Marketers coming off of basic email-blasting software are often awestruck by the robust capabilities of their new marketing automation software. No longer corralled in a pasture limited to large scale, one-off emails without follow up capabilities; these marketers are roaming free in the wide-open spaces of MA software.

Nurture marketing allows your message to reach large-scale, segmented email recipients. It includes a call to action for recipients to click on and engage with, and sends scheduled, predetermined follow up emails based on recipients’ actions.

Your marketing automation software will even provide real time updates so you can monitor your nurture campaign’s open and click through rate, assign points to leads through the lead scoring model, and notify sales if it’s time to engage a hot lead.

For those of you brand new to the MA world, here are four surefire ways to drop a dump truck full of dirt all over your efforts and screw up your nurture campaign:

  1. Don’t personalize your content: Unsuccessful nurture campaigns include vague and broad-sweeping content. Email recipients may read the initial email in the series, only to discover that you have no idea who they are or what they need.
    • Segment recipients based on industry, title, region, etc.
    • Take segmenting a step further and have website visitors complete short online surveys where they define their own needs from your company.
  2. Don’t map out your email trail: Unsuccessful nurture campaigns lack a designated nurture path – the marketer who designed the series hasn’t defined an end goal that all emails are striving to achieve.
    • A typical nurture campaign path begins with an initial email to your entire audience with a clearly defined (and repeated) call to action, such as a webinar sign up or event registration.
    • Once recipients have clicked your email and completed a desired action on your website, they will receive a triggered thank you email and even continued, scheduled correspondence with further instructions.
    • Recipients that don’t engage will receive follow up emails with the initial information presented in new, and often time-pressing, ways.
  3. Don’t time your emails: Inboxes are cluttered with emails that the owner has no interest in or intention of reading. Don’t become one of those emails by delivering emails too close together or even too far about.
    • Give recipients 4-6 days to open and engage with your initial email before bombarding them with a where-are-you-why-haven’t-we-heard-from-you follow up.
    • This gives them enough time to forget the first email ever existed, but still gives you enough time to fill up an event and provide registrants with all the information they’ll need leading up to it.
    • Don’t learn from past campaigns: When you repeat the same mistakes from unsuccessful email campaigns, you’ll get the same undesired outcomes.
      • Instead monitor your responses and statistics like a hawk.
      • What delivery time had the highest open rates? Which call to action got the most… action? You should always be evolving and testing your email delivery tactics.

You can’t learn unless you try. And you can’t try without making a few mistakes in the process. Sorry, it’s inevitable – the road to success is paved with missteps, wrong recipient lists, and filler text.  What matters is improvement. With each campaign you design the message should be targeted, innovative, and easy to engage with.