After making the first contact with prospects that signal their interest, in most cases, this is not enough to get them to buy your products or make a deal with your organization. Instead, it is vital to get these prospects to a state where your sales team can work with them on a more qualified level.
As simple as successful marketing may start with a newsletter sign-up, leading the customer journey to a sales conversation only happens as a step-by-step process with each subsequent interaction of the prospect. And that's exactly what lead nurturing is—an automated process of sending personalized and relevant content to prospects and customers at every stage of their buying process. Lead nurturing campaigns help you build relationships with potential customers. It's primarily about arousing genuine interest and anchoring your brand in the minds of your target group throughout the entire recurring customer lifecycle. For this purpose, the personalization of the components of a campaign (e.g., emails) on an individual level is useful.
With the global email marketing market valued at USD 7.5 billion in 2020 and a projected increase to 17.9 billion by 2027, email is still the workhorse of marketing. It is an easy way to reach customers quickly, effectively, and, most importantly, at a low price. In addition to sending transactional emails or newsletters, emails can also be used as a series that get automatically triggered when a potential customer takes a certain action.
Automated nurture campaigns can consist of different waves as part of a lead-nurturing program based on the individual’s interests and preferences. To set up a nurture program entails a proper strategy and plan to establish the right content in each phase of the customer journey, as well as the correct time to send the content.
The starting point of such a journey could be a social media campaign, intended to lead potential customers to your website and encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter or download a piece of content. The sign-up should follow the legally required rules and is probably the most important step and pre-requisite for lead nurturing.
During the next step, the lead receives the newsletter, which informs them about and promotes your various solutions and products. If the lead's interest is aroused, they ideally click into the newsletter and are forwarded to your website for more detailed information, leaving further traces.
Meanwhile, the collected information on the form and the behavior in the background are tracked and evaluated. Based on this, targeted lead nurturing can start and the interested party can be sent personalized and in-depth information about your solution at pre-defined intervals.
All this data can be collected and pre-defined score points can be automatically assigned to the lead for every action taken on the website, within the newsletter, etc. At a certain point, the lead reaches a determined threshold, which triggers an alert for the right salesperson. This person can use the previously collected information to prepare for an individual and personal contact with the now sales-qualified lead (SQL). This significantly increases the chances of concluding the sale.
Jens Elsner is a Lead Solution Consultant, Practice Lead in OSF Digitals EMEA Salesforce Marketing Cloud DC. With more than 7 years experience in the Salesforce environment, 6 certifications and a lot of successfully delivered projects.