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Onboard with lead nurture

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Four home truths to face first

Done well, lead nurturing can improve lead generation efforts. Done badly? You might just be spamming your most engaged followers.

As marketers, we’re often so keen to generate engagement that we’re not prepared to deal with situations where it doesn’t lead to a sale. Lead nurture is the sharpest weapon in the B2B marketing armoury – but that means everyone wants to do it. And that’s regardless of whether or not they have the resources, insight, and content to do it properly.

Here are four home truths worth thinking about before considering a lead nurture programme.

Content

If nurturing is the lead generation engine, content is the fuel that makes it run. You’ll need content for each stage of the buyer journey, so you can continue to engage prospects as they learn.
You need to be ready. Because if you engage your prospects, but fail to carry it through – you could set up an opportunity for a competitor.

So, where to start? Carry out a content audit. Map the content to the journey. And find any gaps that need filling. Then you’ll know what content you can use in your programme.

People

It might sound obvious, but you can’t nurture leads you don’t have. A cold database isn’t any use. And using email for prospecting has limited success. You need to generate initial engagement before you can begin nurturing. The key to starting a conversation and finding that all-important insight? It’s inbound marketing and automation.

Responsive, relevant communication

It’s vital to see the difference between nurturing your leads, and sending them a succession of marketing messages. The latter is just spam. It’s not considering their activity, and it’s static and non-adaptive. When you’re nurturing leads, you’re responding to behaviour, and sending relevant communication based on each person’s needs and challenges. And that depends on insight, marketing capability, resources and content.

More than numbers

If you’re going to nurture, you’ll need to quit the numbers game. It’s no longer about sending as many emails as possible, and hoping something appeals to someone. Instead, you need to invest your time and attention in those who are most interested. They’re the ones who are more likely to convert. It’s logical, and it’s required. You can’t send out your nurture communications to everyone, for the fear of losing an all-important lead.

According to Forrester:

Companies that excel at lead nurturing create 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.


This post formed part of our B2 Magazine. If you haven’t seen this, check it out here >

Matt Laybourn

About the author

Matt is a Planner in the planning and strategy team at DirectionGroup. Originally from a B2C background where he created and ran an e-commerce business, Matt specialises in digital marketing and strategy. He’s results driven and passionate about creating intelligent, integrated marketing campaigns and brand strategy. When not at work, he’s best found tinkering with his car or moaning about the ill fortunes of his (awful!) football team.

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