When it comes to effective marketing automation nurture campaigns, there are generally four basic steps to ensure lead nurturing success.
First, define your audience and your segment. Who will receive the email? What one segment do we want to engage? Once you define your ideal customer type for the email, it becomes easier to message them effectively.
Next, be useful. No one wants a sales pitch. Hold back a little, too. Just because someone downloads a whitepaper doesn’t mean you should start humping their leg for a quote or a demo. Just continue to be useful. Nurture them through the funnel, make them more “ready to buy”, educate them on deeper aspects of the purchase process and coach them. Offer value – such as follow-up papers, deeper reference material, slide decks, examples of RFP templates – these deeper assets are useful.
Third – build a realistic timeframe. Every buyer has a standard buying cycle. Try to space out campaigns accordingly. If your typical buying cycle takes 9 months, you certainly don’t want to compress 30 emails into a 30 day send period. Patience young grasshopper. Don’t rush into the sale.
Finally, measure. Experiment with the offers you send. Modify subject lines, calls to action, colors, headers, everything. There is always room for improvement. Use testing and experimentation to better nurture your leads.Use drip campaign templates so that changes can be made quickly – midcourse – as you learn new things be ready to adapt your lead nurturing program. Your fine-tuning will eventually drive organic visits – the best source of free marketing leads!
So…what makes a really good lead marketing automation nurture email?
- A visual connection between the information and the design
- Usefulness. The content should serve the needs of the buyer – not your sales people.
- Consistency. Consistency with branding, experience. The email and the website and the app should all look the same.
- Wow factor. If you can surprise or delight (or both) that’s a big plus. Email doesn’t have to be boring.
- All image emails are verboten
Remember, not every lead you generate is “sales ready.” Some people will never buy. You will generate garbage leads. You will also generate good leads. How do you tell the difference?
The lead management process…
- Captures inquiries when they visit your website
- Keeps leads warm until they are ready for sales
- Helps disqualify leads that will never buy with lead scoring
- Passes qualified leads to sales when the prospect needs to take the next step
- Refines the definition of a “good lead.”
So how does lead nurturing help you conduct better lead management?
Lead nurturing helps you automate the task of buildign relationships and engagement. Most web site visits are still gathering information to help make an informed decision. Most are not ready to buy. Your job is educate and be useful. The more useful you can be, the more your prospects will trust you.
Lead management and nurturing is more than just trying to schedule a follow-up call.
The sales process is complex Use your lead nurturing program to expose potential buyers to different use cases or features that they may not understand. Share important information before they ask for it, you are a thought leader.
Once the buyer is “sales ready” – get out of the way. With lead scoring, you get a clearer picture of buying intent and momentum. Work with your sales team to build an accurate lead score- it will take several iterations before everyone is happy with the result. More than anything, don’t use your lead nurturing programs to try to close too quickly – you will lose the trust of the buyer.