As a SaaS marketer, getting good at generating leads is only half the battle. Having high value gated assets on your website and a strong presence at events will generate leads however many may not be ready to purchase. This often leads to a frustrated sales team and revenue goals not being met.
Lead nurturing is the other half of the battle and can be a real game changer. Lead nurturing is all about cultivating an ongoing relationship with qualified prospects so that your product is top-of-mind when they are ready to purchase. Here are 3 quick steps to get you set up for success with lead nurturing:
1. Map Out Your Content Strategy
For each one of your personas, map out the different stages in the buying cycle and create content around the following pillars for each stage:
- Concerns & Questions: Work with your sales team to figure out the key pain points and questions prospects have. Address the concerns and answer the questions with key messages in different forms of content. For example, prospects at the top of the funnel may be asking “does this company have experience in my industry?.” Further down the purchase path they may be asking “what is the process of working with you?.” These questions can be answered with a whitepaper and infographic respectively.
- Validations: What do prospects need to see in order to further buy into your product and move down purchase path? Customer success stories are great because they validate the product and can provide useful information. Independent 3rd party reviews are also a great form of validating content. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself what you would look for.
- Useful Content: This is the most important of all. Remember that you are trying to build a relationship so that when prospects are ready to buy, they come back to you because you are an insightful thought leader. Create content that is relevant to their job function and industry to provide value. Relevant 3rd party information such as research reports are always useful, particularly if there is a cost to your company to acquire them.
You know what they say about first impressions… How you initially respond to a new lead sets the tone for your relationship and future communications. Determine what actions trigger a lead to be put on which nurture track. Often, there are different tracks based on job function, industry or anticipated time to purchase. Deliver very targeted and useful content right out of the gate to make a great first impression.
3. Setting up the System
This is where the rubber meets the road. A marketing automation platform provides the system to house and execute your lead nurturing program. A platform such as Marketo will contain your content assets, emails, landing pages, forms, lead data, triggers, lead scoring methodology and lead lifecycle rules. This is where you set the timing of the initial response, the frequency of the program and how that might change if someone is very engaged, somewhat engaged or not engaged at all.
Consider what content you already have and how it can be re-purposed into nurture programs. Also, don’t give away all of the content in your nurture program to existing leads for “free”. Require additional information for higher value content pieces to better qualify leads – using progressive profiling on forms is a smart move when asking known leads for additional information.
A Few Pro Tips
Nurture Your Customers: We’ve talked about nurturing your prospects but don’t forget your customers. You can set up a nurture program to help them be successful with your product and maximize their lifetime value by reducing churn.
Recycle Closed Lost Leads: Just because they did not purchase when sales contacted them does not mean that they won’t in the future. The timing may have been off and there is a opportunity to put them on a recycled lead nurture track to win them back at some point in the future.
A fully blown out 26 week nurture program with multiple tracks can take a lot of time and resources, however you can start on a much smaller scale. Even if you only have one nurture track with a handful of content pieces, you just need to roll up your sleeves, get started and test it out.
This article is part of the Kick SaaS Marketing Series by Room 214. The Kick SaaS Marketing Series looks at what strategic marketing means for Software as a Service companies. Signup to receive exclusive content including tips that will allow your company to increase customer CLV, reduce CAC, promote brand awareness, and maximize marketing ROI.