As you start to grow your database it’s important to plan for strategies that will keep contacts engaged with your brand. Your database should be filled with contacts from various sources who are at many stages of their buyer journey. Most businesses start out with current and past customers and then grow their list with new contacts such as blog subscribers, resources form fills, prospects and “contact us” requests. In order to continue to grow your business you want to be top of mind for every person that was interested enough in your company to provide you with their email information. Without being pushy or salesy, you need to stay in front of them and become a go-to resource for valuable information regarding your industry. As they continue to research, compare and make decisions about the solution that is best for them - you want your marketing information to be a reminder that your company is the best choice. As an inbound marketer, the method to achieve this is called “lead nurturing”.
What Is Lead Nurturing?
According to Marketo, “On average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy” and MarketingSherpa tell us “Almost 80% of new leads never become sales”. This is what makes lead nurturing so important. Lead nurturing is what marketers use to develop relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and throughout the buyer’s journey. Lead nurturing is not just blasting emails to your entire email list with marketing emails every week or month. Successful lead nurturing focused on communicating by listening to the needs of your prospects and then providing them with the solutions they really need.
To succeed with lead nurturing it’s important to have a segmented database. You should separate your contacts into lists based on where they stand in their buyer journey. You wouldn’t want to send a marketing email series intended for a prospect to someone who is already a customer or a person who has requested contact with sales already. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your email lists and utilize that knowledge to develop your lead nurturing strategies.
For more about email list segmentation and lead scoring, check out these resources:
- Lead Scoring 101 (Hubspot)
- Creating an Effective Lead Scoring System (ActiveCampaign)
- 30 Ways to Slice Your Email Database (Hubspot)
- Easy Email Segmentation Marketing Strategies (KissMetrics)
3 Amazing Lead Nurturing Tactics You Should Try
1. Nurture Leads With Targeted Content
According to Hubspot, Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%. In order to build targeted content lead nurturing campaigns, you’ll need to really understand your personas and their buyer journey. Then you can create content for their interests, marketing triggers, goals and challenges. Once you have the right content, create a series of emails that will walk them through the sales cycle using targeted content for their persona. For example, say you are a veterinarian office and you have a list of old patients that have not been back to the office for their annual visit. You can start by creating content about the importance of preventative care, a checklist of annual vaccines and why they are critical to your pet’s health. Create email that are personalized with their pet’s name and information and continue to send reminders that include valuable content related to their type of pet. Understanding your persona and where they are in the sales cycle is 100% necessary for targeted content lead nurturing to work.
2. Current Event Follow-Ups
Email campaigns work best when they are right on time. A great way to re-engage your database is by using marketing strategies based on current events. There’s always something going on in the news so find something local that can be related to your industry and use it to reach out to old customers or fresh prospects. For example, if you are a IT company that focuses on security and there was a recent data breach in the news. You can utilize this opportunity to analyze what went wrong and how your company would prevent or address this issue for their ideal customer. Using an attractive headline and valuable information, this type of email campaign could get some real attention from prospects who have not heard from your brand in a while.
3. Trigger Emails Based On Website Action or Inaction
If you use a Marketing Automation Software such as Hubspot, this type of lead nurturing could be very beneficial to re-engage your database.
- Contact Re-Conversion
- Trigger an email when a contact who is already in your database reconverts on an offer. Since they have already been to your website and engaged with your brand, they seem very interested. Instead of your typical follow-up email post-download, send them something more personalized utilizing what you already know about them from their form fill.
- Multiple Page Visits
- Set up an email for any contact that is in your database and visits a certain number of pages on your website. This can be specific pages such as pricing, about us, contact us or you can keep it to a general number that would include blog articles. This contact is showing interest in your company and you should reward them with a personalized email. A great idea to get this contact to make a move would be to include a discount offer or coupon in your email.
- “We Miss You”
- Make a list of contacts who have not visited your website in a certain timeframe and send over a “we miss you” type email. Be sure to provide content within the email that is valuable and targeted enough to intrigue them to click through and re-engage. Remember, they haven’t been back in a while so you might have to remind them a bit of why they visited in the first place.
Email marketing is the most direct way to get online prospects to re-engage with your brand. However, your email marketing must be trusted, relevant and conversational in order to succeed. Never stoop to just emailing your entire database with a generic email - it won’t work! People want to feel special and they want to know that a company cares about their needs and challenges. The best way to utilize your online database is to strategize lead nurturing campaigns that will fit your goals. Whether it’s focusing on getting customers back in the door or getting brand new appointments, utilizing the above lead nurturing tactics will help you get started!