Instead of doing what most B2B marketers do – sending mass emails to their entire mailing list and getting relegated to the spam folder – using marketing automation software and contacts databases can allow for pinpoint accuracy in insight email segmentation and lead nurturing. But, even for those marketing innovators with the automation software at the ready, finding the right lead nurturing strategy can be tough.
If you’ve recently purchased marketing automation software – or are thinking about it – consider the following your top 3 strategies for making that software do your work for you (literally).
Marketing Automation Strategy #1: Nurture Subscribers Into Leads
Blog or newsletter subscribers aren’t necessarily willing leads ready to take a call from the sales team. In fact, subscribers tend to be passive by nature, and, as such, prefer an unintrusive and slow-burning path to learning more about your business. To nurture this progression toward a sales-actionable lead, you’ll want to target follow-up insight emails to this group with as much content-focused info as possible.
Content should be educational, not sales-driven, in nature (like an instructional ebook), and subscribers shouldn't be able to obtain the offer unless they provide some additional information about their interests, company background, etc. via a landing page.
If no conversion occurs as a result of that first email, wait one week, and automatically trigger one more email with a different content offer. Try a different format (maybe a template or a webinar) and/or subject matter than the first offer you featured.
If the subscriber converts, automatically change their status in your records to a "lead." If the subscriber fails to convert, add them back to a list of low-engagement subscribers.
Build them up towards the goal of a second content conversion on your site with a call-to-action that speaks to a need.
Marketing Automation Strategy #2: Nurture ‘Evangelists’
Start with a list of anyone in your contacts database who has at least 1,000 followers on Twitter and has clicked on at least a few of your social shares. If you can’t get this data, there are a number of free tools that can at least help you at identify your followers with considerable reach. If you’re a smaller company, you may know some of your evangelists – or biggest and most vocal ‘fans’ - already.
On occasion, you can either trigger an email to each new member of this list that encourages them to share some of your top-performing content, or you can save this list for when you have a product launch or an important announcement. You can also give your evangelists sneak peaks at some of your upcoming releases or invite them to exclusive special events to keep them engaged.
Marketing Automation Strategy #3: Nurture Leads Into MQ Leads
Maybe you have all of the info you need to assign a target to a sales rep, but not all of your leads are ready, or marketing qualified, to be sent to the next level. So, how do you nurture those leads to the point when a conversion to sales would be the most fruitful?
When an individual converts on a lead-capture form, trigger this automation workflow:
- Send a follow-up email after 7 days – and make sure it’s an insight email by including a piece of content related to the topic of that first conversion. For example, if you run the admissions department at a college, and the target initially converted on an offer relating to admissions requirements, follow up with a non-salesy blog post with tips on how to write a great admissions essay.
- Follow-up with a second opportunity to convert, but this time make it an offer that’s more closely related to what your business offers. Building on the previous example, send an insight email linking to an informational webinar or podcast by an admissions officer at your school.
- If the target follows through on this lead, they can be considered ‘marketing qualified’ and you can use marketing automation to notify you sales team that they’ve evolved and are actionable for future and more aggressive marketing efforts.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s posts on email metrics, best practitioners of email marketing, must-know email statistics and more.