Too often, I see web inquiries go into a black hole—handed off to Sales which leaves Marketing in the dark.
#1: This is one of the top complaints I hear from Marketers—lack of transparency when handing off a lead to sales.
#2: I believe Marketing and Sales can align and complement the conversations each is having.
One simple low-hanging fruit: start with your website forms. Whether it’s a Contact Us form or a webinar registration, all high-value website forms should send a follow-up autoresponder email.
Why is this so important? Confirmation emails have some of the highest open and click rates of all types of marketing emails. At the time of submission, in that very moment, you have the attention of your prospect. Why not take advantage of it?
Your autoresponders should:
- Acknowledge receipt of the original request + when they can expect follow-up.
- Keep the prospect engaged by offering up additional content that is relevant to the original request.
Keep. It. Going.
Follow-up doesn’t end by sending an autoresponder email or routing to Sales. Marketing should complement the conversations that Sales is having via nurture campaigns.
At its basic, nurturing is about continuing the conversation with prospects and customers. It delivers relevant, timely messaging through every step of the buyer’s journey that is supported by data.
It should come as no surprise that nurtures are supported by data. Data is critical as it feeds prospects into a nurture and moves them from one nurture to the next.
How do you create core nurture programs that are automated, data-driven, and persona-targeted for each stage in the buyer’s journey?
The best place to start: Net-new leads (top of funnel) and customers (end of funnel).
New Leads: These are new inquiries, often from your website, who are not ready to buy, YET they know they have a problem (pain point) and seek info (a solution). They reached out to you; it’s our job as marketers to continue to engage.
Customers: You already put in the work to convert them to customers. Keep them as a customer by:
a. Helping new customers “move-in” with an automated onboarding nurture
b. Exposing to cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
c. Boosting retention or increasing usage and adoption of the new product/service
A few closing thoughts:
Start somewhere. Don’t worry about perfection or getting your nurtures right on the first try. Nurturing often involves a few iterations & evolutions. So get started, launch, measure, and continue to tweak/optimize.
Keep it simple. Too often, nurtures are over-architected and overly complex. Keep it simple—start with a 3-touch (touch = email) nurture, sending every 1-2 weeks. If a prospect engages, you fast-track them to the next stage. If they don’t engage, slow down or ask why with feedback surveys or perhaps sales out-reach.
Never execute a marketing tactic without knowing “what’s next?” in their journey.
Your campaign is only as good as your follow-up.