A Marketer’s 6 Step Guide to Lead Nurturing

In an ideal world, every lead is organic – they find you, need you, tell you and buy you. The reality is that not every lead is free...

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In an ideal world, every lead is organic – they find you, need you, tell you and buy you. The reality is that not every lead is free of cost, and not every organic visitor knows that they need you, and if they do know, they may not tell you.

This is where a good lead nurturing campaign comes into play. The goal of a nurturing campaign is to educate, warm up and keep a wide open door for every new contact you acquire in hopes that they may turn into a sale. For purchased leads, you will never optimize your ROI if you don’t have a well thought out nurturing plan in place. Here’s how you go about it.

1. Segment your lists

No two people are alike. Treating all your contacts as if they were the same is a grave mistake. Ask the appropriate questions on your forms that will help you identify contacts by their qualities such as job title, company and country. As well, ask pain points or use cases you want to address. From there you can distinguish your audiences based on persona, company size, lifecycle stage, or what have you. Each list will require very unique nurture tracks.

2. Don’t sell.

I know it’s tempting, but no one likes an annoying salesy email. If you think about the emails you open from brands, they’re either sharing a curious and interesting bit of information, have something entertaining to distract you with, are giving away freebees or a promotion, or have something absolutely compelling and useful to give you. Your mantra when writing emails for a drip campaign is “Give, give, give, and give some more.”

3. Help them raise their hands.

It’s true you should avoid selling as much as possible, but you should always give your audience the opportunity to opt in and raise their hands if they are ready. Remind them that they can reach out to you whenever they like and you are here to help and be their personal consultants. Give them the option to self-identify at any and every point during the campaign in a discrete and tactful manner. After giving and giving, you’re now entitled to ask.

4. Every email has an intention.

Every email should have a goal, a call to action and a plan for monitoring and measuring success. The goal could be that they sign up for a webinar, share on social media, reply to your email or click on an article you’re sharing. There can only be one call to action that doesn’t have to compete for your audience’s attention with anyone else, hence it should be bold, loud and clear.

5. A/B Test your brains out.

Never stop testing. Test the subject line, time and day of delivery, email body, format, design, CTA language, color, etc. Find out what’s working and roll with it, and A/B test again. Be sure to have a large enough list to have a representative sample in order for the data to be as clean as possible.

6. Work closely with the sales team.

Define what triggers are strong enough indicators to sales that a contact is ready to purchase. How will your sales-ready leads pass over, what is the SLA with your sales team and what will you do with the leads that don’t make the cut and bounce back over to marketing’s ball court? In order to ensure that nurturing campaign meets a full circle, it’s important to closely collaborate with the sales team.

by Veronica French @veronicafrenchy

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