Now that we’ve covered the basics of lead nurture drip email campaigns, it’s time to discuss the four tools professional services firms need to have in place in order to implement them.
For the purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you have a lead generating website and have a healthy flow of leads to nurture, including their email addresses. Below are four key tools to get started with lead nurture drip email campaigns.
1) Content Marketing and Offer Strategy
Content and offers are the keys to effectively nurturing leads. In professional services, leads want to be educated as much as they can before they make the decision about what to buy and who to buy it from. The content and offers you produce are the heart of your lead nurturing efforts. Whether you are sending leads an invitation to your next webinar, inviting them to join an online community, or sending them your most recent ebook, content is critical.
A content marketing and offer strategy should be a living document behind the scenes, informing marketers and experts within your firm as to which topics they should be writing about to resonate most with your target audience.
2) Content Calendar
Having a content calendar is crucial to ensure that the quality and timing of your marketing is consistent. Try to forecast a month ahead so that you will always have marketing materials ready to go. Make sure that you are giving your leads new and insightful content on a consistent basis to ensure that when they are ready to buy, they will come to you.
Also mix different types of content and offers into your emails so that things don’t get too predictable or boring. You want to keep leads educated and openly talk to them about the issues you know they are facing to keep them engaged.
3) Marketing Automation System
The reality is that leads can be nurtured using only an Excel spreadsheet and a simple email client like Outlook. However, that is a very manual, time-consuming method that has many chances for human errors to be made. That method doesn’t provide the flexibility, analytics, automation, or design capabilities that are needed for long-term lead nurturing drip email success.
Marketing automation replaces high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated ones supported by technology solutions. It brings together all of your online marketing channels into one centralized system for creating, managing, and measuring programs and campaigns, including lead nurturing.
Marketing automation works behind the scenes to:
- Manage lead generation
- Automate the process of nurturing leads into qualified opportunities based on their interests until they are ready to buy
- Pass qualified opportunities over to customer relationship management (CRM) system for business development follow up
- Measure results and ROI
You can create and manage sophisticated and engaging lead nurture drip email campaigns that target leads with the right messages by personalizing communications. Emails are sent at the right time by automating timing via pre-defined sequences and triggers driven by lead behavior.
There are many marketing automation software options to suit the needs of professional services firms. Please see this article on how to select the right marketing automation software for your firm for more information.
4) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
Once qualified opportunities are ready for follow up by business development, your marketing automation system will pass the opportunities over to your CRM system.
CRM consists of the processes a firm uses to track and organize opportunity and client information. CRM software is used to support these processes.
CRMs serve as the database of all the information about opportunities and clients, including interactions with them. The information can be entered, stored and accessed by employees in different firm departments.
Typical CRM goals are to maintain accurate and up-to-date opportunity and client information, improve client service, and to use client contact information for targeted marketing via your marketing automation system.
This is important for lead nurturing in order to sell additional services to clients in the future. It’s also key to measuring the results of your lead nurturing campaigns in terms of increasing the number and quality of qualified opportunities and clients. This information is needed to optimize lead nurturing drip email campaigns based on results.
CRMs come in all shapes and sizes, so choose wisely. Make sure to find one that will easily integrate with your marketing automation system and website content management system (CMS) to ensure seamless communications between them.
Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about lead nurturing drip email campaigns and the process of building relationships with leads to earn their business when they are ready to buy.
In the mean time, check out our Lead Nurturing Guide for more tips on converting leads into opportunities.