This article is part of our Breakthrough Demand Generation series. Each week we’ll share a new campaign concept and learnings from recent launches.
If marketing is the art and science of using communication to alter human behavior, then we can conclude that in general eBooks are a terrible way to do marketing. Let me explain why this matters to your demand gen email campaigns…
We know from research that best-case scenario prospects will spend 3-minutes with an eBook. This is the best case. Usually, we’re looking at less than 1 minute.
Yet, the truth is, eBooks are often essential – as they are one of the most cost-effective ways to tell a story or teach a lesson. The answer to this paradox is The “Snippet” Campaign. In this article we’ll share:
- Why “Snippet” campaigns are so valuable
- The key building blocks
- When to use them
- An Award-Winning example from Nuance Communications
About “Snippet” Campaigns
The Snippet Campaign is an ideal way to take complex ideas and break them up into easily digestible pieces.
In essence, each email merchandises a single idea. A chart, a graph, a lesson. A single piece of a large asset.
You work methodically through your asset (eBook, infographic, etc.) picking out the key points and share just a single point in each email, as well as a link to the asset itself.
The Benefits of “Snippet” Campaigns
The benefit of this approach is not only the ability to deliver more messages, in a more relevant fashion, while feeding your audience key ideas iin easily digestible chunks.
Rather than send a single email pushing downloads – then crossing your fingers and hoping that the person reads the asset – you drip the information out piece by piece.
The guides are too large to digest at a glance. And research shows people are no longer willing to spend the time to read them deeply. The “Snippet” campaign gives you the opportunity to share the key pieces that will affect downstream demand for your product/solution.
When to Launch a “Snippet” Campaign
We recommend using this type of campaign when you’re looking to:
- Nurture newly acquired leads (after they download the asset, for example)
- Re-engage stagnant leads
- Transform contacts to MQLs to SALs
Keys for Success
A Snippet Campaign will succeed when you have:
- A strategically positioned asset. Your asset should work as a demonstrative sales piece for your solution (especially if your goal is MQL –> SQL conversions). We’ll elaborate on this more below.
- Strong, related social proof. The asset will do much of your heavy lifting; however, driving next-steps will mean “de-risking” the proposition for your champion. Having brand name social proof “de-risks” next steps, as whoever engages with your campaign will need to share you with their boss and other internal constituents. Not required, but strong social proof will do wonders for your cause.
- “Plain text” email templates. See the article “How to Create High-Performance Email and Landing Page Templates for Act-On” for more details. As you’ll see in the example, these campaigns work best when sent from a person (versus firstname.lastname@example.org for example) and Plain Text email templates will dramatically increase your effectiveness.
AMA Award-Winning Example: Nuance Communication’s “5 Imperatives” Campaign
Rather than stick to hypotheticals let’s walk through the planning, and execution, of a Snippet Campaign from a few years back.
Example Campaign Summary – Nuance Communications
- Audience. Customer experience executives at large companies – the campaign was launched across many verticals (financial services, healthcare, government, telecom, etc.).
- Timing. Emails were sent approximately once every 5-days, including weekends.
- Strategy. See the detailed write-up below.
- Behavioral triggers and campaign flow. All contacts received all emails. Those who engaged received an additional, automated trigger email, from the company’s SDR, as follow-up which merchandised a case study. Calls also went out to those who engaged. “Engaged” was defined as an asset download which was done via blind-form submit (no landing page).
Example Campaign – The Strategy
The “5 Imperatives” campaign used a problem-solution format promoting Nuance’s “Proactive Engagement” solution. The ins and outs of the solution aren’t the important for our discussion here. The important thing is the structure.
The overarching structure of the eBook (aside from introduction and conclusion) was:
- Problem/New Reality #1: Share some data or tell a story to illustrate a problem or a new reality.
- Solution to Problem/New Reality #1: Show how the solution solves for it, ideally using story, demonstrative examples, and visuals.
- Problem/New Reality #2: Share some data or tell a story to illustrate a problem or a new reality.
- Solution to Problem/New Reality #2: Show how the solution solves for it, ideally using story, demonstrative examples, and visuals.
Etc. We did this for each of the 5 Imperatives that we identified. Emails then covered a single imperative in each.
Now rather than send a single email, we had 6-weeks’ worth of emails (from a single asset), each telling a piece of a larger story. This is a structure you can (and should) replicate in your own assets.
Emails highlighted one key point each and were simple and to the point.
Goals and Result Metrics
- KPI Goal: 300 MQLs, 62 SALs
- Stretch Goal: 500 MQLs, 125 SALs
- Actual: 946 MQLs, 139 SALs
The campaign exceeded expectations – both top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel – because Nuance was able to influence change rather than simply drive awareness – an important distinction.
As we said up front, if you’re lucky people will spend 3-minutes with your eBook. Usually less than one.
Less than a single minute.
Driving downloads is a useful way to aggregate attention (as you drove someone to click – thus they are at least aware of the asset) but it’s an ineffective way to get them to actually think deeply and decide to make a change (engage with your company, recommend a solution, take a risk by changing).
Snippet campaigns break down complex ideas into bite-sized segments so that you can drive the change that you seek.
If you’d like to get to work crafting your own Snippet Campaign, drop us a line here.