We recently published a short post entitled “Five Tips for Doing Lead Nurturing Consistently Well” in which we summarized five key things to do in your lead nurturing programs in order to maximize results. Those five tips were:

  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.

Top Ten Tips of Online Lead GenerationRequest the companion white paper
“Top Ten Tip for Online Lead Generation”

Today, we’ll go into the details behind the first tip.

LEAD NURTURING: USE CONVERSATIONAL TONE

There are actually a few aspects to this top tip. At its most basic, our advice is to use drip marketing as a means of literally creating conversations with new sales leads. The assumption is that these new leads are at an “interested” stage, meaning that they’ve explicitly expressed interest in the topic of whatever problems your product solves. In the world of online marketing, these leads have probably come from your outbound email activities, whether they be white paper offers, webcast invitations, podcast downloads, or some other mechanism where someone from your target market segment self-identifies in response to an outbound email that they received from you (or from someone who forwarded it).

Some of the aspects of using conversational tone to take into account are (1) speaking directly to your audience, i.e. directly to their job role or industry or buyer type, (2) writing in a conversational style, and (3) creating two-way conversations.

Speak directly to your audienceTip #1 for Doing Lead Nurturing Well: Use Conversational Tone

As with all marketing activities since the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of marketing as a discipline), start with identifying your targets. Marketing and sales should have collaborated on defining the “perfect lead” and documenting it as the touchstone for all future marketing and sales activities. The perfect lead should be defined in terms of company size, vertical industry, geography, title of the decision making buyer, titles of influencers, titles of gatekeepers, etc.

Since the scope of our lead nurturing and drip marketing in this paper is defined as the follow-up activities to creating an interested lead – probably through inbound marketing or outbound email, but possibly from trade shows, inbound telephone, professional networking, or any of the many ways people are identified as interested potential buyers – the creation of our drip emails should be in a tone that appeals directly to those defined titles. Specifically, we recommend creating drip email content that is tailored for each of the categories of leads: decision maker, influencer, and gatekeeper. (Yes, even gatekeepers sometimes play the role of researching potential purchases.) Write your emails with the reader’s role in mind. What information would a decision-maker find interesting or engaging? What content would be informative to an influencer? How can I win over a gatekeeper by delivering content he or she finds valuable on a regular basis?

Write in a conversational style

Your drip marketing emails should be written in a style that sounds more like you are speaking out loud to your prospect and less like a marketing document. Since the objective is to keep each recipient engaged for a long period of time and over many weekly or bi-weekly emails, you’ll need to make sure that the style of writing doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, a formal research document, or a preachy primer. We recommend that you create and write each one of those emails as if you were talking to someone live. Test them by reading them aloud, preferably to a colleague, to see how your style and tone come across.

Create two-way conversations

In addition to a conversational style, we recommend that your emails also elicit some sort of response, even if it’s only a subconscious response on the part of your prospect! The best way to make your conversational email into a two-way conversation is to add questions to the content.

Hi Jim,
We’ve seen recent research that shows that widgets designed through the new widgetmagic process are showing 61% less maintenance costs over their effective lifecycle. I thought of you when I saw this because I knew your company uses a lot of widgets in support of your business. Have you seen this research? It’s posted at www.widgetmagic.com/research and looks like it’s got some solid interest from a lot of companies. Is this something your folks are looking at?

The email is unobtrusive, written in an informal, conversational style, and it provides useful, relevant information to “Jim” along with two questions designed to elicit some sort of response and engagement in the conversation.

CONCLUSION

Lead nurturing is a valuable and effective way to increase the quantity and quality of sales leads developed by marketing and delivered to sales. We’ve identified the five key tips for doing it well. Our first tip, “Use conversational tone,” includes direction to speak directly to your audience, write in a conversational style, and create two-way conversations.

In our next post, we’ll discuss the second key tip, “Use lead nurturing only in the right phase of the sales cycle.”

WinGreen Marketing Systems
(650) LEAD GEN
www.wingreenmarketing.com