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E-commerce Link : Trigger Leads and Sales

Relevant email programs contribute significant growth for B-to-B and B-to-C marketers

April 2011 By Regina Brady
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Most marketers have a regular email program in place. However, if a company's only forays into email are newsletters or promotional announcements, that marketer may miss the boat.

I want to focus on what relevant emails mean to B-to-B and B-to-C marketers. The applications are very different: B-to-B marketers can employ sophisticated lead nurturing programs while B-to-C marketers are more likely to zero in on driving a sale.

B-to-B Emails to Nurture Leads
In this category, one big challenge is how to nurture leads through the marketing funnel from awareness to interest to evaluation and then to commitment. Some highly focused email service providers and systems allow marketers to do this.

It starts with the lead capture form. Every business is different, but important data to collect in addition to first name, last name, company, location and email address are industry and title. Whenever possible, allow leads to select from a drop-down list, so that your data is standardized.

After you collect initial information, you can use a combination of registration information, email behavior and lead clickthrough behavior on your website to objectively determine when a lead is qualified enough to turn over to sales for direct contact. Today's sophisticated platforms allow you to assign point scores to each data element and action in order to predict when a lead is likely to have moved into the consideration phase.

• Behavioral Scoring. Let's first look at email and website behavior to see how this might apply. A lead has downloaded two whitepapers in the same general subject area (perhaps each download represents a score of 15 or a total of 30 points).

Based on this interest behavior, the company might decide to send relevant emails to the lead based upon the demonstrated subject matter interest. As a result, a lead who clicked through on four content-specific links might add a score of five points each, or a total of 20 points.

In addition, the company might send an email about a webinar on the subject area of interest. If the lead registers, perhaps this represents seven points. If the lead attends the webinar, perhaps this represents 15 points. If the lead does not attend, but downloads the materials later, perhaps this represents 10 points.

Based on this simplistic scoring model, leads who only registered for the webinar have a total of 57 points (30+20+7), leads who attended the webinar have a total of 72 points (30+20+7+15), and leads who downloaded materials have a total of 67 points (30+20+7+10).


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