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The Basic Recipe For a Lead Nurture

December 13, 2011  |  Tiffanie Lewis

A well-designed lead nurture should be implemented as a conversation between you and your prospect. After working on hundreds of nurtures, I’ve come up with the basic recipe for a successful nurture program, and a “Nurture Brief” for putting the requirements together before I build the flow.

  • A defined objective
  • Entry and exit criteria
  • Touchpoints/key messages
  • Frequency/timing
  • Key messages
  • Assets required
  • Reporting requirements
  • Post-nurture plan

A defined objective. Consider what you want the prospect to do or to know by the conclusion of your nurture. You should establish a very specific, measurable objective for every nurture. Otherwise, how can you determine how well it did? If you can’t define a specific, measurable objective, you won’t be able to measure it and determine if it is working. An example of a vague objective is “Increase awareness of our company/product.” An example of a good one is “Convert 5% of free trial users to paid subscribers.” By using segmentation techniques you can determine how many of the people who entered the nurture achieved the desired goal.

Entry criteria. How will contacts be fed into the program: contact group, filter, or form submission? Can they go through the program more than once? Are there differences between the initial feed of contacts and any subsequent or ongoing feeds? What are the specific field requirements? What contacts should be excluded from being fed into the program, and how should they be handled; are there different exit paths for different exclusions?

Exit criteria. Under what conditions should contacts be removed from the program? Is it when they complete the program or when they achieve the goal? What other use cases would cause an exit: for example, unsubscribe, hard-bounce, successful registration, or changes to record type in the CRM? The trick here is to basically build personas of people who should and should not be in the nurture.

Touchpoints/key messages. Is there only one track for the contacts entering the program, or will there need to be different tracks for unique personas? If there are multiple tracks, how does the content differ? In each track, how many touchpoints will there be? What is the key message and call to action for each touchpoint?

Frequency/timing. Is there a waiting period at the beginning of the program before any evaluations or email sends? What about at the end of the program? What is the waiting period between email sends? Are there day/time restrictions on sends? Are there conditions where someone should skip a touchpoint?

Assets required. Are landing pages or fulfillment material (white paper, case study, etc.) needed? Do those materials already exist? How many emails must be created, and what type of template will be used? If these assets don’t exist, who is responsible for creating them? If these assets will be gated by forms, don’t forget to define the requirements for the forms, such as campaign ID, fields used, pre-population, or progressive profiling strategy.

Reporting requirements. How will you measure the success of the nurture? What specific metrics will you track? What reports would you like to see, and how often?

Post-nurture plan. What happens to the leads after they exit the program? Does that change depending on whether they exit in the middle or at the conclusion of the program?

Check out The Grande Guide to Lead Nurturing

Next time, we’ll examine the different types of nurtures and where they fall at different stages of the demand funnel.

2 Responses to “The Basic Recipe For a Lead Nurture”

  1. March 7th, 2012 at 10:04 am
    Posted by  |  How to Build a B2B Web Form: Tips and Tricks for Designing Forms for Optimal Conversion | demandblog

    [...] by guest blogger Kevin Downing, Account Manager at Demandbase partner DemandGen. You can access their lead management blog here, or you can start with some recent posts on buyer personas and database segmentation, predictions for the 2012 demand generation space or the “Basic Recipe for a Lead Nurture.” [...]

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