Getting Started with Nurturing: The 3-2-1 Strategy

Editor’s Note: Read Rapidly Convert your Prospects with the 3-2-1 Strategy to learn more about how you can use the 3-2-1 method.

Many Pardot clients are just starting out with marketing automation and have never created a drip program before. They have been sending email blasts for a long time, but the concept and execution of a drip program is different in theory and execution – plus it requires a bit of upfront planning. To help people get started with nurturing, we’ve created a drip program called 3-2-1 drip marketing.

When you are nurturing prospects, it’s important to understand your company’s marketing stages. Just like a buying cycle, the marketing cycle has stages. Planning for these different stages will help you to target your drip emails to your prospects based on their level of engagement.

For those just starting out, we suggest having three stages. Stage one prospects would be warm leads who are very early in the buying cycle – just starting out their research – and stage three prospects are almost at the point of being considered marketing qualified leads (MQL), at which point you’d assign them to sales. You’d use different types of email content for each stage in the marketing cycle – moving from general, educational messaging to more specific, in-depth information.

Even with these stages in mind, marketers with a large existing database are faced with the challenge of identifying which prospects fit into which stages. To help figure this out and jump-start prospect engagement, you can begin communication with stage three communications.

When starting a new drip program, your first email will target stage 3 prospects, in reverse order to stage 1. The reason for this is that if a person is in stage 3 and you wait for three emails to be sent before we target them, you may lose a good number of those stage 3 leads. By targeting them first, you have a much better chance of engaging with them before they make a buying decision – you don’t want to be late to the party!

Think of each group of the three 3-2-1 emails as a “set.” Each “set” will have the same length of time between each message. Then following each set you will have a longer pause between “sets,” and start the process over again.

The 3-2-1 strategy is a great way to get started with drip campaigns, and is best used with a cold database of existing leads or to warm up a new list of prospects.

If you have any questions about 3-2-1 drip nurturing, reach out to me at @msweezey.

To learn more on drip nurturing strategy, check out my session from Elevate, Pardot’s Annual User Conference, which took place last week in Atlanta.