Tuesday, December 22, 2009

5 Mistakes B2B Marketers Need to Avoid in 2010

2009 has been a long year but as I reflect back on my many conversations, I've created a top 5 list of items to avoid in 2010:

1. Not having a defined social media strategy

sugar pour You would be surprised by the number of companies that say “yeah, social media is important but it’s not important to us at the moment”. In 2010 you will not have a choice but to make social media part of your overall marketing strategy. If you’re company is just breaking ground in this area, at the very least make a commitment to listen to what people are saying about you. For example, check out http://addictomatic.com/ and search for your company name. Most likely, you are being mentioned. Now search for your competitors. This may be enough of an impetuous to get moving on a reactive social media strategy such as “monitor what is being said about you and respond where needed to protect our brand”.

Addictomatic is a free tool that will get you started down this path. You may want to look at some of the paid services out there such as Radian6 or Vocus. Once you have this down, you can then start working on a proactive strategy and determine what it will take in your organization to make this possible. If you’re having trouble with this concept, skip down to #4.

2. Not sending relevant and timely messages

2009-12-22_0215 If you continue to only send email blasts on a schedule that you dictate to your email subscribers, you risk massive list attrition, damaging your overall email deliverability and a loss of sales and sales opportunities. The key to sending relevant communication is to automate the process. This may mean creating a lead nurturing program for new inquires on your website or using dynamic content in emails that presents a more relevant message. This concept needs to be at the forefront of your planning in 2010. If you have an automated program in place, look at ways that it can be adjusted to get an even higher response.

3. Not having an accurate picture of your database

BadData Did you have an email campaign this year that received a lower than expected response and blamed the creative or the offer on the poor results? It may well have had to do with these items but did you consider looking at the state of your list and/or database? I highly recommend that you query your database to understand how "active" your contacts are. You need to understand the true state of your database so you can make decisions on what you need to do in 2010 to achieve your goals. Knowing how many contacts in your database have bounced and unsubscribed is no longer enough - you need to understand how much "dead wood" you're carrying around.

In addition, your data may need a "face lift" or a complete makeover as it's either inaccurate or out of date. Consider using data tools that are included in your marketing automation system to clean up your data. You can also look at services like Fresh Address (http://biz.freshaddress.com/) that can clean up your email addresses or providers such as ReachForce or MarketOne that can generate leads based on your specific needs.

4. Not taking advantage of your online community

knowing-is-half-the-battle-300x282 As a marketer, there are thousands of online resources out there that you can take advantage of to improve your marketing skills. You can even get a marketing degree from schools online. However, this is just “half the battle” (why am I having memories of GI Joe cartoons from the 80s?). You need to engage other marketers to really learn and get the most out of the resources that are available and there are online communities that are waiting to be taken advantage of. Here are some things you can do today:
  • Search for a LinkedIn Group that interests you and join it. Participate in discussions or start a new one yourself. Not sure which group to join? See which groups your connections have joined or ask them directly.
  • Ask and answer questions on LinkedIn. You may see a theme here. There are a lot of experts in your area that are willing to help you so have a look at LinkedIn Answers. To begin, I recommend browsing the Marketing and Sales category and looking for a subcategory that interests you.

  • Join Twitter and look for a Twitter List that includes tweets about areas of marketing that interest you. To get started, use a tool like http://listorious.com/ that lists some of the top lists on Twitter. An easier idea is to look at the list of a tweeter that you admire and follow their list. Here is my Twitter list that I generated that I follow daily. Again, to really engage the community you need to ask questions and respond.
sodial-media-success This is just the tip of the iceberg. At my company, I’m an active participant in our customer only community. If you’re lucky to have such a community available to you, take advantage of it. Find out who the people that contribute the most and try and help them out if they need it. They will hopefully help you in return. You may want to look for them on LinkedIn or Twitter and follow some of my recommendations above. I’m a big advocate of Xobni that is a plugin for Outlook. It helps me easily add people to my Twitter and LinkedIn communities – check it out.

5. Not using best practices or acting on lessons learned from past campaigns

While this may be a given, you need to be continuously updating your skills to get the most out of your marketing campaigns. I highly recommend that you subscribe to resources such as the Marketing Insights blog, MarketingSherpa, MarketingExperiments, SiriusDecisions, ClickZ, and MarketingProfs to name just a few of the great resources that I use on a daily basis. This is on top of the number of great articles that my community of LinkedIn and Twitter provide me.

I also recommend testing your campaigns by using A/B and multivariate testing for emails and landing pages. What you may find is that you're going to be creating your own best practices based on what you found successful.

My last point is to accurately track your campaigns so you can easily see why certain campaigns were more successful that others in order to reproduce this success for future campaigns.

Of course, one of your biggest sources of best practices should be the vendors you work with. Part of my daily job is to work with marketers to help them improve their campaigns and make them successful. You too should have access to a live person that can meet with you regularly and that can provide you with advice on what you’re doing right and where you can improve. Make that a priority for 2010 if you can.

I hope you enjoyed these and please let me know if there are additional mistakes that you recommend avoiding in 2010. Happy Holidays from my family to yours!


Chad H
”You’re so 2000 and late” courtesy of zazzle.com
”The Battle” image courtesy of Patrick Hester's Blog
”Good Data, Bad Data” courtesy of CounterForce Blog
”Your community Profile” courtesy of www.socialdesire.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

B2B Marketing Trends From Eloqua Experience 09 Via Twitter

Earlier this month I left my newborn and poor wife at home for an unforgettable week at Eloqua Experience in San Francisco. This sold out event brought together some of smartest marketers from all over the world. While there were a few keynote speakers, the conference focused on having the Eloqua community share their experiences so we could all learn from each other.

The main difference this year from last year was that we not only shared our knowledge and insights with each other but with the power of Twitter, we could share these with the rest of the globe. This made the event even more exciting as tweeters could listen to speakers, engage other tweeters, tweet their experiences, and see what others were tweeting about all at the same time! To better understand, how Eloqua pulled this off, see: Social Media Buzz at a Live Event. The result was better than Eloqua could ever have expected. The content generated by the event attendees was almost as good as the content from the speakers themselves. Why? Because it’s real. It’s in the moment. What better way to get in the heads of those that attended than by reading their actual thoughts.

EE09_Eloqua_Experience_TwitterWhile I could write a number of blog posts on my own findings from this event, I decided to let Twitter write the post for me. Of course, I did sift through over 1,000 tweets for trends as well the most memorable tweets. The Eloqua product was much discussed at the event but I’ve excluded those tweets here as this post was focused on learnings for B2B marketers that goes beyond Eloqua. I hope you enjoy it and I encourage you to follow the Tweeters that I mention below. They are some of the best and brightest out there. And if you’re mad that I forgot a important moment or missed a cherished tweet of yours, add a comment at the bottom.

Social Media And B2B Marketing

Social media played such a major factor at this event. This post as an example, was written from the product of social media (Twitter). At Eloqua Experience, there was a focus on helping marketers better understand the different aspects of social media, how to better leverage social media, and why they need to leverage it. One of the memorable moments on Day #1 was at the social media training session when all of students needed to set up a Twitter account (if they didn’t have one) and tweet using the #EE09 hash tag. It actually caused Twitter to block the IP address at the hotel from accessing Twitter for a short period of time due to the amount of new Twitter accounts generated. Those at the event felt proud that they’re collective voice reverberated across the internet – powerful stuff!

David Meerman Scott was a fantastic speaker and adding all the golden nugget tweets from his presentation wouldn’t due it justice. I have added a few though.

Here is a small taste of what was discussed:

tracyekraft: Social Media Revolution http://bit.ly/1Q6I5R at Eloqua Experience learning how to be better w/social media. #ee09

EricHorton: Twitter just blocked the IP for the #ee09 Twitter training session. How will new users learn to reap the benefits from Twitter?

jocebrown: Social's big impact in B2B marketing will be in how you interact with customers and develop advocates and relationships - Laura Ramos #EE09

stevewoods: Thought leadership and credibility, NOT community size are main drivers of why ppl engage in online communities - @lauraramos at #EE09

chadhorenfeldt: Track social media engagement, not ROI @lauraramos #EE09

edthewebguy: #ee09 steve woods - if facebook was a country it would be the 4th most populous

rhonda: #EE09 It's not about controlling the message it's about getting information out there. @dmscott

Bpoz: @dmscott: lose your fear of social media and lose control of your marketing. #EE09

tillatorrens: New Rule by @dmscott - EARN attention by publishing your way in - via YouTube, blogs, etc #EE09

chadhorenfeldt: #EE09 @dmscott borrowed this from @yoda to describe new rules of marketing: u must unlearn what u have learned

The Marketing Organization

While many of my conversations are focused solely on technology, it’s the people and process that are the building blocks of a successful marketing organization. The tweets below focus mostly on the session held by Tony Jaros from SiriusDecisions and some additional tweets from the Omniture session who use much of what SiriusDecisions preaches. The marketing organizations that have the right people and are using the best practice strategies will have the most success. As an example, SiriusDecsions focused on the concept of what they called the Demand Center.

lauraramos: #EE09: Tony Jaros of Sirius Decisions talks about the gap in marketing skills, not the technology or relationship with sales.

lauraramos: #EE09: Now need 2 worry about how 2 facilitate demand through the entire waterfall. Don't sell yourself short by thinking it's anything less

lauraramos: #EE09: Best marketing organizaitons will see the biggest change at the bottom of the waterfall. Waterfall is center of all marketing.

jocebrown: Neither a white paper not a product is a campaign....you need to be solving a problem....cannot continue to be tactically focused #EE09

lauraramos: #EE09: Quality marketing talent must support a wide variety of disciplines. Silos must go. Marketing automation experience will be key.

jocebrown:Frightening number of B2B marketers self taugh with no budget for training according to Sirius....huge performance gap #EE09

lauraramos: #EE09: The Demand Center is a center of excellence for program creation but with advisory, technical, and execution around buyer's journey.

jocebrown: It's the people and process not the technology that is stalling sophisticated nurturing and scoring - Laura Ramos #EE09

lauraramos: #EE09: Omniture organization looks like: Audience Program Mgmt, Offer Development, Channel Execution, and Marketing Operations supports all.

lauraramos: #EE09: 1: Sales engagement means taking in sales language: what do we contribute to the pipeline, how many sales accepted oppty do you need?

paynejoe: Avg CMO tenure 22 mnths. BUT if the CMO has a demand generation or sales enablement background he/she is 2 times liklier to make 5yrs #ee09

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

This was definitely a hot topic and Eloqua was lucky to not only have speakers like Laura Ramos and Tony Jaros but also CMOs from its customer base. A theme across many of these discussions was the need for marketing to demonstrate its impact to the rest of the business. This doesn’t just mean the pipeline influenced from a lead nurturing program but also can mean the effectiveness of lead scoring to the sales team.

lauraramos: #EE09: all this [marketing] activity amounts to 18 to 30% of the pipe. Must look at influence in the waterfall, even if marketing doesn't source it.

lauraramos: #EE09: @siriusdecisions Marketers must measure the performance of demand creation, not of marketing.

SuaadSait: Benchmarking marketing statistics is NOT what matters, Baseline YOUR mktng data & set goals to grow as a commitment per @lauraramos #EE09

jocebrown: Nurturing value measured in pipeline velocity - Drew Clarke IBM #EE09

rhonda: #ee09 Drew Clark on measuring nurturing: what type & how many activities lead participates in, what their role is in opp & in account.

lauraramos: #EE09: Waterfall + database segementation shows Omni needed to acquire 150K more names to feel the model. Content choice: research survey.

lauraramos: #EE09: Omniture measures conversion across channel and pipeline. Lets them know where to invest marketing programs and why.

rhonda: @pteshima #EE09 ?'s CMOs ask: What initiatives drive ROI, how does sales & mktg funnel look, r my strategies working, how do I benchmark?

rhonda: #EE09 Scott Sheppard shares great ideas on rolling out lead scoring to your sales team: videos, distribute custom reports & driving adoption

Marketing Tactics

If you ask many marketers, one of the main reasons they came to Eloqua Experience was to pick up a few tips that they could take home with them and implement right away. This could mean learning how to clean your data so that it could be easy to segment off of or something simple as creating a control group that you send no marketing communication to and measuring how it fairs to the rest of the database. It’s very powerful when marketers themselves can share their results and let you know what is working and what isn’t.

jill_rowley: @lauraramos - content needs to be about me and my needs, not you and your products, your awards. #EE09 #Eloqua

JenPumpItUp: Session tip: How good is your lead scoring program? Only as good as your sales team buy-in. Make sure they're a part from the start. #EE09

rhonda: #EE09 marketers shld work w/ the sales team to help define a qualified lead for scoring... But DON'T ask them to help you prioritize assets!

rhonda: #EE09 Incorporate time frame into ur scoring model to ensure recency is reflected in the "value" of the lead.

rhonda: #EE09 Sales adoption of lead scoring is a paradigm shift-if rep reluctant, push adoption not just from top but via success of their peers.

lauraramos: #EE09: Omniture says realtime alerts increased contact ratios by to 100X and increased opportuntiies generated by 21X vs. no tools/process.

jfernandez: I love the idea of misspellings within automated e-mails from Sales Rep to add a touch of authenticity. Brilliant stuff, @Omniture. #EE09

Eloqua: Omniture: EVERY email must be personalized and relevant. #EE09

gclarkmt: Mikel Chertudi says Omniture only saw a 3% drop in conversions with their really long contact form versus a short form. #EE09

gregforrest: Omniture says do less programs and make them better - get more out of them. #ee09

tmcmullen: favorite idea of the day - create a control group when testing marketing campaigns/effectiveness #ee09

hallim: #EE09 data cleansing - tactics to support the overall strategy of demand generation and qualified leads into the sales pipline

chadhorenfeldt: http://twitpic.com/o5sq5 - Great Eloqua data quality dashboard in Eloqua by @gregforrest #EE09 #b2b #marketing

jill_rowley: Tony Jaros from SiriusDecisions says something like....Lead nurturing turns garbage into gold. #EE09 #Eloqua

Until Eloqua Experience 2010…

I hope you enjoyed some of these tweets as much as I did and if you were at Eloqua Experience, I hope these tweets bring back some good memories. To end this post, I want to highlight some of the true marketing rock stars that were at the event. These people were the finalists for the Markie awards. Here is Tweet from the Markie awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of the finalists:

stevewoods: Was a fantastic evening! Congrats all! RT @chadhorenfeldt: http://twitpic.com/o7l7g - The Eloqua Markies finalists #EE09

For more information on the winners, see: Winners of the 2009 Markie Awards where you can learn more about the categories, the winners and why they won.

Be sure to add comments on your favorite tweets or moments at EE09. Looking forward to Eloqua Experience 2010!

Chad H.


PS: For videos from the event and some of the sessions I mentioned above, check out the Eloqua YouTube Channel. For more pictures, Check out the Eloqua Fanpage on Facebook

PPS: I would like to thank every tweeter at the event – you made this post possible. Believe me, it was hard choosing who to include! I would especially like to thank @lauraramos, @jocebrown and @rhonda who I used extensively.

PPPS: I did mention that this post was not on the Eloqua technology but I did want to give a shout out to the Pedowitz Group and its Sweet Platform that captured all of the tweets from the event in Eloqua and made it possible for me to analyze them. Very nice add-on and a big thank you.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How To Build a Lead Nurturing Culture Part I

Are any of you out there new fathers? How about new parents? I’m still getting the hang of holding my 2 month old son while I check my emails or read a book. I’m getting much better at this juggling act and on some of those nights when he stays up I’ve been able to generate some blog post ideas – I just didn’t have the two hands needed to type until now. :) So here we are.

My biggest inspiration for this post was re-reading Jim Collins’ famous Good to Great. I remember reading it years ago and recalling how it guided some of my career choices as well my management style. It was time to give it another read to see if I could get another boost of inspiration. While I was distracted by reading about how great Fannie Mae and Circuit City were, you need to read past this to get the major points that Jim (if I can call you that Mr Collins) is trying to make.

Technology Does Not Create Momentum – It Accelerates It

Good to Great stresses that technology is not going to instantly transform a good company to a great company. There are many factors that are necessary before technology can really provide companies with the boost that they may have been expecting. In addition, some companies may not be able to fully utilize technology until they’ve put the proper building blocks in place.

There are many similarities between the concepts that Jim Collins discussed in his book and lead nurturing. Lead nurturing can mean many different things to may different people. In my definition for this post, I’m referring to a process that automatically delivers highly targeted emails to prospects or customers in a specific time frame via a marketing automation platform. There is no question that lead nurturing has been a proven tactic for B2B marketers. Aberdeen has reported that the Best-in-Class organizations are have doubled the bid-win-ratio on nurtured leads compared to their peers who have launched lead nurturing programs. Why are we seeing some companies exceed at lead nurturing over other similar companies? Why do we see other organizations that have the technology in place for automated lead nurturing under perform? Beyond the technology itself, what is needed is an organizational culture that will foster and, well, nurture the concept of lead nurturing. For this to happen, marketers are going to need to roll up their sleeves and get to work. I'm going to provide some pointers on how to get there.

Building a Lead Nurturing Culture

Executing a successful lead nurturing campaign is no different that executing traditional types of marketing campaigns. However, there are some key items that you need to focus on and like any marketing effort, proper planning up front and processes will make all the difference. They key here is creating the right frame of mind for your organization that will allow lead nurturing to succeed.

Here are the key items that you need to consider in building a lead nurturing culture:

  • Targeted, Engaging Content is King. Content is at the core of your lead nurturing efforts. It needs to be engaging and be targeted to your intended audience. You will need to push your organization to ensure you have the resources in place to create the necessary content for your lead nurturing efforts. This may mean sequestering experts from all over your company to help create this content or hiring content professionals.
    If you think that a “one size fits all approach” for your lead nurturing content will do, you will not achieve optimal results. If you think that product sales sheets are appropriate for lead nurturing, you will not achieve optimal results. If you’re not sure the type of content that should be included in lead nurturing campaigns, check out SavvyB2BMarketing’s post Need Content? 20 Formats to Consider. Remember that your prospective customer is being bombarded with hundreds of emails each day – how is your email going to appeal to them? Always keep this in mind.

    Whether you have content generated for your nurturing campaign or you discover that you already have the content you need from your previous marketing campaigns, you still need to align this content within your lead nurturing campaigns to match your prospects’ buying process. For more information on this topic, see The Buying Process; Auditing your Content Assets.
  • Focus on leads that are in the funnel. Rather than trying to continuously fill the top of the funnel, marketers need to create campaigns that will engage the contacts that are in your database but not yet ready to buy.

    Aberdeen’s research stated that only 16% of the total leads from the companies they studied are deemed as "sales opportunities" that will actually close. Therefore the remaining leads (84%) present a tremendous opportunity for your company. If you keep your company top of mind to these prospects, there is a greater chance that they will buy from you than your competitors. In addition, there is a significant savings in cost per opportunity by focusing on leads that have already expressed interest in your product or service.

    Using lead nurturing to target existing leads can not only keep these people “warm”, it can also be used to further qualify them which leads to our next point around sales and marketing alignment.

Building a lead nurturing culture will not happen in one day and either will this blog post (my son just started to cry). Stay tuned for the next post(s) where we’ll cover a common framework for sales and marketing, establishing standard marketing effectiveness metrics and benchmarks, creating focused segments and outlining the right skills marketers need for lead nurturing to thrive.

Remember, technology will only succeed if your organization has fostered the right environment for lead nurturing to succeed.

Chad H.

“King” image courtesy of seoibiza.com


Monday, September 14, 2009

Email Marketing Metrics You Should be Tracking

If you weren’t aware, Canada (Vancouver specifically) will be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. I was inspired to write this post by a group of brave Canadian ski jumpers that are have been denied permission to compete in the upcoming games. You may be saying – wait a minute, ski jumping is an Olympic event so what’s the problem? The “problem” is that these image athletes are women and the IOC has not sanctioned women’s ski jumping as an official event making it the only Winter Olympics activity that does not allow women to compete in. We’ll come back to this story – let’s focus back on email marketing.

Sometimes it’s What’s Missing That Counts

I was reading MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Email Marketing Benchmarking Guide looking for useful metrics and tips. I found some extremely interesting data that I will discuss in future posts but what interested me more was what I believe is missing based on what I discuss with my customers on a day to day basis. The goal of this post is not to criticize the great work by the MarketingSherpa folks but rather to provide feedback and start a discussion on the types of benchmarks that should be included in future reports – especially when we’re talking about b2b marketing.

Email Metrics That Need Benchmarks

Here is a list of the email metrics that I would like to see in future MarketingSherpa Email Benchmark reports:

  • Automated Email Metrics. I’m not referring to autoresponder emails but rather to campaigns that contain two or more automated emails. These emails should be sent using a marketing automation system like Eloqua. The goal is to demonstrate that key email metrics such as opens, click-throughs and conversions are much higher while unsubscribes are much lower using an automated program such as lead nurturing when compared to manual email sends (“one offs”). It would be very useful to B2B marketers to have benchmarks to track if their automated campaigns are trending upwards or downwards year after year.

    In addition, at a time when marketers need to do more with less, automated email campaigns allow marketers to reach many more recipients with a fraction of the effort. Therefore another metric may be the number of emails sent using automated campaigns and/or the number of programs executed. Considering that a recent Aberdeen Research report clearly demonstrated that best in class companies are finding lead nurturing successful, adding in these types of metrics should be a no-brainer.

    Once we start down this path we can create many different categories as there are a number of different types of automated campaigns such as re-engagement campaigns, renewal programs, trial programs, and welcome campaigns.

  • How Email Contributes Further Down the Sales/Marketing Funnel. A common theme in 2009 is that marketers need to prove the value of their marketing spend in even greater detail. Therefore email opens as an example is not good enough. What we need to see is metrics such as the number of marketing touches (including email) that lead to an opportunity and/or closed deal. This data needs to go beyond the communications that marketing is sending but should combine the efforts from marketing AND sales.

    I know that you're thinking this is not easy to do and I agree with you but today’s marketing automation systems track all of the “digital body language” associated to a customer or prospect and display this data in ROI reports. Campaign Analysis and ReportingIt’s this type of data that will allow marketers to decide which messages are working and which aren’t and to clearly demonstrate the value that marketing is contributing to the organization.

  • Database Accuracy Metrics. The cleaner your database, the better your marketing results will be – this is fairly obvious. However, do we really talk about this and benchmark this data enough so that marketers perceive this as a high priority? Marketers need to go beyond just generating new subscribers but also to ensure that they maximize the investment of these new contacts by ensuring that the profile for this contact is accurate and contains the necessary information for further segmentation. It’s been proven that contacts with accurate and complete information allow for better segmentation and personalization for email campaigns which increases response. I would like to see metrics that include the percentage completeness of contacts for key contact fields and the resulting email response metrics for campaigns that involve data that has been cleansed.

  • Multi-channel Metrics. The success of email marketing campaigns should no longer be looked at in isolation. In fact email marketing should no longer be looked at in isolation. Successful marketers are combining email with other channels such as SMS, direct mail, social media, tele-prospecting and recorded voice to maximize its effect.

    It would be very helpful to see which channels combined with email were the most successful in certain situations. For example, should B2B marketers combine email and SMS messages for event reminders or is email sufficient? Did a combined direct mail and email campaign really lift response for a new product launch or was email sufficient? Marketers are looking for benchmark data to help them make decisions on how to maximize their marketing dollars and these types of metrics could really help.

With that said, MarketingSherpa may already be compiling these metrics in other reports but I did not see them in the recent email benchmarking report and wanted to ensure that they’re aware of these key items. I would love to hear from you if you feel these items should be included in future reports and if there may be other metrics that may be missing. And oh yeah, go sign the petition over at http://www.wsj2010.com/ to allow these courageous ski jumpers to fulfill their dream of competing in the Olympics in an event that is an obvious omission.

Chad H
Follow me on Twitter: @chadhorenfeldt

PS: Become a fan of my new son Matthew on his Facebook fan page.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Tips on Using Twitter to Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Are you already tired of Twitter? Do you think it’s just a fad? Well think again because the popularity of Twitter is growing at an alarming rate.
I’m always trying to think about how marketers can better leverage the social media technologies that are out there and then share them with you. As you read these, you need to think about your end goals. Many of these may not be worth it to you and your company but they’re good to keep in mind.

I’ve already written a post on tips for using Twitter and email marketing but I wanted to take this to another level. This is not a post on the basics of Twitter. If you want some basic tips on Twitter, check out Twitter 101 or Hubspot’s How To guide. I was inspired by those bright people over at Radian6 who showed me some of the untapped potential of Twitter. This led me to research the ways that marketers are leveraging Twitter to improve their engagement with their target audiences. Most of these tips are dead simple so enjoy and use them well.

Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level With Twitter

  • Link to Your Twitter Testimonials. If you go to Radian6’s home page, they’ve included a banner that says “See what they are saying about us on Twitter”. imageWhat they’ve done is used the Twitter “favorite” feature to mark the posts where people have made positive comments about them and then featured this prominently on their home page as well as on confirmation pages. This is simple, yet brilliant. They’ve leveraged Twitter to show both Twitter and non-Twitter users what real people are saying about them. You could probably create an RSS feed from this URL as well and then display this content in real time on your blog or website.

  • Socializing Your Landing Pages. On his reside blog, Philip Nelson describes how Eloqua includes a number of Twitter links below the main call to action to continue the conversation via Twitter and other social media outlets and to leverage tools like Twitter to further promote your marketing materials. It also includes links to prominent Eloqua Tweeps that will help build your Twitter brand.


  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. If you’re looking to make your company seem more real to prospects and customers, Twitter is perfect for this. However, words can only say so much. If you’re at an event, have a cool employee get together or doing a live webinar, all you need to do to make your Twitter account come alive is a camera phone and a Twitpic account.

    Once you sign up at Twitpic, you’ll get an email address that you can email your pics to from your phone. The subject in your email is the message that will appear with a link to the pic. It’s that easy. Doing this in real time helps employees, customers and prospects feel like they are right there with you. Barefoot_exec provides an excellent example:

  • Change Your Twitter Home Page Pic. This idea literally jumped out at me when I went to Dunkin Donuts Twitter page.

    image Look at the size of that drink! You know that they’ll change the iced drink to hot chocolate come the fall. That is a good use of Twitter for your marketing efforts. Think about how you can time the changes to your pictures to promote events or product launches.

  • Combine the Power of Twitter and StumbleUpon. The new URL shortener Su.pr makes it easy to shorten and track long URLs but goes well beyond that. By using this service, you can point people to your blog posts and events and have readers further promote it by indicating to the StumbleUpon community that they like it. In addition, this service makes it easy to promote a page on both Twitter and Facebook at the same time as well as allowing you to schedule when the Tweet should be published if it’s specific to an event or if you want to Tweet and have a life.

  • Direct the Conversation #1 Using Hashtags. People are going to start talking about you on Twitter and you have little control over this conversation. However, there are a few tricks and tools you can use to direct the Twitter stream. For example, if you have an event, promotion, theme etc… create a hashtag for it (what is a hashtag?). Here is a great example of how Dunkin Donuts created a contest and used a hashtag to focus the conversation and engage its customers. To win a prize, their Twitter followers had to write about a bold moment in their lives. By using the hashtag, #FrznCapp, tweeps could monitor the conversation using the Twitter search tool:

    In a recent webinar, Marketing Experiments had a great idea of including a slide at the beginning of the presentation that included the Twitter hashtag for the webinar and provided two ways to monitor and contribute to the presentation: Using Tweetchat.com or Search.twitter.com. To take this further, include the hashtag in the event invites and reminders on your emails, landing pages, tweets and your other marketing channels.
  • Direct the Conversation #2 Using Unique Twitter Accounts. With my wife in the final stages of her pregnancy we’re seeing a lot of movies (while we still can). At the end of a preview its typical to see a URL for the movie site. I was a bit dumb founded when I saw “Follow us on Twitter”. Movies are jumping into the Twittersphere – check out: http://twitter.com/JulieandJulia

    image Think about an upcoming event or a new product release – would it make sense to create a unique Twitter account? There are many possibilities here but you need to think about how you would support that Twitter account.

  • Tracking Twitter as a Source of Web Traffic. Make sure that you can clearly track the source of traffic to your website from Twitter. This goes beyond tracking Twitter at the aggregate level. When someone fills out a form or purchases a product, you should be able to trace this back to the link you tweeted about. This can be done in a few ways. We typically use query strings to track other channels as well as paid search and banner ads.

  • Forcing User to Promote You on Twitter. This is something that will definitely not work for everyone but I thought it was unique. When I “upgraded” to the new HooteSuite Twitter platform, it forced me to tweet about why I liked HooteSuite before I could complete the upgrade process.

  • Creating Surveys for Twitter Followers. Use a tool like PollDaddy to engage your Twitter followers. You can use this information for a future campaign and share the results with your followers. This of course assumes that you have developed a strong following. Don’t be afraid to tweet about the survey more than once. Some of your followers may not have seen your tweet the first time.

  • Cross Promote Across Your Social Media Sites. This tip may be obvious but it’s certainly not done enough. Don’t look at your social media sites in silos. If there is a good conversation going on in your LinkedIn group, direct tweeps to it. If you’ve posted a bunch of pictures on your Facebook fan page or videos on your YouTube page, use Twitter to promote it.

    The opposite works as well. Use your blog to promote an offer that is exclusively through Twitter. Twitter can also be used to direct customers to content and/or discussions in a customer only portal. Just ensure you warn your followers as you don’t want to alienate those that can’t access the content. The possibilities here are endless but it’s time to start to brainstorm on how to leverage all of your social media channels to get the most out of them that will achieve your marketing goals.
I hope this post gave you some new ideas. Please let me know if you have any others.

Chad H


Monday, June 29, 2009

Top Automated Marketing Personalization Tactics

There is a lot of talk these days that personalization is back in marketing but what does that really mean and what are some of the tactics you can use?

This is important: Besides all of the technology out there that can make this process easier, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to create engaging experiences for your customers and potential customers so that they will respond and ultimately purchase your products and services.

A personalized approach facilitates this process. It allows you to make people feel special by providing timely communication that is more like a dialogue than a one way conversation. The trick is to create this type of personalized experience that will drive sales but to make it easy for marketing to execute and not break the marketing budget bank.

I've listed the top tactics that I typically discuss in my day to day client meetings. Together, these make up a personalization playbook that you may want to keep in mind when you plan and execute your future campaign:

  • Email / direct mail merge fields: This is the bottom of the pyramid in terms of personalization. Adding someone’s “first name” to an email is the least that you can do these days. While it may seem obvious, don’t overlook it as it’s more important in conjunction with the other tactics I've listed below.

  • Personalized URLS (PURLS): I like to think of PURLS like those place cards at weddings that have your name on it and tell you where you’re sitting. It’s like an exclusive invitation that is also very practical. It’s saying “Yes, you belong here – now go sit down at table 10”. What do you do? You go find your table! PURLs act in the same way as they have your name as part of the URL and they take you to what you feel is an exclusive website designed just for you. We've found that people have responded better to offers that contain a personalized URL (such as www.fun.com/yourname). With the right technology, this is also very easy to do.

  • Form pre-population: When you've strike up a conversation with someone you've just met at a party, do you keep asking them what their name is every two minutes? NO! They would feel that you weren't listening to them and move on. It’s not that much different in the world of marketing. We want to feel that when I’m engaging with you that I’m at a place where “everyone knows your name” (now you know why I included the video on Norm). If you've already collected information from someone, avoid asking for it again at all costs. You should make the customer feel that you are carrying on a conversation from where it left off last time – not starting all over again.

  • Email / direct mail sender personalization: Notice how this is getting more difficult as we move down the list? When you send a post card to your family from your trip to Spain (I really want to go back to Spain but can’t with a baby on the way) do you sign it “Yours Truly, the marketing team”? NO! If there is someone in your organization that has a direct relationship with the intended recipient, send it from them.

    For B2B companies, have communications sent from sales reps or Account Managers if a relationship has been established. A recent Aberdeen Research report has proven that this technique can dramatically boost response rates. In B2C, this is more difficult but there may be opportunities to explore. For example, some sports teams can experiment having communications personalized from their players.

    Yes this method requires additional effort and yes it does mean that your data needs to be in order for it to work but it’s a proven method that brings your company closer to your prospects and customers. When sales reps call into prospects and they're not seen as strangers, there is a higher chance that they can make traction. This is especially the case if your prospect has already received an email from your company with a thought-leadership piece that was based on their interests and had a picture of the rep to put a face to the name. This process is 100% easier when you have tight integration between your customer relationship management tool and your marketing automation tool.

    I use this technique as part of an automated customer education nurturing program that I created and am seeing greater than 50% open rates when emails have the sender name of the account representative.
  • Personalized email/direct mail content. There are two parts to this and I could spend a whole blog post just on this topic. I’ve already discussed the first part which is personalizing the sender and signature of email or direct mail communications. The next part which is even more difficult is personalizing the message.

    Why is this part so difficult? For example, it would be great to have a platform that would know your home insurance subscription is due in 60 days and have an email automatically sent to you that told you to look for a mailing with your renewal documents. This email would include the name of person that will call you and what the new subscription cost will be.

    This can be difficult for a number of reasons:
    1. It can be costly to have a system that can execute these types of complex campaigns
    2. You need a way to collect the data and systems that make it easy to action on. For example, I recommend creating email campaigns based on the past web behaviour of individuals or their digital body language. This requires a system that can collect this data and then have an easy way to query this data so it can be actioned on.
    3. You need to have clean data. To personalize the message, you need to have the data to personalize it that is normalized and complete.
    4. It requires data sources that are integrated so they can be easily queried to create lists and personalized messages. There’s no point spending days building a list – it’s just not cost effective.
    5. Content must be created for each segment – this requires resources etc…

    To make this a personalization a bit easier, technology advancements allow you to add dynamic content sections to mostly generic communications. By adding in some slightly personalized sections you can really show that you can really make a difference in your response numbers. This may mean displaying a special offer for repeat purchasers or dynamically displaying an article in your regular newsletter that is geared specially to your customers. Is it worth it to make these personalized adjustments? What I recommend is to try it out and test the results. In countless examples it has led to increased response rates and reduced the time needed to execute campaigns by eliminating redundant steps when targeting multiple segments.
  • Dynamic landing page/microsite content.This is similar to the last point but typically is more flexible. Emails and direct mail are fairly static while website content can dynamically change on the go. For example, you can create campaigns that ask a series of questions that builds a profile and creates a personalized knowledge library or demo for an individual based on their selections in a web session. This also goes hand in hand with PURLs as the PURL is the gateway to a personalized microsite.

    This content should change based on the behaviours that the contact has exhibited over time. Only display the content that the web visitor will find relevant or you won’t find them there very long. We use a technique called "Progressive Profiling" where we collect addition information over time and build a more complete picture for the sale team.

    You can blend other elements such as merge fields, form pre-population, and dynamically displaying the sales rep’s contact information to make the web experience as personalized as possible.
  • Event triggered communication. We've talked about delivering the right message, now we’ll talk about how to deliver it at the right time. There are many different ways to do this but the best time to deliver the right message is at a time that matches your customer’s buying process. When my air conditioner blows up and it’s 100 degrees in the shade, that’s the time I want a call from someone that can fix my air conditioner.

    Here are so more obvious examples of triggered communication:
    1. Sending confirmation emails when a product is purchased or a white paper was requested
    2. Sending unique communications to new email subscribers Sending a promotion email to an opted-in subscriber who has visited certain product pages X amount of times in Y amount of days
    3. Email and Direct email sent to trial recipients over the lifetime of a trial
    4. Customer communications based on the terms of an agreement. The insurance example above is a good one
    5. An email promotion sent to customers on their birthday

    Some of the key requirements that I've described above are also required to make this a reality – namely a system that can automatically detect these triggers and fire off the
    right communication at the right time. If you have the right tools and data synced up correctly, your only limits are your creativity and your free time.
  • Automated, personalized voice messages. When I think about automated voice messages, I think back to an episode of the Simpsons where Homer spammed all of Spingfield trying to solicit money from them. That is a bad example.

    An example that I've seen really work well is combining personalized voice messages with email. For example, if you have an important webinar coming up, why not send a voice message from the webinar presenter inviting them to the webinar and telling them to look out for an email invite. For those that have registered, have a personalized voice message reminder. They key is to have this process automated so you don’t have to create different lists and coordinate the execution. All you need to do is to design the process and let the technology handle the rest.

  • Sales tools. A tactic that I recommend is to create email templates for the sales team that allows them to modify the content and supplement their own personalized messages for each situation based on what they know about a customer or prospect.

    For example, I use email templates in Outlook that I've created using my marketing automation tool. I can easily change up the text for these emails in Outlook to personalize them based on the specific circumstance before I send them. The template makes this process easier for me but it’s the personalization that is needed to make the content relevant.

You may have counted 9 points and said “what gives?”. The 10th point is using social media to deliver an automated, personalized experience but this concept is still in its infancy. There are a few examples here and there but for the most part, social media is real time communication by real people and the personalization is controlled more by the consumer. It will be interesting to see what new technologies develop in the near future.

Let me know if you have any other examples or opinions that you want to share.

Chad H

PS: Here is a good article worth reading: The Four Dimensions of Personalization


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Latest B2B Marketing Trends From SiriusDecisions Summit 09

If you’re looking for an eloquently written post on how B2B marketing has changed and recommendations on what you should do, you’ve come to the wrong page. What I have done is reviewed the tweets from the latest SiriusDecisions Summit 2009 and captured points that I thought were interesting and categorized them.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go (not without trying!) but as you’ll see from the comments below, some great stats and thoughts Siriusdecisions_twitterhave been captured by attendees via Twitter (yet another reason to use Twitter).

At some point I would like to come back to each category and focus on them specifically but for now, here is some organized Twitter talk for y’all – enjoy it:

Sales and Marketing Alignment
: Only 32% of sales and marketing orgs work together to define programs for existing customers. @megheuer #sds09

megheuer: Sales is protective of customers and late-stage deals; marketing needs give options, not mandates, to help at this stage #sds09 @tjaros

jblock: 72% of B2B orgs can segment the customers and prospects in their marketing database. @megheuer #sds09

: Management changes served as a catalyst for greater sales and marketing integration at Aspect @thetravelingcmo #sds09

: #sds09 If leads that marketing thinks are qualified get ignored by sales, find out why/what's changed to fix it @tjaros

megheuer: Question: Marketers, do you understand the compensation structure of the team you feed leads to? No=FAIL #sds09 @tjaros

megheuer: #sds09 "whole sales team is motivated to make this work" so positive changes in marketing really make a difference --Perry Dembner

megheuer: #sds09 If leads that marketing thinks are qualified get ignored by sales, find out why/what's changed to fix it @tjaros

megheuer: #sds09 Ennis: "Get everyone clear on marketing's contribution to revenue" and use a common language to track, explain it

megheuer: #sds09 @joegalvin says sales 2.0 is really about the dominance of buying cycles and increasing productivity through sales readiness

megheuer: #sds09 Only19% of attendees have sales and marketing collaborate on sales playbooks; 58% don't create them at all

: #sds09 Goal of sales playbooks is increased productivity: More opportunity, shorter sales cycles, higher win rates

megheuer: #sds09 It's not a new selling paradigm, it's a new buying paradigm, powered by technology @joegalvin says

cahidalgo: #sds09- 59% of attendees do not believe their sales and marketing are aligned.

amyblack: #sds09 how do you increase adoption? Process drives productivity - start with process then implement technology.

Lead Nurturing

jblock: @tjaros: If you get one deal out of a reconstituted leads program, it's worth the effort. #sds09

jblock: 5%-10% of leads that are sitting in your CRM system as "dead" can become real opportunities if put into a nurturing program. #sds09

cahidalgo: #sds09- Tony Jaros - lead nurturing business rules must be established by BOTH marketing and sales in order to be effective.

megheuer: #sds09 "When leads are actively disqualified, that' a good thing- you can address that lead in an automated way to nurture it" –@tjaros

megheuer: #sds09 When a quantity function (1-and-done marketing) feeds a quality-focused function (sales), leads fall out at top of funnel @tjaros

megheuer: #sds09 21% of attendees have a lead nurturing program in place now; twice that number are "working on it"

Marketing Effectiveness Measurement

megheuer: Biggest change in marketing results: About a 10% drop in closed deals over the last year @tjaros #sds09

: #sds09 @jneeson reports 55% of marketing inquiries generated via the Web today; email 19%; events 15%, direct mail 11% (averages)

: Great metrics to track from CyberSource: # of days to close a deal and # of marketing touches to close #sds09

: "We know that sometimes approximate is good enough to get us where we're going" for marketing reports -Brenda Kring #sds09

: Need to be able to measure overall ROI and also activities, to align them with your overall strategy #sds09 @lazgonzalez

MarketingFuel: 52% of attendees dont track conversion rates [in their sales pipeline] and 77% dont track sales cycle lengthi n the sales pipeline #sds09

: Only 24% of orgs have a closed loop process between sales and marketing regarding detailed info on opportunities. #sds09

: #sds09 Org's that have embraced a closed loop approach=+21% profit and +24% rev growth vs -6% and 0% for those that haven't (3 yr timeframe)

: Deborah Nelson at HP says that her "best in class" roi target is $70 earned for every dollar spent. #sds09

Sales/Marketing Funnel

: #sds09 Most case studies are after purchase. Why not have one on Why they switched? Case studies across the demand waterfall. (Tony Jaros)

: #sds09: TJaros- "The demand waterfall is as much about human behavior as it is numbers." Human change management is part of process change

: Omniture improved # of opportunities by 5X, marketing's pipeline contribution by 7X based on linking brand to demand #sds09

: "Not about how we measure progression of a sales opportunity, but how we impact the progression of an opportunity" -@joegalvin at #sds09

: #sds09 @jneeson This year sales is not just telling marketing we need more leads, we need marketing's help advancing our pipeline opps.

: Focus is not so much at the top of the funnel; it has shifted to pipeline acceleration and sales enablememt. #sds09

Channel Marketing

: Partners need guidance from their suppliers to run effective multi-touch campaigns. @lazgonzalez #sds09

: #sds09-common definition of a lead expands beyond direct sales and marketing and must also extend to the channel.

: #sds09 trend in channel demand gen strategy: let the partner create his leads and have the vendor support them with the right tools.

: #sds09 Channel programs shifting $ to supplier-to-customer programs, delivering message themselves, not waiting for partner @lazgonzalez

: 83% of #sds09 attendees have absolutely no visibility into Channel marketing campaigns and effectiveness. Do partners really want you to?

Marketing Automation

: #sds09 Marketing automation is a requirement for best-practice performance says @jneeson

: #sds09 Prediction from @jneeson is by 2015, up to 50% of b-to-b marketers will deploy marketing automation

Marketing Structure

: #sds09 more than half of audience making organizational changes to their marketing functions

: #sds09 Common theme between Deb (HP) and Buell (IBM) on creating single marketing themes for global deployment. Develop Once, Run Anywhere [DORA]

: #sds09 "Cajoling and good citizenship did not work" to drive use of run-once-use-everywhere programs; Centralized org structure did

: #sds09 By 2015, dominant marketing model will be an architecture of plays and tactics in an integrated, multi-dimensional approach

: #sds09 Attendees report marketing ops (38%), field mktg (36%) are areas of marketing programs that will change the most by 2015

: #sds09 The marketing demand center has advisory, execution and technical resources--more value-add than execution only @jneeson

: #sds09 Most attendees report their marketing org structure is a hybrid model (43%); 2nd most common is centralized (32%)

: #sds09 Leading organizations invest in marketing skills and address gaps in technology, process and programs that hurt progress

Social Media

cedwardbrice: #sds09 B2B organizations with a coordinated reputation strategy gain an average of 40 percent more inquires

: #sds09 Create content in smaller chunks that can be reused @jblock Convergence of Social and Traditional Media

: Need to have a baseline--do an annual audit of communications and social media activities to see what works/doesn't @jblock #sds09

: "We can't stick our heads in the sand anymore and not monitor what's going on in social media" -@jblock #sds09

: @jblock: Use a combination of social media and traditional awareness tools to improve leverage and reach of assets #sds09

: #sds09 Social media is cheap (technology) but expensive from a human resources stand point - it takes time and effort to do it well [ Amen!]

: #sds09 Only a small number of btob organizations have a coherent strategy for social media says @jblock

: #sds09 Communities are the fastest growing social media segment within b2b orgs - blog adoption is still higher ( 33% vs. 29%)

: #sds09 prediction that social media will become more a function of product marketing as that group needs to have a dialogue with customers

Here are some quick thoughts that I’ve jotted down (more later - just went through 25+ pages of Twitter search results and need to reflect more on this):

  • Inbound marketing is and will be extremely crucial go forward but marketers need to develop strategies to target leads that are deeper in the sales/marketing funnel – especially in this economy
  • Importance of lead nurturing (no need to say more right now)
  • No mention of lead scoring - any comment on this from summit attendees?
  • Suppliers are looking for ways to help out their partners
  • Social media in B2B marketing is still at its early stages but expect this to grow enormously for the next summit
  • The key across all of these topics is sales/marketing alignment. It may also be the most difficult part.

Thanks to all of the twitters who passionately twitted at the conference and gave people like me some semblance of being there. Of course, muchos gracias to @siriusdecisions for bringing together great presentations and great people.

Chad H.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Top 10 Triggered B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

One of the themes for marketers in 2009 is “doing more with less”. While some marketing teams are facing cut backs and spending freezes or reductions, they still need to hit their goals which may include generating X number of leads, Y amount of influenced pipeline and/or Z amount of influenced sales. A key part of “doing more with less” is automating your email marketing campaigns. While many may label this as “lead nurturing”, it goes well beyond lead nurturing. It’s at times like this when you need a bounce in your step and powerful tools that will make it easy to keep you engaged with customers and prospects but allow you to leave work at a reasonable hour.

After reading Ed Henrich’s excellent article on ClickZ Top 10 Triggered E-mail Programs to Build Relevance, I wanted to take a more B2B slant on it but as you’ll see, many of the triggered email programs apply to both B2B and B2C. By triggered email campaigns, I mean an email or a series of emails being sent based on an action of a contact in your database, by their inaction or by their state (for example, a new customer). Here are my top 10 triggered email marketing campaigns:

  1. Transactional Messages. Transactional messages or autoresponder emails are some of the easiest and most beneficial campaigns to setup. By transactional email, I’m referring to the automatic email that you receive when you sign up for a newsletter or download an e-book. The open and click-through rates are typically much higher for these types of emails as the web visitor has engaged with your organization and almost expects to receive something in return.

    In addition, Michele Linn over at Savvy B2B Marketing recommends that “instead of providing an immediate download of the offer (e.g. white paper, webinar, etc.), send an email with a link to it”. Therefore, the transactional email becomes more than just a record of a transaction but the offer itself. This is recommended for a number of reasons as it provides a greater assurance that the email provided will be legitimate, makes it easy for the recipient to forward the document on and acts as a bookmark to easily find the document at a later date. Here is a perfect example: A web visitor finds your pay per click ad on a Google search results page and clicks on it. On the ensuing landing page, they are able to download a relevant white paper after filling out a short form. Instead of providing the white paper on the confirmation page after the form is filled out, send a link to the white paper in an email. This ensures that you get the most of out your paid search campaigns.

    For more information on autoresponder emails, see my post “Email Autoresponders 2.0 in B2B Marketing”.

  2. Welcome email campaign. While an autoresponder may be part of a welcome email campaign, this type of campaign typically includes 2-3 emails sent over a period of 2-3 weeks and should have different messaging.

    With some marketing automation platforms, you can automatically check to see if the contact is a new one to your database after they have filled out a form. If it is a new contact, send that person an email that acknowledges that they are a new registrant and provide information on what they will receive and when they will receive it. You should also include a link for them to update their email subscriptions and their profile.

    Follow up emails that are part of the welcome email campaign may include sending the latest newsletter, or key videos and/or documents based on the information provided. Some organizations use welcome email campaigns to gain additional information on the registrant for better segmentation – something we call “progressive disclosure”. The key to this campaign is to demonstrate to the new registrant that it was worth it to provide their information and build a long lasting relationship.

  3. Event/webinar campaigns. This is fairly obvious one. When someone signs up for an event, send on the event information to the registrant via email. One item often overlooked is automating the entire event registration and follow up process. A fully automated event contains the following emails:
    -First invite
    -Second invite to those that didn’t respond to the first invite
    -Reminder email for those that registered a day before the event
    -Reminder email for those that registered on the day of the event
    -Follow up email thanking those people that registered and attended
    -Follow up “sorry we missed you email” to those that registered but didn’t attend.
    -OPTION: If an event has size restrictions, have an automated email sent when capacity has been met and send another automated email to those on the waiting list if additional room was made available.

    When setup correctly, this type of automated process can save the marketer countless hours as the lists are automatically generated and emails are sent as per the schedule set up ahead of time. For more tips on improving your webinar campaigns see Paul Teshima’s excellent post Four Practices to Increase Webinar Effectiveness.

  4. Inactive or Dormant Lead campaign. By inactive, I mean a contact in your database that has not responded to an email or visited your website within the last six months. I’m not referring to a lead that sales forgot to follow up on but this program may include those contacts as well.

    Similarly to your welcome program where you had unique messaging based on their “new contact” status, you’ll want to customize your messaging for those contacts that have not demonstrated any recent activity. The key here is for your marketing automation platform to automatically feed these inactive contacts into a campaign that will fire off these targeted emails. If you have to manually mine your database for these “inactives” or pay someone to do it, you are not “doing more with less”.

    These types of emails can include the following:
    -Special offer that re-engages the contact
    -Survey that asks the contact what type of information they would like to receive
    -Notice that if they don’t respond, they will be removed from regular communications.

    I’ve seen campaigns that flag contacts as “inactives” and removes them from receiving "regular" emails but if these inactive contacts demonstrate any activity, the inactive flag is removed and they set to receive regular email communications.
  5. Customer service survey. Automatically send out a follow up email after a customer service case was closed asking for feedback. This is again a simple idea but often overlooked. This type of campaign can prevent issues from boiling up.

  6. Renewal reminders. If your product or service is subscription based, automatically enter key customer contacts into an email campaign that sends auto email notifications that their contract is about to expire at the 90, 60 and 30 day mark prior to the renewal date.

  7. Trial tips. If your product includes a limited free trial, enter contacts into a trial campaign that will send targeted emails throughout the trial with value add materials that encourages the lead to take the next step in the purchase process.

  8. New customer program. For new customers that have purchased your product or service, enter them into an email campaign that introduces them to your product as well as your company. Your product may have been purchased by a select few but will be used throughout the organization. Having a “new user/customer” campaign can help people that aren’t familiar with your product get better acquainted.

  9. Education programs. By education programs, I’m referring to the traditional lead nurturing campaigns. This is typically a series of emails sent over a period of time that helps keep your company top of mind for potential customers. While I’m not going to focus on the substance of these emails, I will indicate how these campaigns are triggered. These types of campaigns can be triggered by:
    -Sales reps entering leads into a nurturing program via a trigger in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. Many CRMs are fully integrated with a marketing automation platform which easily allows for these types of campaigns.
    -Lead Rating not being high enough. If a lead is deemed “not yet ready to be sent on to sales”, they can be automatically added to a lead nurturing campaign with the goal that they lead will eventually raise their hand to indicate they are ready to be engaged.
    -Activity/User interests. As an example, if a certain link was clicked on an email (or not clicked on), a contact can be added to an email campaign that will send on more targeted information. Another example is when a web visitor was looking at a page or series of pages on your website, automatically send them a follow up email that provides additional information with a call to action to speak to an expert that can answer any questions that they may have had. Ed Henrich referred to this as a “browse program”.

    It’s these types of automated email campaigns that when set up properly can produce tremendous results. The key to this is ensuring that you are measuring the outcomes of these nurturing campaigns. See my post “Lead Nurturing - How to track ROI?” for more details.

  10. Reference Program from Net Promoters. This was an idea I brought up to my own company but it took Ed Henrich to remind me about it. If your organization runs a Net Promoter survey, send an automatic follow up email to those that are “promoters” asking them if they would act as references

These are my top 10 triggered email campaigns but this is by far not a full list. Having the right tools allows you to create highly customized automated campaigns. I hope that you found this useful and please let me know of other automated email campaigns that you may have deployed and how they fared.

Chad H.




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