After embracing inbound marketing methodology within your organization, it is important to understand how to interact with your leads. Many companies are pouring resources into creating an abundance of marketing materials that will influence conversions and generate leads, all the while not knowing what to do with the leads they’ve generated. What does your company do to nurture leads? Maybe a monthly newsletter? Or maybe the leads are automatically pushed through to the sales team with the belief that they are ready to purchase your product/service? Whatever the case, I’m here to share that you could be doing it better.
Not all leads are the same! How is this statement a challenge and an opportunity? The challenge stems from the inability to look at your leads as one audience. It is important to take the time to understand where individual leads are in the sales funnel. A conversion on your website could reflect a ready-to-buy mentality for a particular lead, while it just as easily could reflect a preliminary piece of research being conducted by a potential customer down the road. The messaging delivered to these leads should differ due to their stage in the sales funnel. Your marketing team must adhere to this variation and take the time to understand each lead’s status for proper segmentation.
Enter stage right – Opportunity! After accurate segmentation, your emails will be more targeted and focused than ever before. You now have the opportunity to tailor your messaging according to the commonality in your lead lists.
Some examples of segmented lead lists:
How did a particular lead convert? There is a difference between a lead that requested a 30-day trial of your product/service compared to a lead that downloaded a whitepaper – readiness to buy. Would you agree that the same messaging to these two leads doesn’t make a whole lot of sense? Rather, adhere to their presumed status in the sales funnel and create messaging to meet them at their current location while pushing them down the funnel towards a purchase.
Past Customers vs New Prospects
Similar to the gap in potential conversion points, there lies a gap between past customers and new prospects. Don’t waste your time informing past customers about your organization, they already know who you are! Instead, the goal should be to increase their lifetime value to your company by focusing messaging on reengagement. New prospects, rather, may need to be informed about your organization. Leverage your value proposition and allow these leads to understand how you can benefit their lives. See the difference?
For B2B companies, are you implementing the correct messaging in regards to job status? For example, when constructing email campaigns, it is important to understand who you are speaking to. Employees at the top of an organizational structure differ from the employees at the bottom, especially in regard to pain points. If you are constructing an email to leverage the pain points your company’s product/service will overcome, whose pain points are you leveraging? C-level employees have challenges and obstacles to overcome that other employees in the organization may have never even considered, and vice versa.
Segmentation is fundamental when nurturing leads and can completely change the outcome of your email marketing efforts. Segmenting leads into targeted lists will allow your organization to be more relevant with your messaging and, in turn, achieve deeper engagement through your campaigns.
To begin the process of segmentation, understand pain points that your product/service overcomes. Once you have those determined, recognize what types of organizations or people suffer from your identified pain points. Next, go through your lead list with a fine-tooth comb and identify characteristics to segment by. After segmentation is complete, create targeted email campaigns tailored to specific lead lists to enhance relevancy and engagement. Finally, measure your efforts with analytics and refine your segmentation and/or messaging.