What is nurture marketing?
In its simplest definition, nurture marketing is a communication strategy designed to place content in front of prospective buyers at various points in a buy-cycle. Nurture marketing involves regularly reaching out to leads and your customer base by presenting important information before they ask for it. Successful nurture marketers provide customers with a forum for feedback, listen to their needs, and customize services to fit those needs.
Many leads picked up from websites, trade shows or purchased lists need time to feel you out before committing to any sort of communication or relationship. So, building nurture based campaigns (often simply referred to as nurtures) for prospective customers will help you manage and organize them until they’re ready to buy.
Nurtures are designed to build relationships through communication and are almost conversational in nature. Your company reaches out and contacts prospects, giving them the opportunity to reply back, and so on, until, hopefully, that conversation escalates into a sale. Opening up the opportunity for an entirely new conversation.
These communications strengthen existing relationships and build the foundation for new ones. Businesses can introduce themselves to potential customers using nurture marketing and persuade the recipient to take action.
Nurture marketing helps businesses:
- Establish communication with prospects
- Be at the front of prospects’ minds when they’re ready to buy
- Strengthen current customer relationships
Like personal relationships, business relationships need to be cared for with time and attention, so don’t disregard the needs of current customers in favor of bringing in new ones. They need to feel the love, too!
Nurture marketing establishes company credibility. No matter the size, location or need of your target audience, customers buy from companies they trust.
Building trust takes time and by providing prospects and customers with informative and educational materials, you are helping build this relationship. Providing information with “no strings attached” enables communication in a non-sales environment.
Engaging people in non-sales communications makes them more comfortable talking with you. So, when it comes time to actually engage in a sales activity, it feels natural. Just as retail shoppers buy clothes they’ve seen advertised and featured in fashion magazines, business “shoppers” gravitate toward companies they recognize.
Coca-Cola, Macy’s and McDonald’s have all built empires based on their credibility and accessibility. While international dynasties aren’t built overnight, smaller companies can establish credibility and trust through:
- Customer retention
How are companies using it?
Nurturing prepares prospects to buy. Marketers implementing successful nurture campaigns have built a detailed structure – designing every available customer path based on all possible actions.
Most of the time, these communications begin as occasional emails with information about system updates, pricing changes or upcoming events. So, at the very least, nurture campaigns require a lead’s contact information. Then, they can begin creating and customizing different communications.
Marketers must make certain that the nurture campaign is relevant in both content and stage of the buying cycle because, as we all know, there’s a fine line between persuasive and pushy.
As the prospect stays engaged, their nurture plan evolves into more frequent correspondence focused on product advantages and personal interactions.
These frequent-without-being-annoying emails will help segment your targeted audiences. By segmenting, or grouping, leads based on subject interest, you’re insured that you won’t reach out with the wrong message – which could create annoyances and lead to disinterest or loss of sale.
A start-up company with young employees will be eager to open your email about social media strategies. The Fortune 500 company complete with a social media department might be less interested in your suggestions, as they have internal services they can utilize.
Nurtured leads often make larger purchases than non-nurtured leads because they have greater trust and investment in your company. Once these leads become customers, their education continues, now receiving retention-focused communications.
Nurture marketing can also serve as a conversational platform for leads and customers. For example:
- What challenges are they facing?
- What reservations or concerns do they have?
- What enhancements would bring in more business?
Don’t be afraid to ask these tough questions, because honest answers will stop minor issues from becoming major setbacks down the road.
Salesfusion, becoming Sugar Market, NURTURE MARKETING
Salesfusion provides your company with the platform and tools to design and build your nurture marketing campaigns.
At their core, nurture campaigns are emails filled with product information and call to action opportunities. Salesfusion accomplishes this through drip-based and trigger-based emails, which are subsets of a nurture campaign.
Salesfusion Nurture Campaign Path:
- Nurtures typically begin by leads performing an action like going to your website and completing a form or opening an email and clicking a link.
- Salesfusion captures the action taken and dynamically drop leads into an email
- If dropped in a trigger campaign (autoresponders) based on their action, leads will receive a series of scheduled emails (first on completion, second five days later, third five days after that, etc.)
- Trigger emails will continue to send based on the duration of the campaign
- Salesfusion will keep track of all actions taken place inside these emails (opens, clicks, downloads) and once your desired sequence of events has taken place, they will be scored and passed along to Sales.
Keep your action items engaging and mix it up as often as possible. Webinars, lunch and learns, and whitepapers, oh my!
Also take the time to experiment with nurture campaigns. Test different subject lines, time sent, layout, action items, and determine what helps increase your click through rates. It doesn’t matter how perfect your campaign is, if leads aren’t engaging, then you’re prospect will never know what they are missing.
Salesfusion diligently tracks nurture statistics, even showing which call to action within your email is giving you the best results.
Nurture campaigns are a long term commitment, not a quick turnaround – they allow leads time to get to know your company and make their own informed decisions.
By the time these leads in the hands of the Sales Department, they should be educated, informed and ready to buy, while customers will be confident and informed, chomping at the bit to sign another contract with your company.