Just about anyone can get leads online now, but not every knows how to properly engage and nurture those leads to achieve higher business goals such as building trust with new contacts, increasing new business sales, or increasing repeat purchases from past customers.
The secret? A good lead nurturing strategy and campaign.
If you’re ready, I’ll show you the steps you need to take to set up your first lead nurturing campaign and achieve your marketing and sales goals.
Layout Your Sales Cycle
The first important step is understanding what type of cycle your buyer typically goes through from prospect to customer. If your business is like most, you may have five different stages that someone would go through.
Attraction > Top of the Funnel > Middle of the Funnel > Bottom on the Funnel > Delight
Or in our inbound marketing terms, it could also look like this:
Depending on the stage that a (potential) buyer is at, there is different kinds of content that would be appropriate and effective at nurturing that person into becoming sales-ready. Draw it out on paper or type it up! Once you have a good understanding of that process, you can move into identifying the specific potential buyer that you’re trying to target and engage.
Identify Your Buyer Persona
A crucial, yet often overlooked step – buyer personas. Knowing who you’re trying to speak to, knowing what kind of content you’ll need to provide them, how you should present it, what type of tone your content should have, and the list goes on is key to effectively reaching them. Content that is written for a company CEO is not going to resonate as much with an IT professional, and vice versa.
Simply put: determine who you’ll be targeting and keep that in the forefront of your mind as you move on to the next steps.
Determine Your Overall Goals
This is useful for both overall goals of the lead nurturing campaign as well as smaller goals of what you ultimately want someone to do as a result of each lead nurturing email.
First, determine your overall goal and be more specific. For example, you goal could be to move someone from the consideration stage to the purchasing stage, to re-engage past customers to upsell or cross sell, or simply build trust with people that are brand new and not quite ready to be nurtured into being sales-ready yet.
Second, determine the goals of each of your emails whether that’s to watch a video, download a guide, click a blog article to educate the lead, determine level of interest, sign up for educational webinar, etc.
Write it all down so you can reference it back throughout the set-up and management process.
Plan Your Content
Now figure out what type of content you want to serve this audience, by realizing the process that someone will need to go through to achieve the ultimate goal (i.e. a sale, deeper knowledge of your services, etc.)
Keep track of what content (i.e. blog posts, content offers, videos) that you already have that you’ll be utilizing as well as content that will need to be created before you set up your workflow.
Write Your Email Content
Time to write your emails. These emails are going to be integral at nurturing and moving people through the buyer’s journey.
Email Content Best Practices:
Make sure your contact list is segmented correctly to reach your target audience.
- Integrate eye-catching images
- Include a clear call-to-action (i.e. Download the Ultimate Checklist)
- Include social sharing buttons for promotion
- Keep it concise, clear and skimmable (bullet points are your best friend)
Set-Up Your Lead Nurturing Workflow
Again, reference your sales cycle. Your emails should coincide as much as possible with the typical process and timeline that someone goes through. Typically, a lead nurturing campaign contains anywhere from 2-5 emails that are sent out automatically at different intervals.
If it typically takes someone a month to go through your sales cycle, you’ll want to set up your emails to go out at various point within that month span to nurture them.
Test & Launch
Make sure to test you campaign to ensure that everything is working! You can even get your coworkers involved to make sure you don’t miss typos and ensure that your workflow and content make sense.
Analyze & Adjust
Check in weekly, if not more, on your campaign to see how things are going. Are you reaching the goals that you set out? If not, it’s time to start making adjustments.
Some of the most common things you can start looking at and edit are your subject lines, email content, email calls to action (i.e. download guide) and how often you’re sending emails. Make it a priority to continue to monitor and adjust over time to get the best results.