In a large percentage of cases, visitors to your site are not yet ready to buy. Yet, they still have the potential to become customers even if they are not ready to be ones right now. What steps can you take to turn a visitor into a customer? Engaging your potential customer can be done in a structured process called nurturing. Build trust with relevant targeted content to educate potential customers about your solution and to move them along the stages of the buyer’s journey,
You may not know it, but it’s possible you have already developed some of the key elements of a nurturing program. Do a content audit to know what assets you have according to your different offerings. You may discover you have more than enough good content. Your next step is to determine who would most benefit from each asset based on their stage in the sales cycle. Next, contextualize and deliver this content through the right channels where your audience can be reached.
Though new engagement tactics arise each year, email remains a consistently cost-effective way to nurture leads. Email nurture is composed of a set of emails that are timed for delivery based on the lead’s online behavior such as email openings, asset downloads, time spent on site, etc. Each email in the sequence should be a step towards helping the lead get more informed and convinced of the value you offer. You can direct leads towards different nurture path based the type of offers or solutions they are interested in. Each part of the path should be measured, so you can see how much time the visitor spends on each asset as a determining qualifier for the visitor’s intent. As you build out the different nurture paths, keep in mind to direct visitors to your site and not to outside sources such as LinkedIn and YouTube, where they can be easily distracted by content that competes over their attention.
How do you determine whether a lead is worth pursuing? This is where lead scoring fits in. You can assign scores based on engagement with your content along with their fit as customers to you. For the latter, utilize demographics and firmographics such as the lead’s title or role in their organization, the overall company’s status as a “key account”, annual revenue and other factors you deem significant. Scoring is at the backbone of an effective nurture program and should be agreed upon by marketing and sales. You want your sales team to know what marketing defines as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and you want your marketing team to know how sales defines a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
It’s important to know what kind of experience the lead has once you have his or her attention. Wouldn’t it be great if the visitor went through all that great content you have laid out for them and “binged” on it? This is where content hubs can be a great tool. A Content Hub is essentially a webpage where multiple assets such as case studies, infographics, and brochures are placed. Creating a content hub could require a certain amount of backend work and resources, but may be worth pursuing long term. By tracking and scoring the content based on visitor behavior, you can determine which assets are most interesting to leads. This can in turn inform what you will want to use to optimize future nurture campaigns. Certain technology companies are even moving towards creating a “personalized hub” that dynamically changes based on the interest the visitor previously demonstrated.
Other channels for nurturing
In addition to email campaigns, it is possible to create engagement with potential customers on your site through live chats. Companies such as Drift and Intercom can reduce the time between a visitor’s contact and the response from a company representative through instant, one-to-one engagement on the company website. When an important visitor hits your company website, software triggers an alert to a sales representative to get online and perform a live chat, thus creating a meaningful immediate connection.
Nurturing is a dynamic process with measurable results in each step of the way. Once you have run nurturing campaigns for a while, you will have gained valuable analytics on email openings, downloads and subscriptions. Use the analytics to continually gain insights on which content is effective, what can be discarded, and how you can tweak each part to improve the overall experience.