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Seven tips for B2B lead nurturing.

Posted by Chris Hokansson on Nov 14, 2011 5:03:00 PM

Marketing automation has made it easy to set and up and deploy lead nurturing campaigns. Simplicity however doesn’t mean success. With this in mind, here are seven tips to consider to get the most out of your lead nurturing.

  1. Know your buyer.
    This is a good tip for most things marketing related but lead nurturing specifically is most effective when you have a good understanding of your buyers. Without knowing who you are speaking to and what is important to them it is difficult to drive the behaviors you seek.
  2. Understand your prospects’ buy cycle.
    A successful lead nurturing program both helps prospects move through their buy cycle and you identify which stage they are at. This, however, assumes you built your campaign on actually understanding how your prospects buy. Too many organizations understand exactly how they sell but have little insight into how their customers buy. Until you understand your prospect’s buy cycle you can’t effectively nurture leads.
  3. Tell don’t sell.
    When a prospect enters a lead nurturing campaign they have requested to hear from you. You need to take advantage of this by writing nurturing email copy that is helpful, informative and conversational. You want to help the prospect buy and so resist the urge to sell with overly promotional language.
  4. Be consistent.
    Make sure that when you create the landing pages your nurturing emails drive prospects to that they deliver on the promise of the email in a consistent way. Getting a prospect to click through is hugely important and you want the landing page to be consistent in every way (message, offer, tone) with how they got there.
  5. Start small and add complexity slowly.
    The opportunity and flexibility that marketing automation tools provide means you can easily set up campaigns and programs that are so complex that keeping track them is impossible. Instead start with something simple and look to add new campaigns and options naturally. Often the best place to start is with a campaign to re-start your existing database. This is general nurturing campaign designed to move previous prospects through the buying process and it doesn’t need to be tied to a specific form but triggered by lead score. If you want to get a little more complex you can vary the campaign for different score groups. Think top, middle, bottom of the funnel.
  6. Rinse and repeat.
    To get the most out of your lead nurturing you need to identify what’s working and what’s not. You can do this by looking at traffic, number of touches, lead conversions, sales conversion, click through rate, unsubscribes, etc. By looking at these numbers you can determine where to make changes and what to replicate.
  7. Get expert help if you need it.
    Whether you need to get your lead nurturing efforts kicked off or more regular campaign support, expert help can be worth its weight in gold. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your MA software provider, other more experienced marketers or agencies to make sure you are making the most out of your investment in marketing automation.

Approach your lead nurturing efforts like an experiment and don’t be afraid to try different things. Not everything is going to work for your audience and the key is to learn from those mis-steps and make sure you are working to optimize your campaigns. The effort and energy put into lead nurturing is worth it when you find leads moving efficiently from inquiry to lead to sale.


Topics: b2b, leads, marketing automation, lead nurturing