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Marketing Automation

Top Of Funnel Lead Nurturing Workflow.

The right message at the right time, but what is the right message and what is the right time? I started with a database full of names, but it had very little segmentation. Basically everybody was getting marketing messages about everything. There were targeted emails sent to specific lists, but the general database was not very segmented. There were other steps I took to start segmenting into interest lists but here I want to focus on TOFU lead nurturing.

Different Parts of the Funnel

I don't want to assume that everybody speaks marketing jargon, so I'll just bullet it here. There's a lot more that goes into what each part of the funnel is about, but here's a simple way of looking at it:

  • TOFU: Top Of FUnnel - People who might not be aware of your product or service, but could benefit from it.

  • MOFU: Middle Of FUnnel - People who are aware of you and looking for the products or services that you provide.

  • BOFU: Bottom Of FUnnel - People who are having conversations with you sales team and are actively considering a purchase.

  • POFU: POst FUnnel - This is where upsell/cross-sell/renewals come in. Loyalty and brand ambassadors fit here too.

The Problem

There wasn't much movement through the marketing funnel. Contacts were either stagnant, old or not interested at this time. When the sales team marked a lead as "closed-lost", or "closed-not the right time", they didn't send the lead back to marketing for nurturing or reengagement. This is a common problem I've seen in many different businesses.

What We Want To Accomplish

I'm fond of saying "No Leads Lost". A contact could be unqualified such as a student, job seeker, or competitor but those aren't leads. A lead is a person that COULD be a client at the right time. Even if they chose a competitor, a year from now they could want to change. So a real "lead" is either "now" or "not now".

The Plan To Get It Done

I started by flowcharting the process I had in mind to pitch it to both the marketing and sales senior staff.

The Plan To Get It Done

I started by flowcharting the process I had in mind to pitch it to both the marketing and sales senior staff. It's a simple modular workflow which starts by sending a marketing email to the entire unsegmented database.


Step One

The first email in the chain has multiple pieces of content which might appeal to each segment we are targeting. By clicking the link and viewing the blog post they are added to an interest based segment list.

Step Two

If they received the email, but didn't open it, maybe the email subject line didn't do it's job. So we send another email (same content) with a different subject line to the same list excluding those who opened the first email.

Step Three

If they opened the email, but didn't click anything OR they never opened either email, we move on to more targeted content. The next email in the series is interest segment specific. We repeat the process in step two and repeat until we have sent content specific to each segment we are trying to reach.

Step Four

If they never opened or clicked any link in our email then they are sent to a holding list where they wait six months to a year and restart the TOFO nurturing program which will have new, refreshed content.

If they did click on any of the links in any of the emails and were segmented into an interest list, then they are excluded from entering this nurturing workflow and put into a nurturing workflow based on their implicit interest. Those workflows are not covered in this article.

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