If you are an automation fan, Mike K. Tatum’s talk was probably one of the sessions that you were looking forward to in INBOUND2021.
Mike K. Tatum is Demand Generation Manager at Momentive, the former Survey Monkey, and, in his talk “Keep Inbound Leads Engaged With a Continuous Cycle of Lead Nurturing Workflows”, he went over his sophisticated ecosystem of lead nurturing automation. He came up with a bulletproof lead nurturing system that he developed after using HubSpot’s Marketing Hub for over 5 years.
These workflows automatically keep leads engaged and warm no matter where they are in the funnel (or in the flywheel!).
Mike revealed all the secrets about the system he uses to build campaigns from scratch and through which he has brought succeed to SurveyMonkey and other SaaS companies he has worked with. In fact, first time he tested out his system, he witnessed an increase of 1,170% in new customers per month! Mike knew he was onto something really big… And he is ready to share it with the world!
What is a Workflow?
By definition, a workflow is a sequence of tasks! While HubSpot did not come up with the term, the use of this word was significantly increased since the platform adopted it as part of their vocabulary. Workflows are series of tasks that, more often than not, appear automated, and can be found in a wide range of organisations. In the past, workflows have involved humans too!
Some of the main goals that companies look for when automating their workflows are reducing human error, sending emails quickly and timely without depending on the availability of a marketer, and, ultimately, being able to follow up leads effectively, without relying on a sales rep from the beginning of the sales process. This is because, once a customer starts interacting with you, chances are you need to nurture them first.
Based on this need of nurturing, Mike distinguishes two very distinct types of workflows that every system needs!
#1 Campaign Workflows
Campaign workflows are those sequences of tasks that are attached to a specific initiative, such as a webinar or a specific piece of content that you are launching. These elements are usually referred to as lead generation pieces and, in these workflows, leads will be enrolled after they have submitted a form in order to register to an event or download some resources.
These workflows are usually very linear and rather simple so the lead that has just interacted with your company is not suddenly flooded by emails. Mike recommends applying an email cadence that slows down as time goes by, advising us to set the workflow to send the lead an email right after they have filled up the form, but waiting slightly longer to follow up with them!
#2 Reengagement Workflows
Reengagement workflows are where things get a little bit more complicated… but also very interesting! The goal of reengagement workflows is to get leads to interact with a piece of content that aligns with their lifecycle stage of your funnel or your flywheel. If they download another piece of content or register for an event, they will be automatically engaged on a new campaign workflow.
For these workflows, the frequency of the interactions changes! Contrarily to the time decay system that he recommended for campaign workflows, Mike takes an original stance towards reengagement workflows that is based on a pulsing model. This model schedules interactions very frequently at the beginning of the workflow, slowing down halfway through it and, ultimately, speeding up again to get a lied to get interested in another piece of content.
What is Cyclical Lead Nurturing?
The reason Mike picked up these two workflows to illustrate the versatility of this tool is not only due to their efficacy, but also because of their complementary nature. These workflows work incredibly well together and are at the base of Mike’s very own lead nurturing system. This process constitutes a cyclical system of lead nurturing proven to drive unprecedented growth!
Mike’s cyclical system created over $1,3M in customer lifetime value every single month, bringing $12 revenue for every email that was sent through these workflows (remember, with absolutely no human interaction and, most importantly, no human cost!), and improved email engagement to achieve a fantastic 4% click rate.
Why does Cyclical Nurturing Work?
Truth is, not all leads are ready to be progressed. In fact, only 1 in every 4 leads is remotely close to being actively sold to. These leads need nurturing, they need to be brought into the conversation regarding what your company does and how your solutions can become their solutions. Cyclical nurturing provides you with a series of opportunities to create value for potential customers.
Keeping them on the cycle, you make sure no opportunities to convert a lead are left unexplored. Your cycle should be flexible enough to accommodate different customer journeys, with workflows allowing leads to go as slow or as fast as they would like to through the experience of being your customer. Cyclical lead nurturing will not only bring you clients, but happy clients that are likely to continue purchasing with you if you keep engaging with them!
Are Emails Important in A Workflow?
Following Mike’s advice, you should carefully tailor the content of the emails you include on your workflows. These emails provide you with the perfect chance to offer a great experience to the leads that have interacted with your company and might be considering purchasing your product or services.
To measure the quality of your email strategy, Mike pointed out a mistake most marketers make: prioritising open rates over click rates! Open rates can be vanity metrics, metrics that are, as Mike explained, fluffy and positive but that, nevertheless, do not tell anything about whether the recipient actually read the email, or they just opened it when cleaning their inbox. An engaged audience is an audience that you get value from, and, for that, they need to resonate with what you are offering to them.
Why does Cyclical Nurturing Work?
Technology does not make good marketers. Good marketing understands how to use technology to optimise their efforts and grow. With this in mind, Mike explained the elements that have contributed to the success of his cyclical nurturing system.
#1 Cyclical Nurturing is Simple
Despite automation having been considered complex and too difficult, it is in keeping it simple that Mike has found the key to drive growth through workflows. Too many details, too many tools, and too many elements can turn processes into unmanageable sequences. You should not feel lost within a workflow that should reflect how easy it is to interact and become part of the conversation about your products and services.
#2 Cyclical Nurturing is Flexible
This system is flexible enough to accommodate any buying journey, understanding the pace of each lead and guaranteeing that they get the right message at the right time, without overwhelming them or making them feel like they are being pushed into a purchase. The frequency of the interactions, as well as the duration of the workflow, are both elements to take into account when building your cyclical nurturing system.
#3 Cyclical Nurturing is Constantly Optimised
With this system being composed of simple and easily accessible workflows, cyclical nurturing allows for its frequency and CTAs to be continuously improved, using user behaviour data gathered from leads that have previously gone through the workflow and that offer us hints about what is working and what is not. This also allows marketer to scale the workflow as needed to better resonate with their audience.
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