Getting Started with an Email Nurture Stream

The customer journey can be complex to navigate but with the right tools as a marketer, you can determine the best journey for your end consumers and prospective buyers. One piece of the larger customer journey pie is being able to nurture your customers through an email engagement stream or nurture stream. Here’s how.

Drip Campaign and Nurture Stream – The Difference

               A drip campaign is created based on timing. It is a great way to introduce a new concept customer into the awareness stage of your brand. Emails are sent on a daily, weekly or monthly cadence and are focused on the brand and products of the company. The benefit of a drip campaign is that customers feel secure with a brand that is consistent.

               On the other hand, a nurture stream is behavioral based. Emails are sent with the option of personalizing one’s experience. Sometimes, questions are asked in the emails and depending on the answer, the next email will contain what they have clicked on. Nurture streams can be less consistent and more often react to a customer’s engagement with each piece on a non-cadence timetable.

A Hybrid Approach

               Working for one of the largest private aviation companies in the world, part of my role is to keep customers engaged throughout their online experiences with our brand. One approach my team and I came up with was to blend the idea of a drip campaign and a nurture stream to reap the benefits of both. We started out with a large customer journey overview and mapped out each stream while slowly pushing the user down into the marketing funnel.

               By combining the two approaches, we were able to keep a consistent stream of communications to our audiences while still providing a more personalized experience based on the behavior we were capturing. To set this up, our team used an email marketing tool called Marketo to create a monthly cadence for the emails. The monthly cadence was based off email data from past campaigns that prove a 4-week cadence had a higher open rate than any other cadence from our database.

               To develop and deploy tailored content in the nurture stream, our team set up simple questions at the end of a set of content pieces. The questions were specific to how much knowledge did they have about aviation, what was their aircraft mission and what types of aircraft brands they were interested in. This would tell us how to speak to the end user (beginners, intermediates or experts in the field) as well as tell us what types of products and brand content to serve up.

The Results

               If you came to this section to look for the results, you will not find them here. This is because a nurture stream does not end with a result. It is constantly moving and keeping your customers engaged in the process. The results can be measured and calculated month-over-month (MoM), however, the entire engagement stream can be looked at as an ongoing tool throughout the customer lifecycle

               For example, my team uses a mix of Marketo data and Google Analytics to track and record the performance of our nurture stream. Having an analytic tool to tie the nurture stream back to is imperative for success.

               Stay tuned in the future to see how to properly measure your nurture stream and other similar campaigns.

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