B2B Lead nurturing: Stay-in-touch campaigns best practices
In our recent white paper on Lead Nurturing Strategy, we described the buyer’s journey through the marketing funnel and the importance of lead nurturing to accelerate this journey. Of course, this process is complex and has a lot of aspects, but at its core is the relationship with the buyer, that the company is developing before the sale.
The best way to develop these relationships without scaring prospects away or simply annoying them is by developing a drip marketing campaign for every step of your marketing funnel. Despite the hype we’ve been hearing lately about the death of e-mail marketing, I beg to disagree. E-mail marketing offers amazing possibilities to calculate ROI and measure engagement. It is still the backbone of lead nurturing today, and it’s going to stay this way in the foreseeable future. So what does a successful stay-in-touch campaign look like anyway? Let’s take a look at a few ‘ingredients’ that make up a recipe for success in a stay-in-touch campaign.
- Educate – Before you start developing your content strategy for your lead nurturing campaign, it is important to make sure you have something important to teach your leads. In essence, the lead nurturing email are mini blog posts. For example, if you sell software licensing solutions, your first nurturing email might focus on the “top 5 considerations to make before buying a licensing solution”. You are an expert within your industry – continue educating your leads with something new and they won’t flag your emails as SPAM and will be more engaged.
- Keep Focus – Never forget how you got their contact in the first place. If they downloaded a report on software piracy, then your next email should be around this topic. Just put yourself in your lead’s shoes for a second and imagine how you are bombarded by emails every day and you only look for an excuse to delete them. Keep your content consistent and continuous. Speak directly to the problem your lead is trying to solve with your lead nurturing emails. Include a call to action.
- Keep it short – This is not when you have to worry about fancy templates, graphics or custom HTML. The lead should be hooked within 5 seconds and understand what value your email provides to them. Information overload is an easy mistake to make; adding secondary CTA’s or irrelevant links to offerings that your lead has not shown any interest at all, will only increase your unsubscribe rate and sabotage your campaign as a result.
- Be result-oriented – You need to know what qualifies as a “sales-ready lead”. This is where sales and marketing meet. Carefully plan the flow of your emails, this will help you create effective campaigns that pull your leads through the sales funnel. For example, your first email was very educational, while the following emails should continue to educate and also give the lead an opportunity to convert the second time. This is a perfect timing to offer a free trial or a demo.
- Measure – It’s time to fine-tune your campaigns. Click Through Rate (the percentage of people who clicked a link in your email) and Unsubscribe Rate, are two of the key metrics that need constant tracking. A strong campaign will normally have an unsubscribe rate below 5%, if it climbs over this threshold, it’s time to re-evaluate. Try testing new content, another headline or adjust timing of when you send the drip emails. If you use email marketing software such as MailChimp, you can see which links were clicked by each subscriber in your emails. This gives you an opportunity to score your leads based on engagement and offer even more consistency and continuity. And that’s why email marketing is here to stay for a longer while!