It’s that time of year again: The birds are chirping, the sun is shining bright and it is time to start preparing your garden beds for the upcoming growing season. Gardeners put a lot of care into their work so they can produce a healthy harvest. When it comes to marketing, shouldn’t we put the same amount of care into our lead nurturing campaigns?
Check out five ways executing a lead nurturing campaign is similar to gardening and how they can help you produce a "healthy harvest."
One of the first things you need to do before you can begin to grow is to gather your tools. Depending on what you are going to grow, this can be as simple as a trowel and knee pad, or you might need a tiller and plow for heavy farming.
Just as you need to gather different equipment for gardening, you need to gather and produce different content for your lead nurturing campaign. This content often comes in the form of free downloads, blogs and videos explaining how buyers can benefit from your product or service. You want to make sure this content is both engaging and educational so your contacts will better understand what you are offering. Remember, it is also important to have an offer at the bottom of the sales funnel that encourages leads to purchase, such as a form requesting a call from a sales rep or a free demo.
Before you actually start sowing seeds, you need to prep the soil. This involves cleaning old material, tilling the earth and fertilizing. You need to prepare the soil for exactly what you are looking to grow. It is also necessary to make sure you have seeds that will grow in the climate you live in.
Before you launch your lead nurturing campaign, you should segment and optimize your contact list. Just like you wouldn’t try growing citrus in the unpredictable and short growing season of Ohio, you wouldn’t want to send out an email to somebody you know would not benefit from your service. There are many ways to segment your list including age, geography and occupation. List segmentation will help you avoid bounced emails, unsubscribes and unqualified contacts, which helps you better reach those who could become excellent leads.
You have the soil prepped and the list segmented—it's time to sow the seeds and send out your initial email. As with planting, you want to make sure you send out enough emails to generate the amount of sales qualified leads you are aiming for. Don’t worry if you see some people not opening or acting on this initial email; we will cover this in the next section. The main goal of this email is to raise awareness of your product or service to your leads and get them into your sales funnel to hopefully become customers.
Your first sprouts are poking through the ground; it is time to nurture these plants, making sure they get enough water and sun. You also need to weed out and prune the plants that are debilitating the growth of your prosperous ones.
This same aspect goes for the contacts and leads you sent your initial email to. To make sure you are generating the sales qualified leads you are looking for, you need to make sure leads are getting what they need to grow—including the advanced content we prepared before we even sent out the first email. As you continue to deliver quality content, your interested leads will continue through the campaign, while weeding out those who are not qualified. This will give you the best opportunity to reach those who could become potential customers.
All your hard work is starting to show! The flowers are blooming, the vegetables are starting to ripen and the marketing qualified leads are starting to trickle down the funnel. Just like it is time to harvest the fruit of your labor, it is time to hand off those leads that have made it through your funnel to the sales team.
What have you learned from running your own lead nurturing campaigns? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.
With a degree in Electronic Media, Dan Romanski has five years of video production, both professionally and independently. When he is not assisting with lead nurturing campaigns and projects at Kuno, he can be found exploring different parts of Cleveland with his camera.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.
photo credit: randygauthier
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