Lead nurturing is a complex process that requires strategy, planning and creative thinking. The idea of simply sending out a batch of unrelated emails to anyone who signs up for one of your downloads may accomplish the task of staying "top of mind," but it could also drive potential sales leads out of your funnel due to lack of relevance and oversaturation. Behavior-driven lead nurturing addresses this fundamental weakness by targeting the right people with the appropriate message at the right moment that will help to drive them further down the sales funnel and reduce the sales cycle. But what message, and when? This is where the strategy and planning come into play. Visualizing your lead nurturing pathways can really help.
The first step in creating an effective lead nurturing strategy is understanding what your visitors are looking for. What attracted them to your website in the first place and how did they move through your funnel? We use the HubSpot Enterprise Advanced Marketing Reports to analyze the flow of people from top to bottom. Here, for example, is a report showing the pages that visitors visit prior to downloading our mid-funnel Inbound Marketing Blueprint.
By going through this type of analysis, we have broken down our visitor intent (preferences) by the content topics or information they seek, for example:
We also break down our visitor intent by our core services:
For each segment, we round up all of the appropriate content we have and visualize a typical visitor download path based on our marketing analytics and goals.
Here is our lead nurturing plan for people interested in the topic of inbound marketing. Typically, they download our Blueprint from the CTA on the Home page or Blog, at which time we launch a conventional email drip campaign in 2-3 days and invite them to download our Sales Cheatsheet, since they go hand-in-hand. The next drip email invites them to view our SaaS Marketing Webinar. At this point we are introducing them to our inbound marketing services and how we are helping companies generate sales leads. Since they have signed up for the webinar, we immediately send them our Saas Marketing Guide, a white paper follow-up to the webinar. Next we send them another drip, this time on Advanced Lead Generation and Analytics, that goes much further to explain how we utilize advanced marketing analytics to improve conversion rates and reduce the sales cycle.
Now we know that they are interested and engaged, so we watch carefully. If they take the bait, to visit our Inbound Marketing Pricing (Calculator) page, we know we have a fish on the line. At this point we immediately send them our Client Kit that explains everything they need to know to do business with us, and why they should. We include an invitation to a 30-minute consultation (i.e. sales call). If they don't respond within 24 hours, we call them. By the way, our lead generation forms by now have captured all of the salient information our Sales team needs to qualify and close. All of this is handled automatically via the HubSpot Enterprise software. For each content segment and for typical pathways through the website, we have one of these flowcharts. We also plan our content development strategy to help us fill in any holes that may be apparent.
By carefully aligning our content marketing and lead nurturing strategies, we are streamlining our sales funnel. We are making sure that people get what they want, even though they may not find it themselves. This not only keeps us in mind, but it also cements the relationship, forging Kuno Creative as a trusted resource for relevant content. It also demonstrates that we are paying attention to their interests and their relative place in the buyer cycle. Even though this process is entirely automated, it establishes us as leaders in both the individual content topics and in inbound marketing best practices. It also helps us to generate sales-ready leads and develop them into customers sooner rather than later.
Image character credit: Thanks to B2Bento - I borrowed some of your characters from your outstanding infographics on lead conversion. I hope you don't mind, but they are awesome.