Lead nurturing is an essential component of any successful marketing strategy. By engaging with your leads and guiding them through the buyer’s journey, you can turn potential customers into loyal advocates for your brand. In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps to enhance your lead nurturing strategy, covering everything from organizing your nurtures to advanced audience targeting and A/B testing.
Step 1: Structuring Your Nurture Campaign
- Who to Nurture: When you’re just starting with lead nurturing, your primary goal is to guide your prospects toward a sale. To do this effectively, it’s crucial to identify who you should be nurturing. This can be based on factors such as job roles, geography, language, company size, or industry. Start by analyzing your existing customers and their interactions with your content to create detailed buyer personas.
- The Power of Evergreen Content: Every effective nurture campaign should leverage evergreen content. Evergreen content includes posts, whitepapers, webinars, and ideas that remain relevant over time. It’s the type of content that continues to engage your audience, even as the years go by. Look at what evergreen content is already driving website traffic, social shares, and leads, and ensure it remains fresh and up-to-date. An outdated look can discourage interactions with your content.
- When to Use Drip Campaigns and Engagement Programs: Deciding between a drip campaign and an engagement program is essential to tailor your nurture strategy effectively. Drip campaigns work well when you have a linear series of emails to send to a static audience, and there’s a need for a complex email cadence. It’s suitable when leads may qualify multiple times and you want them to go through the campaign repeatedly. For example, use a drip nurture for event follow ups or to guide users through a trial. On the other hand, engagement programs are ideal for evergreen content, preventing leads from receiving content more than once, and when you have complex requirements for lead movement. For example, use an engagement program when nurturing leads in a specific industry or guiding prospects through use cases and customers through product features.
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Step 2: Scaling Your Lead Nurturing
- Configuring Acceleration Streams and Skip Logic: To further optimize your lead nurturing efforts, it’s essential to configure acceleration streams and implement skip logic. This level of personalization can significantly enhance the overall experience for your leads. Acceleration streams allow you to adjust the pace and content of your nurturing program based on lead engagement and behavior. Skip logic, on the other hand, ensures that your leads receive content that aligns with their specific interests and needs. These strategies are valuable for delivering content that speaks directly to your audience.
- Using Segmentations to Fuel a Traffic Director Program: Segmenting your audience based on various criteria such as behavior, demographics, and interactions allows for highly targeted communication. A Traffic Director program takes this segmentation a step further, ensuring that leads are directed to the most relevant content or actions based on their individual characteristics. This level of personalization and guidance is essential for scaling your lead nurturing effectively. For example, you might have an NQL (Not Quite Ready to Buy) holdout group. If leads are not currently nurtured because they’ve reached the MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) stage, they can temporarily reside in the NQL segment. Once they are no longer MQL and ready for nurturing, they automatically return to the most appropriate nurture segment based on their fit.
- Transitioning Between Accelerated and Steady Streams: Transition campaigns are a crucial element of your lead nurturing strategy, helping you send content to users who are actively interested in your brand, products, or offerings. The key here is to go faster if they’re actively engaging and slow down if they’re not interacting. This is how you keep the momentum going in your nurturing efforts. When transitioning from the steady stream to the accelerated stream, you should start with a default program in the steady stream, ensuring that all members are initially placed there, especially when you lack data on their past email interactions. Members can then transition to the accelerated stream after interacting with their first email. After this initial transition, they can move back to the steady stream as needed.
Step 3: Proving Nurturing Effectiveness Through Control Groups and A/B TestingA/B testing is a critical aspect of nurturing, but it should be executed scientifically. Instead of haphazardly testing various elements, you need a structured approach that includes a hypothesis, success metrics, and statistical significance. It’s not about testing for the sake of it; it’s about obtaining meaningful insights.
- Determining Control Group Size: To scientifically test the effectiveness of your nurture programs, you need to establish control groups. The size of your control group is critical. If you choose a statistically significant sample size of 20 percent, that’s great. A more conservative approach, such as 10 percent, can also work, but you shouldn’t go smaller than 10 percent. The key consideration is the total size of your nurture audience. For small audiences, even 10 percent might be insufficient to conduct a meaningful test. To ensure accurate results, your audience should ideally consist of several thousand individuals.
- Testing with Control Groups: After your nurture program has been running for several casts, your control group should be paused from the nurture. In Traffic Director, the individuals in your control group remain in the segment aligned with your nurture. This exclusion ensures they are not nurtured. They may still qualify for other one-off emails, but the primary focus is on evaluating the effectiveness of the nurture program itself.
- Comparing Results: To assess the nurture’s effectiveness, compare the lifecycle status of individuals in the control group (those who received no nurture) against those who were nurtured. This comparison will help validate your hypothesis, which assumes that people who are nurtured will progress through the buyer’s journey more quickly than those not nurtured. Allow the test to run for at least four to five casts, track performance metrics, and declare a winner based on your predefined hypothesis.
ConclusionEnhancing your lead nurture strategy is a crucial aspect of building successful customer relationships and boosting sales. By following these steps, you can organize your nurtures, utilize evergreen content, and structure your campaigns for maximum effectiveness. Remember, personalization and scalability are key elements of a successful lead nurture strategy. We hope this blog post has provided you with valuable insights to supercharge your nurturing efforts. If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to reach out to us.