Editors note March 2018: This article was originally published in Jan 2018 and has been updated for more clarity and comprehensiveness
This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.
The Engagement Studio is the Pièce De Résistance of Pardot which transforms your marketing campaigns, automates the customer journey and enables you to send the right message to the right person at the right time.
As a fellow marketer, I understand that you'll have a million things to do that have a deadline of yesterday. Now you're given a blank canvas to build complex automation program's. No wonder it's hard to get started.
To help you get past the initial thinking stage, here are some ideas and concepts to get the creative juices flowing:
The Lifecycle Funnel
There's a perfectly good Pardot funnel which might help you structure your Engagement Studio's and define your objectives for each.
Prospect to MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)
This acts as your core lead generation program. The objective here is to get your new, unassigned prospects who have recently converted via a Pardot form, to become assigned to one of your sales team. You might do this based on a particular action they take within the Engagement Studio or follow best practice by using a blended scoring & grading model. Work with your sales team to define what a good MQL looks like.
MQL to SQL
A SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) is a prospect who has an opportunity associated to them in Salesforce. This program would work to assist the sales team in closing deals by sending relevant communications, perhaps when sales change a particular custom field which triggers the beggining of the email flow. There may be multiple Engagement Studio’s here depending on the sales team's requirements.
SQL to Won Deal
This program might consist of notifications for the sales team because the sales journey might consist only of 1-1 emails and phone calls. Remember, sales might have hundreds of leads to work on so this is where marketing can really assist sales in closing the deal and really help their team mates.
Marketing, marketing, marketing…
These are the most fun because marketing can take full credit for the results of these campaigns!
Upsell and Renewals
Using dynamic content, you can tailor your marketing messages to customers and upsell your product or service to them. It might be something so small in an email like a link to a more specific landing page or it could be full feature banners that change. Let your customers know about the products they don't know about!
If you have a subscription-based product or service, you'll definitely want to make sure you're nurturing prospects well in advance of their renewal date, making it more likely for them to renew. If they've not used your product or service in a while, remind them of why they signed up by sending them information on how valuable your offering is.
Marketing shouldn’t stop once the prospect has become a customer. Think about the most successful brands, Apple have customers queueing outside for hours at a product launch and Google isn’t just a brand name it’s now a verb. The traditional marketing funnel is evolving and a new digital marketing funnel is emerging. The customer purchase triggers a new beginning followed by adoption, retention, expansion and finally, advocacy.
Every business has a special group of customers who bring much more value than the average customer. These prospects might have a noticeably increased average spend with you on a consistent basis, they might be influencers to an audience you find desirable or they might have been with you since you began 5,10,20 years ago and you want to reward their loyalty. Either way, treating them in a special way is a great way to get people talking about your brand (think nandos black card).
The Process Optimiser
Things that make your life easier, and your prospects love you more.
We’ve all seen it. The prospect record with an activity history of Sent, Open, Sent, Open, Sent, Open, Sent…’. No clicks, no website visits, just opens. Now, this could be a bad email client triggering the cookie in the email or it could be a prospect who just isn’t that interested and opens your emails to delete them. So how do we pull them back? The Engagement Studio designed specifically for cold leads is a possible solution. Space the emails out over time, entice them with great content and offers, and start nurturing them again as if they were a brand new prospect.
Slow Nurture Program
Prospects aren’t always ready and that’s okay. You’ll still want to keep them somewhat engaged so that you stay front of mind when they’re ready to make the decision. Maybe you’ll send them one email a month, maybe it will be a slower 60, 90 or 365 day program with emails spread throughout the program. Either way, you’re respecting their time and letting them know you’re there when they need you.
Once the hard work is done and the prospect has now become a customer, you’ll want to give them an easy and straightforward customer onboarding experience. If you need to call your customer, your team may be too busy to do this straight away however the customer doesn’t want to wait. Automating this process buys your team some time whilst the customer is engaging with the emails. Some companies won’t need the team to speak to the customer after they’ve onboarded so this Engagement Studio could cover the whole process!
This is a great one because of the January Pardot update where you can send emails on a specific date within the Engagement Studio. This means that if you have an event in May, you can set all of the emails up in the Engagement Studio in January then any prospect who joins the list can be nurtured up until the event! If the date has passed after the prospect joins the program, they simply go to the next step. Really useful.
Need a hand with the Engagement Studio?
Whether you need us to talk through some ideas, to lean on for support or to manage the whole campaign for you, just drop us a message to learn how we can help. Let's chat.