Marketing is somewhat like love, isn’t it?
You get introduced. There is excitement! Next, you’re trying to figure out what the other person is interested in and how you can win their heart. Well, after they go to bed with you (excuse my daring comparison) it definitely doesn’t stop there. Successful marketers understand that “what got you here, won’t get you there”. Getting them to marry you and become a repeat customer requires creativity and flair. And once you’re in a solid relationship, you need to ensure there is trust and keep the excitement alive, to live happily together ever after.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s “Journey Builder” provides you with the means to make it happen. A powerful set of “Studios” come together to execute well orchestrated, intelligent customer experiences combining intent data, email, advertisement – and much more [Go here to view a complete overview of all Marketing Cloud Studios]. The studios provide great functionality at its heart, and there are a set of powerful add-ons available such as lead scoring for Salesforce Marketing Cloud by SalesWings or Litmus to ensure email compatibility with 90+ email clients.
But a tool is just the means to an end, which is why here you find 3 example customer journeys that any B2B marketer should have as part of their marketing arsenal.
Customer Journey 1 – The “Get-to-know” Welcome Journey
Use Case: Top of the funnel / New inbound leads or prospects
Goal of Journey: Identify prospect interests to prepare for more personalized customer experience (segmentation).
We’re at the beginning of the relationship. A new prospect arrives on a simple “Newsletter Sign-up Form”, let’s imagine they sign up for “General Company Updates”. If it is an entirely new person, you will know very little about them:
- First name, last name
- They have a general interest in your company and content
- (Optional: Customer journey tracking data)
- (Lead Scoring)
- (Behavioral Segmentation data)
- This is not out-of-the-box available in SFMC as within Pardot; here’s an article on customer journey tracking options for Salesforce Marketing Cloud
In this phase, you need to get to know the customer, and the goal of this journey is to be able to understand their interests to further personalize their customer experience (Segmentation/audience building).
As you can see in the below-simplified journey (Marketing Cloud Journey Builder), if you have lead scoring available, you may want to directly create a new “lead” in Salesforce along with a “follow up” task for your sales team if the lead is ‘sales ready’ (in this example, with a lead score of 50+ points).
For the remaining prospects, you will want to send an initial welcome email (“Segmentation Split”) with content that will allow your team to segment the leads by topic. Imagine you are selling to 3 different personas, defined by the department they work in.
To provide an example; imagine you’re a financial services company and you have customers for 3 branches (corporate, asset management, private banking), you could provide content linked to all of these.
Here you send an email, with 3 clearly separated topics and links to further content. It’s important that the content is added as teasers within the email, tempting them to click-through:
- Topic 1 link (implying interest as Persona 1 would)
- Topic 2 link (implying interest as Persona 2 would)
- Topic 3 link (implying interest as Persona 3 would)
On the 3 landing pages where these links arrive, you will want to use a tracking solution (AMP Script or third-party solution) that can detect these clicks/visits. So if a prospect clicks on “Topic 1 link”, for example, and arrives on this landing page, you update the Marketing Cloud subscriber data within the data extension with an attribute “Topic 1”.
For those who don’t click, you keep sending high-level content newsletters until you can understand these prospects in terms of their interests.
This is a great way to know more about how to create a personalized customer experience for each new prospect.
EXTRA TIP: Read as well this post on how to prepare your email campaigns best in Marketing Cloud.
Customer Journey 2 – The “360° Seduction” Journey
Use Case: A lead shows strong interest in a specific Service/Product X
Goal of Journey: Drive/nurture the lead from MQL (marketing qualified) to SQL (sales qualified) stage and a demo.
In this situation, we are imagining that you have been able to identify strong interest in a specific Product X. Now it is time to accelerate the journey and work hard to push them to a state where they are ready to engage with a salesperson.
There are various ways this journey can be triggered, for example:
- Lead submits a relevant form
- A lead behaves on the website in a way that indicates strong interest in Product X (multiple lead scoring/behavioral segmentation)
- Sales rep meets the prospect at an event → the rep judges the lead not to be sales-qualified yet, but indicates interest in Product X within Salesforce CRM
For the example below, we imagine that a lead submits a web form to get a white paper around a problem that “Product X” of yours is solving. Since the lead is showing explicit interest in your product, we want to create the lead in Salesforce CRM so that a rep could glance at them too. For this purpose, you could use Salesforce’s “web-to-lead” form, or if you need more power, have a look at Formassembly that offers flexible forms for Salesforce or Marketing Cloud.
Note that for this journey we ideally collect the following data from the lead:
- “Mobile number” – to send SMS with Mobile Studio (note: you could ask for mobile number verification)
- “Industry” or equivalent data – to be able to use dynamic content in emails
As an entry-event, we use “Salesforce data”. You could either use “Salesforce data” to look up lead/contact fields (requires checking a check-box for that journey, for instance), or you could add all contacts via a “Salesforce campaign”. This can be used when adding all these leads who submit a form with Salesforce Flows automatically to a Salesforce campaign.
The Journey is composed of the following elements and steps:
1. Send them the White Paper with an email blast + reminder
As a general tip, we do recommend to embed content consistently onto websites, as opposed to sending links straight to PDF’s in emails – for 3 reasons:
For example purposes, we have built 1 decision split which will ensure that the leads who don’t click in the emails, will still get reminders. You could send up to 5 or 6 reminders if the person doesn’t click to get the whitepaper, spread over the period of 2 months, but we haven’t built this out here fully.
2. Add them to an advertising campaign on Linkedin (Advertising Studio)
Remember in this journey we want to “seduce” them 360°. So we’re going to show them Product X around the web. The great thing about Advertising Studio is that you can directly add a specific set of leads to an advertising campaign and retarget them while sending them emails. Omni-channel marketing is a core advantage of Salesforce indeed. These ads will follow them as long as they are on the journey.
3. Send them an email with a Customer Story about Product X from Industry Y
Given we know there is interest in Product X, we will try to push the leads down the funnel by providing them with more content that helps them evaluate whether there is a fit between them and your product/service.
Remember that to make this customer story most effective, we will choose a customer story based on the industry (or other relevant data) that the lead has submitted in the form. Basically, you want to add a dynamic content block, and by looking up the Salesforce CRM field “industry” which has been prefilled after the lead has submitted the form, you show them a Customer Story that speaks straight to their needs.
Indeed Salesforce Marketing Cloud lets you add dynamic content in flexible ways. There are simple options, or you can go really wild with dynamic content, as Salesforce Marketing Cloud MVP Eliot Harper explains here. For those who want to dig deeper, you can also check this video where Eliot goes into more details:
4. Verify if the lead is ready to speak to a sales person using lead scoring (SQL)
Lead scoring is a great way to ensure that the sales and marketing teams are aligned on priority leads. Many marketers struggle to hand over the right leads to the sales team timely, resulting in frustration and rejection from the sales reps. There are various ways to implement lead scoring in Marketing Cloud, either by writing code and rules, or working with a third party lead scoring solution for Salesforce Marketing Cloud like SalesWings.
Using a “Decision Split” you can look up the lead scoring field within Marketing Cloud or Salesforce CRM, and automatically convert the lead into a contact + account + opportunity (note that for illustrative purposes we have added an activity “Opportunity”, but it is indeed already done at the conversion step).
5. Add the mobile channel to the mix (Mobile Studio)
360° seduction wouldn’t be complete without adding SMS. Remember that during the sign-up we’ve asked for the mobile number. If you’d like to keep this field optional, you could make this step optional by checking if you already have a mobile on file.
Here you have different options. Since you’re working towards making the lead sales-ready, why not propose a demo with a couple of slots available, introducing the dedicated account manager? Otherwise, you could invite them to an upcoming event or webinar linked to Product X – creativity is the limit.
6. Closing the loop (SQL)
If you haven’t been able to establish contact or push them towards a sales-ready state based on lead scoring, you could send them next an email asking for feedback on the downloaded document, or propose a demo (you-don’t-ask-you-don’t-get-principle). Leads who are actively interested in a product or service, may look to find validation by discussing a pain point or solution.
Here we recommend sending an email as plain text, make it look like a one-on-one email, so that it is more personalized and has a higher chance to get a response.
Customer Journey 3 – The “Unexpected Stingray Surprise” Loyalty Journey
Use Case: A brief and creative anniversary or birthday journey
Goal of Journey: Create a stronger tie and relationship with your contacts by surprising them with a refreshing experience to craft loyalty
Shorter journeys provide quick-wins and are easier to implement and maintain. Therefore consider a few shorter journeys to complement the global strategy.
As professor Werbach from the University of Pennsylvania State University found in his research on Gamification (as taught in his free Coursera course), surprising and unexpected rewards have a bigger impact than anticipated ones.
This journey can be triggered at various moments. A birthday. The anniversary of becoming a customer. Triggered by a sales rep by making a change in Salesforce CRM.
Here an idea of how this could look like within a journey:
Entry Source: Since this is a time critical event, you may want to select Salesforce CRM or a dedicated data extension as an entry data source and pick a good time field. Birthdays, time of first purchase, subscription start, or else.
Steps within the journey:
1. An initial email or SMS with fresh content
Human’s have an ignite need to be recognized as a valued being, and making them feel like a “revenue source” only does not create loyalty.
Why not start with “It’s your birthday – 3 ideas on how to celebrate yourself today”.
As always, data is king, and by having collected information about your customer you could personalize this journey based on gender, age, location, or else. For instance:
- Get a relaxing spa treatment – on us!
A partnership with a national hotel chain could allow you to include a voucher, or offer for simplified reimbursement. Or you could simply provide a list of great relaxing massages and locations, starting from the good old “mud massage” that Louis Litt from “Suits” swears by, to the all-in Turkish Hammam treatment.
- Switch off your phone and go offline
A suggestion for a digital detox. We’re all so focused on our screens, that switching off is guaranteed to bring relaxation. A fresh idea that many don’t think about.
- A voucher or coupon to get a little treat
Many folks also prefer to choose on their own. Why not send them a small voucher with the favorite products of the team in the area of music (iTunes), movies, or simply Amazon. Marketing Cloud also has a great “Coupon” feature built in that you may use (here is a guide on how to setup Coupons in Marketing Cloud¨).
EXTRA TIP: Note we have included a “Random split” in this example. You can create multiple branches here, sending X percent down a different route. You can have this split running for a set of time to determine which channel brings you best results. The bigger your audience, the faster you’ll get statistically relevant results.
2. A follow-up task for the account manager
Customers are well aware that many things are automated when it comes to customer experience and automation, valuing them less.
Therefore, consider adding a human touch where you remind the dedicated account manager to send a personal note or follow-up. A timely message from a person is more costly, yes, but business happens between people and not businesses, so this well invested time.
And that’s it!
Marketing Cloud journey builder is a fantastic tool that provides you with all ingredients to create personalized, powerful and effective customer journeys. By adding third-party solutions to the mix such as SalesWings for Salesforce lead scoring or advanced forms like Formassembly, you can create sales and marketing alignment and ensure to be fully equipped as a team.