I was fairly certain that nothing could scare the pants off me quite like American Horror Story, until I read this statistic:
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. (Source: HubSpot)
[Enter dramatic gasp here.]
As marketers, lead generation consumes a serious chunk of our time and resources. But if you generate a lead and the lead never converts into a sale, did you really generate a lead at all?
Free Guide: The Beginners Guide to Inbound Sales
Point being, failure to educate your leads will often times result in them becoming disengaged, or worse, obsolete.
Luckily for us, marketing automation software provides the means necessary to create workflows designed to educate and advance leads stuck in the funnel.
In an effort to help you move more high quality leads towards sales, we've detailed everything you need to know about getting started with lead nurturing workflows.
How to set up a lead nurturing workflow:
1. Set a goal
Workflows can be used to help move leads closer to taking the next step, however, it's up to you as the marketer to determine what that next step is.
Before you get started, ask yourself- what is/are the desired action(s) you want your leads to take after moving through your workflow?
Keep in mind that specificity is key, as it's much easier to measure the success of a lead nurturing workflow when it is tied to a specific metric.
Whether you're looking to persuade your leads to subscribe to your blog or schedule an assessment, knowing what success means before you set the workflow live will make it easier to track and report on the outcomes.
2. Nail down the timing and frequency
Before you invite leads to enter a workflow, it's important that you determine an appropriate length for the campaign, as well as a plan for both the timing and frequency of the emails being sent.
In doing so, you'll want to look back at the average length of your buying cycle. How long did it take for your last 5 customers to close? What type of content did they consume? How frequently were they engaging with your website?
While this buying cycle will vary depending on your product, service, or industry, HubSpot suggests that on average, contacting leads more than once a week is too much, however less than once a month is not enough.
3. Map out a variety of content
Before you start plugging content into your workflow, start with a content audit.
Visualizing the content that you already have in your library will make it easier for you to determine what you'll need to create for the sake of this lead nurturing campaign.
With a specific persona in mind, you may find that some of your existing content will serve as a good fit with a bit of tweaking.
When selecting resources to include, think about the different stages of the funnel. You'll likely want to start with some top of the funnel resources like ebooks and whitepapers before you push anything that requires a bit more commitment on the recipient's end.
4. Craft the email content
Once you have your resources all sorted out, it's time to whip up the actual email content.
However, before you take the buttoned-up business route, don't.
Keep in mind that the recipients on the other end of the line are humans, seeking human interaction. So rather than gussy up your copy with a bunch of big words, you'll want to focus on conveying value and trust.
Without these two things, you'll find it's increasingly difficult to move a lead anywhere.
For more on how to write persuasive marketing emails that people actually want to read, check out this article (and this one.)
5. Track, measure, & report
When it comes to marketing automation, it's easy to "set it and forget it", but you and I know better than that.
To inform your future efforts, you'll want to revisit your workflows to determine when and where people dropped off or took action.
Identifying content that failed to resonate will help you to better select resources that aim to meet the unique needs of your leads during different stages of the buying cycle.