We’ve all got the problem of unknown contacts in our database, just taking up space. But you can start to identify these unknowns living deep within your database abyss with these three nurture flows.

Here, we’ll cover a few different flows I’ve designed to help identify lost contacts. Each flow is a bit different, and while it’s really up to you to decide the best option, we’re always available to help.

Flow #1: Linear Focus

Our first flow focuses on sending contacts through a full cycle of emails on a specific BU or product before sending them onto a second or third option. This is ideal if you have a flagship product which you suspect most of your database is interested in. Why bother sending them another product first?

In the example on the next page, you’ll see the contacts receive all the emails from one BU. Once they engage with an email, they are tagged and their contact data is updated in SFDC. Let’s say they never engage with the first tier – they automatically move on to the second tier and receive all the emails for that product, and so on.

Who is Flow #1 Good For?

The first example is pretty straight forward, but it’s not a bad structure if you have one main, flagship product. For example, if you are Best Buy running a Geek Squad campaign, you’d likely start with computer warranties and fixes, and not with anti-virus installations. This is also a good flow if your contacts are likely to know your brand and product.

How to Tweak It

This is the most basic option, but you have a choice about how you handle a contact once they’ve engaged, and exactly what an engagement is defined as. You may choose that an open is engagement, though that would be the lowest form. A better option may be a click through, and the highest level being a form submission or download.

Once they’ve engaged with an email, you have a choice to tag them and remove them from the campaign, or tag them and continue pushing them through to the next product. It is of course possible the contact could be interested in multiple products, and continuing to have them flow through would be one way to make sure. Of course, we always have two more flows to choose from!

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Flow #2: The Feeler Flow

We see this flow as perfect for feeler emails. As a marketer, you’re looking to identify interests and measure engagement across multiple products. Some may argue the problem with flow #2 is that no one will have enough face time with any product to decide if they want it, or the lack of consistency will hurt you more than the diversity helps you. In the end, this is for you to test and decide.

Who is Flow #2 Good For?

For those who have multiple main products – think of Adobe’s Creative Cloud – flow #2 offers the opportunity to touch each contact with each of your products in succession. You send Product A, then Product B, then Product C, then the second email for Product A, and so on. If your database is spanning across multiple products, this is a great option for you.

How to Tweak It

Just the same as flow #1, you have a choice about how you handle a contact once they’ve engaged, and exactly what an engagement is defined as. You may choose that an open is engagement, though that would be the lowest form. A better option may be a click through, and the highest level being a form submission or download. We’re stressing this each time because how you choose to proceed will drastically change the numbers you have engaging and the accuracy of the data.

Once they’ve engaged with an email, you have a choice to tag them and remove them from the campaign, or tag them and continue pushing them through to the next product. If you’re choosing this flow, odds are prospects could be interested in more than one product. If so, you would simple tweak it so that once they are tagged, they return back to the next email they haven’t received. This is something we can help you design if you’re unsure how.

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Flow #3: The Fire Everything Flow

In flow #3, you’ve got no idea what these folks are interested in. Here, you’re testing your contacts to define what they like, and then ensuring they actually are interested in what they selected.

Who is Flow #3 Good For?

If you have multiple products which fall across a similar demographic, perhaps part of a suite, then this is a great option. You’re offering multiple CTAs in a single email across multiple offerings. Once a contact engages, you feed them into a new campaign dedicated to that product. Be prepared though, as one contact could engage in multiple products. You need to have done the leg work to have the next campaigns ready.

How to Tweak It

You could build these emails in several different ways, weighing the page space for one product more than another, or equally. And of course, just as before, you have a choice about how you handle a contact once they’ve engaged, and exactly what an engagement is defined as.

You may choose that an open is engagement, though that would be the lowest form. A better option may be a click through, and the highest level being a form submission or download. We’re stressing this each time because how you choose to proceed will drastically change the numbers you have engaging and the accuracy of the data.

Once they’ve engaged with an email, you have a choice to tag them and remove them from the campaign, or tag them and continue pushing them through to the next product. If you’re choosing this flow, it’s likely worth continuing them through to the end of the campaign to gather as much data as possible. If so, you would simple tweak it so that once they are tagged, they return back to the next email they haven’t received. This is something we can help you design if you’re unsure how.

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One last thing

These are simple flows because we’re only making decisions based on a simple engagement. My recommendation is to build lead scoring into your canvas as well to help truly understand your contacts. People are complicated. Bob Smith may be interested in all three business units, but only one has a sales opportunity.

The last company we did this with began the process in Q2, and by Q4 hit a lofty growth goal, heavily weighted by their abyss list which was nurtured and sold to. So what are you waiting for? If you need help with your strategy, our experts have you covered.


Ryan Axford

Ryan is the founder and Principal Automation and Optimization Consultant at nurturelabs. Over the last several years he has been the face behind lead generation programs driving triple digit results for various software companies. He has experience managing the optimization of the content lifecycle, landing pages, and automation platforms both large and small. Ryan has written Pardot trainings, and has most recently worked with clients including the University of California and HPE Software, as well as clients across SaaS, Services, and Technology Hardware.