[Flowchart] How to Develop an Event-Based Lead Nurturing Email Marketing Program
Lead nurturing programs allow you to move customers along the buyer’s journey by educating, entertaining and anticipating the buyer’s needs.
Event-based lead nurturing creates a real-time approach to connecting with prospects, by sending information and taking action based on a lead’s activity (event) on your website. How do you build a program like this?
What You’ll Need:
- Marketing Automation Platform With Workflows: To ensure that you are able to build workflows based on events or website activity, you will need to have a marketing automation platform that has workflows. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, but whatever you do, just make sure it has the features to create workflows based on actions.
- Website Tracking: Most marketing automation platforms also come with website tracking to allow you to track what happens on your website. Although technically, you don’t need website tracking when creating event workflows, website tracking helps you create a more robust lead nurturing process. With website tracking you can gain insights on other web activities that your leads partake in that do not follow your workflow trajectory. For instance, you could have an event workflow setup that says each time someone visits a page (link) it should set off a series of activities. However, if the prospect strays away and does other things on your website that you didn’t anticipate ahead of time, without website tracking, you may not be privileged to this information.
How To Create Your Event-Based Lead Nurturing Plan
Identify all conversion pages:
Create a list of pages that you think your target audience who are seriously considering your solution, product or service might visit to convert. Examples of web pages that usually show a visitor’s intent to learn more include:
- Pricing pages
- Demo pages
- Adding items to shopping carts (ecommerce websites)
- Contact pages
- Ebook landing pages
Determine the form of action that you want the person to take
The goal of lead nurturing is to guide and move prospects along the buying cycle with the aim of helping them make the decision to purchase from you. Usually, the prospects that are nurtured using an event-based lead nurturing strategy may not have taken the form of action that you wanted them to. For example, someone visits your pricing page but fails to sign up or ask for a price quote.
Create Automated Emails and Tasks
Now that you have determined the pages that you want your event to based on, it’s time to create a list of automated emails and tasks to get your lead to where you want them to be. Before creating if/then scenarios for your workflow, firstly create a list of all your call to actions for each page taking into account that, buyers maybe at different stages of the buying cycle. Even though someone may look at your pricing page, the visitor could still be at the awareness stage of the buying cycle and still require some education.
Create Messages that answer the Prospects questions
There are a plethora of reasons why prospects might decide not to follow the conversion path that you create. Examples or reasons include:
- Not finding your content compelling enough to take the next action
- Getting distracted because someone sent them a cat video (ok, maybe not a cat video, but sometimes we intend to do something but don’t)
- Inability to quantify the ROI for buying your solution
In my previous example about the pricing page, you could send an email with a detailed explanation about the pricing options available as your first email and ask for a follow up phone call to work with the leads budget if you have discounts available. In this case, leads that are the awareness stage may shy away from meeting with you, but you may also get your leads at the decision stages to take the forms of action that you want them to.
Trending: 2015 B2B Email Marketing Trends
What The Workflow looks like
Now that you have your ideas built out, the next stage is to actually build the event-based workflow. When building workflows you have to think about all possible outcomes for a proposed action. For emails, here are your possible outcomes:
- Lead doesn’t get email delivered
- Lead gets email delivered but does not open it
- Lead opens the email but does not click the link
- Lead opens the email clicks the link but does not respond to your call to action
- Lead opens the email, clicks the link and responds to your call to action (best case scenario)
Having all these outcomes laid out is necessary because every prospect has his/her own unique journey.
Here is a sample event based workflow based on the pricing page example used throughout this post.
In order for event nurturing to work, you will need to have at least the email address of the prospect already in your database. Newsletter subscriptions can be used to gain this information.
When using an automation platform that doesn’t offer website tracking, you can only track actions based on links to pages that you specify. If your prospect deviates from your chosen path, you may not have access to the intelligence to be able to create real-time tweaks to your event nurturing campaigns.