I’ve been in the marketing automation community for about 7 years. In that time, I’ve seen lead nurturing go from “nice to have” to a hard-set business requirement for major, fast-growing businesses.
What gets me really excited, though, is the sheer creativity that I’ve seen. While there’s something to be said for the standard use case meant to educate prospects, lead nurturing can do so much more. Let’s explore three really cool use cases.
1. The “Introduction to Sales” Nurturing
I love this scenario because it’s all about efficiency. Not only does it automate marketing processes, but it also alleviates some of the pain sales feels when trying to build relationships.
It might look a little bit like this: A new lead comes in through a website, tradeshow or somewhere else, and receives an automated, introductory email from the sales rep. Later (the amount of time depends on your sales cycle length), an additional email drops with another piece of educational content (say, a white paper) to help the prospect learn the ways to go about solving a problem. More follow-up e-mails can be sent with additional content meant to drive the prospect further down the funnel.
All of this is sent directly from the sales rep, so a relationship is formed and built without the rep’s involvement. Once the prospect is ready to buy, that relationship has been established and there’s no problem reaching out.
2. The “Competitive Sale” Nurture
Face it, your prospects most likely look at other vendors. Why not use lead nurturing programs to help differentiate your solution?
Your marketing team is probably creating competitive documentation already, so why not put it to use in another channel? Bonus points will be offered to those that capture competitor information (either in a CRM system or just by asking for it on a web form) and serving up messaging specific to each competitor.
3. The“Free Trial” Nurture
Time and time again, the free trial proves effective. It’s a great use of marketing’s time because free trial participants are way more likely to buy than those just browsing your website. Throughout the trial period, you can provide little helpful tips and tricks to enhance their experience that make them really want to buy. Since trials have set time periods, you can trigger the campaign perfectly: a week before the trial expires, an email can arrive in the prospect’s inbox saying the trial is ending, and encouraging a purchase of the full version.
Of course, if no response is received, a hard-sell email can come a few days later. My favorite thing about this campaign is that we’re pulling some of sales’ work back into marketing, so marketers are directly impacting revenue!
These are just a few of my favorite examples, but we haven’t even scratched the surface as far as what’s possible. For example, what happens once an opportunity closes, whether it’s won, lost, or just dead? Can’t nurturing be helpful there, too? Stay tuned and you’ll find out.
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