Topic of Interest Based Nurturing

lead nurture meme


Posted: June 13, 2013 | Lead Management, Lead Nurturing

At Marketo, we are always testing to see how different lead nurture tracks work. This helps us optimize our processes and get creative with how we think about prospect engagement.

At a certain point in nurturing, you reach a level where you have an abundance of content pieces that span a wide range of topics. Marketo’s nurturing tracks have content pieces that range from email marketing all the way to inbound marketing.  But, we have found that lead interest differs per track. For instance,  in one nurture track some marketers may be interested in social marketing, while others are  more interested in event marketing.

We wanted to know how we could be more relevant to each lead, which is why we implemented an interest-based nurturing track based on a person’s last activity to see whether or not more targeted content would do better.

Choosing Tracks

So how does this work? We created nurture tracks based on four different topics that we thought our customers were interested in: email marketing, social marketing, marketing automation, and Microsoft Dynamics for example. When a person attends a social marketing webinar, we assign them to the social marketing nurture track. Once they are in that interest based track, they receive a set of social marketing focused emails.

The Test

Intuitively this makes sense. If someone is interested in social, send them social content pieces. Theory however doesn’t always produce results as we very well know, so we dug a little deeper to pull some data.

We started by only looking at content pieces that had deliveries of more than 500 in the past two months so that we would have enough data to look at. We then looked at how many content pieces we could compare between our interest based track and our regular nurturing track.

nurturing test

The Results

So what do the numbers tell us? Our interest based nurturing track has higher numbers on an absolute level across our 3 email marketing metrics which are:

  • %Opened: Out of deliveries, how many people opened the email
  • Clicked to Open Ratio: Out of those who opened their emails, how many people clicked
  • % Clicked: Out of deliveries, how many people clicked

That’s good, but not enough. What is the actual increase in open rates and click through rates? There is actually a 56.68% increase in open rates and a 147% increase in click through rates, which means that so far our interest based nurturing track is producing results!

Our topic of interest based nurturing is still in the testing phase since we don’t have other tracks with enough deliveries to make accurate comparisons, but so far the results look promising.

Would love to know if anyone else is nurturing by interest and how your tracks are performing. We will keep you posted on how interest-based nurturing does!


Related Resources

  • Jason Garoutte

    I agree! We see the same kind of lift you are seeing in conversion rates when we aim (and when our customers aim) at specific interests. It’s amazing to me how marketers run campaigns and assume things about the persona. When they let Mintigo technology watch their campaigns (we integrate to Marketo), they learn surprising things about who is responding and who isn’t. The key is iteration, and every campaign you send can teach you something. It’s probably no coincidence that we just launched a new product called–what else?–the InterestBase.

  • Mintigo

    As a Marketo LaunchPoint partner, we work with many Marketo users to help segment leads into tracks that align with interests. We are huge believers in this process. Of course internal databases only tell part of the story. We see companies also leveraging data across the social web to compile profiles of ‘look alikes’ that share interests. They then create tracks and micro-campaigns around these shared interests. Companies that do so typically achieve 2x to 4x the campaign response results. (Full disclosure: we are Marketo users internally, plus Marketo is a customer of ours and a large percentage of our customers use Marketo too.)

  • Phillip Chen

    Thanks for the comment! I’m very interested in this idea of compiled profiles and sending content to different segments. How does it work exactly? Is it based on combining people’s social profiles?

  • Phillip Chen

    Couldn’t agree more with iteration and testing. Best of luck with your new product!

  • Phillip Chen

    That’s amazing results! What industry are you in? 30-40% is extremely high. Are your content pieces all educational or do you include hard and soft promotions?

  • Phillip Chen

    Hey Matt, absolutely! That is actually something we are looking at and will come in a second blog once we get more data. Something we have notices is that some topics are engaging, but don’t always create opportunities, while other topics do. Stay tuned!

  • Phillip Chen

    Totally agree, which is why we continually test different methods of doing things to gain insights into our prospects and customers

  • Jeff Lesser

    How do you handle a user who shows interest in multiple topics? Do they enter multiple nurtures?

  • Phillip Chen

    Great question! We actually have it limited so that a lead can only enter into one topic of interest at a time. This way they don’t get overloaded with different types of topics.

  • Jeff Lesser

    Thanks for the reply Phillip, I agree a user should only be in one nurture you can control the amount and type of content and their frequency of delivery.

    Let’s say I come and sign up for a social media webinar and you start nurturing me on that, then a month later I come and show interest in email marketing by downloading a whitepaper about email marketing – which nurture would I receive going forward from there, social media or email marketing?

  • Phillip Chen

    So we actually limit the number of content pieces in each track. Right now we only have 3 pieces of content per track. We do this for the exact reason you mentioned which is your interest may have changed and we assume that people want varied content after a while. You have to complete a track before you can move into any other track. We also make it such that once you’ve finished one track you can’t be put back into it. Your answer in short would be if you haven’t finished getting social pieces then you would finish getting social pieces. If you HAVE finished those pieces then it is possible that you get email marketing following that. Let me know if that makes sense and thanks so much for the questions!

Phillip Chen is the Sr. Marketing Coordinator at Marketo, where he manages both the strategy and execution of our lead nurturing programs. Phillip graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce.

Read Phillip's Blogs

Become more relevant to your leads with interest based #leadnurturing tracks. At Marketo we increased CTR by 147%.

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