Using Marketing Automation and Lead Nurturing
The biggest appeal of marketing automation is the idea that you can “nurture” or “warm” leads over time. When you automate this process, you can scale the number of leads you are nurturing at any time dramatically—if not infinitely. But, did you also know that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases (per The Annuitus Group)?
Makes sense right? Just like when you were selling candy bars in second grade, you visited your neighbors first because they were all good for a few bars or even a box. When you’ve earned trust, like and respect, the customer’s comfort level increases—and so does the size of the sale.
So, how do we hit up more friendly neighbors rather than selling single units outside of the grocery store in the South Florida heat?
Email marketing is the most common method of nurturing leads, but there are actually many more ways. And like all things in marketing, having the right strategy is equally important to having the right tactics in place. So, let’s discuss strategy first.
The goal is to add value to the lead or prospect’s life rather than repeatedly asking them to buy from you. What information do you have that is valuable to them? The info may be surprising, educational—perhaps a shortcut or tip—or just entertaining. The first step is understanding their world, and tailoring any information you provide to their wants, needs and even fears.
Understand going in that some leads will need to be nurtured for many months or years. Is there a storyline you can script over a dozen interactions, with each new touch building on the last? Sounds like an actual interpersonal relationship, I know. That’s exactly the point.
I think a few examples are in order to complete the picture for you.
- Is there an index, metric or trend that is published or revised that your target industry cares about? If so, send the metric or numbers, and add your orginal commentary. Over time, your list will begin to look forward to the insight. Congratulations: you’ve just cemented yourself as a standout expert in the field.
- Understand what keeps your target up at night. If you are targeting sales managers, send them weekly or monthly tips on developing the performance of their sales team, even if that has nothing to do with what you sell. Remember, it’s about them, not you.
- Do you have case studies of success that can help your target audience? Show them how others in their industry found a breakthrough, fixed a recurring problem or saved a significant amount of money.
- How can you save them time? Perhaps you can recap new trends, explain technical subjects or review the hottest new business book for them. People love cheat sheets, calculators and checklists too.
I’ve included B2B examples here, but you can easily translate some of them to end consumers.
Once you’ve got a story scripted, it’s time to execute. In the next post, I’ll share some really cool and cutting edge ways to nurture your leads. Until then, start thinking about how to add value to your customer’s lives months or years before they ever buy from you.