The Nature of Nurture Campaigns

    In the digital world of mid-2011, wading increasingly in Web 2.0 and mobile, how do more traditional approaches to web and email marketing apply? How to know what to throw out in yesterday’s trash and what to dust off for re-use?

    Mitch Myerson’s book, Mastering Online Marketing, is one of my preferred sources on the subject. Although a couple years old, his underlying strategies are solid and I continue to pull from his book in my teaching at Georgia State University. He has a simple, clear approach which transfers today to broader tactics. Myerson’s approach attaches a marketing funnel to an email campaign. He starts by identifying viable content demand and products via SEO and keyword tools. From here, free content-in-demand can be offered in weekly emails, then related items for sale can be promoted, working toward more expensive up-sale items. We might just as well call this a drip campaign – since initial emails are re-tested with new subject lines to recipients who did not open, and next promotion emails are sent to previous purchasers. Whatever the label, the power here lies in viewing promotions as progression, with results reported, so that we might control and improve numbers in channels and time. And with traffic strategically pointing to website or landing page, this hub alignment and measurement make the strategy work – as well with other hub-pointing channels such as PPC advertising or mobile QR codes (for more see my blog post on this).

    Drip Marketing Funnel

    Drip campaigns have evolved from direct mail to email. Today such email drip tactics can be applied to trigger campaigns and social media automation. Using a social media dashboard such as HootSuite, posts in various channels can be programmed in advance around related content or product offers. Or with CRM automation and email software such as Marketo or ExactTarget, triggers can be constructed for up- or cross-sales to targeted, existing, opted-in customers via email (or even social media direct messages). The On Demand Marketer blog explains nurture campaigns as comprising both drip marketing and trigger marketing (automated response to consumer behavior/action).

    Some say email is dead in the wakes of sensitive firewalls, communications saturation and social media (and oh – now there’s Facebook email). I disagree – I believe email continues to work as part of an integrated marketing mix. Regardless, it’s up to marketers to test and identify the optimal media mix, messaging frequency and triggers for successful campaigns and audience preference. A/B testing and savvy analytics can get them there.

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    Jake Aull | Marketing Strategy | Social Media & SEO | Digital & Creative
    email | | @jakeaull |