Not too long ago, one of our clients was asking about the best way to roll out a lifecycle marketing campaign (LCM or drip). For those of you who are not aware of what an LCM campaign is – it is an email marketing technique for sending multiple messages to a group of subscribers in an automated fashion. This client’s goal was to increase qualified leads in order to boost sales.
What do you do when someone new subscribes to your email list?
If you’re like most organizations, you send them an automated “thanks for subscribing” message and leave it at that. At a bare minimum, you should be doing this, so that new subscribers know you received their request to opt in. However, if this is all you’re doing, you’re missing a great opportunity to start building a strong relationship with your new subscriber right away. We recommend going the extra mile to welcome them to your community of subscribers, whether it’s through a single email or a series of automated messages over a period of days or weeks.
You can use a welcome series to thank your subscriber for joining your list, make them aware of other ways to stay in touch (via your social networks, for example), offer them new subscriber discounts or coupons, incentivize them to tell their friends about you, or all of the above. It doesn’t matter which of these you choose, but it does matter how you execute.
Lead nurturing is the process an inquiry goes through once it is received by your company. This process has the goal of converting as many of your leads into qualified prospects as possible. Depending on your business model this process could also result in immediate sales. With an intelligent and automated lead nurturing program in place companies can see a huge return on investment.
An effective lead nurturing campaign can increase the number of qualified prospects in your pipeline and decrease the time a possible client spends in a sales cycle. But even more important than this, a great nurture program can demonstrate to your potential customer base that you are trusted source of information. Once a prospect views you as a valuable source of information you have deepened your relationship with that potential customer. If you have a deeper relationship with your customer from the beginning, a solid foundation has been set and you will likely be able to retain that client for a longer period of time.
Successfully integrating a nurture campaign into your email marketing efforts takes some planning. You don’t want to just start pushing material out to your leads. You want to serve them timely information. Each email should be seen as a way to provide your prospects with valuable insight, not just as an opportunity to influence their buying decision. In return this train of thought could result in lasting relationship with your buyers. Reports have shown that acquiring a new customer is 6 to 7 times more expensive then retaining an existing customer.
When I subscribe to an organization’s email or mobile marketing communication it is at that very moment I am looking to engage in a meaningful relationship with that company. As soon as I type in my information and hit submit I immediately check my Blackberry or Gmail account to ensure my subscription went through and see what valuable piece of information that company has to share with me; whether it be an exclusive discount, an insightful whitepaper, or a simple message asking if I was sure I wanted to opt-in.
It is quite disappointing when I don’t see a message within minutes or even hours of
subscribing with at least a thank you for sharing what I consider to be my valuable personal information. My interest in whatever product I was curious about has quickly faded and usually I am on to the next organization that can provide me with comparable products or services. Although I like to think I am unique, I have to believe a lot of people have similar reactions when their subscription to a service goes unrecognized for an extended period of time.