September 2, 2016 Marvel Marketers

5 Crucial Steps for Lead Nurture Success

A proper lead nurture strategy is key to a strong marketing automation setup. Not only will lead nurture help qualify leads for sales, it can help your sales team close the deal, upsell current customers into new products or services, and help reduce the sales time. These 5 tips will help you setup a successful lead nurture strategy.

1) Determine what success will look like.

What do you hope to achieve from your nurture? And don’t reply with a vague “increase in sales.” Do you hope to increase revenue or closed opportunities by a specific amount? Are you trying to improve MQL’s? Are you pushing trackable sales for a specific product or service?

2) Define your audience.

Before you can establish a nurture program you must first identify WHO you are nurturing.

  • Who do you want to nurture?
    Net new leads? Leads that show interest in a particular product or service? Recycled leads that sale team has decided are not ready to become opportunities? Current customers?
  • How are these leads identified?
    Now that you know who should be included in your lead nurture–how are these leads marked and identified in Marketo or your CRM?
  • What type of content appeals to your target audience?
    Using a chart like the one below can help you plot and define your audience.
Audience (Who) Purpose How Leads are Identified Content Type
Net New Leads Educate Lead is created Top of Funnel
Recycled Leads Regain MQL status Lead Status = Recycled Middle and Bottom of Funnel
Current Customers Retain/Upsell Is Customer = True Company News, new products/services, upsells
Leads interested in Product A Educate Downloaded “Product A” whitepaper, Product Interest field marked as Product A Product Specific

3) Audit your content

Now here comes the painful task. In order to have a fruitful lead nurture you need to identify content that will intrigue your audience and drive them toward a sale. To do this, you will need to know exactly what content you have available and where the gaps are.

As a best practice, we recommend to have at least 6 pieces of content ready to go before you launch your nurture. Take the time to go through your content inventory and record where each falls in the sales funnel, and, what types of customers would be interested in each content piece.

Sorting your existing content this way will help you identify your strongest content, your weakest and the non-existent. Any missing content you will need to create. A chart like the one below can be very useful in this stage, and should be kept up-to-date as new content is created.- Keeping close track of your content from the start can help you avoid the headache of taking inventory at a less opportune time.

Content Name Link Position in Funnel Category
Product A Whitepaper TOFU Product A

Knowing exactly what metrics are important to you before the nurture is built will help you achieve these goals.

 4) Create a flow of content.

In what order should leads receive the content? If it is a nurture based on the sales funnel, you will want to separate these out into TOFU, MOFU and BOFU categories to make the lead nurture process a logical and smooth transition.

Diversify your content to keep leads from getting burned out too quickly. This can include whitepapers, infographics, videos, webinars, etc. You never know which type of communication channel will resonate best with a lead, only time (and subsequent results) will tell. So don’t be afraid to try new things.

5) Determine at what point leads should be paused, removed, or unpaused.

In most cases you don’t want leads to receive nurture content after they have either converted or are talking to sales. To keep this from happening you will want to take note of all the instances when you would want lead  to be paused or removed from the nurture. It could be the difference between a potential sale down the road and losing a lead to burnout/unsubscription.

When you’re planning your next nurture, keep these strategy tips in mind to create a purposeful plan with clearly defined goals and natural lead progression. Your leads, and your business, will thank you.

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Marvel Marketers

Marvel Marketers LLC is an award-winning global marketing agency that dedicates itself to setting the standards for industry excellence and forming long-term partnerships with both enterprise and SMB organizations. With an original focus on marketing automation, Marvel Marketers’ team has grown to include strategic experts in creative content, technology solutions, account-based marketing, events marketing, and data analysis. Professor M’s Academy, Marvel Marketers’ training arm, was the first of its kind in the industry and continues to lead the way with new offerings.