your audience?  Are you in a B2B or B2C environment? Where in the world is your audience?  Most likely, your audience will behave differently depending on age, gender, occupation, etc.  I recently attended a focus group for mothers and they mentioned that they are more likely to read emails when they are waiting for their children to do swimming lessons, karate or things like that.  So you would need to invest some time trying to understand your audience and what has performed best in the past for your organisation.


9. How would leads qualify to enter into your nurture?


This point is a bit technical since it is about the rules that you will set up in Marketo but realistically it depends on a business strategy.  Who do you want to receive these series of emails?  Once you define this in the business space, you should be able to set this up in your program.


10. Would you like to stop your leads from being nurtured? If so, what would be the criteria?


You need to invest time considering the different scenarios.  Would you like to stop your leads from being nurtured once sales is talking to them, or is it when they are showing other behaviours?  Would you stop them if they become customers and move them into a different pathway?  It is worth considering all your options and even defining how a sales rep could define the nurtures that they are going to or where they are going to be stopped from.  I have received emails from sales reps requesting to stop some of their leads from being nurtured, so consider the scenarios that might be possible for you and that would serve best the objective of your Nurture.


11. Are you using different streams?  What would be the qualification rules to move from one stream to the other?


If you are going into more complex nurtures that will contain multiple streams you have to be prepared.  You need to have your content ready and your rules defined.  A good way to start if you have content limitations is complete one full nurture stream and then concentrate on Stream 2.


12. How are you planning to share this information with your sales team?  Who else needs to be informed?


It is really important that you inform the Marketing and Sales teams. They need the information of what is going out there on your nurtures.  You might also need to consider other teams such as customer service or reception since they might receive calls where your prospects or customers ask for more information included in your emails.  I normally prepare information packs that I pass on to the sales teams before launching.  If you use Salesforce, consider the naming convention that you are using in your Campaign History or Marketo Sales Insights.


13. Are you using a template that can be easily updated?


Consider email nurtures as along time investment, you really want to see how your series of emails have performed for a long period of time. So make sure that you can improve the template if needed instead of changing the entire email.  This could have an impact on your reporting.


14. What are the reports that are relevant for your nurture?


Reporting is crucial and I have seen so many times that reporting is the piece that we never have time for.  So make sure you have your reports ready before you press the buttons.


15. Who is responsible for monitoring the results of your nurture and making decisions?


It is important to assign responsibilities and check the results.  You don't want to find out a few months or years later that something was going wrong with your nurture and nobody noticed.


16. Where would you share the documentation of your nurture program?


Document, document, document.  You don't want to come a few weeks later thinking.  I don't remember why I did this or if someone else joins the company later they would not know the context that you have now.


17. When would you review the results of your nurture?


You need to review your nurture and see if it has been successful. This closes the loop, it comes back to your point number #1.  Defining the objective of your Engagement Program.