“Lead Nurturing” also known as; marketing automation, drip marketing, auto-responders, etc. is simply a system that allows you to send an automated series of emails to an early stage lead in order to pre-qualify them before handing them over to your sales team. As a marketer, you definitely want to capture as much lead information for as many people on your site as you can, but not everyone is ready to talk to sales.
Gleanster Research estimates that 50% of leads who are qualified to buy are not ready to purchase immediately. If you call these leads up and push them into making a decision right away, you will likely lose them. Instead, take a look at your existing sales funnel.
- How long does it typically take a lead to become a customer after his or her first inquiry?
- Does the sales cycle vary for different types of purchases?
Equipped with the answers to these questions, you can build effective campaigns and leverage this marketing channel to qualify leads and help your sales organization.
There are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure the “ efficiency of your emails. ” You probably already have some ideas about your campaign that you can launch to shorten the sales cycle of your leads and boost conversions. So how do you get started? Setting up a lead nurturing campaign is not a science. However, there are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure the efficiency of your emails.
Determine your goal
The first step is to determine your goal, which will direct your entire campaign: audience, content, and success metrics.
- Are you trying to reawaken cold leads?
- Increase lead quality? Generate new leads?
- Before you set the goal of your campaign, you should decide what actions make a lead sales-ready.
For example, if someone downloads a whitepaper, they could just be doing research and may not be ready to speak with a sales rep. Therefore, you should add them to a campaign that further qualifies them. If that person comes back and requests a demo, that’s a much better indication that they are ready to buy. Now you can send them to a sales rep.
Re-purpose existing content
Now that you’ve decided what makes a person sales-ready, you can choose which content you should send to your fresh leads. As you might have figured by now, content is a key piece of lead nurturing. Just because someone converts on your website, doesn’t mean you should jump straight into sending them an email about requesting a quote or a demo. You need to nurture them through the sales funnel first to make them readier to buy. Instead of pitching your product as the greatest thing ever, you should first offer value.Examples of valuable offers include;
- blog posts
- and whitepapers.
You don’t have to create new content for your campaign emails. If you have a backlog of content, utilize those assets. If they’ve been successful at converting leads in the past, there’s a high chance the leads you’re nurturing now will find value in them, too
Set up a timeline
Your business has a typical sales cycle, and so should your campaigns. Typically, it’s a good idea to send two to three emails to your prospects in campaign. 75% of leads buy within 18-24 months. This means you might want to space out your emails monthly. With lead nurturing, patience is a virtue. It’s important to remember not to rush into the sale. Instead, let it take its natural course. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different times and see what resonates with your audience best. For example, if your typical cycle runs 30 days, you may want to set up a campaign for emails to be sent out on the 1st, 10th, and 20th days after a conversion. SOURCE: MarketingSherpa
Measure and improve
The last step in setting up a campaign is to ensure the accurate tracking of your emails. You need to make sure you know what’s working and what’s not so you can continue to improve. Have metrics in place that tie to your goals set in step one. Looking to drive branding and awareness? Measure branded search or direct traffic to your website. Looking to increase lead quality? Measure quality conversions or lead ratings over time. Interested in generating new leads or email opt-ins? Measure how you’re growing your database from your lead nurturing efforts. As your campaigns run, make sure to experiment with the offers you send, the subject lines, and the calls-toaction found within the email. There’s always room to improve your campaign.