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Sep

06

2012

7 Best Lead Nurturing Campaign Practices for Higher Conversions

Inbound Marketing

You know that your lead nurturing campaign is a crucial component in driving your target audience from one stage of the marketing funnel to the next. But how do you develop a campaign that converts instead of driving potential leads and customers away? There have been numerous companies that I've had to mark as spam because they bombard me with constant emails. And just like your target audience, I’m all too eager to bid them good riddance.

So, for the benefit of your company and target audience, I’ve complied some best practices for a successful lead nurturing campaign that will have people eager to read emails instead of reacting as though you’ve just infected them with the bubonic plague.

Space out emails

As mentioned above, no one likes to be beat over the head with constant emails. Two to three emails is an appropriate number for a lead nurturing campaign. If each email is thoughtfully planned, this shouldn’t be difficult. Send them emails several times a day, sometimes even just once a day and you’ll have them running as though zombies have infiltrated your headquarters.

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Match emails with your sales cycle

Your business has a typical time increment for closing sales, so match your nurturing campaign accordingly. If you know the average sale closes in 30 days, consider automating emails for the 1st, 10th, and 20th days after a conversion. Do not, and I’ll repeat, do not send out emails every day in the sales cycle. And if the sales cycle is shorter, say 14 days, then send emails on the 1st, 6th, and 12th days. See how this lead nurturing campaign can complement a shorter sales cycle without suffocating your leads? Good. Now do it!

Provide solutions

Seventy-five percent of website visitors are only looking to be educated. This is why it’s crucial your emails offer relevant information on your industry and not just promote your company. Sure, you could boast about how you think you’re the best. But showing them why you’re the best generates better results. By offering industry solutions and relevant news updates, you’re establishing yourself as the go-to-source. If a prospect is willing to go to you for educational purposes, then they’ll probably want to do business with you, too.

Set Goals

Each email should be sent with a goal in mind. Do you want them to check out your blogs? Download an eBook? Attend a webinar? Request an assessment? See where I’m going with this? Make this desired action clear and simple. You target audience shouldn’t have to guess what the next step is.

Stay Cool, Don’t Rush

There should be a natural progression to your emails, thus the first email shouldn’t be screaming “Buy Now!” Instead, offer to teach them something new about your industry through an eBook or ask them if they’d like to subscribe to your blog and/or follow on a social network. Then in the second, turn up the heat and utilize a slightly stronger call to action by asking them to attend that webinar or event that’s coming up. Would they like a free consultation? The last email should be saved for proposing a sale. If they’re ready to purchase before then, they’ll let you know.

Implement what works

Track your conversion rates for each email. You’ll know if your lead nurturing campaign is successful by this metric. There are some applications that we use, for example, that show us which content, landing pages, and offers generate the most traffic and which ones are lagging behind. If conversion rates are low, then you need to reevaluate your calls to action and landing pages. They’re probably not meeting the needs of your target audience. If conversion rates are high, great! Know that you’ve hit a bullseye and that your timing, calls to action, and offers are resonating with your target audience. Now how can you improve those conversion rates even more?

Personalize it

Evaluate what’s important to your target audience when deciding the progression your emails will have. Segment leads into campaigns based on their browsing and purchasing history. This will help guarantee that you’re sending them information that’s relevant to their current needs instead of blasting them with what they’ll see as random material. If a particular lead, or group of leads, has been visiting blog pages discussing “better marketing,” then segment them into a lead nurturing campaign that offers more of this type of information.

While these 7 steps are crucial to any successful lead nurturing campaign, remember there isn’t any one magic formula you must follow. You know your business, your sales cycle, and hopefully what’s converting leads and what’s not. Use this information to get inside the heads of your target audience and be creative.

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