In the past years, lead nurturing has grown to be an indispensable component of a thriving marketing strategy — particularly if your business is attempting to develop relationships with possible buyers across multiple channels that are not currently considering to purchase a product or service.
You see, today’s potential buyers don’t become customers overnight; instead, they require marketing over time as they take the time to know and develop trust with your brand. However, nurturing leads properly can help marketers communicate constantly with consumers cross-channel and throughout the sales cycle, minimizing the time between when a lead first interacts with you and when he or she is willing to purchase.
Here are the best practices for using marketing automation to drive and nurture leads.
#1: Outline your lead flow
Envisioning marketing automation without a lead process is comparable to attempting to navigate a major city without a map: you’re just hoping that you end up in the appropriate place. To ensure that your business does, in fact, reach your desired destination (revenue), you need to outline your lead flow and have a robust lead management process in place. Often, this requires plotting an entire suite of marketing campaigns each designed to reach out to every potential buyer in his or her specific position in the buying cycle.
As such, prioritize mapping out your lead management flow, catching all the trigger points that influence lead routing, and having just one process for all leads that will be used by everyone in your team. After all, there is no possible way to automate a process that doesn’t even exist.
#2: Learn your Prospects’ Buying Cycle
The blessing of marketing automation is that it makes it possible to communicate the appropriate message to the precise audience at the exact time you desire. But if you intend to take full advantage of the automation (which presumably you do), it is critical to learn your prospects’ buying cycle and produce marketing materials that accurately fit with their current step.
Most of the time, potential customers navigate the buyer’s journey for some time before they connect with sales. This is why it is essential to engage with your sales team as you together define what principal messages will help advance the conversation.
While discussing these messages, ensure your team clearly understands:
- Who are the people in the buying cycle
- What answers are they searching for as they journey toward a purchase
- Where are they in the sales cycle
- How does the typical sales cycle go
From here, you can then map the conversation with the aim to deliver targeted and automated relevant content for when and where it will have the most dramatic effect.
#3: Create Buyer Personas
While you are crafting your automated messages, you want to ensure you have clear, imaginary versions of your prospects, influencers, and end-users. This is a fantastic early step when looking to utilize marketing automation. Identifying and creating personas will guide marketing efforts within your marketing automation software and eventually assist you in nurturing leads.
Once you have your targeted personas, you can then pinpoint prospective customer segments. This, in turn, will enable you to better understand and define interactions with these personas.
#4: Love Labeling
Once you have been automating for a while, it can be easy to become more informal when it comes to upkeep. You may find yourself rapidly filling in the data, emails and landing pages, just to get it all in the system as quickly as possible. However, this will result in less efficient work later down the line.
Instead, by devising a master labeling system (that everyone sticks to), you can ensure this organization can lead to quicker searching and a company-wide agreement of which segments go with which campaigns.
Fitting labels in marketing automation programs also assist in circumventing mistakes and reduces the need for additional work in the long run. There is no denying your colleagues will thank you for taking the time to set this up.
If your business is yet to experience the benefits of lead nurturing powered by the benefits of marketing automation, now is the time to set that right. Nurturing those customers who are not yet ready to purchase from your site is something that can be adapted to your advantage.
Too many businesses give up on customers by the second exposure, don’t be like them! Instead, be like those who continue to see a significant return on their investment through automation-supported lead nurturing. It’s an uncomplicated but powerful method for communicating with your customers and leading them through the purchasing cycle.