Nurture campaigns do one thing really, really well — they keep your customer’s attention on your company.
Attention means dollars in the 15-second video world. If you can master the art of nurturing prospects, you’ll win in the long run.
What Are Lead Nurture Campaigns?
Nurture campaigns are essentially a series of touch points and follow-ups (think email sequences, social media outreach, texts, etc.) that help guide sales leads through your funnel and come out as paying customers.
The scope of nurture campaigns extends far beyond mere customer engagement. These campaigns are instrumental in shaping the customer's journey, influencing their purchasing decisions, and ultimately impacting a company's revenue.
RevOps pros have the data to back the success of nurture campaigns as well. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost, as reported by Forrester Research.
Additionally, nurtured leads tend to make larger purchases, with Annuitas Group noting that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. I’m here to delve into the strategic nuances of lead nurturing, offering a comprehensive roadmap for RevOps professionals.
10 Steps For A Successful Nurture Campaign
1. Identify the Target Audience
A critical step in lead nurturing is identifying who your leads are and understanding their needs and behaviors. Before you and your team go running to create content and marketing campaigns, first dig into your organization’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
2. Outline Your Ideal Customer Profile
First dig into demographic information, firmographic data for B2B companies, and psychographic details. RevOps teams use data and analytics to pinpoint characteristics that make up your most valuable customers.
Here’s an example of how to think about your customer’s buying journey and discover what matters to them: What is the buying cycle of your ICP? Do they have to present internally? If so, what questions are asked in those internal meetings? A $10 gift card to a coffee shop and a 30-minute conversation with a network referral or LinkedIn connection can provide these answers in-depth.
3. Define the Buyer’s Journey and Key Messages for Each Stage
Understanding the buyer’s journey is essential for effective lead nurturing. The buyer’s journey typically consists of three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. RevOps teams map out this journey, identifying the specific needs and questions customers have at each stage. Then, the marketing team can craft key messages tailored to these stages, ensuring that communication is relevant and timely. This targeted approach helps in moving leads smoothly through the sales funnel.
4. Segment Your Audience
Not all leads are the same, and treating them as such can be a costly mistake. Audience segmentation is the process of dividing your audience into smaller groups based on certain criteria like industry, company size, or behavior to target the right market.
RevOps teams use segmentation to help sales and marketing teams deliver more personalized and relevant content to each group. By understanding the unique challenges and needs of each segment, businesses can tailor their nurturing strategies to be more effective, engaging, and align with the overall go-to-market strategy.
5. Develop Your Content Strategy
A well-crafted content strategy is vital for a successful lead nurturing campaign. The content you share with your leads should not only be relevant and engaging but also aligned with where they are in the buyer’s journey. Here’s how to outline an effective content strategy:
Types of Content to Include in a Nurture Campaign
- Educational Content: This includes blog posts, white papers, case studies, webinars, and sales enablement content. Educational content is particularly effective in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, where potential customers are seeking information.
- Email Newsletters: Regular newsletters keep your brand top of mind. Takeaway: The welcome email of an email newsletter is absolutely key, so ensure you know your audience very well!
- Drip Campaigns: A series of emails that are automatically sent out based on specific triggers or time intervals. These are effective for gradually nurturing leads with a steady stream of information.
- Re-engagement Campaigns: Targeted at leads who have gone cold, these campaigns aim to rekindle interest with compelling offers or new insights.
- Social Media Content: Engaging posts, stories, and updates that reflect your brand’s personality and values can help in building a community around your brand.
The frequency of your content distribution should strike a balance between keeping your leads engaged and not overwhelming them. This can vary based on your industry and the nature of your products or services. A/B testing can be a valuable tool in determining the optimal frequency. Timing is also crucial; for instance, sending emails at a time when your audience is most likely to open them can significantly improve open rates.
For a more in-depth lead nurturing example, look at Adobe’s shift to a subscription-based model. By nurturing existing customers through targeted messaging about the benefits of switching to Creative Cloud, Adobe significantly increased its recurring revenue. This story is outlined in depth in Scott Belsky’s book The Messy Middle.
6. Set Up Your Nurture Campaign
There are so many modern and high-quality CRMs today that it is difficult to choose which one to pick. One piece of advice, find one that is affordable and can scale with your business as you grow. A RevOps leader with an organization that is focusing on developing into enterprise level should probably think about Salesforce, Hubspot or Oracle. But if the goal is to build a smaller, leaner organization then CRMs like Pipedrive, Monday.com, and GoHighLevel are better fits.
Tools and Software
At the very least your CRM should be setup to:
- Track Customer Interactions: Every touchpoint with a lead can be tracked and analyzed.
- Segment Your Audience: Efficiently categorize leads based on various criteria, ensuring more targeted communication.
- Measure Campaign Effectiveness: Understand which strategies are working and which aren’t, based on real-time data.
- Automate marketing outreach: Send automated texts, emails, voicemails, etc.
Key Consideration: Look for a CRM that integrates seamlessly with other tools in your marketing stack and offers advanced analytics capabilities. Or, test out tools designed for lead management that can be integrated into your current tech stack.
7. Optimize Outreach
Email marketing platforms are critical for executing nurture campaigns. When choosing a platform, consider:
- Automation Features: Essential for scheduling and sending emails at scale.
- Personalization Capabilities: The ability to personalize emails based on lead data.
- Analytics and Reporting: Insights into open rates, click-through rates, and conversions are vital for optimizing campaigns.
- Lead Scoring: Helps in prioritizing leads based on their engagement and likelihood to convert.
- Lead Nurturing Workflows: Some platforms offer more sophisticated options for creating and managing nurture sequences.
- Decision Guide: Assess the complexity of your sales cycle and volume of leads. If they are high, investing in dedicated lead management software might be beneficial.
8. Create Templates
In all honesty, templates are a better way to go than creating emails from scratch. Do some digging and find an email copy master who’s already found success and use their templates.
9. Launch the Campaign
Once the groundwork for a lead nurturing campaign is laid, the focus shifts to execution and monitoring. This phase is crucial as it involves not only the implementation of the campaign but also continuous tracking and optimization based on performance data.
- Test Before Launch: Ensure all elements of the campaign, from email sequences to landing pages, and especially CTAs are thoroughly tested for functionality and user experience.
- Segment Your Audience: Tailor your campaign to different segments of your audience for more personalized and effective communication.
- Clear Communication: Ensure that your messaging is clear and aligns with your overall brand voice and the specific goals of the campaign.
- Optimize for Mobile: With an increasing number of users accessing content on mobile devices, ensure that all components of your campaign are mobile-friendly.
- Set Clear Objectives: Define what success looks like for the campaign, whether it’s an increase in lead quality, quantity, or specific engagement metrics.
- Inform Your Team: Make sure all relevant teams (sales, marketing, customer service) are aligned and understand their role in the campaign.
10. Track KPIs and Iterate
Don’t start with a complex dashboard. Please, just don’t. Here’s a pro tip — don’t download the latest Business Intelligence software and spend a fortune on a BI consultant to build a complex dashboard.
Instead, use the 5 metrics below, track them for 90 days in a spreadsheet and then hire a low-cost analyst contractor to design an Excel or sheets dashboard. I’ve worked with companies doing mid-8 figures with this type of setup. It is effective and simple, giving you and your RevOps team the insight they need to make smart decisions before investing in a more complex dashboard. Also, it only costs about $500 to set up.
Basic metrics to track
- Conversion Rates: Track how many leads move to the next stage in the sales funnel and eventually convert to customers.
- Engagement Metrics: This includes email open rates, click-through rates, and social media engagement. Be careful with engagement metrics as they can quickly become vanity metrics, ensure there is a good reason you’re tracking these.
- Lead Quality: Monitor the quality of leads generated and how they align with your ideal customer profile.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Understanding the cost involved in acquiring a new customer is crucial for evaluating the campaign’s ROI.
- Lifetime Value (LTV): This metric helps in understanding the long-term value of the leads being nurtured.
Your team should be constantly A/B testing. Not enough teams spend time testing content and copy to see which resonates with their clients better. For example, a SaaS provider I worked with tested two landing page designs. The first featured a short-form sign-up process, while the second offered a more detailed, step-by-step approach. The short-form page resulted in a 15% higher conversion rate, indicating that users preferred a quicker sign-up process. This insight led to a redesign of their onboarding process, significantly reducing drop-off rates.
Common Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them
The graphic below is one of, if not the best visualization of most campaigns. As a RevOps professional, you can’t simply turn on a campaign and say goodbye. It takes constant tweaking, monitoring, discussing, and relaunching to navigate the messy middle.
Relying too heavily on automation can make your communications feel impersonal and robotic. While automation tools are essential for scaling your efforts, they can sometimes strip away the human element that is critical in building relationships with potential customers. And, according to a study by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
How to Avoid:
- Personalization: Use automation tools that allow for personalization. This can be as simple as including the lead’s name in emails or as complex as tailoring content based on their past interactions with your brand.
- Human Touch: Regularly intersperse automated communications with personal messages. For instance, a personal check-in email from a sales representative can make a world of difference.
- Feedback Loops: Implement systems to gather feedback from leads about their communication preferences and adjust your approach accordingly.
Bombarding leads with too much content too frequently can be overwhelming, leading to high unsubscribe rates and low engagement.
How to Avoid:
- Segmentation: Tailor the frequency and type of content to different segments of your audience. Not all leads require the same amount of nurturing.
- Quality Over Quantity: Focus on providing high-quality, relevant content rather than trying to hit a certain quantity of communications.
- Monitor Engagement: Keep an eye on metrics like open rates and click-through rates to gauge how your audience is responding to the frequency of your content.
Ready for Launch
Follow these steps, and you'll be well on your way. The important thing to remember is to keep testing and iterating on your campaign. You can always improve, and your data will show you what's working and what isn't.
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