Channel Marketing Alliance Community

Nurture Marketing 101: How to Turn Prospects into Clients

By Michelle Glennie posted Jan 24, 2019 12:13 PM


My colleague, Barbara Pfeiffer, recently published a series of blogs on nurture marketing that provides excellent insight for our CMA community. The series dives deep into the world of this well-known, go-to marketing strategy—yet the one that also seems to be the most challenging.

As the world of B2B marketing continues to change and evolve, her educational series answers some of the questions we get most about nurture marketing.

What is Nurture Marketing, and Why is it Important in B2B Marketing?

Nurture marketing is all about staying top of mind, and building relationships with prospects and customers. Companies that work toward lead nurturing generate more sales at a lower cost, and typically experience a shorter sales cycle. The two main types of nurture marketing campaigns are drip and trigger campaigns. In the first blog in the series, Barb also introduces a third: trial campaigns.

While drip campaigns are based on time, and trigger campaigns are based on specific past interactions from prospects, the trial campaigns are somewhat of a hybrid of both - delivering touches based on interactions but served as a drip campaign. Nurture marketing has proven extremely effective for increasing prospect sales while decreasing company cost, no matter the campaign type.

Drip Nurture Marketing: Making it Effective for B2B

In the second blog of the series, you can learn more about drip campaigns and how to use them effectively. The basic goal for drip campaigns is to stay top of mind with prospects, right? This is mostly done while your prospects aren’t necessarily looking to buy, but you want them to remember your company when they are ready.

One of the big mistakes companies make is discarding their leads if they aren’t qualified; most of those leads have been proven to go on to buy from you or a competitor later on. Don’t give up on them!

  1. Segment your list - you’ll need separate campaigns for customers and prospects
  2. Analyze what you want from the campaign
    1. Who are you targeting?
    2. What is your end goal?
    3. What aspect of your product/service will appeal most to each segment?
  3. Deliver value - tailor the campaign to its recipient
  4. Be consistent - never forget your brand, it’s what the prospect should remember

Drip Tip: Newsletters can be part of a drip campaign, but make them count! If your newsletter is the same for every person on your list, is it of value? Are you offering anything new? Look at your newsletter as if you are the prospect: provide them something new and of value.

Trigger the Sale: Successful Lead Nurturing for B2B Companies

As mentioned earlier, trigger marketing campaigns rely on new messages being sent to prospects depending on what they’ve interacted with in the past. There are a few main keys to success for executing trigger campaigns:

  • Deliver value (this should look familiar to you - but it’s an important reminder)
  • Develop your content inventory
  • Map out your campaign, identifying each step for various prospect responses
    • You can see a great visual example of a visual map for trigger campaigns in the third blog of the series.
  • Use a marketing automation tool to make your campaign execution easier
  • Branch out - utilize multiple channels to reach prospects
  • Personalize your touches, but do it carefully and intuitively

Pull the Trigger: If you have gotten stuck somewhere along the line while trying to execute a trigger nurture marketing campaign in the past, you probably found one or more of the points above that made you think “huh, maybe we should’ve done that!” Reassess your past attempts and try again.

Drip + Trigger: Best Practices for Trial Campaigns

If you offer a product or software trial, this method is especially important for you, and could mean the difference between conversion and failure in some cases. If this is all new to you, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration:

Timeframe: The number of touches you send will be based on the length of your trial. Short 7 day trial? Every day. 60 day trial? Maybe only once a week.

Value: Are you tired of hearing this yet? With frequent touches, it’s easy to become overbearing or, quite frankly, annoying. Try to tailor your campaign steps as if you’re talking them through in person! It will seem personal and valuable to your prospect.

Try Again: If you have prospects that engaged initially, but did not go through with conversion, it’s important to try again. Maybe offer them something small of value, send them something personalized, etc. Or - take a more traditional route and go back to a standard drip campaign.

Trial campaigns may be a new method for you, but it’s definitely a worthwhile strategy if you’re looking for a way to convert your prospects into clients! I encourage you to read more about it in blog four of the series.

Trial and Terror: Are you nervous to try building these campaigns on your own? That’s where you might call in marketing experts to help and, as you know, you’re definitely in the right place for that!

I hope you enjoy the full series and feel free to reach out with any questions on nurture marketing.