A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call from a local tourist attraction in Atlanta asking me if I wanted to purchase an annual membership.  When I told the rep I wasn’t interested, she proceeded to tell me that I could get a discount if I purchased before the end of the year.  When I told her I still wasn’t interested, she launched into a spiel on how great the new children’s exhibit was.  I explained that I didn’t have children, but she continued to tell me more about the exhibit.  After a few more seconds, I thanked her for her call and hung up.  It wasn’t’ so much the delivery of the woman’s message that was wrong, it was that she was targeting the wrong person.

If you’re not strategic with your lead nurturing strategy, you run the same risk of your messages falling upon deaf ears.  With Salesfusion’s, becoming Sugar Market’s, most recent release, we’ve added several enhancements to help you build effective nurture campaigns.

But, what is nurturing and why should you use it?

Nurturing is a series of emails sent over time, tailored to a segment’s preferences, needs or interests.  For example, if a contact downloads a white paper, you may use a nurture campaign to share other relevant content on the subject with them.  With our most recent release, you can now add contacts to a nurture via triggers including imports, landing page submissions, event listeners, lead scoring profiles, and event manager – giving you the flexibility to nurture based on shared actions or demographics of a group.

Nurture campaigns allow you to branch and change your course of communication based on the actions of the contact.  For example, if your call to action in an email is to sign up for a demo and the prospect clicks the link to sign up, you may immediately alert the sales rep for direct follow-up and stop further communication through the campaign.  If the prospect did not click, continue to offer content promoting thought leadership to gain the prospect’s trust.

Most commonly, lead nurturing is used to stay in touch with contacts throughout the sales cycle, allowing your company to stay top of mind.  The length of your nurture campaign may vary based on how long your sales cycle typically lasts.

For campaigns targeted at prospects, it’s important that you tailor your content based on where the prospect is in the buyer’s cycle.  For example, a prospect in the very early stages might just be looking for educational content such as whitepapers, infographics, and case studies, while a prospect in the later stages of the buying cycle might be looking for more detailed technical and implementation guides.

Whatever stage of the cycle a prospect is in, it’s important that your content be engaging and targeted appropriately.

In addition to using nurture campaigns during the sales cycle, you can also use them to drive event and webinar communications, free trial and renewal programs, and customer on-boarding and training programs.

Salesfusion’s pause periods between emails allow you the flexibility to spread out communication by minutes, hours, or days.  So, nurture campaigns can be built for more time sensitive communications, like signing up for a trial, or for communications over longer periods of time.

A campaign promoting an upcoming webinar is a great way to test out your first nurture.  Prior to the webinar, you can send messages promoting the event to encourage registration.  Once the contact signs up, you can send automated messages thanking them for registering, and closer to the event, reminders to attend.  After the webinar, you can use nurtures to thank attendees for attending, or send a link of the recording of the webinar for those that didn’t attend.

Salesfusion’s new “jump to” feature, allows you the flexibility to enter new contacts into the communications at any step of the nurture campaign.  This way, you can skip sending contacts certain messages in the nurture if they have already received similar communication.

If you haven’t already taken the leap into nurturing, we encourage you to do so to take your email marketing to the next level!  Instead of wasting time cold calling or trying to reach a mass group with the same generic message, an effective nurturing strategy will help you to have more meaningful interaction with prospects. As with any email campaigns, we recommend testing out different variations of subject lines, from addresses, calls to action, and content to see what works best for you.