Email Lead nurturing

What can we learn from the “big boys” in the B2B arena? One thing that has implemented itself firmly is lead nurturing emails, way beyond personalisation and basic segmentation. You are not doing it? Well you are wasting marketing budget! Email lead nurturing has proven to have a significant impact on the lead nurturing process.

But what is “email lead nurturing”? It means that regardless of the stage that your prospect is at in the buying cycle you have regular, relationship building, meaningful email communication with them. Therefore when they are ready to buy, your company is on top of their evaluation list. A trusted relationship with the right people is the key in this process.

This obviously requires not only good segmentation (making sure your database is up to scratch etc.) but also some careful content planning. You will need relevant content for all stages of the decision making process, from “We haven’t even entered any process” to “Interest”, “Learn”, Evaluate”, “Justify” and “Buy”.

Your safest bet is to get together with your Sales team – yes, Sales and Marketing can work together! You can then come up with a content plan that matches the typical customer journey, so that any prospect is supported at any stage of the decision making process. Here are just a few best practise ideas:

  • 3rd party articles
  • Case studies
  • Invitations to webcasts
  • Link to Podcasts
  • E-newsletters
  • Relevant white papers and eBooks
  • Free reports
  • Invite to events
  • Company information

The result? Experience has shown that if you do it properly, not only the number of sales-ready leads will increase but so will the quality of those leads. Because you have built the relationship with your prospect, you are already considered a trustworthy partner with the necessary expertise – a great starting point for Sales to pick up the opportunity.

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Do a little learn a lot… testing, testing, testing

Imagine your new website goes live. You’re ecstatic about the feel, the look, new functionalities and – even better – the increase in visits, which might (and should!) Ultimately lead to more business. And then, one year on – what do you do? Do you look at your stats? Do you know what’s going on on your website? How many people have visited, where they came from, how many referrers you have? How long they stayed and what pages they looked at?
Or you’re engaging in email marketing. How many split tests have you done recently? Do you know what your database likes? Does one part of your recipients always receive a different version of your emails or does everybody always get the same design, same message, same “from”, same everything? And how many times do you change your Google AdWords to see if you can get in those extra % clicks…
Do you know which digital mix gives you the best conversions…?
Do you constantly test and improve…?
If the answer is yes – great! You’re doing the right thing to monitor improve your communication with the customer then this is what marketing is all about. If not, it is worth considering – simply because in the fast changing digital world something that worked last week, last month, last year can be the spanner in the works now.
The magic formula is testing, testing and again testing. Everything that can be changed in your digital mix is worth testing to ensure that your marketing works. Test your website (layout, images, design, the options are endless), test your email marketing, try different ads in your Pay-per-click, play around with your banners, test different approaches in Social Media and see what works and what doesn’t.
And then go out and do something about it.

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Email marketing tips

E-newsletters are a great place to present your company and to show off what you have achieved. And it is only natural that you want to tell your readers all about the amazing things going on like new products, new clients, new technologies, new contracts or just a great service.

On the one hand, a regular newsletter is the ideal place for this type of information; after all, you want to remind people why they should come to you and / or stick with you. On the other hand, like with so many things in life, you should be careful not to overdo it. When gathering ideas for a newsletter you should always put yourself in the position of the reader and ask yourself the famous WIIFM? “What’s in it for me?” In other words, what’s the benefit for people who have agreed to be emailed by you on a regular basis? (yes, they should agree in some way to receive your marketing communications!).

Treat the contacts in your database as people that are special; because they are. They are the people who want to engage with you. So, give them something special from time to time; invite them to an event and offer reduced (free?) tickets; give them access to materials (e.g. white papers) which others can’t get their hands on; let them have something – e.g. a special offer – which others can’t buy or before others can buy it. These are only examples but I’m sure that if you look at your business and your client base you will find a lot more little treats for your faithful newsletter recipients. Exclusive is the word. So – what’s in it for them?

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Email marketing, twitter and the social revolution

Ross loves twittering. You can see that he is in “Twitter” mood when his eyes light up and he has a smile on his face like a child on Christmas day. And everybody knows, he is going to enchant the world and his faithful followers with some wisdom about his passion-  branding -  or just something interesting that happened in his life. Personally, I already feel over challenged keeping my private Facebook account up to date and I don’t even want to talk about my LinkedIn profile. However.  (you could see it coming, this “however”…) As responsible for e-marketing I have become a bit of an evangelist for social as well as business networks as a fantastic marketing tool. “Viral Marketing” is the magic word, which means nothing more than “word-of-mouth”. Basically, let others do your marketing for you. Spread the word, pass it on to your followers who pass it on to theirs who pass it on to theirs… and before you know, your audience has gone from 20 to 8000. No costs involved. How much better can it get?

What does this have to do with email marketing? An e-newsletter can be the ideal place to drive people to your networks and to get the ball rolling. You add a little icon to your newsletter (can be Twitter, can be Facebook or LinkedIn or all of them – whichever suits your business best) and place it strategically so that people can easily find and click on it. If only 5 people click on your profile and decide to follow you (I keep to the Twitter example) and each of them have 20 followers themselves – imagine how easily you’ve enhanced your potential target audience. Or why not create a group, start a discussion and kick it off in your newsletter? The options are endless…

Whenever we start a new email marketing strategy for a new client we strongly recommend to set up a company (not your private!) profile on at least the most commonly known networks and to promote them in the actual newsletter. It doesn’t hurt but does increase your chances of being heard and builds a deeper more engaging relationship with your audience. And if you are like me a bit scared of regular updates, here’s a nice tip: Sign up for free, send your update to them – and it gets automatically published on all networks you have registered with them.

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e-Den 2 Heat 3

The third heat of this year’s e-Den proved to be the first where the highly knowledgeable audience agreed with the judges’ verdict. Both chose John Davies from TDSi who is determined to use his web as part of a strategy to talk to his customers’, customers.

If you couldn’t make this month’s heat then watch our video report of the evening’s proceedings and be sure to book early for the last heat in July and the final on September 18th at
“What a fantastic evening. I was nervous that as a non-technologically minded person I’d get lost in the complexity. Instead what I enjoyed was some exceptionally useful magic for promoting our business!” Michelle Fischer, Director, Creative Leadership
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