A client writes:
I attended a Webinar recently at which one of the speakers prescribed scheduling lead nurturing emails on different days of the week – for example: newsletters on Mondays, product announcements on Tuesdays, Webinar invitations on Wednesdays, etc. He claimed this was an effective way to avoid campaign overlap when you have multiple parties within one organization who can all potentially launch campaigns simultaneously. What do you think? Is this a good idea?
There are merits to this approach, though it’s far from the only way to implement “traffic control” within your overall lead nurturing program. Most marketing automation systems make it relatively easy to control email frequency and to establish priorities when multiple campaigns get scheduled in too small a window. From a planning perspective, going the day-of-the-week route certainly makes it easy to control your editorial calendar. However, I’d advise caution:
1. Certain days of the week may generate better email response. One recent study claims that Fridays and Wednesdays are the worst days to send email (as measured by click-through rate), Mondays and Tuesdays are better, and weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the best. That means if you were to assign, let’s say: Webinar invitations to Wednesdays, you may be dooming those campaigns to a much lower response on average than if you were to schedule them in a more flexible, holistic way.
2. A day-of-the-week-based approach is a better fit for what we call “ongoing” nurturing, or a keep-in-touch strategy where timing is less critical. If a prospect has been in your database for 6 months and you’re simply keeping him or her “warm,” it matters less whether he or she waits 3 days or 7 days between emails. However, a calendar approach is decidedly NOT a good fit for initial lead response or autoresponder campaigns, for which it’s imperative you strike while the iron is hot.
For autoresponder campaigns, it’s much more essential to have a tightly defined email frequency, for example: Email #1 – Day 0 (Immediate), Email #2 – Day 3, Email #3 – Day 7, and so on. If someone becomes a lead on a Friday, you don’t want that person to wait 6 days for a response, and 7 days for the next touch, which is what will happen if you’ve decided that nurturing emails only go out on Thursdays. When someone raises their hand and expresses interest in your product, responding immediately to that interest has proven to have a dramatic impact on the rate at which that inquiry converts into a qualified lead. Anything less and you run the very real risk that the prospect will be distracted and focus his or her attention elsewhere, perhaps on your competition.
So, in sum: a day-of-the-week approach is fine for ongoing nurturing, and can make planning easier. However, it’s also relatively inflexible and there are more sophisticated (albeit more complex) ways to go about controlling email frequency. Lastly, a day-of-the-week approach is a very poor fit for autoresponder campaigns where immediate and sustained response is the key to success. If you absolutely must confine certain emails to certain days of the week, it would be a good idea to have that system only “kick in” once a lead has been through an initial touch campaign.
For more tips on lead nurturing, download a copy of our white paper: “Top 10 Tips For Lead Nurturing Success: How to Get the Most From Your Lead Nurturing Program, and How to Plan for Success if You’re Just Getting Started.”