Recently a new term became popular in the marketing world – inbound marketing. It’s about first getting found online by people already looking for products and solutions that you can offer, converting those visitors into leads on your website, then sending them lead nurturing email campaigns. These campaigns are set up to encourage the lead to take the next step towards moving down the funnel and becoming a paying customer. It’s like having an automated sales team working on your behalf, and keeping track of your enquiries and leads, until the point when they are ready to buy. In this article I will share with you an effective strategy for a successful lead nurturing campaign.
How does Lead Nurturing work?
The ultimate goal of a lead nurturing campaign is to move the lead down the inbound marketing sales funnel, while keeping them engaged in your business. A lead nurturing campaign starts with the opt-in form on your website, offering some sort of free product or information that your lead will be interested in. Submission of this form then triggers the campaign.
This marketing strategy isn’t about selling directly, although of course that’s the long-term goal for these campaigns. Lead nurturing is about helping your clients understand why they have a problem that needs fixing, educating them about their options to solve it, giving them the knowledge to make a decision, and positioning the value of what you do and how you can help – so that it becomes an easy and a natural choice for them to buy from you when they are ready.
The simplest lead nurturing campaign will be 3-5 emails sent over 30 days. It will encourage the lead to engage with the freebie you sent them (so read the ebook, go through the ecourse, watch the video) and have call-to-action for them to convert on the next piece of content or offer (download the next freebie, request a free consultation, book a free trial session, buy the full ecourse).
Once your leads convert to the next stage in the campaign, they get moves across into the next lead nurturing campaign and the original one should stop sending. It’s very important to get this step right as you don’t want to bombard your lead with emails from several campaigns, promoting information and actions they’ve already opted in for.
This process can continue for a very long time, as long as the number of pieces of content you have available or your lead is interested. At the end of each campaign you give leads a choice – move to another campaign (by opting in for a fresh piece of content) or become a customer (raise their hand to book the consultation, or session, or purchase something).
The best thing about lead nurturing sequences is that once they’ve are designed, written and set up – they will run on auto-pilot in your business, delivering you a fresh stream of hot leads, with hardly any input from you.
Lead nurturing is relationship building via email. You gather a lead, put them into an automated system, share your wealth of knowledge and impress the socks off your list members. A lead nurturing campaign can turn casual interest prospects into clients who are ready to spend money with you.
What do you need to get started with a Lead Nurturing Campaign?
Here’s what you’ll need to get started.
Email Marketing System
An entry-level email autoresponder service like Aweber, MailChimp or Campaign Monitor can help you gather leads from your website and build a list. You can set up ongoing autoresponders as your lead nurturing campaign. List automation in Aweber can also help you move subscribers between lists and autoresponder sequences, once you have several campaigns on the go.
The ultimate best in this area are Infusionsoft and Ontraport, which will allow you to create complete marketing systems with multiple lead nurturing sequences, automated buying, automated lead scoring, full tracking and more.
Having integrated campaigns for Infusionsoft in our business, as well as for many of our clients, we love the system and what it can do for a small business owner. If you would like to know more about it – just contact me to book a demonstration.
Your Ideal Client
In order to get the most out of your nurturing campaign, you need to really understand your ideal client, that will come out of this campaign. What type of buyer is he or she? What are they most interested in learning and why? What questions do they have?
Variety of Content
You need to have helpful, actionable content to deliver on a regular basis. Content can include factsheets, quizzes, reports, videos, webinars, ebooks or anything else that will answer the questions of your ideal client and educate them why you are the best choice to solve their problems.
At the end of your lead nurturing campaign, you want your leads to buy from you and to become clients. So select one service or package that you want your leads to be interested in at the end of the sequence.
How do you get started with implementing a Lead Nurturing Campaign?
1. Repurpose Existing Content
Using your existing content and mapping it to messages and actions you want to drive in the lead nurturing campaign can save valuable time. You don’t have to reinvest all content from scratch again – but you will need to review what you have, how it can be used in lead nurturing, and when you should offer each piece to your leads.
2. Set up Your Campaign
Emails will get send in a sequence and the timing is important. Too many emails too quickly can lead to unsubscribes, but spacing them out too much might lead to your leads forget who you were and what you offered. A good sample system to follow with lead nurturing is:
- Day 1 – deliver the freebie, thank your subscribers for opting in, reiterate how they will benefit from taking some time to engage with your freebie.
- Day 3 – remind your subscribers to engage with your freebie (download, watch, read etc) and if they have any questions or feedback – they can just email you to ask those.
- Day 7 – introduce the problem you leads have and why it needs to be solved, this can be done through a new piece of content with a call to action.
- Day 10 – share some case studies of similar businesses and how they had similar problems, what they did to solve those (hired you), and how it made a huge difference for them.
- Day 15 – give your leads options to solve the problem, which again can be done through another piece of content, with your offer being one of the options on offer.
- Day 21 – go through your special offer, who it’s for, how it works, why they will benefit from it, and how to take action.
- Day 30 – remind them about your offer, invite questions about it or to share any concerns about buying, ask leads to share your freebie and offer with their friends.
3. Set Up an Opt-In Offer
A good freebie that ties in with your products or services is a must for list building and lead nurturing. Think back to your ideal client. What are their biggest questions? How can you help bridge gaps in their knowledge? What’s the first piece of knowledge someone needs to have, in order to understand your services, products, offers, to understand why they need them?
4. Test and Optimise Your Campaign
As your lead nurturing campaign gather momentum, you’ll need to track how leads are engaging. Do contacts respond more frequently to particular messages or offers? Are there messages that don’t get opened much, or downloaded? You can play with email subject lines, calls to action, names for your freebie and additional content pieces to see what works best.
5. Build a Complete Strategy
Leads will want to engage at their own pace. Some will stay in your campaigns longer than others, before buying or leaving it, if their circumstances change. So once you have one campaign working and optimised – start building the next one, so that at Step 3 above you could offer a choice – if you want to work with me, do this; if you are not ready yet – here’s some more information and support I can offer first.
This infographic summarises the inbound marketing lead funnel that your campaigns will drive subscribers through.
Over to you…
Have you implemented a lead nurturing campaign in your business? How did it work for you? What was the freebie offer you created and how was it linked to the special offer in the campaign? Do share your examples in comments.
And if you haven’t got one yet, what’s stopping you? Is there a specific question you have, or “stuckness” about something? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help.
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P.S. Remember that I offer email marketing set up, template design, campaign set up, management and maintenance for all major email list building systems like Aweber, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Infusionsoft and Ontraport – so if you would rather someone else did it all for you, I’m here to help!