B2B Inbound Marketing Best Practices for Lead Nurturing Workflows
Once you’ve captured a lead, how do you continue to engage and qualify them for your sales team?
One way to do this is by leveraging automated lead nurturing workflows, a popular inbound marketing tactic. Learn how to nurture a new contact into a qualified lead with these best practices.
First things first—what is lead nurturing?
For our purposes, we’ll define lead nurturing as a process in which you engage your leads through a series of automated, targeted messages, usually shared via email.
Why lead nurturing?
- Qualified leads are more likely to convert into sales.
- Automation streamlines efficiency so you can be in front of your prospects consistently without the extra legwork.
- You build credibility by sending the right targeting message at the right time, without coming across as too self-promotional.
1. Know when to enroll your contacts into a workflow. You should have a reason why you’re entering your contacts into a workflow. Did they download one of your content offers, or request a consultation? Figure out your enrollment criteria prior to creating your workflow so you’ll be able to craft the right messages, instead of creating a general workflow that you enter all contacts into without a strong reason.
2. Send your messages from a real person. Your sender name matters—in fact, 69% of people are likely to read your email because of its sender. Avoid using sender names like “Sales” or “Marketing” at BUSINESS NAME,” and use a person’s name instead. You’ll look more human, and therefore, more relatable (remember, people buy from people).
3. Follow up with relevant content. As mentioned above, your nurturing workflows are important because they send the right message at the right time. If someone downloads a content offer about an industry problem, follow up with other similar content that addresses that issue. Avoid promoting your business product or service, and instead focus on creating value through your content.
4. Know when to “break up.” Nurture your leads with quality content, but don’t overwhelm them. We’ve found that 2-3 emails in a post-content download workflow is sufficient, while other workflows may require less or more. Regardless, this is something you should test and tweak to find what works best for your leads and industry.
5. Test cadence of sends. Here’s another area you’ll want to test—do your leads mind receiving a couple of emails from you in a week? Should you send them an email once per week, or will leads cool off by the end of the workflow at that cadence? When we nurture leads, we send an email about once every 3 days. Try a few different cadences to learn what your leads are responding to.
6. Keep track of send times. Most quality lead nurturing automation systems allow you to customize the time of day that you’re sending follow-up messages. As with all marketing strategies, testing is important here. Send your messages at a few different times throughout the day and check which is most effective for getting email opens. We’ve found that sending emails between 7–8am, right before people log on for work, performs well for many B2B companies.
7. Keep content fresh. While you’ll definitely benefit from the “set it and forget it” automation of workflows, don’t get amnesia. Industry trends change, so we recommend updating workflow content every 6-12 months to keep it fresh and relevant. Sharing evergreen content is another good way to combat this issue.
8. Measure success. No surprise here, but effective workflows take work. Make sure you review open and click rates to evaluate your lead nurturing success. Many tools even pull those analytics for you in an email effectiveness matrix, so you can easily update what isn’t working, and replicate what is.
Lead nurturing is an excellent way to keep your business top-of-mind with prospects who are already interested in what you have to say. By giving the right people the right content at the right time, you can turn your marketing into a lead-generating machine.
Want to learn more about writing awesome lead nurturing workflows for your B2B sales team? Contact the team of marketing experts at Accelity!