The past few years have dramatically altered the way we think about and how we conduct business-to-business marketing and lead generation. The ubiquity of Internet connectivity, broadband, and business email has led to a complete upending of the seller-buyer relationship. Direct mail (“snail mail”) is out; email is in. Reaching millions of people through mass advertising is out; reaching the same millions (but only when they want) through inbound marketing is in. “Interrupt marketing” is out; “opt-in marketing” is very in. Feast-or-famine results are out; consistent, smooth-line results are in.

With the advent of new technologies came the advent of new methods and strategies for finding and developing new sales leads. The explosion of Google as the preferred search engine led to (or at least dramatically accelerated) the creation of an entire field of marketing around search engine marketing, and a second entire field of lead generation around pay-per-click advertising. The affordability of email accounts and Internet connections for nearly every worker in America led to the explosive growth of email marketing, then (unfortunately) to the more explosive growth of spam, then to (fortunately) the creation of anti-spam filters and the CAN-SPAM Act, then to the concept of content marketing, and now to the refinement of email marketing into the twin cannons of lead development and nurturing: “outbound” and “drip” email marketing.

The objective of lead nurturing is to keep an interested lead engaged and “warm” until such time as that lead is ready to advance to the next sales phase.

The Five Tips for Doing Lead Nurturing Exceptionally Well

Let’s start by stating the obvious: There are far more than just five principles that are important for utilizing lead nurturing techniques to nurture leads and increase your B2B sales.  What we wanted to do with this post was present a brief, easy-to-read, easy-to-digest primer with just the five principles that everyone can take back to work and put to use.  In future papers, webcasts, podcasts, and books, we’ll go deeper into the strategies, methods, processes, and tools you can use to get even more effective with lead nurturing, but for now, let’s focus on our top five. (Visit the Resource Center at http://wingreenmarketing.com/resources for related white papers.)

  1. Use conversational tone (not marketing or sales tone)
  2. Use lead nurturing only in the right phase of the sales cycle
  3. Use web analytics and tracking to adjust and mold your messages to your targets
  4. Use lead scoring to target highest potential leads
  5. Consistent repetition, consistent repetition, consistent repetition.

These sound simple and obvious, right? Well, they are. So are the instructions on how to hit a baseball (See ball, swing bat, try to hit ball with bat), but very few people can do it consistently well.

In the next few posts, we’ll explore each of these five tips and talk about doing them consistently well.