Do you ever wonder how, no matter what you do, your competition consistently gets ahead of you? Well, you’re not alone! Unfortunately, this is a common frustration for a lot of marketers. We all know how invaluable gaining a competitive advantage is; the challenge is figuring out the how, the what, and the when. While there may not be one simple solution, lead nurturing is one of the best ways to beat out your competition.
Let’s start by understanding exactly what it is. Lead nurturing involves delivering relevant, targeted content to prospective customers to inform them of your brand, your products, and how you can help address their issues to increase their propensity to buy.
Developing a lead nurturing strategy can help elevate your marketing efforts, making you the one that everyone is chasing! Here are the top 5 ways to ensure your lead nurturing strategy is going to propel you into that top spot on the leaderboard:
1. Clearly defined goals.
Building a nurturing strategy is like building a house. Before you can even lay the foundation, you’re going to work with an architect to explicitly share what you want your house to look like—the layout, the number of bedrooms, everything you could possibly think of from a structural standpoint. Your goal is to create your dream house.
The first step of establishing your nurturing strategy is to define what it is you’re looking to accomplish. Ask yourself what it is you want to get in return. Is it clicks? Form submissions? Trial sign-ups? You should always know what you’re aiming to accomplish before hitting that ‘send’ button. Nurture programs can be implemented for a multitude of reasons, so remember to define the desired outcome before you can truly get started.
2. Understanding of your sales funnel
Now that your floor plans are finalized, you’re ready to lay the foundation and establish the support for your home.
When it comes to nurturing, you must have a solid foundation which equates to having a full understanding of your sales funnel—after all, you’re trying to positively impact revenue and customer satisfaction.
Knowing the sales funnel can help to positively influence your nurturing efforts. Having this knowledge will help outline your communication strategy (similar to framing your house). Every company’s funnel may look a little different, so it’s important you know yours in and out. It’ll help to ensure that your touchpoints are tailored to each stage of the buying cycle, making each one relevant and more valuable.
3. Segmentation and targeted communication
Next up is the fun part! You’ve finalized your floor plans, laid the foundation and framed the house, now it’s time for paint colors, décor, furniture.
I’d bet money that you would never decorate the playroom for your children the same way that you plan to decorate your master suite, right?
Lead nurturing is the similar—you can’t treat everyone the same. No matter the size of your database, it most likely comprises current customers, prospective clients (all at different points in the sales cycle), and ex-customers, meaning you don’t want to send the same message to all of those audiences. You need to use your understanding of your company’s sales cycle to your advantage. Think about what makes the most sense for you—do you want to segment by funnel stage? Or maybe you want to first break it down by industry and then look at sales funnel stage.
If you’re not yet using segmentation, start now! Without it, you’re decreasing the potential value you could bring to the table for future clients, existing ones, and pretty much everyone in your database.
4. Importance of data.
While you’re decorating, you’re going to take measurements to ensure that all your furniture fits the way you want it to, right? If you don’t, you run the risk of it not fitting, which will lead to frustration and could potentially delay you moving in.
Segmentation is only as effective as the quality of your data. Without accurate data, you could run into a lot of problems, some of which could be detrimental to your brand or your business. If you want to segment on industry, you don’t want to send an email campaign about holiday shopping to those who are in the pharmaceutical space—the information isn’t relevant to them and could cause them to dis-engage with your brand, resulting in a loss of potential revenue. On the other hand, putting valuable information on how to get the most out of your ‘Cyber Monday’ budget is going to speak to your retail prospects—bringing them value and increasing the possibility that they will continue to engage with you.
After all of your hard work, there’s one question to answer: are you now living in your dream house? Ok, maybe not just yet, but you get the point. Are you happy with your new home now that you’ve moved and settled in?
Implementing a nurturing strategy takes time, resources and a lot of effort, so you need to be able to measure the success of the program/campaign. Bottom line: did you achieve or even exceed the goals you outlined for yourself? Make sure you know how you will measure success. Track your progress along the way to identify any problems or ways you could optimize to make the program even more profitable.
Whether you’re just getting started with lead nurturing or you already have an established program, you can use these five tactics to make sure you’re keeping a leg up on your competition!
Before you get started on a lead nurturing program, you’ll want to make sure that your contact information is accurate. We can help.