Back in 2013 if you had spoke about a nurture journey people would have thought you were just referring to some sort of parent/child relationship but Mark Burgess, CEO of Iceberg Digital was already knee deep in how this form of marketing worked.
Since then Mark has written two best- selling books around both how marketing really works and the data required to do it effectively, he has spoken at events around the world on the subject and even had his own TV show on Sky.
Now Mark is telling Estate Agents NOT to just use nurture journeys for their market appraisals. So why would the CEO of the company that brought marketing and CRM into a world first platform, known as Lifesycle, say this?
Mark explains: “Back in 2013 I loved the idea of being able to automatically stay in touch with people on subjects relevant to them by putting our contacts into nurture journeys but 10 years later we have learnt an awful lot about both the right and wrong way to do these.
The temptation in the beginning is to create automated emails that go out over a period of time in order to stay in touch with your opportunities and of course the principle is correct, however there are a few key places that this falls down.
1. Nurture journeys end.
A nurture journey by definition has a start point and an end point. I would say almost all of the courses, softwares or template funnels I have ever seen being sold online fall into this trap. Think about your Market Appraisals that were not yet ready to instruct and imagine them dropping into a pre structured nurture journey that will send them content about your company or their needs over a period of time. Now ask yourself, how long is long enough? 1 month? 6 months? 6 years? The answer is, it should never end until they decided to unsubscribe. But that leads to problem number 2.
2. You make your nurture journeys too long.
After point number 1 how can this be a thing? Surely this goes against point number 1? Let me clarify this. The problem with making very long pre-written nurture journeys is that the content goes stale. You also can’t control how far into that nurture journey each contact is and so the exact wrong piece of content could land in front of someone at the exact wrong time depending on unthinkable world events. As an example, imagine 2 days into the first lockdown a nurture journey delivering a piece of content that you had written a year earlier about how now would be a great time for them to get you round for a catch up! Of course that is an extreme example but it helps to make the point. You can’t see into the future and making long nurture journeys is very dangerous and will cause you problems further down the road. Nurture journeys are great, but they should be short and sweet.
3. Too many nurture journeys.
The next issue is once you have the capability to automate messaging to people and segment them into different groups, there is a very real danger of getting carried away with it. I see this in 95% of clients. The issue here is that when you make too many nurture journeys your contacts COULD end up in all of them and be getting bombarded. As an example, you might make a nurture journey for people that require a mortgage, maybe one for people who have a property to sell, perhaps another for people who have not yet chosen their solicitors, you might also decide to create one for people that have done an instant valuation and lets say another for people who are looking to spend over £1m. If you had also made the mistake from point 2 each of them could be quite long and persistent. Now just think for a minute, it is actually possible for a person to be in all of those journeys listed above and image just how annoying your emails are going to become!
4. There is no alert system behind the nurture journey
The previous 3 points are problems that will lead you into a big mess but this is THE biggest problem for anyone actually looking to get a return on their investment of time, effort and money from building nurture journeys. Staying in regular contact with your database via useful content is designed to keep you top of peoples thoughts and make them much more familiar and trusting of your brand over time and the science proves this works but unless your system is completely linked in with your every day CRM and is tracking the online activity of your contacts in order to let you know who to call and when it is the right time, you will always remain firmly in the dark in terms of knowing if this process is actually paying off. Over the years will will amass thousands if not tens of thousands of contacts in your database. Your system not only needs to be able to put the right content in front of the right people forever but it needs to let you know who is interacting with which types of content in order for your staff to have great phone calls every day. For example, you did a valuation for Mrs Jones 3 years ago and have been sending her useful content ever since. She has never paid much attention to it, but suddenly over the last 2 months she has started reading some of your articles around what to do if you are thinking of selling. Your system then alerts your team that now could be a good time to have a ‘touch base’ call with that prospect. Without that functionality you will always be scratching around in the dark.
So how do you solve all of these pitfalls and end up not just wasting lots of time, effort and money only to create a big mess that is hard to see the ROI from? Fortunately, that is why Lifesycle was built, specifically from the blueprints of Mark Burgess’ brain, so that you don’t have to spend ten years figuring all this out. Lifesycle takes all of the brilliance of marketing automation and merges it right into a fully functioning Estate Agency CRM allowing you to get far more bang for your buck by just doing your everyday work and knowing that no opportunity is being lost.
Mark spoke about the power of such systems in his last best selling book ‘The Estate Agency Revolution’ and now it has become a reality for 100’s of estate agency brands up and down the country. It is a totally new way of working and has literally revolutionised those businesses. You can listen to over 90 videos of agents talking about it on our YouTube playlist here.