Once a visitor becomes a lead, he or she enters your sales funnel and the real work begins. Just because a person has engaged with you by downloading a piece of content or asking a question doesn’t mean that lead is ready for a sales call. In fact, a full 80 percent of leads are not ready, and many may never be ready for that stage. Lead nurturing helps by providing your leads with a steady, but not overwhelming, flow of information that is relevant to their initial conversion and influences them toward a buy decision.
Lead nurturing campaigns are a form of email marketing where emails are sent to segmented lists of your leads based on persona, demographics and interest in specific products or time-based criteria. Each campaign consists of several emails sent out automatically at intervals that add up to your average sales cycle for a selected product. Each email presents a new opportunity to download or view a new piece of content – the next logical step in learning more and moving down the sales funnel toward becoming a customer. Lead nurturing campaigns can be tied directly to conversions from demand generation campaigns or triggered by lead behavior.
Once a lead is captured in your marketing automation system, his or her interactions with your content (website pages, blogs, form conversions and email opens and clicks) are all recorded in the contact database and tracked via marketing automation. Upon return visits to your website and blog, you can present your lead with new content that also provides more in-depth information and answers any questions. This includes text or graphics on the website, calls-to-action, download opportunities and “smart forms” that include progressively more detailed contact information while hiding previously filled-out fields. This helps to increase conversion rates by keeping forms short and easy to complete. The beauty of content personalization is that it accomplishes the mission of lead nurturing without any outbound activity like sending an email or a piece of direct mail.
It can be a challenge for businesses to create the content, emails, landing pages and workflows for lead nurturing campaigns. In addition to modern marketing automation software, lead nurturing requires an effective process and talented content marketers and inbound marketers to create and manage the campaigns.
We are known for creating effective content for buyer personas that map to the stages of the sales funnel for lead nurturing. Our team works with you to create and promote lead nurturing campaigns and operate your marketing automation system to move leads down the sales funnel and pre-qualify them for your sales team. We do this by following a well defined lead nurturing and marketing automation process: