Develop a Lead Nurturing Campaign in 5 Steps

After discussing best practices for lead nurturing, let’s plan and execute a lead nurturing campaign.

Consider leads as if they were seeds in a large, diverse garden. The potential plants breaking through the soil have similar needs — sunlight, shade, water, fertilizer — yet in different quantities.

They also require a schedule of care. Likewise, your leads reveal different levels of interest in your brand’s products and services, and without a proper nurturing strategy those leads could, like grapes in a neglected vineyard, die on the vine.

Follow these steps to launch a lead nurturing campaign.

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

Lead nurturing is not just increasing sales — after all, slashing prices would “increase” sales. Nurturing leads establishes and strengthens relationships with buyers, who are in different stages of engagement with your brand.

Consider the relationship you’re looking to develop. Are you trying to reawaken cold leads? Learn more about them to qualify them? Move them down the sales funnel? Though the endgame for each scenario remains the same — buying your product or service — the strategies vary.

Tactics vary, too. A lead downloading a whitepaper might just be doing research, meaning they may not be ready to speak with a sales rep, but you should add them to a lead nurturing campaign that further qualifies them. But a return visitor requesting a demo offers a much better indication intention to buy. Now you can connect them with a sales rep.

You can manage different stages of your leads with a lead scoring system. To begin, make sure your marketing and sales departments agree on the actions or characteristics that make a lead sales-ready.

Step 2: Select a Buyer Persona

After declaring why you’re marketing to these contacts, determine who they are and which ones to target. Buyer personas help tailor your campaign efforts to engage that particular segment. Segmenting and individualized messaging promotes personalization so the message feels more like a conversation speaking directly to your leads’ needs.

Review our post on buyer personas for more information.

Step 3: Develop Content for Targeted Leads

You may have many stories to tell, but the content should focus only on the goal and persona of this campaign.

Leverage your existing content — including videos, webinars, blog posts, guides, infographics and whitepapers — and repurpose offline collateral and content that has previously proven successful, but also consider developing fresh content specifically for the campaign.

Nurturing campaigns maximize engagement when content targets topics, products or services in which contacts have already expressed interest. So, for instance, if they downloaded a guide to cloud hosting, continue to send information related to cloud hosting.

And never lose sight of the goal (step 1). You want the contact to do something. Are you trying to drive them to schedule a demo or a consultation? Then ensure they receive the information needed to reach that stage of the journey (along with a clear call-to-action so they can achieve your goal).

Typical nurturing campaigns send prospects three to five emails, beginning with educational content and becoming more sales-focused with each send.

Step 4: Set Up a Timeline

According to Gleanster Research, even though 50% of qualified leads are not ready to purchase immediately, 75% of them buy within 18-24 months. So don’t rush. Just as we don’t dump all the fertilizer and water on our plants at once, pace your emails to arrive weekly or monthly — in a “nurturing” kind of way.

Tip: Be sure to set notifications to your sales team and have them respond when your nurturing emails draw engagement!

Step 5: Measure and Optimize

Track and measure campaigns, adjusting and tweaking as necessary. A marketing automation solution, such as HubSpot, simplifies this with customized reports and dashboards.

Connect campaign success — and metrics — to its goals. Looking to re-engage past contacts? Check opens, clicks and form submissions. Trying to boost lead quality? Measure quality conversions or lead score over time.

As your campaigns run, experiment with the offers you send, subject lines, and calls-to-action found within the email. There’s always room to improve your campaign!

Need lead nurturing help? Speak to the experts at Brainstorm today!

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