Split-test Lead Nurturing Cadence for Improved Response

Posted by | February 08, 2010 | Lead Nurturing | No Comments

What would happen if you changed the cadence of your multi-step lead nurturing campaign?  How would changing the campaign tempo affect response rates, sales conversions, opt-outs, etc?

We were asking these questions of our own lead nurturing campaign at Right On Interactive.  We ran a test and realized a significant increase in campaign performance.  I’d like to share the results.

When Right On Interactive initially designed its multi-step lead nurturing campaign for new web leads, we debated how often we should communicate with new leads in a given period.  We didn’t want to “over-communicate.”  We configured our lead nurturing software, 5Buckets, for this cadence:  After a new web lead arrives, a follow-up email is triggered immediately.  After waiting seven days, the second lead nurture email is sent.  After another seven days, the third lead nurture email is delivered.  That adds up to three communications in 15-days.  That seemed reasonable.  Response rates were above B2B marketing averages; conversions to sales opportunities were good; opt-out rates were low.

We decided to do a split-test to see what would happen if the lead nurturing campaign clock was tweaked.  The email content remains unchanged.  The only variable is the timing.  We tested a scenario of three communications in 8-days.  In this case, the follow-up email is sent the day after the initial web form is submitted.  The second lead nurture email is sent two days later.  Four days after that, the third lead nurture email is delivered.  Comparing the two lead nurturing cadence scenarios, here are the results:

  • Nurture #1 (follow-up email) response rate decreased 42%
  • Nurture #2 response rate increased 40%
  • Nurture #3 response rate increased 46%
  • Opt-out rate decreased 75%
  • Conversion of leads to opportunities increased 7%

Overall, we were pleased with the results.  The faster campaign cadence increased overall engagement as well as sales opportunity conversion.   It’s interesting that the one-day delay in the initial follow up had such a negative impact.

Our next test is forthcoming.  We are testing a change in the lead nurturing email design.  In a future post, I’ll let you know how that works.

In the meantime, remember the marketer’s mantra:  Test, test, test.

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Troy Burk is the CEO and founder of Right On Interactive. He is a recognized thought leader and speaker on the topics of lifecycle marketing, marketing automation, lead scoring and nurturing, and email marketing. Troy earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three children where he serves on the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Marketing Committee and is involved with youth sports.

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