Lead Nurture

4 Steps To Take Your Marketing Automation Program To The Next Level

Here are four steps that will take your marketing automation program to the next level.

The first step is to develop personas. By understanding your buyers, you’ll be able to create personalized messages for each of them. You can start by looking at their objectives, the title of the ideal buyer, where they’re located, how much experience they have, some trigger events that induce them to want to buy your product, and their challenges.

By understanding their psychographic and demographic characteristics, you’ll be able to build buyer personas and write messages that are specific to their needs.

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Four Ways Companies are Underutilizing Marketing Automation Systems

Marketing automation is technology that lets you engage with buyers and influence sales in a way that makes your marketing and sales team more effective.

According to one study, nurtured leads produce an average 20% increase in opportunities compared to non‑nurtured leads. Imagine if you could instantly make your whole marketing budget 20% more effective. That 20% will produce a large ROI in additional sales revenue.

The goal of most marketing automation programs is to increase the quality of the leads that are generated, and increase the productivity of the marketing team and the sales force. If the marketing automation program is implemented correctly, it will result in measurable improvements in the form of higher campaign conversion rates, higher email open rates, higher sales close rates, and a shorter sales cycle.

In my experience, there are four ways that people are underutilizing their marketing automation systems: [Read more…]

The Buying Process Has Changed: Three Things To Do Now

Are you prepared for the way your customers are buying today?

The buying process has changed dramatically in the last five to ten years. In the past, especially in business to business sales and big ticket consumer sales, your sales team was really in control of the buying process because they provided most of the information that buyers needed. They were the primary link between the buyers and your product.

Today, that has changed dramatically. Buyers can get information on your products and services in a variety of ways. Buyers are now in control of the research process due to their access to a [Read more…]

5 Key Email Marketing Strategies for Running a Successful Higher Education Program

Over the past ten years, higher education has seen a significant change with the growth of online education programs– US News is currently ranking 860 programs. In line with that, the marketing mix of higher education programs has changed significantly. In the past, higher education programs were regionally confined and, thus, marketing to prospective students was also geographically bounded. In that era, the most effective methods of advertising to prospective students were direct mail and phone.  With the growth of online education programs, geographic limitations are no longer existent. Subsequently, the marketing mix has also changed. A range of innovative methods to attract students globally has been introduced.

One of these marketing tactics is email marketing.  Here, I outline 5 key strategies to a successful email marketing campaign for an online education provider:

1st Define Your Prospective Student Segments

It is imperative for all higher education institutions to communicate with their prospective students on a defined email schedule. Prospective students are ones that have already shown interest in the program and are found in your database. All higher education marketers need to define the stages of interest that these students go through before making an enrollment decision. Once these phases have been defined, higher education marketers should characterize, using an e-mail marketing platform, prospective students and distinguish them in different categories based on their interest levels.

2nd Build E-mail Campaigns Around These Segments

As the primary drivers for enrolling in higher education programs differ among prospective student segments, academic marketers need to appropriately target and convey the right message to each segment. A concerted effort should be devoted to the exact titles of the mails, the copy, and the offer (call to action) that the mail inspires.  In addition, campaigns should be built to be dynamic to the individual’s actions. Imagine if you have two prospective students in the same segment one of these prospective students does not open an e-mail, and the second does, the next e-mail within the campaign for these two students should be different.

3rd Timely Reponses to Prospective Students

One of the most common mistakes most educational marketers make is not responding in a timely manner to queries. Prospective students that e-mail questions are actively engaged in exploring the program and are looking to understand next steps.  When these prospective students don’t hear back from the school within two days of their query, they may lose interest in the program or pursue alternative programs. By responding promptly, the program builds on its reputation and esteem in the minds of prospective students.

4th Monitor Your Results & Optimize for Future Mails

After every e-mail sent, the educational marketing team should analyze the results.  Key performance indicators include:

  • How many people opened the mail
  • How many clicked on the active link within the mail
  • How many responded to the mail
  • How many people  unsubscribed

By analyzing the success of your emails, you can better understand if your communication was effective and if/what changes may need to be made on future mails.

5th Make Sure You Are Viewed as a Thought Leader

Prospective students want to attend higher education institutions that are active leaders in the fields that they want to pursue. In order to maintain the engagement of these prospective students, you need to make sure that in your communication, academic content and educational resources of departments are highlighted.  Links to articles published, blog posts written by university professors, or videos produced should be attached. Sending out these types of mail is an appealing way to humanize the higher education institution and engage the prospective student in their program of interest.

If You Build it, They Will Come

An effective e-mail marketing strategy can differentiate you from other programs and enable you to turn prospective students into enrolled students. The steps highlighted above are some of the foundational elements needed to succeed. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us at Nowspeed.

 

Lead Nurture Campaign Step 7 – Manage and Optimize the Lead Nurture Program

Once you have the strategy in place, the content created, and the system designed, it’s time to start using it. You can kick off the campaign with your in-house email list and start watching as emails get sent to new people who register on your website.

The software will give you all of the reporting you’d expect from an email system such as open rate, click through rates, opt-out and conversion rates.  Based on this data, you should continuously work to improve the program by removing emails and offers that are not performing well, and testing new content.  You can also see if entire segments are not performing as well as others, and redesign the strategy for that group if necessary.

A fully implemented lead nurture program gives you the ability to quickly and easily follow-up with leads in a way that naturally moves them through the buying cycle.  If designed properly, it will increase the number of quality leads and sales, and enable you to be as thorough as possible in communicating with your potential customer, all with much less time and effort than is required from traditional marketing techniques.

For more insight to help you build a complete Lead Nurture program, download the entire white paper here.