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Top Tips for Nurture Program Strategy


Marketo Engage’s Engagement Programs allow you to create personalized nurture journeys for leads at scale. Effective email nurturing can result in increased engagement, brand awareness, and conversions. However, creating a successful email nurturing campaign can be challenging, and it’s essential to use best practices to ensure that your messages are well-received and achieve their intended goals.

In this blog, we’ll explore some top tips for creating effective email nurture programs that can help you build meaningful relationships with your database and drive business growth.

What are the top tips for developing a nurture strategy?

Set nurture goals

What are you trying to accomplish? Articulating what your goals are around the success of the nurture and defining KPIs is essential.

Determine your target audience

A nurture is not intended to be a catch-all email series to your entire database. Get specific about who you want to target and refine your audience into separate streams based on demographics and behavior.

Provide valuable content

Build trust and authority with your audience through quality content. Think about your buying stages to gauge the type of content you’re sending. If the ask is too much upfront (ex. Book a demo) for a net new prospect, they may be more likely to opt out before you have provided actual value to them. You can leverage tokens and dynamic content to deliver more personalized emails that will ultimately make your audience feel more valued.

Think critically about how CTAs will drive conversion

Don’t overcomplicate your nurture emails with multiple CTAs. This can be confusing for your audience as it is unclear which action they should take.

Put the right content in the right order

What is the journey you want to take the prospect/customer on? Your nurture stream should incorporate content assets that progressively span the awareness, consideration & decision stages.

Don’t oversaturate your audience

Polluting the inboxes of your database likely won’t generate the positive results you desire. The goal is for your audience to want to hear from you and not feel tired of constantly seeing your emails in their inbox.

Monitor nurture to find areas to optimize

Use A/B testing to test different variations of your campaigns and optimize them over time. If something doesn’t seem to be working, don’t be afraid to make changes!

Keep it short & sweet

Emails don’t need to be wordy, just be sure to make them worthwhile for your audience to read. You can be more effective by saying less. Focus on what provides value to your audience and aligns with your goals, then consider removing the extra jargon that detracts from that.

Why should companies focus on the strategy behind their nurture?

A nurture without a well-developed strategy could do more harm than good. A solid nurture strategy is crucial for companies that want to build lasting relationships with their customers and drive revenue. By investing in this area, companies can optimize their marketing efforts and achieve long-term success.

When should you reevaluate your current nurture strategy?

If you have active engagement programs running, review how they are currently performing. Are you achieving your desired results? When nurture engagements are consistently generating low engagement across the board, it is a good time to reevaluate your strategy.

You could be experiencing database fatigue if there is low engagement and your nurture strategy has not been evaluated for a while. Maybe you are sending emails too frequently with repetitive content which is driving more unsubscribes and preventing you from achieving your nurture goals. Ideally, you should be constantly monitoring and evaluating your nurture strategy to identify these areas for improvement as they arise.

How can you improve your nurture strategy?

By implementing the tips mentioned above, you are well on your way to improving your nurture strategy. To further optimize your nurture strategy, it’s crucial to establish clear organization rules to determine which nurture program a lead belongs to and the triggers for their enrollment. Understanding the hierarchy of priority is essential in transitioning leads from low-intent nurtures to high-intent ones.

Additionally, you should decide if leads can move backward after a period of low engagement. Once the rules are defined, you can create smart lists that represent the outlined criteria, such as “Engaged with industry-specific campaign AND not currently enrolled in a product-specific nurture.” These lists can serve as both enrollment and suppression criteria, and they allow you to develop a centralized nurture strategy with your marketing team. By doing so, you streamline the planning process for new nurtures and avoid the confusion that comes with inconsistent program architecture.

Another best practice is to utilize a nurture gathering worksheet for a detailed breakdown of questions to consider before starting a new nurture program. Examples of what you could put in your nurture gathering worksheet include:

  • Cadence & Frequency – How many emails will be in this stream? How often do we want emails to be sent?
  • Entry/Suppression Criteria – What unique characteristics qualify someone for this stream? What actions will disqualify someone from this stream?
  • Transition Rules – What are the criteria for transitioning into a different stream?
  • Content inventory – This will make it easier to repurpose existing content that best answers the questions you want this stream to address as well as identify where you have content gaps.

Who should be responsible for nurture strategy?

Nurture strategy requires a collaborative effort across the marketing organization. If your nurture requires net-new assets, your content team will need to contribute by creating the desired assets. Marketing operations team members will typically handle the implementation including email builds and program architecture.

It is also important for both the marketing and sales teams to work together to develop a successful nurture strategy. By collaborating closely, they can ensure that the strategy is aligned with the overall goals of the organization and that it is effectively driving leads and prospects toward conversion.


The purpose of marketing automation is to do the heavy lifting for your team in the background. With that being said, you may be tempted to “set it and forget it” when it comes to launching your nurture programs. However, the more appropriate mindset for nurture strategy is “don’t set it and forget it”. Marketing teams should be constantly evaluating nurture campaigns to identify areas for improvement. If you need help with developing an effective nurture strategy, Etumos is here to help you reach your goals.

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