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5 Elements of a Successful Email Based Lead Nurturing Program

Posted on Aug 6th, 2015
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    Today more than ever, sales needs marketing’s help. Busy customers are making traditional sales methods less and less effective. Sales metrics that once had sales teams fist pumping around the office in success, are making for discouraged sales teams.

    In fact, B2B sales prospects often go through 57% of the sales process before even talking to a sales team. The modern buyer educates themselves by reading blogs, downloading white papers and signing up to receive more information.

    That means that the chances of catching them on the phone is highly unlikely. According to a past study from MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

    When exploring new options for converting sales leads into customers, consider using an email based lead nurturing program to help move prospects through the sales funnel. The 5 elements below can help guide you along your journey.

    #1 – Segment Your Email List

    Of course this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve been building your lead list for many years. It may take some work, but it’s not impossible. Below are two helpful tips to get you started:

    Step 1: Begin incorporating and requiring segmentation information in lead capture forms. Depending on your prospect base and how the information will be used you can include simple qualifiers such as:

    • Company Name
    • Title
    • Area of Interest

    This ensures that new audience members are categorized appropriately from the beginning.

    Step 2: Encourage contacts to self-identify. You can use an email blast such as a newsletter to encourage action by your readers. This could include having them complete a short survey or quiz about their needs, or simply asking what sort of information they would like to receive.

    #2 – Develop a Lead Nurturing Strategy

    Once you have a handle on the current state of your email list, it may be worth taking the time to develop a few user personas based on the data that you have. Proper persona development can help guide your strategy for different communication streams.

    Each target should receive a different series of touch points based on need. Keep in mind that a good email nurturing campaign will include other forms of supporting content as well. This can be in the form of blog posts, or other content marketing assets.

    #3 – Set Lead Nurturing Goals

    Understanding what exactly you want to accomplish can help drive your lead nurturing strategy and execution.

    Business Goals

    Your business objectives should focus on the percentage of business revenue that you expect to come from your lead nurturing program as well as some sort of lead quality scoring to determine worth of leads.

    Marketing Goals

    Ultimately, marketing goals should lend themselves to the overarching business goals. Typically the exact marketing goals will vary from campaign to campaign. Form conversions, opens and click through rates should all be marketing goals that you are tracking.

    #4 – Sales Leads & Subscribers Are Not the Same Thing

    People that sign up to receive your monthly newsletter should not automatically be incorporated into a lead nurturing program. Your time is better spent focusing on leads that come in through specific campaigns and lead capture forms.

    Create landing pages for content assets and lead nurturing that are easy to understand and encourage conversions.

    #5 – Consider Marketing Automation

    Marketing automation can simplify the lead nurturing process. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Marketing automation can be a large investment and requires the appropriate resources to execute effectively.

    Start by following the steps above and when you reach a point where your lead nurturing is not effective or begins to scale, begin hunting for a marketing automation solution that can assist in your lead nurturing process.

    How Much is it Costing You to Ignore Lead Nurturing?

    The intent of any digital program should be to inform prospects, build trust and authority and help your company be the best answer for their need at just the right time. Deploying a full fledged lead nurturing program may seem impossible.  If budget or resources are a hurdle, start small and begin adding as you build momentum.

    What have you found to be your biggest challenges in using digital marketing initiatives to help drive inquiries and leads?

    Image via Shutterstock.