Lead Nurturing: Escaping the Nightmare



First, let me say that I’m not against lead nurturing. As a matter of fact, I’m a big believer in it. Maybe you call it lead development or prospect marketing, but if you’re trying to do it manually, it’s a nightmare.

Take Marketo, for example. We have the typical lead generation activities, mainly Google AdWords (yes, we drink our own Kool-Aid). And we use salesforce.com. Right now we have three trigger points, each of which starts a new nurturing process.

First is the conversion. Using Marketo Search Marketing and Google AdWords, we capture prospects using a combination of ads and relevant landing pages. The contact information we collect is entered into salesforce.com. Our goals for nurturing these leads are to get them into a Marketo Test Drive or a 14 day Free Trial.

The next trigger point is the Test Drive, where our prospects use a Marketo account that has been pre-populated with ads, keywords, landing pages and resulting AdWords and conversion data from salesforce.com. They also enter a new nurturing path, the goal of which is to move to a free trial.

The third trigger is when someone begins a 14 Day Free Trial. Here, we want them to continue to use Marketo past the 14 days. So the nurturing path is used to highlight different features and benefits of Marketo Search Marketing.

And that’s the problem. We have three nurturing paths, with different emails at different points in each path. With new leads coming in all of the time. Most software that automates this is very expensive. And they’re typically not easy to set up and maintain.

That’s why Marketo is building lead nurturing into our marketing automation suite. Following the same design philosophy as our Pay Per Click and Landing Page products, it promises to make lead nurturing easy to setup and maintain, without IT intervention. I’m sure that I’ll be the guinea pig (a.k.a. the alpha tester). But I’m looking forward to it. Anything to wake up from this lead nurturing nightmare.