In the simplest terms, a marketing campaign is a set of preplanned marketing outreach touchpoints that aim to achieve a specified goal. That goal could be to generate new leads, nurture existing leads through the sales funnel, increase customer satisfaction, welcome new customers, and the list goes on.
Because there are so many goals you can accomplish with a marketing campaign, there is an array of different types of campaigns you can run. Below we’ll cover the basics of running a marketing campaign and how to generate the best results doing so.
How do you create a marketing campaign?
In the past, marketing campaigns were coordinated using traditional, non-digital touchpoints such as mailers, advertisements, and phone calls. Today, any business that wants to develop and execute a successful marketing campaign must leverage digital channels to conduct outreach.
Using the right technology
It’s super challenging to run a successful marketing campaign today without the use of marketing automation (MA) software. An MA solution automates most of the manual, time-consuming tasks associated with executing a marketing campaign. It lets you set up a workflow, select a segmented group of target customer or prospect contacts, and the campaign runs on its own.
You can create and automatically send marketing emails at a specified time and date. An MA solution worth its salt allows you to create landing pages and web forms to capture customer or prospect data, which you can incorporate into your marketing campaign. You can also leverage social CRM and SMS texting capabilities to reach customers and prospects through those channels.
Recently, all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) solutions arrived on the stage and are growing in popularity. That’s because, in addition to traditional CRM capabilities, they also provide full sales, marketing, and customer support automation, all on the same platform. With an all-in-one CRM, you can achieve better results from your campaigns because you can leverage all the data from sales and customer support to personalize your marketing campaigns. Learn more about personalization in marketing.
Mapping touchpoints and creating a workflow
To create a marketing campaign, you simply need to map out the touchpoints you want to make. Then set them up in your MA system with a workflow that specifies when each touchpoint takes place and what happens when your audience takes action.
As a simple example, let’s say your campaign consists of five emails you want to send at set variables. The workflow you set up in your MA solution sends those emails at set intervals and tracks your target audience’s interactions with them, such as opens and clicks. You can design a workflow that sends emails with additional content about a specific topic when someone downloads a piece of content about that topic. This helps further engage your target while they are already engaged.
Pro tip: When you map out your marketing campaign, do so in a way that your touchpoints tell a story or deliver a coherent message throughout the entire campaign. You want it to build as it moves forward, to continually engage your audience and gradually move towards accomplishing your set goal.
Types of marketing campaigns
Your marketing campaign can be as simple as a set of three emails or as complex as 20 touchpoints through different channels. Which type you develop depends on your end goal. Below we’ll touch on a few of the most common types of marketing campaigns and how to execute them.
Lead generation campaigns
With the lead generation tools available in an all-in-one CRM, developing a lead generation campaign is simple. The end goal here is to generate new leads to nurture towards conversion. For an effective lead generation campaign, you’ll need landing pages and web forms to capture new leads’ personal information. Read more about effective landing pages.
You’re looking for new leads who have not interacted with you yet, which means you don’t have their email addresses. So a lead generation marketing campaign must leverage other channels, such as social media, to get the word out.
When someone clicks a post to learn more, they arrive at your landing page and can complete your web form in exchange for valuable content. Once they do, they are a known lead in your database and can be removed from your lead generation campaign and placed into a lead nurturing campaign.
You can use behavioral triggers in your campaign workflow to automate moving them from one campaign to another once they engage. Learn more about behavioral triggers.
Lead nurturing campaigns
Once a lead has self-identified by providing you with their personal and contact information in exchange for content or another offer, you need to nurture them. Lead nurturing refers to continually engaging the lead with touchpoints that align with where they are in the customer journey.
You can use lead scoring to track their journey and push out appropriate touchpoints with content that aligns with where they are in the sales funnel. It’s critical that your touch points align with where they are in the buyer’s journey. Otherwise, your touchpoints and the content you provide won’t resonate with them.
For example, to engage someone who has just interacted with you for the first time, you wouldn’t want to send them a product guide. It’s more appropriate to send them educational content such as blogs or infographics that solve common problems for them. As they engage with that content, they start to see you as an authority in your space and trust what you have to say. As they become more engaged with and interested in your company, you can start sending them content that discusses your brand and product.
An effective lead nurturing campaign tells a story over time. You start with building trust in your brand by providing helpful content. As leads engage with that content, you start to discuss the problem that your product solves and how that problem impacts consumers like them. Finally, you push out content that introduces your product and explains how it solves that problem.
Customer retention campaigns
Customer retention depends on maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is critical to business growth because satisfied customers are more loyal, stick around longer, and provide a reliable revenue stream. They also promote your brand to their friends and colleagues, which does wonders for your brand reputation.
When you consider that it costs your company five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing, satisfied one, the importance of customer retention campaigns starts to sink in.
A customer retention campaign might consist of a series of emails that provide how-to guides, tutorial videos, and other resources designed to help them be more successful using your product. It might end with a survey asking customers what you can do to improve your service to them.
New customer onboarding campaigns
When someone becomes a customer, that is the perfect time to engage them. They need to be engaged to ensure they start using your product and can do so successfully. All too often companies celebrate the acquisition of a new customer and then turn their attention back to generating new leads and acquiring new customers.
That’s a big mistake because if you don’t welcome and onboard new customers, they won’t feel valued by your company. They also won’t have the resources they need to successfully use your product or service, which dramatically increases the chances of them leaving you for a competitor.
An onboarding campaign can be a simple set of emails that welcome them, tell them where to go when they need assistance, provide educational content about how to use your product, etc. It’s well worth the effort needed to create the campaign so you can reduce the risk of customer churn.
Note: This and all of the other campaigns described above can be set up as email drip campaigns in your MA solution. Read more about email drip campaigns. Or, you can get a little more complex and include touchpoints from various channels in your campaign. That’s called a multichannel marketing campaign and is often most effective at nurturing leads through to conversion.
Marketing campaigns are used to accomplish a variety of goals. You can use them for everything from generating fresh leads and moving them through the sales funnel towards conversion, to welcoming new customers and ensuring they are satisfied.
A marketing campaign can be as simple as three emails, or as complex as you want it to be. It can leverage various digital channels to reach your target audience where they look for information.
The key to developing a powerful, successful marketing campaign lies in using an MA solution to automate the process and mapping out the story you want to tell in a cohesive way. Then, you segment your target audience, set up your campaign workflow, and then let automation do the job. You then sit back and enjoy the results, while you focus on other important tasks.
Do you have any questions or doubts about marketing campaigns? Or perhaps any marketing campaign strategies that work particularly well for you? Share them with us in the comments section below!