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Timeframes are less valuable here than sample sizes. If running 1000 contacts through a stream quarterly vs 100,000 for example, the quality of the data you can understand from it is vastly different. The cadence of sends also plays into this. To me it is really important to understand the sample size before evaluation but the data **** in me likes to check on the data all of the time and usually way more often than quarterly.
There definitely needs to be a lock down period to gain the sample size, but that doesn't mean you need the leads to make it all the way through the stream. You can examine each performance and make adjustments. Just keep a record of changes. You can then revert back if you were having more success previously.
What changes is based on what the data is telling me. For instance if you have a terrible open rate, then you need a better subject line. If you have a great open rate, and a terrible click through percentage, then the subject line and content don't align. Perhaps the subject line oversold the content and you need to beef up the content. Lot's of things go into it and it will always be a continuous evolution.
great points Chris, and yes good point about the sample size, i'll take that into consideration
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Some other points to consider are the following:
- When you launched your first nurture stream, how robust was your data? If you launched your stream and worked to do some data appending to your database with the goal of building segmentations, then this may present an opportunity to revisit your engagement program structure.
- Also, how are you delivering the content? Are you sending content through the streams that is also utilized in other channels? If so, I'd recommend you look into utilizing content programs within the engagement programs. This helps manage the delivery of content to engagement stream members, who may have already downloaded the asset in another channel. It also provides visibility into the overall engagement of different asset types.
- I'd also recommend that you look at layering your nurture strategy over your revenue model (if you have one built out). This helps visually explain how you are utilizing engagement programs to help nurture leads through your sales process. You may see that your current strategy is only addressing one area of your process and you have the need to build other stream/programs for additional stages.
Engagement programs are awesome, but to your point require some time to understand their impact. The points above are just some ideas to think about beyond email performance. I'd be happy to talk more!
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Here are my recommendations:
- Understand the existing performance of your nurture based on your original objective. Is it performing well?
- Analyse the performance of the existing emails. Is there anything that you need to optimise?
- Spend time understanding the customer journeys of leads who are converting and identify if there is more relevant content that you could add to your nurture.
One key thing is that nurtures should not be a 'set and forget' thing. They require analysis and optimisation. It is worth scheduling this activity in our busy calendars.