The Evolution of Marketing

Back in the day marketing was about pushing information from seller to buyer. Then, the Internet came and people could “pull” their own information. Now we engage in ongoing dialog and integrate online and offline experiences. This evolutionary change has required marketers to adjust our approach and talk with customers rather than at them. So how do we do this? Que: Nurture Marketing.

So what is nurture marketing anyway?

Nurture marketing is a strategy where marketers stay in front of prospects, providing relevant, worthwhile content to warm them up until they are ready for sales. Targeting prospects based on where they are in the buyer’s journey, nurture marketing is designed to help move them through the funnel more efficiently than traditional email marketing.

Nurture campaigns are setup to automatically deploy messages based on factors like a prospect’s content engagement, website visits, demographic data and more. Ultimately, nurture marketing fills the gap between “I might be interested in your product” and “I’m ready to buy”.

5 Nurture Marketing Best Practices you should Follow

According to Aberdeen Group, it takes an average of 10 marketing-driven “touches” to convert a lead into a revenue-generating customer. This statistic shows that lead nurturing is simply building long-term relationships. The best analogy to understand lead nurturing is to compare it to dating and marriage. You have to ask someone out several times and get to know them before you can propose. You need to foster respect and trust, be a good listener and remember that the first impression is everything. Along with these basic elements, there are a few best practices for nurture marketing to keep in mind along the way.

  • Personalize each campaign

    Content forms the foundation of your lead nurturing programs. If you think about lead nurturing being the engine, content is the fuel that keeps it running. Before launching any new nurture campaigns, make sure you have the content in place to support them. Personalize each touch so your prospect feels as though this piece of content or this message was meant specifically for them.

  • Consistently educate

    Content shouldn’t be just promotional. Your prospects get it, you want them to buy. However, they need to build a trusting relationship with you beforehand. During your nurture campaign send valuable pieces of content. This may include an eBook, blog post, video, white paper, case study, third party publication thought leadership piece or an analyst report. Along with the educational content, it is still ok to sprinkle in some promotional pieces like a free demo, free trial or coupons.

  • Define your workflow and spread your emails out

    Along with spreading out your emails, try nurturing beyond emails altogether. You can do this by adding social media, retargeting, direct mail or phone calls into your workflow. It’s important to remember that nurture marketing isn’t just about email. From the nurture you can do things like set a task in your CRM for sales to follow up or automatically change a lead status.

  • Analyze your results

    No matter what touches you choose to add to your nurture, don’t ever skip over the results. You should always be analyzing your results and looking for ways to improve. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group) so chances are, the more you analyze your results and refine your campaigns, the more your success rate will drastically improve.

  • Use a tool to automate your nurture marketing and keep sales involved

    What if your prospect doesn’t even open your emails? Maybe they engaged by visiting your website or attending a webinar. How do you even know when leads are ready for sales? There’s no definite answer to these questions but the consensus is that without the right tools, it’s simply too hard to tell when your processes are fragmented. This is where marketing automation can help.

    By using a tool to automate nurture marketing, you can monitor the progression of leads to keep the dialogue going. The path leads travel is customized by you in your marketing automation platform and includes activities like emails, phone calls and events. And to keep things streamlined, make sure your marketing automation tool is natively integrated with your CRM. Having the two systems connected ensures healthier communication and keeps sales involved throughout the entire process.

Sound too complex?

If nurture marketing sounds too complex, never fear! Forrester Research says companies that excel in nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost. You can take baby steps to get started with nurture marketing or if you feel confident enough from the get go, dive right in with a more sophisticated nurture. And, it’s important to keep in mind that even though nurture marketing is used most often for leads, it can also be used to provide a meaningful experience for customers and partners – helping grow brand awareness, word-of-mouth and ultimately, build loyal fans.