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Campaign Example - Interest-Based Lead Nurture

Campaign Example - Lead Nurture


Our campaign examples are providing real-life practices based on our experience. They include both B2C and B2B scenarios, are relevant across various industries and regions and will give you practical insights into various strategies and tactics.

We are going to structure the campaign brief by using our template, as introduced in the article Business Scenarios - Learn How to Articulate Tangible Campaigns.

Table of Contents


Motivation and Background

The "Interest-Based Lead Nurture Campaign" is a B2B campaign example that results out of several customer engagements from the SAP CX Services team, in the enterprise software industry. In this industry segment, as in other B2B segments, marketing and sales often have a strong interdependence and the two functions should work hand in hand. In this collaborative setup, key responsibilities for marketing in the consideration and conversion stages are nurturing and qualifying leads. The nurture process is all about systematically driving customers' engagement through communications tailored to their interests before involving sales. In addition to the nurturing process, marketing is often responsible for qualifying engaged prospects as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) before the handover to sales. The marketing processes of lead nurture and qualification allow the sales team to work more efficiently by concentrating on MQLs which are more likely to convert.

The campaign is being used in slight regional variations across the globe to provide the sales team with MQLs, including necessary information on their main interests. This allows us to better tailor the sales team reach. To increase the efficiency and automation of the campaign, we are leveraging lead scoring based on engagement and interest. The underlying scoring concept has been utilized by multiple customers, not only in B2B but also in B2C settings. In case you want to learn more about this scoring approach, please visit our article on Measuring Brand Love and Customer Value.

Keeping the above in mind, let's role play. We will jump into the role of Jane Smith. Jane is a digital marketer, working for company 'B2B Industry Solutions (BIS)'. She has created the following campaign brief to describe the tactics of BIS's "Interest-Based News". In addition, Jane was so nice to leave us some comments to better understand the rationale of her decisions.

Campaign Brief Characteristics

Characteristics Input Jane's Comments
Title Interest-Based Lead Nurture -
Variant

Interest-Based News

Nurture our unqualified leads with periodic interest-based communication to raise their engagement level and get them ready for being contacted by sales.

IMPORTANT: There are other campaigns running in parallel which also have an impact on the customer's engagement score, as well as their main interest. These other campaigns, therefore, also contribute to the hand-over to sales described in this campaign.

Description

Constantly raise and nurture the engagement and the interest of our prospects in specific solutions of our portfolio (interest areas). Build on top of this raised interest and engagement rate by transferring those contacts with a high engagement rate to sales, including a recommended sales activity and subject for the conversation (main interest of the customer).

Allow for leads with decreasing engagement rates to re-enter the e-mail news flow to resume the interest-based nurture process.

Within this campaign, we are differentiating between contacts which are ready to be contacted by sales (MQL/SQL) and those which still need to be nurtured with relevant information to reach a higher level of engagement (prospects and unengaged leads).

In order to automate the determination of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and route them to the right sales team, we are mainly using two scores: Engagement score and interest score.

A contact which achieves a certain engagement score (50 or greater) is considered as a MQL.

Both the engagement score, as well as the interest score are based on the RFE-concept (Recency, Frequency, Engagement) which looks at past interactions of the contacts. Since recency is one of the contributing factors, the score values can also decline over time. This means we have to allow leads with decreasing engagement to fall-back into the interest-based nurture process (see campaign flow below).

  • Engagement Score: As a reference, I'm posting here the link to the engagement score concept.
  • Main Interest: The determination of the main interest works very similar to the engagement score. The only difference is that we determine individual "interest scores" per interest area by applying filters on the interactions which are scored. The "main interest" is then determined as the interest which has the highest interest score.

Depending on the contact's activities, the determined main interest may vary over time and the interest-based news need to individually adapt to this fact to achieve the best result.

Buyer journey or funnel stage

Consideration and Conversion

The campaign will be used to nurture contacts (prospects and unengaged leads) up until the actual hand-over to the sales team, including a proposed activity by sales.

In this campaign, we will not focus on existing sales qualified leads (SQLs) or existing customers as they have specific campaigns in the conversion and retention stages.

Value-added for the customer

Consideration:
Educational content on how to best address the customer's business challenges with solutions out of the BIS portfolio. The content is dependent on the buyers segment and individualized by the customer's main interest in a specific solution area.

Conversion:
Avoid unqualified, non-relevant reach-out by sales team.

Consideration:
We will streamline the call-to-action (CTA) usage to a minimum and focus on education and showing how we can add value to the customers based on their specific needs/interests. This should help us to raise their engagement and interest, so that the sales team can follow-up with a more relevant conversation.

Conversion:
Our sales teams are looking for ways how to improve the quality and return of their sales conversations. We believe that an automated pre-qualification of leads by marketing can help this purpose. The evaluation of engagement score, main interest and channel affinity will allow marketing to qualify leads. Marketing can then also create automated action recommendations, on the right sales channel, for the right sales team (skilled in the customer's main interest topic).

Contribution to marketing objectives
  • Increase the ROI of sales activities by focusing on qualitative, interest-based lead nurturing.
  • Increase of interest and engagement rates for contacts in the consideration stage.
  • Introduction of automated marketing lead qualification to relieve sales with a pre-qualification.


Success measurement
  • Percentage increase of engagement score of prospects and unengaged leads
  • Number of SQLs
  • Number of sales conversions based on recommended activities
  • Percentage of sales activities with fitting conversation topic (main interest)
  • Percentage reach of customers in consideration stage
  • E-mail KPIs (Key Performance Indicators):
    • Delivery Rate
    • Inbox Placement Rate
    • Open Rate
    • Unique Click Rate

Engagement type Push We want to proactively reach out to our prospects and unengaged leads based on their interest.
Recurrence Always-on (daily execution) Daily execution of the campaign means that the scores per contact are being re-evaluated every day, including a potential transfer to sales. The e-mail news included in this campaign are also recurring, but only on a bi-weekly basis.
Duration and frequency

First start beginning of next month. No end date.

The bi-weekly frequency of the e-mail send-out with changing content requires a consistent content creation process. We will most likely leverage an external agency to achieve this.

Customer segment

PROSPECTS and UNENGAGED LEADS


Inclusive customer attributes

PROSPECTS: Known B2B contacts which are new to the database and so far not part of the lead nurture campaigns

Used attributes:

  • Contact Name: Given
  • Contact Address: Given
  • E-mail Address: Given
  • Work Phone Number: Given
  • Engagement Score: Lower 50

UNENGAGED LEADS: B2B contacts who are already part of the lead nurture campaign, but with an engagement score which is too low to qualify them as a marketing qualified lead.

Used attributes:

  • Campaign: Already part of a nurture campaign
  • Engagement Score: Lower 50
For the base audience of the campaign, we are including all contacts (with sufficient contact details) which do not yet have the engagement level to be qualified as MQL
Exclusive customer attributes

Opted-out from communication equals 'yes'


Like always, we respect our customers wish to receive marketing communication from us.
Communication outbound channels

E-mail, Phone Call, On-Site Appointment


Content description

Bi-weekly e-mail series:

  • Exchangeable content elements based on contact's main interest.
  • Idea is to have the feature content based on the contact's main interest
  • Feature additional interest areas in "You might be also interested" section to allow the discovery and rise of additional interests

We are going to work with large number of different creatives and copies to cater for the individual interest areas of the prospects we nurture. In addition, we are going to use text personalization options for e-mail for the additional personal touch.

Regardless of the high number of e-mail variants, the cost for those should be kept small by reusing interest-based content either in a long, featured version, or in a shortened cross-promotion version.

Assets

Bi-weekly e-mail series

-
Stages Two stages

Stage One: Nurture through e-mail series

Stage Two: Qualified as MQL or SQL and therefore follow-up through sales

Exits

Unsubscribe

Marked as "do not contact" by Sales

Like always, we want to be respectful of our audiences' wish to be contacted by us.

As part of the sales conversation, contacts may be marked by sales colleagues to not being contacted in future.

Comments - Please make sure to check the flow chart. For any questions, feel free to call me.


Campaign Flowchart


Conclusion

In this article, you learned about 'Interest-Based Lead Nurture' campaigns. In our example, we highlighted how you can drive engagement and lead conversion in a B2B context by using recurring interest-based communication combined with scoring-based lead qualification.

Now, how about getting started with the generation of your own ideas for campaigns? We have developed a Campaign Ideation with Design Thinking workshop to support your campaign ideation and definition process. Follow the link to learn more:

You might also want to take one step back and learn more about the campaign briefings and benefit from our template:

Need more inspiration? Check out further examples from our inventory: