Preparation is the secret weapon of lead nurture campaigns. Nurturing can be a complex undertaking, but it is an effective way to turn your prospects into leads ready to convert.Nurturing can be a complex undertaking, but it is an effective way to turn your prospects into leads ready to convert. Click To Tweet
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reports that two-thirds of customers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message. Lead nurture campaigns make your email marketing even more effective by targeting messaging based on a lead’s behaviors. Nurtured leads produce on average a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads.
To create a successful lead nurture campaign, it’s critical to go into it with the right materials, data, and strategy prepared ahead of time.
In this post, you’ll learn how to prepare for your next lead nurture campaign, including:
- Knowing your audience
- Selecting a marketing automation platform
- Developing the right assets
- Getting the timing right
Knowing Your Audience
The first step in preparing a lead nurture campaign is to research your audience. You can’t persuade an audience to engage with your content or make a purchase from your company without first understanding their needs, interests, and motivators. Your CRM can provide a wealth of consumer data you can leverage. You should also gather any available data from other sources on your target market’s path to purchase, buying patterns, pain points, and more.
With that data, create customer personas. A persona is a fictional character you create to represent the background, interests, and emotions of your target customer. This helps you get into the mindset of your consumer: What are their biggest challenges? What drives their decisions? What feelings and factors motivate them, or turn them away? If your target audience is split across a few different demographics or backgrounds, craft one persona for each segment of your target customer base.
Use your personas to customize the messaging in your lead nurture campaign. For instance, you may present the benefits of your product differently to a VP of Operations than you would to a Business Analyst at the same company. These two personas will have different considerations and motivations when researching your product — a lead nurture campaign gives you the opportunity to cater your messaging depending on who you’re speaking to.
Selecting a Marketing Automation Platform
The right marketing automation (MA) platform is key to a smooth lead nurture campaign. MA allows you to segment your audience, score leads, schedule emails, and create logic to adjust your campaign actions depending on a recipient’s behaviors.The right marketing automation (MA) platform is key to a smooth lead nurture campaign. Click To Tweet
Which MA platform should you choose? This depends on the complexity of your lead nurture campaigns and your organization’s overall sales and marketing needs. When researching the available MA platforms on the market, it helps to ask questions about the tool’s capabilities and features, such as:
- Can I preview my emails in both desktop and mobile view?
- How smooth is the user experience for building emails? Does the platform provide pre-made templates I can use?
- Can I create mobile-optimized landing pages?
- Does the platform support social sharing?
The features of the platform are just part of the puzzle. In order to take full advantage of your MA platform, your team must have processes in place to define what you need the software to do. Take the time to craft a lead scoring framework, define parameters for Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) for your company, and understand how your lead nurture campaign will fit into your existing sales process. This means your sales team should be involved in implementing your MA platform from the outset.
If it sounds overwhelming to get all of these processes in place and capitalize on your MA software, reach out to a professional consultant like RelationEdge. We not only partner with you to implement MA software and teach your teams how to use it; we also offer digital marketing services to help you strategize, execute, and manage your email marketing campaigns. Our team of technology experts and digital marketing specialists are ready to help you choose the right platform, design it to meet the needs of your business, and use it to send your leads the right messages at the right times.
Developing the Right Assets
A lead nurture campaign requires you to have content prepared ahead of time. Otherwise, what are you emailing your recipients about?
It’s important to gather all content assets that you plan to use before you begin the campaign; you don’t want to find yourself in a bottleneck, with seven emails planned but only three content assets published and ready to use. Start by outlining the primary goal of the lead nurture campaign and identifying what types of content are best suited to accomplish that goal.
Once you’ve identified the types of content needed, see if you have any existing brand content that fits those needs. Conduct a content audit of your existing assets — including blog posts, one-pagers, e-books, whitepapers, case studies, digital brochures, and more. Note which pieces of content are high-funnel and which are low-funnel. Identify pieces that can be used in your lead nurture campaign, based on the goals of the campaign and what you know about your audience (hint: refer back to those personas you created!).
It’s likely you won’t find all the content you need in your existing content. To fill the gaps, develop some new content assets for the needs of this particular nurture campaign. Asset creation is a challenging part of planning a lead nurture campaign, but working backward is a great way to plan. Start with the goal of one email — usually this is a conversion, like purchasing a service or product, or attending an event. Work backward from your goal: What messaging would persuade your audience to act when they open this email? What type of content can best deliver that message?
Just because you find gaps in your existing content doesn’t mean you necessarily have to start from scratch. Consider repurposing some of your old content to make it relevant for this campaign. You may have a blog post with compelling data points that you can turn into an eye-catching infographic. Or, perhaps you have an existing brochure with relevant information that you can turn into a more in-depth and informative e-book to share with potential customers.
Getting the Timing Right
Once you have an informed understanding of your audience’s needs and interests, a marketing automation platform, and the content assets to support your campaign — it’s time to plan the schedule for your emails. Successful lead nurturing means not just delivering consumers the right messaging, but delivering those messages at the right times.
Timing for a lead nurture campaign should be variable; that means the frequency of emails a recipient receives should change depending on the actions that recipient takes. This is why an effective marketing automation platform is so important. Your marketing automation software can send targeted messages based on the actions a recipient takes. This ensures that your audience receives content that meets their needs at the times when it’s most relevant.
Need Help Preparing Your Nurture Campaigns? Work with the Experts
Preparing for a lead nurture campaign involves multiple steps and as you’ve probably noticed, the bulk of the work occurs upfront, before you’ve even written one email subject line. If you don’t lay a strong foundation, your lead nurture campaign can’t succeed — you risk delivering irrelevant messages to your audience, scoring leads inaccurately, or scrambling to manually adjust the timing and frequency of your emails.
The planning and effort invested upfront pays off in the end. Research shows that businesses who excel at nurturing leads make 50% more sales and it’s reported that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
When done right, lead nurturing requires strategy and expertise. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Partnering with a technology expert and digital agency like RelationEdge allows you to feel confident in your campaigns. From helping you implement and use marketing automation, to planning your campaign strategy and producing the right content, RelationEdge has a team of technology and marketing experts ready to help. Reach out to us today to see how we can help take your lead nurture campaigns to the next level.