Jeffrey Russo is a Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot, a marketing software company based in Boston, Massachusetts. As the chief advocate for HubSpot's middle-of-funnel tools, Jeff acts as an expert both on the HubSpot product and on the larger space. He works closely with product managers to help guide the launches of new tools, and assists in distilling feedback on our offering.
If you’re like most marketers, you’re always looking for ways to improve the value of your lead generation efforts. While there are a variety of ways to do this, one of the most effective approaches is to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy. And the more refined your approach is to nurturing the prospects already in your pipeline, the better your results.
But if you’re new to the concept, building an effective lead nurturing program can be difficult. In a recent article from Software Advice, a company that evaluates marketing automation systems.
HubSpot Product Marketing Manager Jeffrey Russo shared four best practices that HubSpot uses to nurture their leads internally. Here’s a look at some of their tips.
HubSpot's Lead Nurturing Best Practices
1. Start Nurturing as Soon as Prospects Express Interest
Lead nurturing doesn’t have to wait until a prospect has expressed purchase intent. You can start nurturing individuals as soon as they express interest in any part of your business, even if it’s just your blog content. HubSpot starts the lead nurturing process as soon as someone subscribes to their blog.
They consider a subscriber to be anyone who signs up for a regular email digest of their blog. After someone subscribes, HubSpot sends a steady stream of content providing useful information (such as tips for expanding their blog’s reach) with a brief introduction to their product and an offer to learn more.
Once someone requests more information on their product, this campaign stops and they’re opted into a more targeted, product-focused campaign. By engaging early on and providing useful content, HubSpot is able to convert subscribers into leads and then nurture them along the sales cycle.
2. Create Content Your Audience Will Love
Given how the Web has empowered buyers, marketers have to shift away from self-centered content and provide information that’s useful to their buyers. One successful campaign for HubSpot is The Marketer’s Guide to Salesforce, which they came up with after learning that many of their potential customers are Salesforce users.
The e-Book breaks down Salesforce terminology, explains data objects (e.g., account, campaign, event), how a typical Salesforce environment works, etc. It also covers the methodology and best practices behind topics like lead scoring, sales and marketing alignment and ROI tracking. This type of content saves their potential customers a ton of time and is generally useful. It’s been downloaded more than 8,000 times and has helped HubSpot close many new customers.
3. Segment Your Audience to Improve Results
HubSpot segments their audience based on marketing persona and life cycle stage. There are three main personas that HubSpot uses to create useful content to nurture leads.
HubSpot then combines these personas with the prospects lifecycle stage--where they are in the buying cycle. Here’s an example of how they nurture leads for the Marketing Mary persona after they know this type of prospect is considering a purchase.
4. Don’t Rely Purely on Email Lead Nurturing
Although marketers are getting better at personalizing email communication, it’s important to personalize your marketing messages outside of email as well. You don’t want show every website visitor the same static and generic message that may or may not apply to them.
One way to personalize marketing messages on your website is to use dynamic calls to action (CTAs). HubSpot, for instance, uses these to keep from prompting leads to sign up for a newsletter they’re already subscribed to, or invite a current user to learn more about their software. HubSpot does this by setting up visitor rules that will create a CTA based on where a prospect is in their buying decision. Below is an example.
5. Take on Your Lead Nurturing One Step at a Time
If you’re just getting started with lead nurturing, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. The key to keeping from getting overwhelmed is to start with the end in mind and go after your biggest groups of leads first, scaling incrementally. That way, you can learn as you go and don’t feel like you’re taking on a massive project from the onset.
Do you have any tips for improving your lead nurturing campaigns? Leave a comment below.