Nurture your leads with success using an intelligent messaging program

It seems every technology company has their own processes established for lead follow-up.  Some companies employ a team to pre-qualify leads before being passed on to Sales.  Other companies route all of their leads directly to Sales for immediate follow-up.  Then there’s the concept of email nurturing.   A recent article titled, Lead Nurturing: The New Tech Marketing Frontier talks about how to build a lead nurturing program that will deliver results.  This involves an active process of targeting the prospect with messaging that is relevant and consistent.

Great content is also key to a successful nurturing program – according to the article, “it should be educational in nature, promote thought leadership, and go deep.  Great content gets responses and gets you invited into deeper conversations with prospects.”   You want to persuade your leads to take next steps that create transitions forward in their buying journey.  Naturally, you should have appropriate content that speaks to prospects at every phase of the decision making process.

I always recommend to clients based on experience that having an intelligent content strategy means having content available that speaks to users in all phases of the buy cycle.  This means you need to have content that’s classified into the following three buckets – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.  The key to successful email nurturing is to message prospects with content that will lead them further along the buy cycle.  For example, take a prospect early on in doing their research – they downloaded an Awareness piece of content. The appropriate next step is to offer up content that may speak to actual product comparisons, for example.

One of my clients, AMD, currently has a Custom Activity Nurturing program in place with TechTarget.  Their strategy originally began with the simple principle of nurturing prospects with content based on respondent’s purchase timeframe responses. So for example, if a prospect said their purchase timeframe was “immediate,” we messaged them with content that late-phase product-oriented.  Click through rates seen were about average in terms of what we saw across other Custom Activity Nurturing programs, right at around a 2.44% CTR.

AMD has since renewed that program, but made a slight tweak to how the nurturing works.  We incorporated a new custom question into their mix, asking prospects if they are open to considering solutions from another vendor.  If the prospect answered yes, we messaged them with “Decision” content (example: “AMD Opteron 6000 Series Platform and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Platform for Next Generation of Smart IT” ).  If the prospect answered “maybe,” they were messaged with “consideration” content (example: “Frequently Asked Questions about Virtualization and the Microsoft/AMD Solution” ).  If the prospect answered “no,” we then looked at how they responded to the purchase timeframe question, and messaged similar to how we did in Phase I of their program. This program saw a dramatic increase in the CTR seen from re-messaging emails sent after the change had been made, with the CTR increasing to 3.39% CTR.

If your organization is currently brainstorming ways to fine-tune your nurturing strategy, consider putting in place a program similar to how AMD is messaging their prospects. This is great way to persuade your leads to take the next steps that create transitions forward in their buying journey!

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