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Lead nurturing: 10 tips to power your marketing strategy

December 23, 2020

James Sutton is a Campaign Executive in Cognism’s marketing team.

He’s passionate about lead nurturing. “It’s a very underrated part of marketing,” he told us over a Zoom call. “If you’ve got leads just sitting in your database, it’s no good to anyone. You have to re-engage those leads and push them through the funnel. That’s lead nurturing in a nutshell!”

James gave us his top 10 lead nurturing tips. Scroll 👇 to get some actionable, data-driven insights!

1 - Make it relevant ✔️

Any lead nurture sequence you run must be relevant to the target audience. Sending blanket emails is never a good idea! Personalisation is obviously important, but you can go beyond that.

A good thing to do is anchor your lead nurture around the prospect’s pain points. Your lead nurture should be answering questions or solving pain points.

Bear in mind that pain points can be different depending on the industry or even the lead’s role. The pain points for a salesperson will be different from those of a marketer, for example. CEOs have a very particular set of pain points, which are very different from other people’s.

Top tip

Research your target audience thoroughly before you start nurturing.

2 - Deliver value 🚚

With lead nurturing, sometimes people can be too quick to sell straight away. A much better approach is to engage your leads at the start with relevant, valuable content. Offer them something that will help them or answer a question they’ve got.

Education is pivotal to good lead nurturing. Different types of content work better at certain junctures in the nurture sequence. It depends on what your goal is.

Top tip

If you want to progress leads through the marketing funnel, then case studies can be very effective.

3 - Anticipate behaviours 🔮

So much of lead nurturing is about predicting how people are going to behave. Which actions are people going to take? A good lead nurture sequence should have branches for people to go down - but there must always be a ‘golden path’ that you want your leads to follow. Every branch must guide them back to that path.

Don’t be afraid of giving your leads options. You can learn a great deal from the options that people choose. Then, you can use those insights to optimise your sequence. No sequence should be set in stone from the off - you should always be looking to improve it. Track it regularly and keep going back and making changes, based on how your leads are behaving.

Top tip

If you’ve got multiple sequences running at the same time, you can drop leads who aren’t engaging out of one sequence and into another. Again, it’s all about guiding your leads to your preferred outcome.

4 - Don’t rush 🐢

Be sure to give your leads time. Don’t rush your lead nurture sequence. The idea is to keep your company in the recipients’ minds, without bombarding them with too many emails. If they get too many messages early on, they’re likely to unsubscribe.

Top tip

Start with a couple of emails in the first week of the sequence, then 1 email a week after that.

5 - Tailor your sending times ⌚

Just like pain points, the times that you send the emails in your sequence can differ depending on the industry.

There’s no exact science to this, but, in general, I’ve found that:

  • Salespeople respond at early morning times, such as 8:40-8:45am.
  • Marketers tend to respond best in the afternoon.

Top tip

Adjust your sending times for best results. Do some research into the best times to send for your target industry - there are quite a few studies online about this!

6 - Be varied 🌈

A good lead nurturing sequence should have something for everyone! Include as many different types of content as you can. Blogs, videos, webinars, animations - variety is the spice of lead nurturing life!

Not everyone will open your email - but if you include as much variety as possible, you’ll maximise your chances.

Top tip

Remember that everyone consumes content in different ways. Some people like the written word while others prefer audio or video. Cater to as many tastes as possible in your lead nurture sequence.

7 - A/B test everything 🧪

Experiment with everything in your lead nurturing sequences. Try out different banners, copy, CTAs. Do buttons work best or do text links? These are questions that only A/B testing can answer.

Top tip

Segment your audience into 2 groups. Send one style of email to the first group, and another style of email to the second group. Go back to your data and analytics - which email performed better? Take your learnings to improve the later emails in the sequence - and possibly emails in your other sequences, as well!

8 - Expand your touchpoints 🔗

An effective lead nurture sequence should expand the touchpoints that your leads have with your company. You want them to be interacting with your brand everywhere!

So, don’t be afraid to have other channels as your CTA. You could include links to your social media pages or a subscribe button to your YouTube channel. If you’re hosting webinars or podcasts, you can link out to them, too.

Top tip

Make your leads aware of all the content you’re producing and they might follow you on those other platforms - adding another touchpoint in the long-term.

9 - Scale over time 🧗

Sometimes you’ll find that leads aren’t engaging with your sequence but won’t unsubscribe. If that’s happening by the third or fourth week of the sequence, what you need to do is scale it up!

Top tip

Typically, this takes the form of a bigger offer - a substantial freebie or giveaway. This is a great way to warm up cold leads in a sequence.

10 - Have a common thread 🧵

I always find that it’s good to have a common thread throughout the whole lead nurturing sequence. Having a motif like this ties your sequence together and gives your leads a seamless first experience with your brand.

Top tip

Your "common thread" could be the same messaging or banner, the same style or author - but it must be something memorable, something that will stick in the recipients’ minds.

Bonus tip - Check up regularly 🩺

Best demand generation practice is to review the performance of your lead nurtures at least once a quarter. Keep them up-to-date and relevant.

When reviewing a sequence, consider how effectively the current nurture paths are functioning. Could a new offer be integrated? Should that blog be switched out? Always be on the look-out for optimisations and improvements.

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Get more B2B marketing insights 📖

Thanks to James for sharing his extensive lead nurturing knowledge with us! We hope his 10 tips will help you power up your marketing strategy for next year and beyond.

If you’re looking for more B2B marketing insights, we can help you out! We’ve published an eBook, written in collaboration with some top B2B/SaaS companies.

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  • How can you use content to drive growth?
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  • What are the must-track B2B marketing metrics?
  • What is growth hacking and how can you do it?

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