WWYDP: What Would You Do as the Prospect?

I’ve been with Pardot’s Implementation Team well over 3 years and during this time I’ve been asked all sorts of questions. Even as Pardot’s functionality has vastly expanded and marketing automation in general has gained tons of traction, there are still “classics” that get asked in almost every implementation project. In many cases I like to respond with a question of my own: What would you do as the prospect? Lets dive into a few examples to see what mean:

How many fields should I include on my forms?
Would you complete a form for a general white paper that you have moderate interest in that asks you to complete a form with your whole life story or a form that asks you for only 4 fields? Are you really going to fax someone when they first interact with you? Typically all you need is their name/email and beyond that only ask for information is vital to your organization up front. If you have sales territories based upon state then ask that initially so you can assign appropriately up front. Otherwise, if you don’t absolutely have to have that information on day 1 then remove that field and through the use of progressive profiling (right column below) capture those additional “nice to have” fields as the prospect further engages with you on other forms.

What frequency should I be sending nurture emails?
You’re not going to send a closing sales pitch to someone that first registers for an educational white paper and you’re not going to send a very generic marketing education type email to someone that is at a 90% probable opportunity. Similarly, think about who you’re trying to communicate to and how often they might deem is acceptable to communicate with them. When debating if you should send a nurture email every 7, 10, 21 or 45 days put yourself in the prospects shoes. When I am moderately interested in a white paper and fill out a basic 4 field form I don’t plan on receiving an email from you every other day for the next month. Find a good balance that is frequent enough to keep their interest in who you are but not overwhelming so they click the dreaded spam button.

What kind of design should my emails have?
If you are receiving a monthly newsletter type communication would you expect your sales rep to send this email or for it to come from the company’s marketing team? Alternatively, if you are receiving a nurturing type communication would you personally respond better to a marketing team sending a snazzy designed email with no personal touch or would your heart strings be tugged more if your personal sales rep sent over something to you with a basic “Outlook” type email that seems like they took the time to send that specifically to you?

At the end of the day you know your market and what your prospects might be thinking at each stage better than anyone else. There are lots of standard best practices but each company’s scenario is unique and we don’t all work in the same vacuum. Anytime you are setting up a marketing element try to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and ask yourself: What would you do as the prospect?