But that's no guarantee of purchase. Before those leads go to your sales team they need to be qualified. Lead Nurturing, especially for organisations with long sales cycles of 6-18 months or more, is key to progressing prospects through to purchase qualification.
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. - MarketingSherpa
Nurturing with email workflows builds relationships with leads and, in turn, boosts conversion rates by keeping your brand and solution at the forefront of your Persona’s mind throughout the sales cycle.
To achieve an effective Inbound campaign workflow:
Remember, detailed persona development forms the base of a successful Inbound campaign. At the inbound campaign planning stage you will have developed content around your specific persona’s challenges. You need to send this right information (addressing those challenges) to the right persona, at the right time, for that content to resonate. To do this:
Consider the specific goals of your campaign and workflow. In an Inbound campaign, goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely; often abbreviated to ‘SMART’ goals. Whether you are aiming to increase leads, boost brand awareness or better nurture leads, typical workflow campaign goals are to:
Remember to monitor the click-through rate of your workflows and assess the effectiveness of your content to ensure you’re reaching your goals.
When you created your editorial calendar, you should have mapped each content type against an appropriate Buyer’s Journey/purchase cycle stage. The same is true of the emails in your workflow. As a type of content, they should also be mapped and segmented to suit not only the appropriate persona, but also to the right Buyer’s Journey stage.
For example if you have a generic ‘Marketing Director’ persona and a ‘Vertical Specific Marketing Director’ persona, ensure that you only send vertical specific content to that persona, and recognise their position in the Buyer’s Journey to send the right messaging at the right time.
Any content gaps can be identified and adjusted as you go through this process.
An example of three typical workflow emails you might send at the Consideration stage of the Buyer’s Journey are shown below:
Each workflow stage should be designed to compliment one another and map to your sales cycle length (this is a common mistake that is often forgotten, and results in stagnant leads).
For example, if it takes an average of 6 months to convert a lead into a customer, you need to have enough content in place, and plan your lead nurture campaigns and workflow emails to match that timescale.
Now with marketing automation, social media and content management tools, the approach to nurturing is increasingly more personalised and sophisticated making the identification of your target Persona all the more important - Weidert
It’s important that the email recipient (your target persona) feels that the email is for them personally. When creating your workflow emails, make sure each:
In isolation, none of the five steps above are effective. However, when used together to target the right persona, at the right time, with the right content in the right format, lead nurture workflows can be more successful.