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I recently listened to a Marketing Automation Institute podcast discussion about lead nurturing and heard about a really effective campaign, which I thought I’d share with you.

There’s a plastic surgeon who uses marketing automation and CRM in his business operations. The doctor realized that if a woman came in for a pre-consultation about breast augmentation, 85% of the time she would make a purchase. He decided to run an email-based nurturing campaign, with the end goal of getting a woman to that pre-consultation.

This is how it worked:

  • Someone is interested enough to be willing to trade her contact data for information. She fills out a form on his website, indicating that her specific interest is breast augmentation.
  • In the next four touches, the doctor wrote about (one by one) the most common questions he knew a woman might have in mind, such as:

-What are the different types of implants?

–What are the different ways the surgery can be done?

–What’s the recovery time?

In each email touch, he also directed the recipient to his blog, and the call to action ran like this: “Why don’t you give Sarah a call and schedule a time to talk, so we can go over the rest of your questions. I’ll give you a free consultation.”

The email wasn’t formatted. In look and tone, it seemed as though the doctor had dashed it off between sessions.

“Hey, I’m just about to meet with a client but I noticed you visited our website.
I’m glad to see you have an interest in breast augmentation.
Here’s a blog post about such-and-such; when I get a chance,
I will send you some more information that might be useful.
And by the way, if you want to schedule a time with Sarah…”.

The whole design was to get people, within three or four or five touches, to make that call to Sarah to set up a consultation. These kinds of touches are effective because they:

  • Start a conversation with the prospect
  • Give them bite-sized pieces of information
  • Lead them step by step toward the goal

Here’s what that might look like in a simple matrix. An “inciting incident” is any incident in which a prospect first indicates interest in a way that implies consent for contact. It could be a phone call, a form filled out on a website, a business card dropped in a fish bowl, an incoming email…anything at all that’s initiated by the prospect.

The inciting incidentResponse- touch 1Touch 2Touch 3Touch 4
Form on site filled outI noticed that you…by the wayYou might be wondering…Many people ask…I wanted to let you know..

 

You’d have to experiment to discover the best timing for the series. You could begin with one a week as a control, then experiment with speeding the series up, and with slowing the series down.

Here’s what this might look like in another type of diagram. This one makes it clearer that anytime the prospect responds, she will exit this campaign.

lead nurturing


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point is: the right message at the right time, to a qualified lead, is what makes nurturing work. Not complexity, not art, not technology, but authenticity and timing.

Marketing automation manages the timing part for you. Find out how in a one-to-one demo of Act-On Software.



Sherry is the editor of Act-On's Marketing Action blog. She also writes and edits eBooks, white papers, case studies, and miscellanea. She is an award-winning creative writer.