Even during the best of conversations people like to take a break. If conversations carry on too long it’s usually because someone likes to hear their own blabbing voice.

The same goes for the segments in your marketing automation database. Continually sending messages on weekly webinars, white paper downloads, call-downs, and recycled nurture campaigns will burn out your database and create a level of exhaustion.  There are all kinds of risks with database exhaustion including increased opt-out rates, falling conversions, spam complaints, inconsistent messaging, and damaged reputations are all possible.

Here are some ideas to make sure you are engaging the contacts in your database segments with a balanced cadence to keep conversions at the best levels possible.

Campaign Strategy

Segmentation starts with a campaign strategy.  Tactics are not campaigns.  A campaign strategy is big and not just about batch and send emails.  Campaigns have objectives, a strategy, a theme, messaging and positioning, target audience, tactics, and a timeline.  B2B marketers that utilize marketing automation must have a campaign strategy. Marketers with marketing automation platforms that don’t have a campaign strategy will forever be stuck in reactive mode.  I am continually amazed when I see mid-market and enterprise companies that simply engage in batch and blast emails without any campaign strategy.  This happens mainly when a marketing team has weak leadership and reacts to highly vocal sales managers who need to “run webinars and send emails next week.”  Contacts then receive floods of email. Websites aren’t optimized. Messaging is inconsistent. Response rates and conversions drop.  Build. A. Campaign. Strategy.

Segment your Segment

Campaigns should focus on specific segments. Segments include personas who fit the criteria and focus of the campaign strategy.  Don’t fall into the emotional trap of sending emails to a huge unfocused database segment. Focusing campaigns on the right segments and personas will actually increase conversion rates and lead flow.  Account-based marketing is another fantastic method to focus campaign efforts with customized messages.  Good marketing automation platforms can help marketers build segments using a wide range of filter criteria. Filtering can include everything from the company profile, individual roles, industry, revenue, and specific online activity (or lack thereof). Segmenting the segments is helped significantly with the next step…lead scoring.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a great tool to help marketers focus on segments and personas.  Lead scoring helps marketers can measure behaviors and activities within timeframes. This information can focus nurture streams on the right segments in the marketing automation platform.  Lead scoring isn’t easy to build and manage.  But it can help focus on the right contacts at the right time, according to the over campaign strategy. Predictive lead scoring offers a new dimension to traditional behavior scoring models which can significantly help manage database health performance.

Database Integrity and Health

I’m passionate about data health. You can’t create segments if you are not tracking the right data attributes in both your CRM and marketing automation platforms. A data strategy can make a big difference in how well marketing automation can support a campaign strategy.  Campaigns will be incredibly handicapped with a database full of spam traps, incomplete records, and inconsistent taxonomy.  Over the long term, campaigns will perform best with a healthy and maintained database.  Regular health checks and clean up may not be sexy.  But they are critical for building the right segments.

Marketing Math

Continual testing reveals patterns to prevent problems and identify opportunities.  Analyze overall campaign performance data to determine whether your database segments are reaching a point of exhaustion.  Focus on the facts and data to help optimize campaign response rates and conversions.  Don’t hesitate to hit the pause button to make adjustments if the data shows a significant drop in conversions.

Think Like a Customer 

Take the customer perspective. How often would you prefer to receive messages?  What you want to gauge is the pain threshold for too many touches too frequently.  This isn’t just about email either.  Think about how leads are sent to inside sales for follow up.  Yes, you want to catch a contact with a live conversation.  But when does the cadence turn into noise?

How are you managing your segments to prevent exhaustion?