In its simplest definition, nurture marketing is a communication strategy designed to place content in front of prospective buyers at various points in a customer’s journey. 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.
What is Nurture Marketing?
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 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.
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
Nurture marketing establishes company credibility. No matter the size, location or need of your target audience, customers buy from companies they trust. Companies can establish credibility and trust through:
- Customer retention
How are Companies Using Nurture Marketing?
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. Thus, having the right tools to facilitate nurture creation makes a significant difference. With the right marketing automation platform, you can automate most of the processes and design a nurture flow that makes sense to you, your company, and most importantly, your customers.
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 leads based on their interests, you know that you won’t reach out with the wrong message–which could create annoyances and lead to disinterest or loss of sales. Likewise, a marketing automation platform that leverages artificial intelligence to provide predictive lead scoring can help you further target leads most likely to convert.
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.
Leveraging Marketing Automation to Nurture Leads
Marketing automation tools are an efficient way to streamline the lead nurturing process with minimal effort. When selecting your tech, make sure to choose the one that gives you a clear view of the customer, eliminates roadblocks, blind spots, and busywork.
At their core, nurture campaigns are emails filled with product information and call-to-action (CTA) opportunities. Many tools of this kind accomplish this through drip-based and trigger-based emails, which are subsets of a nurture campaign.
Nurtures typically begin when leads are performing an action like going to your website and completing a form or opening an email and clicking a link. Sugar Market’s Nurture Builder 2.0 tool is perfect when it comes to automating the entire process, so be mindful when selecting your marketing automation tools.
Ideally, your marketing automation system should keep track of all actions taking place inside these emails (opens, clicks, downloads). Once your desired sequence of events has taken place, they will be scored and passed along to Sales. For successful interactions, keep your action items engaging and mix them up as often as possible. Webinars, lunch and learns, and whitepapers, are all great choices of marketing materials to include.
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 your prospect will never know what they are missing.
Sugar Market 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 give leads time to get to know your company and make their own informed decisions.
By the time these leads are 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.
Still not sure how to leverage marketing automation and nurture marketing to enhance customer experience and boost customer loyalty? Check out our blog section to learn more on the topic!