Selling in an on-demand world isn’t for the faint of heart. Today’s customers are researching on their own terms, and they expect interactions with your brand to be personalized and timely. Marketers must be ready to pivot on a dime.
There are only so many hours in the day, so the answer is to automate — very purposefully. A well-thought out lead nurturing strategy is one way that you can connect more
eﬀectively across all phases of the customer lifecycle. At its core, lead nurturing is the process of automatically “dripping” relevant messages to your leads over time.
Here’s how it works. Marketers build a number of diﬀerent tracks to address various products of interest, pain points, common objections during the sales cycle, and more. Then, customers are placed on a track based on what we know about them. You’re learning more about your customers every day — maybe they returned to your website to download a new e-book, or they requested a live demo from sales — so nurturing campaigns aren’t static. Leads move in and out of diﬀerent tracks based on the signals they are sending. And it’s all automatic.
How nurturing can benefit your sales and marketing?
The real power behind lead nurturing comes from its ability to automate thoughtful communications. With a nurturing program in place, your prospects are no longer getting spammed with generic sales emails — they’re receiving targeted communications based on their own activities, interests, and more.
Stop wasting time.
If sales engages a lead too early, they have to spend a lot of time explaining what your solution does and pitching the value. Nurturing has the power to signifcantly speed up your sales cycle by taking care of some of that education before a lead even reaches your sales team. It’s eﬀective for both those actively evaluating your brand, and those who aren’t quite there yet — just make sure you use data to deliver the right message.
A targeted nurturing approach ensures that they’re as educated as possible by the time they’re ready to talk to a sales rep, but doesn’t feel too pushy.
Reactive dead leads.
Your database was expensive to grow, but we often forget to tend to it over time. If sales does reach out, but can’t connect, they move on to the next name — leaving you with a large pool of inactive leads. Nurturing can be a great way to revive the good ones and weed out the bad.
Slowly start sending educational content and watch for signs of life. Then, rest assured that your sales team won’t be left dealing with a zombie lead when they re-engage. Even better? You can keep leads out of the lead cemetery altogether by creating nurturing tracks for your sales team to use for leads that don’t answer their calls. Just one easy
click in the CRM lets them keep the conversation going while they focus on their hotter leads.
Personalize 1:1 email messages.
Not only do nurturing emails deliver the right content at the right time, they also deliver personalized content.
In fact, according to eConsultancy, businesses who are personalizing web experiences are seeing a 19% increase
in sales. By using rich-text emails instead of HTML, including a personalized signature from a sales rep, taking advantage of variable tags to insert the right details, and sending content based on your prospects’ actions or interests, your sales emails can finally achieve that 1:1 marketing ideal, even at scale.
Do more with less.
Today’s marketing and sales teams are strapped for time and resources. If you’re balancing multiple priorities and doing everything manually, it’s easy to go too long without checking up on your leads. Think of lead nurturing as a simple way to outsource many of the time-consuming, manual tasks that take up your marketing and sales teams’ time. Now, you can use that time to pursue more strategic marketing initiatives.
Use nurturing across the entire lifecycle — and internally.
While much of the emphasis has been placed on automating sales communications, lead nurturing is equally useful for campaigns aimed at new or existing clients. Use nurturing campaigns to welcome new clients, distribute helpful training information, send important best practices information, and more. You can even use nurturing tracks to upsell current clients, promote new or diﬀerent packages, or run campaigns focused on renewals. Some companies also create internal nurturing tracks to
onboard new employees and deliver ongoing training.
What lead nurturing campaign can you try ?
Lead nurturing is a powerful tool for sales and marketing,but also for your customer service team. Let’s look at ten diﬀerent campaigns you can run that cover the length of the entire customer lifecycle, from initial awareness to a loyal (and hopefully repeat) customer.
1. Welcome Campaign
Welcome or fulfllment emails in response to a particular oﬀer are highly anticipated, frequently opened, and simple to automate. By turning your welcome emails into a nurturing campaign, you can begin to establish a lasting relationship. In the initial email, remember to remind them why they converted, confrm their opt-in, and let them know what to expect from your program. Then, start providing them with light, educational content to build awareness and keep them interested. Be sure to keep it targeted based on the oﬀer they converted on!
2. Top-of-Mind Campaign
The top-of-mind drip is designed to engage with your leads at regular intervals, preventing leads from forgetting about your company and getting swooped up by your
competitors. This drip takes place over a longer period of time, providing sales with consistent touch points, and uses content primarily focused on value to the prospect.
For early-stage leads, make sure to choose the right content. Start engaging them with interesting blog posts, helpful third-party content, and other content around related topics, and watch for key activities that indicate they are interested in learning more about your actual oﬀering. These buying signals can trigger an automatic
assignment to sales or shift them to a more productfocused nurture track.
3. Re-engagement Campaign
Not all of your prospects will make it through the sales process. At any given time, your database is full of leads who are actively participating in the sales cycle, and
equally full of leads who became inactive at some point during the sales process. Re-engagement campaigns are targeted toward these inactive leads, with the ultimate goal of prompting them to take a “hand-raising” action, which would indicate that they are ready to re-enter the sales process. Try sending a helpful blog post, a new white paper, or a successful case study for these kinds of drips.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)
4. Product-focused Campaign
As prospects progress through the sales process and begin to seek out more product-focused content, you’ll want to make sure they’re getting the right product information
from you, instead of a competitor or biased third party.
Focus on your prospects’ pain points, how your product can address them, and the key features and benefts that will help along the way. For this type of drip, you’ll want to use case studies, customer testimonials, data sheets, and more in-depth white papers. Be sure your sales team has visibility into all touchpoints with their customers so that
they can tailor their conversations based on activity history.
5. Competitive Drips
This type of campaign focuses on diﬀerentiating your product or service from your competitors by highlighting the advantages of using your product, as well as the disadvantages of not using it (note: you’ll want to refrain from harping on the disadvantages of your competitors’ products, since this can come oﬀ as distasteful). Focus your content on the priorities of your prospects and the competitors that come up in deals with your company.
A general diﬀerentiator campaign can be eﬀective, but if you know that a customer is currently using or evaluating a particular competitor, you can really position your product to win.
6. Industry Expertise Drips
As prospects move closer to the middle of the funnel, it becomes important to reinforce that your company is the right choice. Pass on any helpful press releases, industry reports, or high-trafc content as part of this drip to establish your company’s authority. For example, if your company was recently covered by an analyst report, be sure to share it with your prospects and put your own spin on the review.
7. Promotional Drips
As your prospects near the purchase stage of the sales funnel, a well-timed promotion or special discount can be just the catalyst they need. Consider oﬀering special pricing or additional features based on their individual needs, especially if you’re working with bigger accounts where closing the deal is critical to growing your business. This also works well for companies that use a free trial
model. The right oﬀer near the end of the trial can help encourage customers to commit.
8. Onboarding Campaign
Onboarding a new client will always be a high-touch and manual process, and rightly so. However, nurturing campaigns allow you to automate some of the more repetitive tasks involved in onboarding, like providing introductory training resources, a list of next steps after close, timelines for product kickoﬀs, and frequently asked questions. These helpful resources can help your new clients get started on their own, without having to wait on a customer service rep for assistance.
9. Upsell Drip
The upsell (or cross-sell) campaign is designed to capitalize on your existing clients. By providing your clients with information and incentives to expand the list of products they are using, you can drive more revenue with little eﬀort from your sales team. Just be sure to focus your message around the benefts of the new oﬀering, and remember to use a tone that feels friendly and approachable to your customers. Segment carefully, and avoid trying to sell to accounts that are currently having issues (hint: you can do this by setting up a dynamic suppression list).
10. Renewal Campaign
Renewal nurtures can be a convenient way to remind your existing customers that it is time to renew their contracts. This drip can be triggered a month (or more) before the renewal date, send multiple reminder emails over a specifed period of time, and notify the assigned account manager if no action takes place. This makes it far less likely that your clients will miss the renewals on their
contracts, and takes the tedium out of the process for your service reps.
Have you picked out the campaigns that will work best for your business? Start thinking about how you can implement them.