What to Consider for An Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign
When you’re trying to help your clients generate more sales, you need to get smart about engaging with their leads. No one is going to hand your clients their business; instead, you need to create lead nurturing campaigns to draw those leads down the path to sales.
There’s a lot of planning and work that goes into an effective lead nurturing campaign. Here are the elements you should be thinking about as you design campaigns for your clients.
Score Those Leads
The first step in establishing a lead nurturing campaign is knowing who you want to target with your messaging. This starts with the process of lead scoring. Not every lead that your client has in the mix will be a viable one. In fact, there are plenty of people who will sign up for an email newsletter or engage with a brand on social media and then never actually do business with them.
Lead scoring allows you to evaluate leads based on their past behaviors and interactions with the brand and profile (how close they are to your client’s ideal customer) in order to determine the likelihood that they’ll convert.
Once you have a greater idea of who your client’s most promising leads are, the real work of developing the campaign can begin!
Once you’ve sorted your client’s hot leads from the tepid ones, you should create segmented lists within their mail management service.
Divide the hot leads down by areas of interest and the products and services you’d like to target them with. Let’s say your client owns a bookstore. For those who spent time browsing the children’s literature section of the website, you’d like to target them with messaging about books for kids. For those who attended an in-store reading of a new mystery novel, you’ll be targeting them with entirely different content.
Set Goals and a Schedule
Once you’ve created your different categories for each lead nurturing campaign, you can begin to plan out the actual email series. Start by defining a goal. What is your client’s ideal outcome for each campaign? This should be something that is specific and measurable; “more sales” just won’t cut it.
With that goal in mind, you can then put together a clear schedule and craft the set of emails. The sweet spot for number of emails in a campaign will vary from client to client, and the timing depends on their typical sales cycle. For businesses with a sales cycle that runs a couple months, you might want to send four emails spaced out over the course of two months. For businesses with a shorter cycle, you’d obviously adjust that downward.
Each email should also have a clear objective, and as a whole they’ll come together to serve the greater goal of the campaign. Define the objective for each email—this will help you better shape the content itself.
Play it Cool
There’s nothing worse than an email campaign that comes on too strong. Don’t dive right in and push for the sale on the first email. This is a lead nurturing campaign after all, and your client’s leads need to be wooed. Think about it like dating; you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you after your first meeting. Give your client’s leads a chance to get to know their business, understand and appreciate their best qualities, and then come in with a great offer.
Track Results and Change Accordingly
There’s a lot to be learned from each lead nurturing campaign you undertake. Each client will have a different business with a different set of leads, which means that what works for one client might not work for another.
Track the results of each campaign, and measure those results against the clear goal you set earlier in the process. Did you fall short or far exceed what you were hoping for? Were there certain emails in the campaign that performed better than others? Did you learn anything about the content of the messaging or timing of the campaign that worked well, so that you can apply it to future efforts?
Understanding what went right and what went wrong with each campaign empowers you to make smarter, more effective choices in the future and to deliver even better results for your clients as time goes on.
A great lead nurturing campaign involves some planning up front. By taking the time to set goals, establish a timeline and clear-cut messaging, and truly nurture the leads rather than pushing for the sale, you set your clients up for success. It’s about building meaningful relationships that have the potential to stand the test of time, rather than pushing for immediate results.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Email Marketing.