We have already discussed the fact that around 50% of the leads you generate will not be ready to buy when you initially contact them. So what do you do with those leads? If the current answer is “nothing”, you’re losing out on many potential sales., building trust along the way.
Lead Nurturing Campaign Do’s
Do Segment your Lists
Segmenting your lists should be the first order of business. By creating separate lists based on industry or buyer personas, you can tailor your lead nurturing campaign to a specific type of buyer. You can also segment your lists based on sections of the sales funnel. This way, you can include relevant information and offers, such as free trials or coupons.
Do Use Plain Text Emails
Though HTML-based emails look nice and fancy, plain text emails tend to look more genuine. Other than the authenticity factor, you can also save all on the design time and put it towards producing high quality content for the emails, rather than just pretty pictures.
Do Use Plain English
As well as using plain text emails, you should also use plain English. Keep the written content of your mails and campaigns short, concise and easy to understand. Most sources suggest keeping your written copy simple for a 7th grader to understand. If you don’t know how simple your copy is, you can use the Hemingway App, which scores your copy and gives easy-to-follow suggestions.
Do Keep Permission to Stay in Contact
53% of leads will stop responding, and may even unsubscribe, if they keep receiving information that isn’t relevant to them. Once they revoke your permission to mail them, trying to sell to them becomes much more difficult. Make sure the information you’re sending your leads is relevant to them, and timely. This way, they’ll keep opening your mails.
Well-structured lead nurturing campaign emails have a response rate nearly 10x that of normal email blasts. Combine that with other nurturing touch points, and you’re bound to close a sale.
Make your Business a Thought Leader
You need to give your prospects a reason to keep opening your emails. Ideally, your mails should be providing them with quality, thought-provoking content that highlights your authority in your industry. While you shouldn’t stray too far from the service or product that got the lead to respond in the first place, you can offer heavy hitting guides and tools. These should help them as they move through the buying stages.
Lead Nurturing Campaign Don’ts
Don’t Email Leads Every Day
No one wants to get bombarded with emails. Emailing your prospects every day is the quickest way to come across as needy, and get them to unsubscribe. The buyer’s journey will be different for every business, and the length of the buying cycle will vary. While Pardot recommends emailing every 6 to 45 days, Marketing Advocate suggests sending no more than 12 emails per quarter. For longer buying cycles, and more pricey purchases, a longer wait between emails makes sense.
Be aware of how often you’re sending out lead nurturing campaign emails, and test to see which frequency works for you.
Don’t Send Every Lead the Same Email
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to segment your list. Buyers are becoming less tolerant of communications that aren’t relevant to them. Of course, the same piece of content will not resonate with everyone. Segment your lists and only send content which is relevant to the segment.
Don’t Leave Your Team Out of the Loop
Sales and marketing should be aligned. Though marketing is primarily responsible for lead nurturing, your sales team should still be involved when designing the lead nurturing campaign. Your sales team is able to advise your marketing team on the best way to approach your audience’s pain points. Make sure they’re included when designing the nurturing campaign.
Don’t Start Lead Nurturing Without Content
Hopefully, you already have some sort of content marketing strategy in place. Before you get started with lead nurturing, you need to have the content to back it up. Once you have a steady stream of informative content, you have relevant information to include in your nurturing campaigns. This content can include everything from webinars and whitepapers to infographics, images and blog posts. They should provide knowledge to your prospects without your sales team having to answer all their questions personally.
Five Tips for Creating a High-Converting Lead Nurturing Campaign
1. Clearly Define Your Audience
Most companies have more than one type of buyer. So why do they only market to one type of buyer? Before you set up your lead nurturing campaign(s), make sure you first know exactly who needs nurturing. Determine who your ideal customer is, and the buyer’s journey they’ll follow. From here, you can decide what information is most relevant to them, and most likely to move them through the funnel.
2. Offer Something of Value First Before Your Sales Pitch
Just because someone filled in a form on your website, doesn’t mean you should jump right into sending them a demo or a quote. When they’ve just filled in the form, they’re right at the top of the sales funnel. You need to nurture them first, and move them through the funnel. Rather than trying to sell immediately, offer them something of value. As we discussed earlier, this could be a whitepaper or infographic or ebook. This is also why you need to have a library of content at the ready.
Educate and inform your leads. Give them something of value, and they’re more likely to trust you.
3. Set a Goals for Each Email
Now that you know you should be sending content first instead of sales quotes, do you know what kind of content to send? Do you know what the point of your next email will be? Ideally, you should be crafting nurturing emails which appeal to a particular audience segment, in a particular place in the funnel. Each lead nurturing campaign should give them the information they need to move further down the funnel. Each email should bring them one step closer to being a customer.
While there’s really no need to go into as much detail as seen above, you should have some kind of plan and objective in mind for each email.
4. Set Up a Timeline for Your Emails
If you have a basic plan in mind for your emails, you should also have a timeline in mind. Rather than just sending out mails whenever the mood strikes, you should have a timetable set up for which email goes out when. Generally, it’s good practice to send between 2 and 4 emails per lead nurturing campaign. These emails should be spaced out accordingly.
5. Always Be Testing
As your lead nurturing campaigns run, experiment with the aspects of your offers. This includes the offer itself, the subject lines, the copy and the CTA. There’s always room for improvement. By testing and experimenting, you can improve your conversion and response rates dramatically. Lead nurturing can be very effective if done incorrectly, and rather than helpful and informative, your “nurturing” emails could be seen as irrelevant spam. Take the time to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and go from there.
Nurturing Leads with Content Marketing
Lead nurturing emails are important, and we’ve discussed at length the importance of email in the modern marketing marketplace. In this very article, we’ve also discussed the importance of content marketing. In today’s marketplace, buyers are increasingly wary of ads, and even more wary of salespeople. With content marketing, you give buyers the opportunity to educate themselves, moving themselves through the funnel at their own pace.
In a nutshell, content marketing is the process of creating relevant and valuable content—from blog posts to infographics to video—that attracts, engages, and serves your audience. Most buyers are already looking for answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems. Content marketing allows them to answer these questions, providing solutions without a sales pitch included. This introduces buyers to your brand, builds trust and allows buyers to move themselves through the sales funnel.
Content Marketing and Email
In 2010, the Wall Street Journal famously declared the death of email, saying “Email has had a good run…but its reign is over.” Despite this preemptive obituary, email is still one of the most popular communication methods in the world, and the preferred method for consumers to receive brand communications.
- According to Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an return on investment of 4,300%
- Jupiter Research has revealed that broadcast emails drive 18x less revenue than relevant emails
Email is the best way to get in front of a lead, and the best way to deliver specific content. Still, effective email marketing has rules. An effective email needs to be:
- Trusted: The receiver needs to know who you are and why you’re sending them emails. Set up a smart opt-in process to make sure of this.
- Relevant: As we’ve already discussed, personalisation and segmentation are key, and the days of email “blasts” are over.
- Conversational: You need to give your buyer the opportunity to respond, and your next round of content should take that potential response into consideration.
- Coordinated: Your email content should be the hub that connects your website and your social content.
- Strategic: While your opens and CTRs are important, what you really want is sales. Whichever system you use for emailing content should be able to deliver some kind of ROI metric.
A Brief Note Content Marketing on Social Media
We’ve discussed lead nurturing via email, and it’s still the most effective form of lead nurturing campaign. But no modern strategy should focus on a single platform. Multiple marketing touches from multiple platforms are important for maximising conversion rates and building industry authority and trust.
A strategic social marketing strategy doesn’t mean producing all the content for all the channels. You should match your target audience demographics to the demographics of specific networks. From there, you can determine which types of content will work best for which platform.
Remember the following:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Inbound marketing is not enough. You need multiple touches
- You must have good content and solid offers.
- You will need a strong CTA.
- Always add value. Don’t just focus on your sales pitch
- Never forget that social is a two-way street.
- Viral sharing is the best way to get your message heard.