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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

4 Ways to Nurture Marketing Qualified Leads into Sales Qualified Leads

Posted by Sarah Hecker on Nov 14, 2017 10:51:00 AM

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What percentage of your organization’s marketing efforts are focused on the top of the funnel?

If you don’t know, now might be a good time to re-evaluate your current strategy. While ramping up your blog publishing schedule and keeping a healthy social media presence are essential to growing traffic, they will do little to nurture cold leads into sales-ready opportunities. Setting up multiple, automated workflows can be complicated and time-consuming for sales reps and marketers alike, but at the end of the day you’re not going to close any more deals without focusing on your qualified leads and bottom-of-the-funnel offers.

Need some inspiration? Try using these four techniques to help nurture your contacts down the sales funnel.

1. Set Up Some Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are one of the most common methods of lead nurturing and can be reused and repurposed for as long as the content remains relevant and active. These campaigns are triggered by a contact taking a specific action in your sales funnel—such as registering for a webinar or downloading an e-book. Setting up a workflow to slowly “drip” emails into your contact’s inbox is a great way to provide them with more information about your product or services.

A drip campaign after an e-book download might look something like this:

Day 1: The contact, Susan Smith from ABC Inc., downloads the e-book.

Day 3: The drip campaign kicks off and sends Susan some related resources from your website.

Day 8: The next email talks about a specific concept or pain point that is relevant to the original e-book topic.

Day 15: This email discusses how your organization can provide Susan with value, in regard to the previous subject matter.

Day 20: Susan receives an email offering a demo of your product.

By now, Susan has been warmed up by the drip campaign and is interested in learning more. When she requests a demo, it triggers the end of the workflow.

If contacts similar to Susan don’t end up requesting a demo, don’t worry. There are still more ways to nurture these contacts.

2. Start Writing Newsletters

Despite creating a killer drip campaign, the fact of the matter is that some contacts just won’t be ready to buy anytime soon. That’s okay! Monthly or quarterly e-blasts can be another method of keeping contacts engaged, even if you’re not actively marketing to them. If you have multiple buyer personas, or different use cases for your product, you can cater content to any information you have about the lead.

For example, if your product is used for project management by both creative agencies and software developers, you’d want to segment your newsletters by that use case. If a visitor spends the whole day writing code, they most likely are not going to care how your platform can help me wrangle freelance writers. However, if you write a newsletter talking about trends for agile project management in 2018, that would be more closely aligned with the contact’s needs. These simple touch points can help keep your organization top of mind for a lead—and when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be one of the first places they look.

3. Set Up Event Tracking

If you want to add a greater degree of personalization to your lead nurturing efforts, you can set up event tracking on your website to trigger workflows. Common events you might want to track could include a contact clicking through your case studies page—in which case you might want that action to trigger a follow-up email with more information.

This can also be a good way to nurture closed-lost contacts back into ready-to-buy contacts. If you find them revisiting pricing pages or your demo request page, it might be time to send out a feeler email to see if they’re interested in talking again. However, be careful with these types of nurturing campaigns as it can quickly become annoying (and creepy!) if contacts are getting an email every time they visit your website.

4. Use Personalized, Smart Content

If your CMS or marketing automation software allows for dynamic content, consider creating new variations of CTAs or web pages to update with data about the contact. For example, if you have a CTA promoting your latest e-book, you should consider adding smart rules to display new content after a contact has downloaded the guide. This can help keep them moving down the funnel by displaying new offers and creating greater visibility for your bottom-of-the-funnel content. Web pages can use this strategy too. Creating dynamic web pages that update based on contact persona can provide visitors with greater personalization—and better speak to their needs and pain points.

Going back to the example about project management software, you could create a landing page for a demo request of your platform. Using smart content, the landing page could display different text for agency identified contacts than it would for software developers. For first-time visitors, or contacts without an identified persona, you could have a default version that speaks to anyone who needs project management software.

Go Forth and Nurture

Now that you’ve read about four ways to nurture your marketing qualified leads, it’s time to start putting what you learned into practice. That being said, there are endless ways to nurture your contacts. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, or the needs of your persona, one lead nurturing method might make more sense over another. Engage in optimization efforts on an ongoing basis to make sure you’re not letting any opportunities slip through the cracks!

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Sarah Hecker

About the Author

Sarah is a Michigan native who traded one Midwestern state for another, now living in Chicago. After studying PR and communication at Oakland University, she landed a job as an inbound marketing coordinator and hasn’t looked back. When she’s not marketing, she’s probably playing video games. That’s all she does in her spare time. Seriously.