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How to Measure the Success of Your Lead Nurturing Campaign

Before people began curating content experiences for their leads and customers, they were developing, executing, and analyzing sales and marketing campaigns to move leads through the funnel. But being able to determine what success means for your nurture campaign is the only way to keep creating experiences that will drive conversion for your business.

Determining What Makes a Nurture Campaign Successful

Before you’re able to accurately judge the success of a campaign or nurture program, you must first define what it is you are judging. After all, long gone are the days of considering “set-it-and-forget-it” drip campaigns a form of nurture. Now, you must earn your conversions by personalizing each step of the buyer journey as much as possible. Nurture programs are more than just email campaigns, and when you’re truly nurturing a lead, the goal is always to convert them to pipeline. After all, in the end, the true indicator of success is revenue impact. Other KPIs, such as open rates and CTRs, are important but they’re ultimately just steps along the way to that end goal of revenue.

In order to properly define your metrics, you’ll also need to decide what constitutes a successful nurture program. Which actions are enough to qualify as engagement, and what does it mean for someone to be engaged? After all, not everyone who opens an email should automatically be considered engaged.

Some people will have a simple interaction with your content while not actually influencing your metrics. Ultimately, every business will need to make this determination for itself; however, for our part, we see conversation as the most valuable form of engagement. This doesn’t have to mean your lead is immediately converted to pipeline, but rather just that they’re interested enough in your content to reach out. Conversational marketing tools such as Drift are great vehicles for this, as they allow you to interact with leads in real time, which dramatically improves the odds of conversion. Additionally, it is a way to present your brand as both helpful and human.

How to Evaluate Nurture Program Success 

As we know, a core component of creating content or making any marketing investment is validating that what you’re doing is working, defining exactly how it’s working, then deciding whether or not it’s worth a continued investment of time and money. The best way to make these determinations is by using what we call 3VC, which stands for Volume, Value, Velocity, Conversion. 3VC can be applied to any program as a way to measure its impact on your business. Establish a benchmark by looking at industry standards and by taking a snapshot of your company’s numbers before you launch a new campaign. This way, you’ll be able to clearly see the change over time.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Volume: Is a particular touch point, or your nurture program as a whole, generating more opportunities? An increase in opportunities means more chances for conversion, which means revenue.  

Value: Is this program bringing in more valuable opportunities or increasing the value of your current customers? If the majority of your leads are outside your ideal customer profile, or are accounts that tend to churn at a high rate, look at how your nurture programs can be tweaked to fix that—for example, by targeting companies of a certain size.

Velocity: Is your nurture strategy shortening your sales cycle? Moving leads through your sales pipeline more quickly will translate to more revenue more quickly.

Conversion: This one, of course, is self-explanatory. Is your nurture strategy driving conversions? As a benchmark, 30% or more of your open opportunities should be converting.

Being able to segment your nurture programs, and knowing which of those segments you should be analyzing, is absolutely necessary if you want to know which strategies are working. Commit to tagging each person who goes through your nurture program; tag major interactions, campaign type, status, timeline—allow yourself the data points you’ll need to properly analyze your strategy.

This type of multi-touch attribution is best for judging the effectiveness of your nurture programs, because it allows you to see the effects each touch point has on your KPIs. This way, you will be able to adjust future nurture initiatives according to what you find to be most effective in engaging and converting leads.

Data, and the effective interpretation of it, is the brick upon which the whole tower is built. Making sure your entire organization is aligned on what constitutes a successful initiative—through the use of 3VC—will ensure that you continue doing the work and executing the programs that will drive the most revenue for your business.

It's time to start building out demand generation experiences that convert. Check out this guide for everything you need to know!

About the Author

Jason Reichl is co-founder and CEO of Go Nimbly, the first SaaS consultancy focused on revenue operations. Since 2013, Go Nimbly has transformed the operations of the most innovative SaaS and PaaS companies, exponentially improving their Go To Market experience and increasing their revenue by 26%.

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