Mastering the art of prospect engagement

Prospect engagement with marketing automation and email marketing doesn’t need to be a mystery. As these technologies advance and the capabilities expand, there are those who don’t use it well and those who do.

Weak
Including more than 2 CTAs in an email. It will only confuse your audience and dilute your expected results.

Strong
Lengthen the engagement; create touches at a cadence that makes sense for your buyer’s buying cycle and include new CTAs as additional touch points in a nurturing initiative. Repeat the same CTA at least twice in your email or twice as a button and once in the text for better results.

This keeps the conversation going with your prospective buyers, and allows you to test what’s working and what’s not as you optimize the prospect experience. According to Herbert Krugman’s, “The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning without Involvement,” a person has to be exposed to something at least 3 times before it registers as a true reminder. This is a similar idea, just applied to email.

Weak
Custom-code mailto: links (especially as your primary CTA). Sure, it’s possible and we’ve all seen it: you click an email, and an auto-populated compose message pops up in your outlook. This is not only annoying, but it’s not trackable in certain platforms. If a tree falls in a forest… you get the idea.

Strong
Include CTAs like:

  • Learn more
  • Tell me more
  • Request additional info
  • Speak with our experts

The CTAs then lead to a form, 5-7 fields max. Add some pre-population and progressive profiling as it makes sense. If you really want to kick the hot leads over to sales, ideate a lead scoring model that makes sense and creates delineated thresholds for what is mutually defined (between marketing and sales counterparts) as a marketing qualified lead (MQL).

Taking a definitive and strategic approach to your marketing automation efforts will reap benefits across the board for you and your department:

  • Better alignment with sales
  • A more streamlined and duplicatable process
  • Trackable results to optimize marketing initiatives

I once had a boss who said, “If it’s not repeatable, scalable processes, do not talk to me about it.”

Weak
Pre-show and post-show engagement emails. As a last ditch effort, yes, it fits the bill. As a longer engagement, not really.

Treating email as a conversation rather than a information board adds a human element to your campaigns. Keep the emails short and concise and stay top of mind, rather than doing what 98% of the market does with event-related email.

Strong
Create a 4-5 touch email campaign. Send 2 emails prior to the show, 2 emails during the show for those who click through or register, and 1-2 emails post show.

People plan their engagements, and it’s respectful and more fruitful to give advance notice, even in B2B and B2C marketing. If you have a greater presence (i.e. a networking event, exclusive party or a sponsored dinner) at an event and want to get maximum mileage out of it, start the marketing communications 4-6 weeks in advance.

Mastering the art of prospect engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. Be consistent and strategic, and you’re good to go!

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