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5 Steps to a Successful Email Lead Nurturing Campaign

Steps I had the great pleasure of geeking out about lead nurturing at the American Marketing Association in Tampa Bay last week. It's not often you can get a room full of marketers to get excited about lead nurturing, which is unfortunate because lead nurturing is such a powerful marketing tool .

What does it take to put together a successful email lead nurturing campaign? Well, not a PhD or special expertise. Here are 5 steps to creating a successful email lead nurturing campaign.

Step 1: Determine Your Goal

Do not skimp on this step. It will direct your entire campaign - audience, content, and success metrics. Are you trying to reawaken cold leads? Increase lead quality? Generate new leads?

Step 2: Select a Persona and Business Problem

Who are you trying to reach? What problem are you helping them solve? This is key for helping you create the content for your lead nurturing campaign. Your persona should be a pretty vivid picture of who you're ideally trying to reach. Go as far as giving them a name, a job, responsibilities, hobbies.

Step 3: Map Content to Every Stage of the Sales Funnel

When prospects first come to your site, they're researching information and aren't ready to have a sales conversation. You need to create content that attracts them to your website and provides educational thought leadership content. Then as they continue to do their research and are ready to learn about your product, you want to have content that connects their problems to the solutions you offer. You need this combination of content to match leads at every stage of the sales and marketing funnel.

Step 4: Set Yourself for Smarketing Success

If you're generating great leads but your sales team isn't following up, your effort is wasted. Make sure you're set up for success by working with the sales team effectively. Read more about how to set yourself up for smarketing success here.

Step 5: Measure and Improve

Marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it job. Things change quickly and regularly. Make sure you know what's working and what's not so you can continue to improve. Have metrics in place that tie to your goals set in step 1. Looking to drive branding and awareness? Measure branded search or direct traffic to your website. Looking to increase lead quality? Measure quality conversions or lead ratings over time. Interested in generating new leads or email opt-ins? Measure how you're growing your database from your lead nurturing efforts.

I encourage you to get your first campaign up and running immediately. You can spend months putting together a complicated campaign that may or may not deliver results. In the meantime you could be nurturing your leads and learning how different types of content or campaigns perform with your audience.

View the Full Presentation with Example Campaigns

Flickr photo by judepics


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