My colleague and our vice president of solution sales, Kevin Miller, wrote a great column for ClickZ a few weeks ago that discussed when marketers should pass leads to sales. Traditionally, marketers have utilized a process of lead nurture that ends with a handoff to sales. However, organizations with more evolved sales and marketing processes have realized the importance of early human touch points combined with digital touch.
Remarket lead nurture leverages this strategy, as well as a bidirectional approach to sales and marketing. Sales is able to reach higher into the funnel for that early human touch. Marketers are able to continue to build a digital relationship with leads, whether they’ve been touched by a salesperson or not. This ensures lead acquisition and conversion efforts are fully maximized. It also provides a necessary agility for customer journeys that are no longer linear.
How We Define Remarketed Leads
Remarketed leads have either 1) been passed from marketing to sales, but are not sales-ready so they’re passed back to marketing; or 2) they originated from outbound sales efforts and did not become opportunities and so are passed back to marketing for continued nurture.
What a Remarket Lead Nurture Looks Like
An effective remarket lead nurture program requires an integration of sales and marketing functions. At Salesfusion, we use our own marketing automation platform, which is well integrated with our CRM, to implement our remarket lead nurture program.
Leads are touched digitally with the Salesfusion platform. Then they’re pushed to sales when a human touch is relevant to the buyer’s journey. Sales can then push the lead back into the marketing funnel for further nurture. Marketing will continue to touch that lead digitally to move it naturally through the decision-making process. At some point, marketing may determine the lead is ready for another human touch and push it back to sales. This bidirectional approach is the cornerstone to an effective remarket strategy.
In Salesfusion, the human touch generally starts with a team of sales development representatives (SDRs). This team’s goal is to engage with early-stage prospects. If they determine a lead is ready to buy, they will pass it to an account executive. This ensures that sales resources are well prioritized according to where a lead is in the buyer cycle.
Working With Sales
Because sales interacts with remarketed leads, collaboration between sales and marketing is key when designing campaigns. They need to bring leads back to a point of being sales-ready opportunities. Here are some questions we asked our sales team when setting up our remarket campaigns:
Why are they getting remarked?
Are the leads that are getting passed back to marketing remarketed because they never responded to the SDR? Or do the SDR’s more often than not reach the lead but the person was just not quite sales-ready? If they were unresponsive to the initial outreach, perhaps the best remarket message strategy is how your product will benefit them directly, such as increase ROI, employee engagement, etc. If they were reached but not quite sales-ready, the remarket message strategy should focus more heavily on education. It may make sense to employ several remarket tracks to serve different types of leads.
What are the SDRs saying when they speak with prospects?
As organizations continue to evolve their outbound touch models, the line between when marketing is communicating and when a salesperson is becomes less clear. This is a huge value of having a marketing automation platform that is well integrated to a CRM. Because of this dynamic, marketing and sales have an increased responsibility to share a common voice. Marketers should work with the SDR team to understand their outreach communication and consider how to extend that voice when creating remarket campaigns. At Salesfusion, a blend of voices has proven most effective for us. We remarket both with our Salesfusion Insights educational newsletter, as well as specific relevant content to the remarketed lead in the tone of the SDR communication.
Remarket Email Considerations
There are a number of decisions we needed to revisit when we set up our remarket campaigns. What is the best email address from which to send the emails? Where something like email@example.com may be common for outbound newsletters, perhaps sending from the SDR makes more sense for the remarket campaign. This provides the benefit of continuing the familiarity of the SDR name as well as the ability for the lead to reply back directly to the SDR. Other considerations include the frequency and timing of communications. Should you touch leads more often early in the remarket program? Or only a few times with an increased cadence a few months out? Often the latter is chosen since the lead may need a little time to become interested or available again. Lastly, what is the message employed. Is it a light check-in or is it purely educational?
Lessons learned from remarket campaign testing can be applied to move the needle across all campaigns. Remarketed leads represent a segment of your database that you know to be real prospects who have been active at some point, but also prospects who need to be warmed back up. Variables like “Is this email address connected to a real person?” and “Are they even possibly someone who would be interested?” are more or less controlled. This makes your remarket campaigns uniquely equipped to be a great environment to isolate and test other email marketing variables. Such variables may include time of day, day of week, varying subject lines, and HTML versus text-based content.
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