Monday, December 8, 2008

Leaks in the nurture process

Most marketers I know build their campaigns with a segment in mind to target. Maybe it's geographic, like people in Western Europe, maybe it's verticalized, such as a specific list of industries, maybe company size, etc. The challeng with this, is that there are always cracks in the coverage - people who are not in any targeted segment. These people fall through the cracks of a well-intentioned marketing program.

Here's an interesting experiment - we do this for a lot of clients if they haven't looked at the data themselves, and almost all of them are shocked at the results. How many of the contacts in your database have not received any communication from you in many, many months?

To find out, it's quite simple. Create a new Contact Filter, make it an Inactivity Based filter. Add a criteria for Sent Emails, and select no email in the last 6 months (or whatever timeframe you want to look at). Save it, and look at the results (click "View Contacts In Filter" for the full list if you want to eyeball it and see if there are great prospects there) . I'd be willing to bet it's a higher number than you expected.

Most marketers tend to think that they are overcommunicating, and that might be true for some segments. But there can still be a lot of perfectly good people who connected with you 18 months ago, and have fallen through the cracks.

If you don't have a general, catch-all nurture marketing campaign that is suitable for, and connecting with, all your contacts, you might want to run this analysis to see where you're at. If the list is small, excellent, but if it's larger than you'd expected, have a look at the data to see if there are opportunities you are missing.