Backstory: I asked Matt Heinz to write a post on lead nurturing. He told me to look at some posts on the Heinz Marketing blog and I found 10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign. I enjoyed it, it was funnelholic-esque but I didn’t want Matt or the author Nichole McIntyre to do any work. So, instead, I took my favorites from the post and added some commentary.
I am about to go on a content rush on lead nurturing. We are hosting a webinar on the topic on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids. Overall, I am glad we get to talk about lead nurturing again. When marketing automation first came to market, it was all any was talking about. Now, the amount of content created on the topic has dimmed a bit. That’s a mistake. Now is the best time to talk about the lead nurturing process. We have learned a ton over the last couple years about what works and doesn’t work, but more importantly, we have learned that when done right, it is a game-changer for demand generation ROI.
Before we move on to the content, please enjoy this picture from grahamc99 — I chose it in honor of Nichole’s original title: “10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign.” Whenever, I think terrible, I think of Terrible’s casino for some reason. Whatever.
Again, kudos to Nichole McIntyre, marketing coordinator and lead management genius at Heinz Marketing. Her post is a great and a fun read. All I can do is mess it up.
What I did was, I took direct quotes from Nichole’s post and added my three cents. I hope you enjoy.
1. No segmentation necessary – just throw all your contacts in one large bucket and assume the messaging still fits.
Funnelholic note: The rule here is simple: The more relevant you are, the more likely you are to get a response. Not exactly rocket science. “Spraying and praying” is so dead and gone as a marketing tactic it’s not even funny. That is a recipe for doom. Instead, first keep your database clean with as much data as possible, then segment based on your target buyer personas, and develop relevant customized campaigns for each persona.
2. Make your contacts fill out the same form every time – since we need to gather the same information multiple times and make them fill it out every single time. Tracking through clicks or blind form submissions is lame!
Funnelholic note: Time is the enemy of your buyer. When you talk to buyers, simplicity and ease of use are top criteria when dealing with vendors. You should make everything they do with you as easy as possible. Exhibit A: Only make them fill out the same form once.
3. Don’t personalize it – make them feel unimportant.
Funnelholic note: Well played Nichole, well played. I love this: “Make them feel unimportant”. True story: I recently was nominated for an award. (yeah!) The email said: “Dear colleague”. (boo) Remember, it’s about them not you. Every touch you make with the buyer, make it as personalized as possible. Don’t just worry about making them feel unimportant, make them feel like they are the most important thing in your life.
4. Don’t try to lead score them – too much work. That’s what the salespeople are for.
Funnelholic note: The other day, I was working with an executive who said: “I get 12,000 leads a month, how can I handle that with 18 people.” Me: “Scoring”. Him: “Yes, you are right”. Another story: I was explaining scoring to my friend the other day. I said simply: “Basically, scoring makes you more effective because it tells you who you should probably spend more time with.” Scoring functionality exists in every marketing automation platform so why not use it?
5. Be sure the “from” address is a “noreply@” – because who wants to receive those obnoxious replies anyways?
Funnelholic note: Great call. Actually, most of your campaigns will convert better coming from a real person. Believe that.
6. Second time is a charm – After going through the campaign once, if they have not responded, send them through the exact same campaign again.
Funnelholic Note: The water torture technique is very effective form of marketing. Just do the same thing over and over and over…I jest. Please do me a favor, have some fun being a marketer and mix it up, try new things.
7. Play hard to get – Provide an obnoxious 1-800 number to call in your signature. Works every time.
Funnelholic Note: People do this?
8. Emails only – Don’t incorporate any other channels.
Funnelholic note: Great call. First of all, adding calling to your nurturing campaigns can increase conversion by 5-10%. Also, social is a great nurturing channel. While it my not have direct conversions like email, surrounding a phone-email campaign with social branding will increase overall conversion. Oh and by the way, direct social conversion rates are rising for many people as well (see Marketo’s highly effective Facebook campaigns). “It don’t cost nothing” so add it to the mix.
That’s it – hope you enjoyed this one. Add your worst practices in the comment section below!
Lets talk lead nurturing: Join our webinar on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids. See you there!