You don't need a lead lifecycle to do nurturing. Have you thought of some already?
I can't find the link now, but there are many good posts on this at Marketo and LeadLizard:
- wake from the dead - find inactive and welcome back
- product oriented if you know what they are interested in
- generic three stage nurture - Early, Mid, Late
3 of 3 people found this helpful
I like to structure nurture (pre-opportunity nurture, at least), based on buying stage. Starting with a Discovery Track engagement program to accrue some more information about your prospects via watching their activity, page visits, email clicks, etc. This is a very demand generation and content marketing approach, less product marketing to start.
Each engagement program being run through buyer stages (more detail on buyer stage scoring here):
- Awareness – Buyers begin in the awareness stage by simply recognizing a problem: “Something is wrong with our marketing.”
- Research – The buyer is researching all possible options for solving her problem: “I am aware that my marketing is flawed; now what can do about it?”
- Consideration – The buyer is considering purchasing solutions to address her problem. “Okay, I know that I need marketing automation, a content matrix, or [xyz]. Am I going to do it in-house? Am I going to do it through an agency? Am I going to do it through a consulting firm?”
So when a prospect is in Awareness, your goal is to slowly logic the person into the point of being researching possible solutions and more deeply understand the problem. Then when someone is in Research, you start to finally layer in more of the product marketing content (Consideration content), and prove out your solution as the best solution to their problems. That'll naturally guide people along the process and is useful for prototypical B2B companies with few prospects, long sales cycles, and large opportunity dollar size. You can watch my recording on this via my recorded talk at Marketo Summit 2014: How to Take Intelligent Lead Nurturing to the Next Level.
Nurture I usually start with, depending on your business context, products, sales/marketing team structure, etc.:
- Pre-Opportunity Nurture, starting with one Discovery Track and then growing into pain-point/product-specific tracks, and then segmenting into buyer personas after that. This is the diagram above. Metric: % of individuals who progress to MQL+ or start a trial.
- Trial-to-Buy Nurture, assuming you have a freemium model. This is more of free-trial on-boarding, with the goal of getting people in free-trial to move to purchasing. Metric: % of individuals who upgrade from free trial.
- Up-Sell/Cross-Sell Nurture (Optional), assuming your product has volume and this makes sense for your business. This can be things like customer on-boarding, but then move to "learn more about our auxiliary products" kinds of things. Metric: % of individuals who gain more opportunities OR % of individuals retained/renewed if that's applicable to your business model.
When you're launching nurture for the first time and you have leads in the database who haven't received marketing emails for a while, start with a reactivation email campaign. It's nice to have this contextual based on a big launch, so it doesn't just seem like you've internally just decided on a whim to do more marketing. Useful to launch a nice valuable new asset in this email. Depending on your database size and approach to marketing, you can either: (1) have the reactivation email campaign introduce the new marketing and opt all the appropriate leads into the new nurture program or (2) have a big button on your reactivation email with a CTA to have people choose to be in your new email nurture. If you're greedy for email recipients, you can opt everyone in. If you're more high-touch, you can just assume that your conversion rate of existing database prospects opting in will be something like 5-15% (depending on how healthy your DB is in the first place).
Even if you don't have perfectly established revenue model as a success metric (aka, Lifecycle Status changing to MQL, SAL, SQL, etc.), you should still put in a metric for success regardless. An easy way to do this for pre-opportunity nurture is a proxy like: activity logged, converted to contact, changed lead owner to x, attached to opportunity, opportunity stage changed to closed/won.