I’ve been deep diving in to qualifying and nurturing leads through marketing automation at work lately. One thing that I have noticed is that there is very little in the way of practical, execution-level advice on marketing automation.
There is lots of high-level advice on how to structure and approach lead nurturing on a macro-level, but the details…well there’s a devil in them.
How to Segment Against an Abundance of Options
This brings me to a problem that I needed to solve when setting up nurturing campaigns.
I work with highly configurable software which looks very different from one industry to the next. Knowing a lead’s industry helps me surface information that is relevant to the lead.
The danger is to avoid falling into the trap of treating every problem as if it is solved by adding another form field.
Marketing automation tools make it very easy to add an extra form field so that prospects and leads can provide the information you need to better market to them.
My short list of industries has 16 options. That is a problem. Someone who just wants one of the most excellent top of funnel offers we’re using to capture leads isn’t likely to be mentally engaged enough to care about reading through a long list of options in a drop down list and picking out the one that most applies.
There are two approaches that I considered using to get accurate industry data on my leads. Both of these approaches could apply to other marketing automation situations where you have too many lead segmentation options to get reliable data.
The first is to create offers that will attract and imply the segmentation that you need.
So, for the industry example that I was dealing with, you can assume that someone who responds to an offer that will appeal to people in the automotive industry and only people in the automotive is in the automotive industry.
Simple, except for the massive amount of effort to create these offers. I am considering doing this because it is valuable, but when you just want to get started qualifying and nurturing leads, creating 16 or more offers to capture industry is a lot of work.
Create a Segment-Focused Offer
The second solution is to create an offer where the visitor is rewarded by investing mental energy in to making the correct selection.
In my case, I created industry case study collections and a case study selection form. Maybe I lied a little, every problem can be solved with a form.
From a visitor’s point of view, if they are genuinely researching the product (and therefore, qualified), they will put the effort in to select the correct industry.
And at this stage, if they are not willing to put that effort in, then they are probably a waste of time. And knowing who is a waste of time is also valuable.
The segment-focused offer is probably the best option if you can pull it off, since the lead is immediately rewarded for inputting accurate information. And rewarding leads for providing good information will only help when you need to ask for more.