Think Better Marketing


How to Build an Effective B2B Nurture Campaign

The word nurture conjures up cozy thoughts. It makes me think of being bundled in a warm blanket next to a fire, eating a hearty stew and regaining strength for a new day. Being well-nurtured means that you are cared for, listened to, and understood. Isn’t that how you want your prospective customers to feel?

Lead nurturing is similar. It involves thoughtfully developing relationships with buyers at every stage of their journey and addressing each stage’s unique needs so that the leads can prosper and grow. Receiving relevant information at the right time makes prospective buyers feel understood and actively encourages them to take a step closer to becoming your customer.

If you aren’t nurturing your prospective buyers and customers, you are missing a huge piece to the puzzle. Here’s why:

  • 50 percent of buyers in any system at any given time are not ready to buy. You can’t assume a lead is ready to buy just because you’ve made contact with them. Pushing them to do so too early can turn them off.

  • Nurturing drives more effective marketing results and sales opportunities. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at a 33 percent lower cost

  • Nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Make each sale count even more.

But before you embark on creating a lead nurture program, it's vital to identify what the differences are in each stage of the journey as you could turn off buyers by making them feel misunderstood or making your brand look too eager.

There are several ways to nurture leads but we want to concentrate on one of our favorite, and most effective channels; email.

Before you jump into an email nurture campaign, you must first map out the customer journey to get a better understanding of the different stages your buyers are in and what their questions and needs are throughout those stages.

To start, here are some considerations we recommend you make as you build your own nurture program.

For more info on mapping out the customer journey, read Using a Customer Journey Map to Improve the Customer Experience.

Identify the Target

Where in the customer journey is the lead that you want to target? What questions do those leads typically ask that you can help solve? What is the source of the leads? The more you know about your prospects, the better you can serve them and the more likely they are to convert. Many companies use lead scoring to help determine which stage prospects are in the customer journey.

Once you identify the lead that you want to target and the stage of the customer journey they are in, gather the relevant content. This might include blog posts, ebooks, templates, case studies, videos, tutorials, checklists, and more. Don’t be afraid to repurpose content or update older content. Businesses spend a ton of time and money creating content and we encourage you to get the most bang for your buck by repurposing as much as possible!

Make it Personal

One thing that we love about working with B2B SaaS companies is getting to know customers and building lasting relationships. You can’t do that without making it personal. Plus, studies show that personalized campaigns drive 18X more revenue.

Yes, you can (and should) use the prospect’s name in your email greeting, but don’t stop there. We often use language that targets a lead’s attributes, like a job title or industry, so that the lead gets a better understanding of how the product would work specifically for them. The closer they can relate to your communication, the more likely they are going to want to learn more. Segmenting lists into groups based on behavior and interests can also improve your ability to personalize the messages.

Marketing automation tools support personalization. Platforms, like HubSpot, allow you to dynamically trigger emails based on activity and engagement. You can reach out to all users who downloaded a specific ebook, registered for an event, or opened (or didn’t open) a specific email.

Keep it Focused

Short and to the point is much more effective than lengthy and complex. Keep your messages concise and make sure that the content is engaging and informative without being too salesy. If you’re building a lead nurturing campaign, the first couple of messages in the series are not  the time to push the sale. You need to build trust and prove your value by sharing and educating, first.

Also, don’t try to teach them everything about your product or service all at once. Hone in on one or two primary topics or problems you know your leads are trying to solve.

Don’t forget to test and refine. You can uncover some valuable data by analyzing what content your target is most interested in to help shape future communications. Track your findings and continue to tweak your campaigns.

Be Clear—Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)

You’ve reached out to prospective customers, delivered them focused and relevant content, and now it’s their turn to make a move. Guide them to take a specific action after reading your email. Every email you send should instill trust and prompt the reader to take the next step in their journey.

The CTA should be related to your topic, should be clearly stated, and easy to spot. You want to inspire your readers to take action and clearly communicate the benefit that you are offering. Try to incorporate action words, create urgency if it makes sense, foster curiosity, and focus on the value that you are offering. When it makes sense, we like to use CTA buttons as they are easier to see than hyperlinks.

Have a Plan

We find it useful to visually map out email nurture workflow before you put a bunch of effort into creating emails. That way you can easily see the big picture, plan out the order, and confirm that all goals are aligned. We put together an Email Nurture Series Template that you are welcome to copy or download to use for your own campaign.

While there is no one size fits all strategy for an email nurture campaign, as long as you get to know your customers and what’s important to them during their customer journey, you can create a compelling and successful campaign.  And just because email is a favorite tactic of ours doesn’t mean we aren’t also using targeted content, across multiple channels and touches, multiple touches, timely follow-ups, and personalization either within or alongside our email workflows.

Lead nurturing is an essential part of any marketing strategy and those who can figure out the formula for their customers will generate more sales at a lower cost.

If you’re interested in partnering up to launch a lead nurture campaign and capture more revenue, contact us for more information!

Susan Evans