How to Increase Conversion with Intent-Driven Email Nurturing in EMEA

Sarah Ollivier

Email Marketing and Performance Analyst

email intentRecently, TechTarget ran its 10th London ROI Summit and data-driven marketing tactics were at the forefront of the event. One of the sessions in particular, Email Best Practices: The Cascading Opt-In Timeframe Effect, contained some very important guidance regarding how to use data to power more effective email nurturing.

What do intent-based nurturing and dating apps have in common?

Let’s start with the obvious question that everyone must be asking themselves right now – what is the ‘cascading opt-in timeframe effect’? In your nurturing process, it’s when you create an email cadence based on engagement and timing. This process is not unlike common dating apps. The challenge after the first contact is the same in dating apps and B2B email marketing: How do you keep up a good contact cadence to avoid being forgotten [amidst heavy competition] without (a) appearing like a stalker or (b) ending up completely blocked?

To help marketers learn how to avoid meeting these two unfortunate demises, our team recently ran different tests and analyses with TechTarget audiences over a 6-month time period to showcase what a thorough cascading opt-in timeframe effect has on time-based activity.

Putting your connection to the test: More immediate intent-based engagement dramatically increases response

At TechTarget, the outreach to our opt-in audiences is based directly on their intent activity across our network, such as topical interests, vendors they are engaged with, recency and volume of activity. Because of the highly targeted nature of our efforts, our audience is already very responsive. However, we wanted to understand if we could get an even better response. In the tests that we ran, in addition to delivering context based on user engagement, we also wanted to specifically understand the impact of the immediacy of timing based on the users’ intent within a 90-day period. We did this by:

  • Increasing the output of our emails to users by 40% within the first 30 days of their intent-based activity
  • Decreasing the output to users within 30-90 days of first activity by 60%

The resulting impact was significant. Over the course of this 3-month period, we were able to:

  • Capitalize on immediacy of engagement: Conversions increased by 43%
  • Send drastically less emails and deliver more results: By adopting this method, we reduced email sends by 55%, lowered opt-outs and actually delivered a higher volume of leads for our customers

Below, we take a closer look at the impact and results of these tests in-depth, you can view the video from the London ROI Summit here. In the meantime, here are three takeaways and best practices that marketing and sales teams can put to use in their own efforts.

Leverage intent-driven data to guide sales and marketing follow-up

Once you’ve got the buyer to opt-in/respond to your content, engage through marketing or sales channels:

  • Build buyer intent into your scoring and marketing automation streams
  • Drive personalized sales follow-up: Help your SDRs better understand specific buyer interest and timing to align and develop more personalized calling strategies.

Don’t be afraid to ramp exposure right out of the gate

No need to wait a week to leave the buyers some ‘space’, one week is enough for them to lose interest in you or to go to the competition.

Just as in the dating world, you don’t want to be ghosted! Here are some tips for engaging buyers in the first 30 days of outreach:

  • You can definitely go beyond one email per week! Don’t be shy; don’t forget that you want to be remembered.
  • Push your engagement in the first 30 days of activity with your messaging. It’s during this time that the buyer is most likely to respond to you.

After that point, you can tailor your messaging down and extend accordingly. If you didn’t engage with the buyer within this 30 day timeframe, it may already be too late.

Once you make contact, capitalize on the engagement

Re-engaging with the buyer after the first contact is essential. Here are few approaches for you to evaluate:

  • Use activity with other vendors as a booster: If you know that the buyer engages with or views some of your competitors’ content, why not use this opportunity to push your own content on the same topic (ie. Flash storage: Find out the benefits of vendor 1 vs vendor 2).
  • Email generates a click? Redirect to a landing page and show them more content options that fit their needs. That way, you improve the buyer’s online experience, display the variety of your content and increase the chance of multiple one-click engagements.
  • If available, adopt a trigger-based email strategy. For instance, create a 24- or 48-hour re-engagement cadence based on click or type of content downloaded.

email marketing, email marketing best practices, intent-based marketing, purchase intent

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