For some clients, trusting the process can be hard. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when a client wants results from inbound marketing in the time it takes to snap a finger, it’s up to us to explain the value in lead nurturing.
Usually, we use the funnel metaphor to explain how getting more visitors to your site and nurturing them to customers is the best way to grow and thrive. The funnel starts at the Awareness Stage of the Buyer’s Journey, moves to Consideration, and ends in Decision when the lead becomes a customer.
Here’s a visual representation, courtesy of HubSpot.
Here are three methods to qualify and nurture people interacting with your content, so you always know when it’s time to get a sales representative involved and turn them into a customer.
Marketing Automation & Emails
Marketing automation is the future and the future is now. We’ve dabbled with chatbots, but our favorite and most effective form of marketing automation by far is emails. We use automated emails to interact with leads in every stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
For example, a user who downloads an eBook will receive an automated series of emails persuading them to download a second eBook or view another piece of ungated content. The idea is that by offering them content valuable to them, you can push them further down the funnel. Marketing automation is an excellent way to send personalized content to leads.
Lead Scoring is the process of quantifying a user’s actions by assigning certain activities point values. The goal is for the user to accumulate a certain number of points before they are labeled as a Marketing Qualified Lead.
For example, viewing a blog on your site can be worth one point, viewing a product page can be worth two points, and downloading a content offer can be worth three points. When the user accumulates 10 points, they change from a Lead to a Marketing Qualified Lead and they receive different types of content based on their established interest in your industry or product.
We use HubSpot’s CRM software to track user activity and execute lead scoring. Many other types of CRMs and software can also allow you to score your leads.
A quintessential piece of inbound marketing, conversion paths take a user from a landing page with a form through to a thank you page. The idea is that you the seller are offering something of value (not necessarily product related) to the user. In exchange for it, they are willing to give you their information.
Capitalize on their interest in your industry by providing them with content that pushes them further down the funnel. If the content offer was an eBook, use automation to send them another eBook on a similar topic, or a guide that expands on a chapter of the eBook. Or send them a piece of content that will push them into the Consideration Stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
Above all, it’s important you don’t jump straight from Awareness to sending Decision Stage content about your company. That veers way too close to the old-fashioned method of cold-call sales. Trust the inbound process!
Using these methods, you can continually stay in front of someone who is interacting with you. Provide them more value by sending them content especially relevant to them through social media and email.
By knowing your audience and using informed lead nurturing methods, you can push a user from first-time website visitor to an evangelist, from the top of the funnel to the very bottom, and from awareness stage to decision stage.
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