As we all know, prospects advance through a “sales funnel” of various stages or phases of buying behavior, from initial contact through to (hopefully) closed sales.

Marketing or sales funnel classifications may vary by company. A good example of the levels or phases in a sales funnel might be:

  1. All possible contacts
  2. All target contacts
  3. Interested leads
  4. Marketing qualified prospects
  5. Qualified prospects
  6. Closed sales

All sales processes and pipeline definitions account for the fact that buyers exhibit different behaviors and look for different things at each stage of their progression through the process. It’s critical to match your drip marketing content to both your and your prospects’ objectives for each phase.

Top Ten Tips of Online Lead GenerationThe time to use drip marketing for nurturing your leads is after they have expressed some level of interest, but before they’re ready to take a meeting or seriously evaluate your specific product or proposal. In most online lead generation scenarios, this means you’ll be getting new, interested leads who are in the “search for solutions” phase, who probably signed up for a webcast or a white paper, or contacted you for more information through your web form.

The proper marketing content for generating the interested lead would be a white paper, article, podcast, or webcast about the general topic related to what benefits your product delivers. Once your new, interested lead has self-identified in order to receive that content, it’s very likely (70% or more) that although they’ve demonstrated interest, they’re not at all in a timeframe of buying or even evaluating products yet. It is at this point that your lead nurturing and drip marketing should begin.

The intent of lead nurturing between the “interested” and the “pre-qualified” stage is to keep your company’s brand in front of your prospect repeatedly during the period of time when they are working through their own processes that lead to evaluating, justifying, and finally purchasing a product.

Learn more by requesting the complimentary white paper, Top Ten Tip for Online Lead Generation.