67% of B2B marketers say lead nurturing increases sales opportunities throughout the funnel by at least 10%, with 15% seeing opportunities increase by 30% or more. (DemandGen)
It’s a significant stat, and one that many businesses have begun to catch on to. Lead nurturing is more than just a passing trend; in fact, it’s becoming a necessity. Buyers have come to expect content that’s both relevant to their needs and specific to their stage in the sales cycle. And that means sending the wrong content at the wrong time could leave a bad taste in your buyer’s mouth — and potentially even cost you the deal.
So how do you develop lead nurturing campaigns that deliver the right content at the right time? Let’s break it down into manageable steps.
Step 1: Create a general map of your sales cycle.
What types of content are buyers looking for at each stage?
This is the first step towards delivering the right content at the right moment: understanding that your prospects are looking for different types of content at different stages in their decision-making process.
In general, it’s safe to assume that your prospects are looking for resources that progress from general and educational to granular and product-specific. It’s common sense: when a buyer first sets out to research a product, they’re looking for basic overviews and impartial thought leadership — content that speaks to their pain points without the sales pitch. As they move closer to the point of purchase, they’re seeking more product-specific information and comparing different solutions in search of the one that will best meet their needs. The chart below can provide a general idea of what types of content are best for each stage of the sales cycle:
Step 2: Understand what your buyer needs to know and when.
Understanding the general concept of your buyer progressing through stages can only get you so far. To create a truly successful nurturing track, you need a thorough understanding of the specific questions that your buyer is asking at each stage. Use the worksheet below to map out each stage of your buyer’s journey and consider the questions and concerns that your content needs to address.
Step 3: Build a basic nurturing track.
The bottom line? Dive in. You won’t truly know what works and what doesn’t until you try things out, measure results, and adjust your approach. And even a very basic nurturing track can deliver significant results. In fact, small business with one to two early-stage nurturing campaigns configured in marketing automation estimate the volume of quarterly qualified leads increased an average of 120% because of marketing automation outreach. (Gleanster, 2015)
Ready to dive into building a nurturing strategy? Download our free Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing for ten types of nurturing campaigns that can help accomplish various marketing goals, as well as checklists, worksheets, and templates to help you build the best strategy possible. And we’d love to hear what’s working for you in our comments section!