If you have been in the market for a new car or a mortgage or even some electronics products, you have likely experienced nurture marketing - an automated set of processes to provide information at each step in your journey as a customer. For instance, when you search on a car website, such as cars.com or truecars.com, you will start receiving emails based on your searches. After you test drive a car, the dealer will follow up with emails or text (based on your communication preference) with special offers and car availability.
According to lead nurture software company Marketo:
- On average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy (Marketo).
- Almost 80% of new leads never become sales (MarketingSherpa).
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo).
- Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).
Setting up a nurture campaign is usually centered around a customer relationship management system (CRM) where all data on customers and prospects is stored. The nurture process specifies a series of communication steps and branches based on the behavior of the prospective customer.
For instance, my company InfoStrat might have a nurture campaign for our IT services that looks something like this:
- Customers who download a whitepaper on CRM later receive an email invitation to a webinar on the same topic.
- If that person signs up for a webinar, they receive a series of confirmations and reminders, and followup communications after the event takes place.
- The nurture campaign triggers an activity for a phone call to be placed to the prospect who shows high interest.
- A prospect whose interest drops may be contacted to opt in to the company email newsletter.
Here is how the nurture looks in ClickDimensions:
This approach is much simpler through automation than to manually create all these communications and remember who is at what stage of their buying process. ClickDimensions is integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365.
As you learn more about your customers, you can refine how you communicate with them throughout the process, starting earlier with customized web content and extending to other channels such as social media. For instance, the Thunderhead ONE Engagement Hub allows you to customize your website so that it shows content which is more relevant in response to visitor behavior. If I am looking at small SUVs, relevant content can be promoted to a more prominent position on the page, such as leasing deals or option packages.
Many types of business can benefit from nurture marketing, not just those that target consumers. As the desire of customers for information and buying research continues to grow, the relevance of digital transformation efforts such as nurture marketing will grow along with it.