If you missed it you can read Part 1 here.
Segment, then segment again!
In order to deliver targeted, personalised content you need to segment your contacts database and then approach each segment differently. The simplest way to segment is to identify which stage of the buying cycle each prospect is at. The first segment will have an AWARENESS of their need for a product/service you can provide. They’re not ready to purchase yet as they have only just become aware. They haven’t even started researching their options yet or are only just commencing.
The second segment are actively CONSIDERING the most suitable options for their needs, for example researching the most appropriate solutions on the market and making direct comparisons between providers. Again, these prospects are still not ready to purchase as they are still weighing up the alternatives.
The people in the final segment have made their decision to PURCHASE. They know what they want, they know what they want it to deliver. By making this differentiation you can clearly see how different the mindsets of each segment are.
Don’t stop there though. Clever marketers will see the value in segmenting even further, and research by Aberdeen Group found click-through rates are improved by 14% when they correspondence is personalised. And we’re not just talking about knowing their name and using it, although that is a great start. It’s things like knowing their industry, knowing the size of their organisation, knowing their job function. Gaining insight at this level will give you an amazing opportunity to produce a highly relevant lead nurturing campaign that delivers truly relevant information.
I’ve already outlined the need to steer clear of sales content in your lead nurturing campaign. We’re nurturing, not selling. So what other content can you use? The list is endless and you can be as creative as you like; blog articles, case studies – use different case studies for different segments for the best impact, webinars, podcasts, invites to live web chats, newsletters, even things you organisation is doing for charity or in the community.
You get the idea. And don’t panic, it doesn’t have to be new content. What do you have in your archives that can be reused? And don’t forget to include a call to action. Yes, they’re not sales emails but you still want the people receiving the email to do something as a result.
As the content you will be delivering is very gentle and in non-sales tone you will need to touch base with your contacts at regular intervals. The National Sales Executive Association found 80% of sales are made after the 5th-12th contact. And that’s not to suggest that by bombarding prospects twelve times within a week will deliver success; we’re talking about a gentle drip feed approach aimed at gaining trust and building relationships. Don’t contact them for the sake of it, and always ensure content is highly relevant to each segment. It would be prudent to think ahead and put together a structured campaign plan so that you can schedule content topics for the entire campaign.
By keeping a log of your lead nurturing campaign, the content, the dates they were sent and the segments they went to, you can start to gain a picture of the type of content that drives your prospects forward down the funnel. Experiment by seeing how well different content works for each segment and play around until you have found a formula that works for your business and prospects. Likewise you can experiment with how your database responds to the timing of emails. AB testing will help you establish optimum timing for each segment.