Automations help companies to implement lead nurturing strategies to connect effectively with customers in different stages of the lifecycle. Here’s how it works.
Personalising every interaction and conversation across the usually complicated sales cycle can be a daunting task for a business – and incredibly time consuming too.
Making sure you are sending relevant information to the right contacts, at the right time, can be a real challenge.
This is where automation can be massively helpful for sales and marketing teams; helping brands to streamline communications across various channels, to improve efficiency and drive sales. It stands to reason why marketing automation keeps growing at an astonishing rate, and the importance of lead nurturing is now as crucial as ever for businesses of all kinds and sizes.
What lead nurturing is all about
Lead nurturing, also known as drip marketing, is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of the customer journey.
Lead nurturing enables businesses to automate thoughtful communications, relevant to specific audiences – making it the most powerful element of a marketing automation system.
Research has found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
Automated workflows allow you to automate emails and SMS communications with ease to help you customise nurturing on a granular basis. This means your team doesn’t have to waste time repeatedly finding content for specific leads, remembering to send it out or manually chasing and following up.
Types of Campaigns
The different types of campaigns you can run with workflow automations can cover the length of the entire customer lifecycle – starting with initial awareness, through to loyalty and retention.
When automating communications to power the customer journey, think about creating campaigns with a specific goal in mind. Here’s a few of the most effective campaigns that brands and businesses run to nurture leads and move contacts through the funnel:
- Campaigns to connect
As initial touch-point communications with your contacts, these campaigns provide great value and a starting point for building customer relationship.
A ‘welcome’ campaign is a typical example of automations to connect. Generally simple to automate, a welcome message serves as an opportunity to confirm to your leads they are on board with a specific product or service, and to remind them what they can expect from your company in order to spark interest.
Further campaigns to connect can help with top-of-mind brand awareness and prevent early-stage leads from falling off the radar. The content for this type of drip usually focuses on promoting value to the prospect, making use of interesting posts and information to keep them thinking about your brand.
These campaigns can also be planned for re-engaging leads that have shown no signs of activity for a while. Inactive leads can be targeted with new content to encourage them to re-enter the sales cycle and take action.
- Campaigns to educate
As you connect with prospects and early-stage leads, your campaigns can help to trigger actions to identify more engaged leads that can be moved to a more product-focused path – then address them with campaigns dedicated to educating and nurturing.
The drips for educating prospects usually focus on highlighting product features and benefits to try and gain a competitive edge against other industry players. Customer testimonials, in-depth reviews and case studies can be powerful content at this stage.
- Campaigns to close
Helping to drive sales to a close, these campaigns can be used for prospects in the middle of the funnel to reinforce why your product or service is the best choice.
One approach to consider for closing is to share promotions or special discounts that can help to create a sense of urgency and encourage purchase. This type of campaign can be useful for companies running trial schemes, to help prospects and hot leads to commit.
- Campaigns to engage
Campaigns to engage are post-sale communications, essential for appropriate on-boarding and strengthening customer relationships right from the moment of purchase. Onboarding campaigns can involve useful resources such as training sessions, step-by-step user guides, FAQs.
Automating workflows to engage can be very effective to keep your customers informed about the product or service they acquired and how to make the most of it – keeping them engaged with your brand.
These workflows can also be automated to follow up on customer service queries and support tickets, providing an opportunity for feedback surveys.
At this stage, it’s also practical to segment customer lists to deploy drips designed to up-sell and/or cross-sell. For instance, these campaigns can be focused on the benefits of complementing a product with extra features or offer incentives for upgrading a plan.
- Campaigns to retain
It’s very important not to neglect the final stages of the life cycle in order to keep your existing customers. These campaigns will be an essential part of your retention strategy; they can help to promote attachment to your brand and boost customer lifetime.
Campaigns designed to retain customers can involve loyalty schemes, customer referral programmes or other promotions to reward customers, as well as renewal campaigns.
Renewal drips are convenient reminders for your customers when it’s time for them to renew their subscription or contract.
A renewal campaign can be triggered weeks before the renewal date, followed by further automated reminders if no action takes place. This type of workflow is very effective for reducing the chances of customers missing renewals, while saving your service reps the hassle of a manual process.
Nurture leads on autopilot with Ibby
Automation workflows will help to align your marketing efforts and messages to ensure your leads receive relevant messages at the right time.
Ibby makes the process simple and smooth: you can create emails and text messages ahead of time and set them to launch automatically whenever a user completes a specific action.
One of the key factors in the process is choosing your contacts – also known as segmentation. Every contact in your database deserves a level of attention in order to circulate the sales funnel. So, the first step is to segment your contacts and determine who will get enrolled in your workflows, and when.
With Ibby, you can make the most of all the stored data from your contacts CRM to choose the right contacts and create targeted workflows with personalised content for different types of recipients.
When setting up your workflow, create a series of messages that can guide your contacts through your funnel and define your automatic triggers and actions. Your triggers will automate your communications and launch messages to contacts based on actions – these can range from visiting a webpage, opening or not opening your email, etc. Ibby also allows you to set waiting times for delayed or timed actions, and use decision branches for more intricate automations.
You can also automate tasks within your workflows, assign them to users and set auto-reminders to ensure your team stays on top of every action required to effectively follow up with contacts.