Lead nurturing is not an end goal but rather an ongoing tactic that allows you to leverage content to more deeply connect with your target audience, and by doing so, to more efficiently convert leads into customers and brand advocates. Sounds pretty great, right? It also has the benefit of being true.
The problem many companies face when attempting to successfully nurture their lead database is how to put it all together. For example, your business may have trouble understanding how to generate qualified leads through your online channels. Alternatively, you may be unsure how to best segment your leads to improve the targeting capabilities of your email marketing efforts. Whatever the case, I believe this article will help you piece together the puzzle.
That said, let’s take a look at lead nurturing as part of a holistic process that, when executed properly, will help improve the effectiveness of your inbound marketing campaigns.
Premium Content Offers
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves; before we can nurture, we must first generate leads. You might ask, “Well, what is the best way to generate qualified leads?” Let me open your eyes to the world of premium content offers.
Premium content offers include ebooks, whitepapers, webcasts, video series, and many other forms of in-depth digital marketing content. Unlike your business blog, which can be read without providing personal information, premium content offers give your brand an opportunity to turn site visitors into marketing leads.
For example, after creating an ebook, offer it as a free download on your website. Although it may be free, make sure to have visitors provide their name, email, and other basic demographic information in order to receive it. Through premium content offers, your brand is able to capture the contact information of people who have an interest in the content you are creating. In other words, your brand is able to register new qualified leads.
But, where do these would-be leads input their information to download their premium content offer?
A landing page, in its most basic form, is a page on your website that allows you to capture visitor information through a customized lead form. Most businesses have at least one landing page on their website, normally some type of “Contact Us” form. Visitors can enter basic information to connect with the brand, most likely receiving a phone call or email in return for their submission. If this type of landing page is the only point of conversion on your website, you probably aren’t reaching your lead generation goals.
With premium content offers, you create more conversion points for potential lead generation. Be sure to accompany such content offers with a corresponding [optimized] landing page for visitors to enter their information and download the content. For tips on creating optimized landing pages, check out this infographic!
But, how do visitors get to the landing page to download such a premium content offer?
CTA stands for calls-to-action. A CTA is a banner, button, or some other graphic or text on a web page, social platform, or email message directing prospects to take a specific action, such as “click here,” “download,” “submit,” or “purchase.” CTAs are the best way to grab the attention of your prospects and effortlessly direct them to your corresponding landing page.
CTAs and landing pages work in tandem to promote your premium content offers. A CTA directs user attention to the content offer, and the landing page finishes the job, providing your prospects with a clear understanding of the benefits received if they choose to enter their information and download the content offering. If you are interested to see a CTA in action, take a look at the bottom of this blog article!
However, be aware that the design and placement of CTAs requires careful thought and planning to fulfill their role in the lead generation and lead nurturing process. Want to learn more about creating effective CTAs? Click here!
But, how do I communicate with leads after they’ve clicked on a CTA, visited a landing page, and downloaded a premium content offer?
Your lead nurturing strategy does not end with a web visitor converting to a lead by navigating your CTA and landing page and downloading your premium content offer. Next, you must coordinate a well-timed, personalized email marketing campaign as a follow-up to their premium content download.
I suggest your business creates an incremental, multi email marketing campaign to correspond with each premium content piece you feature on your website. By doing this, any leads that download a particular content offering will be placed in that offering’s email campaign. This approach will allow you to tailor the content within each email to increase its relevance to the user, which in turn will increase download rates.
As you create email nurturing campaigns, keep these tips in mind:
1. Number – Don’t overwhelm your newly acquired, qualified leads with an abundance of emails begging for their business. However, you do want to build lasting connections with your prospects. Therefore, as a rule, 3-5 emails are usually most appropriate as a follow-up to a premium content download.
2. Timing – Be sure to consider the timing of each email in your campaign. Once again,you don’t want to annoy your leads by overbearing them with multiple emails in a shortperiod of time. A “thank you” email may be sent immediately after the download, while additional emails should be spaced out over the span of two to three weeks.
3. Content – ATTENTION – THIS IS IMPORTANT! Your emails must add value to your leads and not simply serve as a promotional platform for your brand. Each email in a given campaign should include links to content that will provide prospects with additional information and insight not covered in the original premium content piece they elected to download. The goal should be to strategically influence your leads down the sales funnel through content; encouraging them to convert/transform from a lead to a customer (or recurring customer).
Keep in mind, for this process to be successful, every element needs to be executed effectively. Be sure to continuously monitor, measure, and refine your lead nurturing efforts to increase conversion rates and grow your business.
To further understand how the lead nurturing process fits into an overall integrated digital marketing strategy, check out Synecore’s IDM Blueprint: Connect and Convert.