Why We Knocked Down our Welcome Campaign and Rebuilt It
Have you ever had an automated campaign that was rocking in the open and click department, but failing in the conversion department? We did.
At the end of 2016, I sat down with Amie, our campaign queen, to talk about ideas for refreshing our current campaigns. We thought about what new campaigns we wanted to run in 2017.
By examining metrics for our current campaigns, we found – not surprisingly – that our welcome campaign was the most active and had the most people flowing through it. However, it wasn’t doing what we needed it to.
Our own campaigns are based on where subscribers are in their journey with Informz. Folks who are new to our subscriber list and are not currently using our software obviously have different wants and needs from our content than clients who are actively sending campaigns from Informz. We are constantly tweaking our content and campaigns to reflect the needs of our audience at the given stage that they’re in.
It’s not that the content in our welcome campaign was bad. In fact, we were pretty proud of the engagement rates we were seeing. We front loaded our campaign with some of our most requested, most sought after resources (subject line help, anyone?). Our open rates were well above our average open rates, and our click rates proved that we had the right content in there.
So you’re probably wondering, if your stats were so great and subscribers were so engaged, then what’s the problem?
Our goal wasn’t to get high opens and clicks. Clearly, this is a good thing, but it wasn’t the goal of the campaign. You need those things to achieve your ultimate goal. In our case, we wanted to convert new inquiries to marketing qualified leads.
What good are high open and click rates if they’re not moving subscribers along the path that you want them to go down, pushing them to further engage and develop their relationship with you?
We were scratching our heads. The inquiries were engaging, but they weren’t hitting the marketing qualified lead (MQL) levels we wanted them to. It wasn’t until we worked backward and asked – “what exactly must inquiries do to become marketing qualified leads?” that we discovered that the problem laid in the structure of our campaign.
The number one way that our campaign would convert inquiries to MQLs would be by converting the lead to a lead score of “A.” So we checked our lead scoring model to see what our criteria was to hit level A.
Based on the way our campaign was built, it would be impossible for someone to hit a status of A just by flowing through the campaign alone. We had wait steps of 3 days between each mailing, whether or not the person was opening and clicking. To hit a score of A, they needed to complete a certain set of activities within 3 days’ time.
Instead of harping on “how on earth did we miss this!?” we went back to the drawing board.
We have revamped our campaign for 2017 and have changed the wait steps. They are now more behavioral based instead of simply selecting a random amount of time. If folks are engaging, let’s send them more, and if they’re not, let’s pump the breaks.
We also noticed that some subscribers veered away from submitting forms but didn’t hesitate to click on blog posts. We developed two different paths for people to travel down, depending on how they’re engaging with us.
I can’t say if this new strategy is going to prove successful for us or not yet since we just started these efforts.
I can say that I’m a lot more confident in the way that this campaign is structured to help us reach our goals. Here’s a checklist we went through for our new campaign that might help you.
- Look at your wait steps. They can drastically change the course (for the good or the bad) for a subscriber. Make sure they make sense for the actions you want subscribers to take and when you want them to take them.
- How’s that content? Is your content the right type of content for the campaign? Is it gated or ungated appropriately? Do whatever you need to do to remove friction and encourage engagement, all while still progressing toward conversions.
- Remember that opens and clicks are important. We had success here, and we want to continue it. We spend a lot of time on our subject lines and have a good idea of what type of call to action gets subscribers to click. Do you know what works for your audience?
Our welcome campaign has a lot of potential for us. I’ll be back later in the year to share how this new strategy has worked.
Have you ever had a campaign revelation like we did that lead to a complete strategic overhaul? Tell me about it in the comments!
Ready for more first-hand accounts of what we’ve learned along our marketing journey? Check them out here.
Inspired to up your campaign game? Check out the guide, How to Create Effective Automated Campaigns.