Lead nurturing, or sending a series of automated, personalized messages over time, has been a B2B marketing popular tactic for several years now. Most marketers start out with a fairly straightforward, educational nurturing campaign. But as you become more skilled at this practice, your campaigns should become more sophisticated and targeted. Nurturing can be used in many ways across the customer lifecycle — and even internally!

Let’s look at three types of nurturing journeys that go beyond the simple starter campaign.

The Smoke the Competition Track

During a sales cycle, it’s likely that you’ll learn which competitors are also under consideration. Or maybe you’ll find that your prospect is stuck in a long-term contract with another vendor, but it’s up for renewal in six months. When you uncover information like this, you have the unique opportunity to position yourself in a very specific way, highlighting why you are the right choice. If it’s going to be a while until the deal closes, the assigned sales rep might need to shift their focus to more near-term targets — but before they move on, they can drop their future customer on a nurturing track specifically designed to take out the competitor in question. This type of program highlights competitive differentiators, and might also include third-party and social proof — such as analyst reports and customer reviews — that help elevate your solution above that of your arch rival.

The Reel Em’ In Track

Is a free trial or freemium offering part of your marketing strategy? Nurturing is the perfect way to convert these dabblers into lifelong, paying customers. If customers are in a limited-time trial, use a nurturing campaign to send strategically timed messages that ensure they are getting the most out of their trial period. As they are nearing the end of the trial window, you’ll be right there to invite them to become a full subscriber — even sweetening the pot with an exclusive discount when they convert to a paid plan. Apply a similar flow to freemium customers, sharing with them the benefits of unlocking your full feature set.

The Educate Your Own Track

In B2B marketing, you have two audiences: your prospects out in the market, and your sales team right in your own backyard. You need to make sure your reps are up to date on the latest messaging, understand the campaigns you are running, and have access to all of the amazing content you’ve been creating for them. It’s no small job, but nurturing can help. Many marketers don’t consider that you can use the same strategies on your own sales team as you are using on external customers. Create an educational onboarding track for new reps to get them up to speed, and an advanced track for more seasoned reps. Use your nurturing journeys for evergreen materials, and pepper in some timely one-off emails for seasonal or time-sensitive messages.

No matter which campaign you choose to run, remember to keep the communication relevant and personalized. Nurturing is a long game, but your early messages set the tone for the whole campaign. Relevant content is the difference between your recipient looking forward to your next message, or tossing it straight in the trash.

Want even more ideas for lead nurturing campaigns? Our newly refreshed Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing has seven additional examples! Download the guide below.