How to best utilize email & lead nurturing Programs
Marketers often use the terms drip programs and lead nurturing as synonyms and a lot of the time, they really are one and the same. Both terms refer to the process of sending a series of automated emails based on a person’s behaviors or a preset time interval. In marketing, we usually think of this as a way to educate and build relationships with prospective clients (leads) over time. This is absolutely a crucial part of the buyer’s journey, but limiting ourselves to this definition of drip campaigns isn’t doing us any favors.
B2B marketers can use marketing automation to deploy drip programs that go beyond the scope of traditional lead nurturing. The key is to expand your drip programs to include not just prospective customers, but your current clients and your employees as well. While these folks may not be sales leads in the traditional sense, your relationships with them are certainly worth nurturing.
EMAIL DRIP PROGRAMS FOR CURRENT CLIENTS
Don’t stop nurturing your leads after they become customers. Continually engaging your clients with useful, entertaining and educational content is an excellent way to turn them into champions for your brand.
One way we do this with Pardot is with an onboarding drip campaign for new clients. Ask yourself what new customers would find most useful as they are ramped up with marketing automation, and then create content that would help them get started. Breaking the emails down into bullet points, numbered lists, and quick tips is a great way for your clients to consume the content without getting overwhelmed.
Onboarding drips aren’t the only way to use lead nurturing with your customers. You can also create:
- Upselling and cross-selling campaigns. Take care to make sure these campaigns are well targeted and based on data you have in your marketing automation platform about your clients’ interests, behaviors, and demographics. You don’t want to send your small business clients information about enterprise-focused products that are irrelevant to them.
- Renewal campaigns. Renewal drips are a convenient, unobtrusive way to remind your customers when it’s time to renew their contracts.
- Exclusive content campaigns. Offer content to your clients that they can’t get anywhere else, like webinars for their eyes only, in-depth e-books, or engaging contests with exciting prizes.
The possibilities are virtually endless.
EMAIL DRIP PROGRAMS FOR EMPLOYEES
You can also use drip programs to equip your own employees with the knowledge they need to succeed. Nurture programs are one of the best ways to enable your sales team to become marketing automation experts. You can follow suit by nurturing your team members with educational content that empowers them to perform their jobs even better.
The great thing about internal drip programs? You probably already have most of the content you need to get started, you’ll just need to repackage it in a more digestible form. For example, you can pull a “Tip of the Week” from your training manual and educational excerpts from your blog. You can even include competitors’ content to give your sales and marketing teams deeper insight into the competitive landscape. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take your drip program a step further and create brand new engaging content.
Lead nurturing is one of the most important features of marketing automation because it allows marketers to build relationships and deliver a personalized experience automatically. If you’ve mastered the art of nurturing your prospects, it’s time to take your drip campaigns to the next level by using them to educate and nurture your current clients and your own employees.
For more, download The Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing. This e-book is bursting with nurturing campaign ideas to try, plus worksheets and checklists to help you get the most out of your drip marketing strategy. We at Cloud Concept can help you with setting up such programs and share best practices. Our Pardot certified consultants would be very happy to sit with you to analyze your business model and suggest implementation options.