4 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Lead Nurturing

According to recent research, 70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.

It’s a stat we throw around a lot in our content, and not without good reason: it concisely explains the fundamental need for personalized marketing — and, on a scaleable level, lead nurturing.

If you made it out to Dreamforce last month, you may have caught a presentation by Pardot’s own Mathew Sweezey called, “7 Must-Try Tips for Lead Nurturing.” And whether you’re new to the whole idea or a lead nurturing veteran, you hopefully came away with a better grasp on the ideas and best practices behind nurturing campaigns. So let’s quickly revisit some of the key takeaways— and be sure to refer to the complete session recording below for more information.

Map content to stages of the buyer’s cycle.

This is the single, most important principle of lead nurturing. Prospects expect a human experience when working with a sales rep; they expect to be guided through the buyer’s cycle with information that’s relevant to their needs. As funnel ownership shifts from sales to marketing, it’s essential that you find ways to personalize the buyer’s journey in the same way — and providing helpful, relevant marketing content is the best way to do this. (For Sweezey’s tips on mapping content to buyer’s needs, skip to 11:00 on the recording below).

Stick to rich-text emails.

If the goal is 1:1 marketing, shouldn’t your emails appear to be 1:1? You wouldn’t send an HTML email if you were catching up with a friend or relative, so don’t expect your prospects to feel like they’re getting personalized communication if your email looks like a magazine ad. (More tips for writing rich-text emails at 22:37).

Consider buyer’s stage with subject lines.

Marketers can disqualify an email in .20 seconds — don’t let your lead nurturing emails get lost in today’s flooded inboxes. Make sure your subject lines are as specific to your buyer’s needs as the content within your emails. (More subject line best practices at 19:19).

Allow your recipients to “choose their own adventure.”

Your prospect’s behavior can tell you when they’re ready to move to the next stage of the buyer’s cycle and receive more tailored information. Include “handraisers,” or links that indicate interest when clicked, in your emails to give you more insight into the type of content your prospect is seeking. (Learn how to use the “choose your own adventure” approach in lead nurturing emails at 23:07).

Interested in learning more about lead nurturing? Check out our Lead Nurturing Lab for an interactive look at how nurturing campaigns can benefit your business.