Inbound Marketing Blog

4 November, 2016

The Essential Checklist for Analysing Lead Nurturing Workflows

Written by Josh Mason

on 4 November, 2016

The ‘Am I Ready to Set Up A Workflow’ Checklist-1.png

Forrester research found that companies who excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more leads at a 33% lower cost.

Pretty convincing numbers right?

However there’s a crucial part of lead nurturing workflows that can often be neglected by marketing departments.

The analysis.

We understand that workflows can take a lot of careful planning to create, but your work isn’t finished once they’re live. You need to review them with a fine tooth comb, otherwise how will you know what to do to improve your next campaign?

So we’re going to run you through a checklist of what needs scrutinising the next time you’re trying to dissect the success or failure of your workflows.

Goals

Whenever you’re analysing a workflow your starting point should be to reflect on what the original goals of the workflow were and analyse them against SMART goal criteria. That’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely for those of you that can’t remember (I always have to look up ‘a’).

If there are any areas where the original goal wasn’t SMART then it’s a very clear area for improvement for your future campaigns.

For example if the goal of your workflow was to generate 1000 leads from eBook downloads you may have to put your hands up and admit that maybe it wasn’t an attainable goal.

Persona

The next factor to consider would be the persona that you were targeting for the campaign. Did you segment your contact list to target one specific persona? Or did people creep into the workflow that the content wasn’t actually that relevant to?

Then once you’ve looked at the segmentation ask yourself whether you could have done more to understand your personas challenges and frustrations. Did you create the workflow with them in mind? Or were you too focused on your own goals?

Lead nurturing workflows are at their most effective when they absolutely nail what the persona. You want it to to almost feel like your email answered a little voice inside their heads, without creeping them out too much.    

Contacts

Another good place to look is the contacts that were entered into the workflow. Have you had a previous relationship with them or was it a cold list? If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out why your workflow went so terribly and you spot that it was sent to a bunch of contacts whom you haven’t interacted with for two years, then you’ve probably got your answer.

You can also analyse how generally healthy the list was. For example if you had an especially high hard bounce rate you may need to have a clean up of your data before you send any lead nurturing emails.

Contact lists should be constantly maintained, just like you’d keep your house tidy. If you let things get messy then your workflows could suffer.

Content

It was a short simple workflow, you segmented your list appropriately so you were sending it to people whom you regularly contact, why didn’t it work?

Well maybe they just weren’t interested in the content you were sending to them?

Think about whether or not it was really relevant to their challenges and frustrations. In hindsight were you targeting a pain point that was written down 2 years ago? Maybe you need to revisit your buyer personas altogether to make sure that you haven’t lost touch with them.

On the flipside if your workflow has worked particularly well take a look at what content was used and answer the question of why it worked so well. How can you leverage this sort of content in other areas of your marketing campaigns?

Workflow

You also need to look at the technicalities of the workflow itself. Did it function as expected? Did the branch logic work the way that you wanted it to?

Another good idea is to check for any spikes of the workflow metrics. If there were it’s important to then work out what you can learn from it. For example did one workflow have a huge spike in open rates? If so you need to know why that was.

Analysing the length of the lead nurturing campaign is also important. If your workflows are very long then you could be forecasting a very unrealistic customer journey and your branch logic can get both complicated and messy.  

Emails

Last but by no means least you’ll want to take a look at which emails worked and which didn’t. Benchmarking the emails in terms of performance can be tricky, as performance will also depend on all of the previous factors we’ve mentioned like the goal, persona, contacts and content. But one way to start is by looking at the performance of the emails in a particular campaign in relation to others.

You may be able to spot some trends related to things such as subject lines, amount of copy in the email, the time they were sent, the day they were sent. You get the picture, there’s lots to consider.

If your workflow doesn’t work at all how you had expected or hoped it too then naturally you’re going to try and figure out what went wrong. However it’s also just as important to take a deep dive into your workflows if they’re all performing perfectly. Rather than high five the rest of your marketing team, question how you could improve it and try and pinpoint what worked so well about it. Was it the content? Was it that you sent it to just the right people?

Be as curious as possible about all of your lead nurturing and you will find yourself learning so much more about your customers.  

Topics: Lead Nurturing Workflows Analysing