These days, nearly every successful marketing firm has adopted a wide variety of strategies and techniques to engage their audiences. Most aim to nurture their prospects and clients in the hopes of boosting conversions and generating more revenue. This is being done with some success, but for some reason, many agencies are still having a hard time using email marketing effectively.
One aspect of this challenge is that the average person is swamped by emails everyday. People receive all kinds of promotional offers, pitches, and spam content that they are literally unable to process it all. With such a high concentration of inbox filler, it is nearly impossible to get your message to the reader.
Socedo knows all too well the difficulty of audience engagement, but they are starting to adapt.
“Since we adopted Marketo in 2015, we’ve been nurturing our leads with weekly emails that provide educational content,” says Jingcong Zhao, in an article he shared on Business2Community. “We created separate nurtures tracks based on industry and buyer personas, and we have learned a lot of lessons along the way.”
Great Nurture Campaigns Are Fed By Data
In order to create an effective nurture campaign, it is necessary to know your buyers in every possible way. Unfortunately, the greatest barrier to this is access to that data. Most marketers only have a vague idea about where their prospects are standing.
“When you build an email nurture track based on limited data, you assume that certain groups of prospects share the same interests and buying timeline,” says Zhao. “In reality, buyers in different roles have different needs, and you shouldn’t lump them together.”
In order to avoid this trap, some agencies are trying to shift their strategy from persona-driven to intent-driven campaigns.
“Instead of sending broad, content-based emails on a weekly basis that may or may not appeal to our segments, we now develop tailored emails grouped by different topics of interest,” says Zhao. “Rather than sending out an email once a week, we send out behavior-driven emails as soon as our prospects take relevant actions (i.e. read a piece a content on a certain topic).”
The Basics of Intent-Based Campaigns
Intent-based email marketing is a campaign that reacts to prospects when they express particular interest in a product, service, or topic. Emails are built to be relevant to that interest.
In order to react in real-time, it is necessary to create email marketing that is derived from intent data. This type of data may also be known as behavioral data and is essentially the representation of the action taken by a potential customer.
There are two main types of intent data:
First Party Intent Data – This includes all of the data collected from your own websites, social accounts, or other digital properties.
“At this point, most of us are tracking our prospects’ website visits, content downloads, and campaign engagement,” says Zhao. “This behavioral data is captured in your marketing platform and can be used for a variety of things, such as audience segmentation, website personalization, advertising programs, and to inform your content strategy, campaign strategy, and scoring model.”
Third Party Intent Data – This includes all of the data collected from external sources.
“Today, many of your buyers do their own research long before they enter an active sales cycle,” says Zhao. “They go to industry publications and social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about and discuss issues in their industry.”
All of this data can be extremely useful for learning more about your prospects and engaging them with relevant content.