6 Lead Nurturing Strategies for Beginners

by Michelle McGinnis on Friday, April 13, 2012 in Lead Nurturing

This article comes courtesy of Joe Cordo, Chief Marketing Officer at Extraprise, an Eloqua partner and lead generation services firm.

There are tons of articles, posts, even graphics about lead nurturing out there. There all kinds of campaigns and terms to learn: “drip”, “trigger”, “dynamic.”

Nurturing is a critical way to keep prospects engaged and headed down the path to purchase. But what if you’re new to the practice and just want some help to get started. Here are six strategies to review before you launch into lead nurturing.

1. Repurpose Existing Content
Many marketers know they need to map content to their campaigns, and that can feel daunting. Using your existing content and mapping it to the theme, messages, and actions you want to drive in the program can cut the stress and save valuable time.

2. Test and Optimize Over Time
Everyone knows they need to test, but you can easily create a progressive test plan to spur action. Testing offers, the number of touches within a specified period, and different messages at various stages of the program enable you to refine and enhance your lead nurturing programs. The result is tailored campaigns for the kinds of sales cycles your business experiences.

3. Take a Structured Approach
The foundation of your lead nurturing should be structured around the quantity and quality of touches and offers it takes to drive (or trigger) a desired action, whether that means sales will follow up or the lead gets placed into a different program.

4. Leverage Initial Campaigns
What you learn from initial campaigns, should help refine subsequent ones. For example, identifying the most popular content subject means you can create a track tailored to respondents interested in that topic, until they cease engaging. At that time, you can assess their new interests with other content subject offers.

5. Accelerate or Decelerate Different Tracks
As your nurturing programs gather momentum, you’ll need to track how leads are engaging. When contacts respond more frequently to particular messages or offers, by adding them to tracks where the content is most relevant to their implicit and explicit interests. Conversely, if contacts aren’t responding well the track you have them in, decelerate by pulling them out and into a more basic path.

6. Build Toward a Comprehensive Strategy
It’s not enough to drive a basic lead nurturing program and hope for conversions. Buyers want to engage at their own pace. Create a comprehensive program that includes stages for welcoming prospects, helping them understand the market, evaluate your product, and re-engage when leads get cold.

Effective lead nurturing is done through a structured, building block approach. Start at a practical level, and then add more sophisticated layers based on the results you achieve.

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