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Sample Automated Marketing Programs – part 3

We’re working our way through a series of blog posts that outline some example automated programs for use with any marketing automation platform.  Our first to sample programs covered nurturing new clients and nurturing subscribers into leads.  Today, we’ll take a look at your leads and nurture the researchers into evaluators.

Before diving into this program, you should be familiar with the stages of the buying cycle and how your content relates to those stages, as I will be using terms such as “researcher” and “evaluator” throughout this article, based on this understanding of the buying cycle and your content.

Program 3: Nurture Researchers into Evaluators

This program takes leads that are on your website reading researcher content and presents them with additional content on the same subject matter that is geared towards evaluators.  The goal here is that we encourage those who are researching a certain topic to start digging a little deeper and begin evaluating your firm for providing a product or service related to that topic.

Step 1: You will first need to identify who your researchers are.  You can do this based on lead score.  If you are assigning 15 points for viewing evaluator-stage content, then you could just pull a list of everyone with a lead score below 15.  This may not be accurate, however, because you could have researchers that have clicked on several messages and maybe registered for a webinar, pushing their score over 15, even though they haven’t accessed any evaluator-stage content.

What you could do, instead, would be to build a list or segment of your leads of everyone who has signed up for content but has not yet visited any of your evaluator stage content.  This relies on you to have a good content inventory and know what content on your site is geared towards the various stages of the buying cycle.

Once this list or segment is set up, it will serve as the source list for this program.  These are your researchers.  They have shown some interest and are leads in your system, but they have yet to access any of your evaluator level content.  They’re consuming a lot of the more educational researcher-stage content.

Step 2: You will likely want to start the automated program with a wait step.  As soon as a lead signs up for your email list, it is unlikely they have had a chance to access any evaluator content yet, so we want to give them some time to do it on their own before we start bombarding them with email.  The amount of time is up to you and is dependent on your business and the normal length of the sales cycle.

Step 3: Once the lead has signed up for your email list and has had sufficient time to explore your website, and you have confirmed that they have still not yet accessed any evaluator content, check and see if they have been accessing content in a certain topic or around a certain product offering.  If not, continue checking the other various product offerings or topics until you identify an area where they have been accessing content.  If they’ve signed up for your email list, then it is assumed that they are clicking through and accessing some content on occasion.

If, after checking each of the different topics or product offerings, you find that they have not viewed content in any of these areas you can either wait a little longer and check again or move them to a “cold lead” list.

Step 4: Once you identify a topic or product offering that the lead has shown interest in, you can then send an email with a piece of content that is related to that topic but is targeted towards evaluators.  This can be a case study showcasing how your product/service helped with this topic, or maybe a comparison that highlights how your product or service can lead to success in this topic.  Whatever it is, it should be a piece of content that would be enticing for someone who is evaluating the possibility of hiring or purchasing from you, but not as intriguing for someone who is still just researching.

Step 5: Give them a few days to receive the email offer and click through.  Then check to see if they accessed the content that you sent.  If so, this is a good indication that they are an evaluator.  You can then notify your sales person, set up a task in your CRM, or simply move them onto a new list for evaluators.  

If they did not access this content, then you could update their lead status to “researcher,” and exit the program, or move them to a new list where you could continue nurturing these leads.

At this point, you should have a program that cycles through the various topics, identifies what the lead is interested in, and sends them a link to additional content on that topic that is targeted towards evaluators.  If they are evaluators, you are ready to send them to your sales team, and if not, they should remain in your database for continued nurturing.

Here is what this program could look like in Act-On:

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