Marketing automation. Check. Awesome campaigns? Check. Leads? Check. Now you just need to figure out how to keep those leads moving down the funnel to sales. The good news is, if you’re using a marketing automation system, then you’re already primed for lead nurturing. It’s got everything you need – from scoring and grading to help you identify your warmest leads, to automated alerts that let your sales team know when to follow up. Because knowing where to start is half the battle, here’s a list of my favorite tips on how to use marketing automation for lead nurturing. For an in-depth look at how to best leverage marketing automation for lead nurturing, join Merinda Peppard and Veena Glover for their webinar presentation: New Research: Lead Generation for B2B Marketers
Get just the right cadence for your email follow ups
There’s a good reason why this is one of my favorite tips for lead nurturing. Getting the frequency of communication just right in a campaign is almost a science, and marketing automation is like the cheat-sheet. Because it’s easy to adapt my campaigns based on my prospects behavior, I can set up my campaigns so that prospects who engage with my emails can then be added to a new campaign that will follow up with them a little more often, while prospects who don’t engage – and this is the important part – can be added to a campaign that decreases the frequency of communications without letting them drop off my list all together. This last type of campaign is for re-engagement, and it aims to warm up those cooled off leads and get them back to an active status again.
Build your campaigns for agility
Lead nurturing gives me considerably more agility when it comes to leads. I can literally let my leads choose their own path to the sales funnel because my marketing automation system is tracking their behavior. I know what they’re engaging with and what they’re not engaging with, so I can decide to add them to different nurture campaigns based on how they’re doing. If they’re always browsing my product page, I can add them to a product-focused nurture that delivers all the product info they’ll ever want. If they’re really into my thought leadership content, I can nurture them with more of it and invites to webinars and events. Knowing that I can create and customize nurturing campaigns means that I don’t have to worry, I have something for everyone.
Don’t overlook the options when it comes to using lead nurturing internally. One of my favorite marketing tips is: “treat sales like another customer”. When it comes to making sure that sales is kept informed of new content, why not start an internal top-of-mind campaign? It takes manual hassle out of ensuring that your sales team knows what’s new, and gives your marketing team back some time to spend on creating more great content.
Spot roadblocks before they become barriers
One of the great things about marketing automation is that it lets me spot any roadblocks in my nurturing campaigns before they become barriers. When I build out my campaign, I can follow the path my prospects will take through it, helping me spot any areas that might have bottlenecks or blockages, or any areas for additional opportunities that I may have missed.
Get the edge on your competition
The last thing that I like to use lead nurturing for is competitive deals. With it, I can educate my prospects around the features that differentiate my product and its value proposition, without coming off as too pushy. With a competitive drip campaign, you definitely want to get the right cadence. The idea is subtlety and genuine value winning the day, so it’s equally important to identify the leads that are warm – but hesitating – and targeting those for a special campaign.