Engage Prospects with Lead Nurturing
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Explain the benefits of a lead nurturing campaign.
- Describe three campaigns that engage prospects based on their current status.
- Identify two campaigns that educate prospects on your products and services.
The Power of Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is the process of growing relationships with prospects and customers through relevant, personalized content. Most people think that lead nurturing caters only to qualified leads—potential customers who are interested in your brand but aren’t yet ready to buy. But when done right, a lead nurturing campaign applies to every step of the buyer’s journey, from cultivating initial brand awareness to retaining customers. You can even use lead nurturing in-house to enable your sales teams!
What makes lead nurturing so powerful? It’s simple. Lead nurturing is personal, repeatable, and timely. The most successful nurturing campaigns aren’t about immediate sales. Rather, they deliver highly personalized experiences at the right moments in a buyer’s journey. As tailored as these experiences are, they are still replicable, because lead nurturing thrives on automation. This means that, with the help of automation tools, marketers can deliver nurturing campaigns again and again with powerful, measurable results.
Not all lead nurturing campaigns are created equal. Each interacts with leads in a different way and supports different parts of a buyer’s journey. Throughout this module, you explore 11 types of lead nurturing campaigns you can use at each step in the sales process. These campaigns enable you to engage and educate prospects, close deals, retain customers, and empower your internal teams.
Let’s start with the campaigns that engage and educate prospects, those qualified leads that have the potential to become customers.
Engage Your Prospects
One type of lead nurturing campaign is the engagement campaign. This campaign caters to prospects at the start of the buyer’s journey. This is where the relationship truly begins, so it’s vital to make the right impression about your brand.
You can use these three nurturing campaigns to engage with qualified leads.
- Welcome campaign
- Top-of-mind campaign
- Reengagement campaign
Most organizations greet new prospects with a welcome email. Whether you’re welcoming first-time subscribers to your newsletter or sending a first-purchase discount code to prospective buyers, these emails can positively impact the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
Welcome emails often have high open rates and are simple to automate. That’s why it’s to your advantage to turn these emails into a lead nurturing campaign. Instead of flooding inboxes with too much information, welcome campaigns focus on introducing leads to your product or brand at a comfy pace. Through curated messaging, they remind prospects why they converted and confirm their opt-in choice. They also offer a sprinkling of educational content at the outset—just the right amount—to maintain interest.
With a welcome email, you’re not spamming your prospects with salesy emails or content. You’re continuing a conversation that your prospects have started. Remember: lead nurturing is about taking the long view and building authentic relationships with your audience.
In some cases, leads who aren’t yet ready to buy forget about your brand or, worse, get swooped up by a competitor. A top-of-mind campaign can keep both of these scenarios from happening on your watch.
Over a longer timeline, this campaign engages with prospects at regular intervals, providing them with content that is valuable to them personally—industry news, white papers, webinars, infographics, and so forth. Through these timely high-value nudges, companies maintain brand awareness and keep the door open for conversions.
Even the most promising qualified leads can become inactive, despite marketers’ best efforts. But an inactive lead is still a lead with conversion potential. You can capitalize on this potential with a reengagement campaign.
This campaign targets prospects who have become inactive at some point during the buyer’s journey. Its goal is to encourage these qualified leads to take some kind of “hand-raising” action—one that shows they’re ready to jump back on the train and head toward a purchase decision. You can engage with inactive leads by giving them content they’re likely to find helpful at this time. Think fresh blog posts, interactive content, or the latest and greatest white papers.
The key to successful reengagement campaigns lies in choosing the “perfect moment” to engage with these leads. But when is that perfect moment? The answer to this question depends on your unique prospects. That perfect moment is personalized to their interests, delivered across digital channels, and created with a long-term customer relationship in mind.
Educate Your Prospects
While some lead nurturing campaigns focus on engaging qualified leads, others aim to educate potential customers. Empower your leads with knowledge and guide them closer to purchase with the following two campaigns.
- Product-focused campaign
- Competitive campaign
Let’s say that you’ve nurtured a lead past the point of initial brand awareness. This potential customer is now starting to think more actively about your product or service, although they’re not prepared to buy just yet. A product-focused campaign caters to this precise moment, bringing prospects product-focused content that can inform their purchase decision.
This campaign focuses on pain points—problems your specific leads are facing—and how your product or service solves them. A product-focused campaign is specific and all about the facts, so it often involves content like customer testimonials, case studies, and data sheets.
Besides teaching your prospects about how you can help them, you can also show them what sets you apart from competitors. This doesn’t mean criticizing competitors or harping on perceived product pitfalls. But it does mean highlighting the advantages of using your product or service and the disadvantages of not.
Competitive lead nurturing campaigns have this goal in mind. These campaigns deliver content tailored to their prospects’ priorities. Competitive lead nurturing also shows an industry understanding of who your competitors actually are and how specifically you stand out in relation to them.
You might have noticed by now that many of these lead nurturing campaigns go hand in hand. For example, you might use a welcome campaign to engage fresh leads and nurture them along the buyer’s journey with top-of-mind and product-focused campaigns. Remember: the power of lead nurturing is in its ability to address every step in the buyer’s journey!