SaaS Marketing Agency Function: Lead Nurturing (a.k.a. Marketing Automation)
What does it mean when a SaaS marketing agency says they offer “Lead Nurturing” or “Marketing Automation” services?
A lead nurturing email campaign is an automated, personalized, email that marketers use to take would-be customers on a “buyer’s journey” that could impact their purchasing decisions. Best practices of lead nurturing emails include targeted (segmented), customized, and contain valuable insight.
When multiple emails are scheduled to be sent over a period of time, spread out in a cadence fashion (often called a “drip campaign”, we refer to that automated process as marketing automation as marketers do not manually send out emails one at a time.
Why is it called Lead Nurturing?
When a visitor to your website decides to volunteer their contact information, they are often “in the market”, whether it’s just early research they’re doing, ready to buy on the spot, or somewhere in between.
If they’re just signing up to receive updates to your blog newsletter and nothing more, then they would stay as a “Subscriber”.
If they’re downloading more information such as ebooks, catalogs, and/or case studies, then they are self-promoting themselves to the next stage of their lifecycle known as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) as they are still in the market. It’s our job as marketers to ensure we’re delivering the right message and insight during this stage.
The final lead qualification stage is known as “Sales Qualified Leads” (SQLs). These are leads that have done quite a bit of research, looked at your competitors, and are wanting to engage with a sales rep (e.g. proof of concept, see a demo, free trial, etc.).
Certain types of content resonate with your target audience better than others, depending on what stage of the journey they are in.
As your marketing agency, we understand the importance of identifying what stage your prospects are in so we can qualify and market to them effectively.
When we create ad campaigns, we need to understand how this traffic is behaving. The question of whether we are targeting the right audience with the right message can be divided into three parts - the interaction of the audience with the ad, the interaction of the audience with the landing page, and the receptiveness of the audience to calls to action on the page and on the site. If the traffic is relevant and converting well, then all these metrics will be strong. If it isn't converting well, then each of these metrics needs to be investigated in detail to understand what needs to be changed to improve the traffic-message-interaction flow.
There are three main stages of the Buyer’s Journey:
- Awareness (a.k.a. Top of Funnel)
- Consideration (a.k.a. Middle of Funnel)
- Decision making (ak.a. Bottom of Funnel)
Awareness (Subscriber or Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL))
In the Awareness stage, the buyer is aware that he or she is experiencing a problem. While the buyer is not sure what exactly the problem is, he or she is actively educating themselves on how to better understand the issue and how to solve for it.
Consideration (MQL or SQL)
After the initial research, the buyer now understands what problem he or she is encountering. In this consideration phase, the buyer is researching solutions and services that will solve for his or her problem.
Decision (Sales Qualified Lead (SQL))
Now that the buyer has completed all of his or her research to solving the problem, it's now time to make the final purchasing decision. This is known as the Decision-making stage where SQLs turn into viable Opportunities and it’s up to the salesperson to close the deal.
Reaching out multiple times won't work unless you vary your messaging. Every time you contact a prospect, effective marketers must provide value in a new way.
For example, we may send a short tip in one email and link to a helpful ebook in the second.
As your recipients engage with the nurturing emails (e.g. click a link, download an ebook, watch a video), they are sending us signals that they are interested in what we have to offer. Experienced marketers will pick up on these signals and ensure that they receive relevant, timely information.
What does Bay Leaf Digital do for lead nurturing then?
We identify ways to acquire leads at the top of the funnel, in the middle of the funnel, and at the bottom of the funnel. For each stage, we build the appropriate assets such as ebooks, pricing sheets, demo requests etc.
Once we acquire these leads, we using nurturing workflows to nurture them and move them closer to having a conversation with your sales team.
Nurturing Leads Down the Funnel
Marketing experts have said through the years (and studies have backed up this data), that it takes six to eight touches before someone makes a purchasing decision. A “touch” is any form of media and/or content that your target customer sees promoting your product or service. It could be an impression of an ad on Facebook, a video that mentions your brand on YouTube, an email from your company, etc.
Lead nurturing campaigns are an effective way of presenting insight to your next customers, where they embrace your brand, and the story your brand tells. It’s also a proven way to persuade your future customers to “go down the funnel”, as you’re educating them with insight, and instilling credibility which can give you an edge over your competition.
Bay Leaf Digital understands what it takes to educate, and nurture leads through the buyer’s journey. We focus on sending the right content and message to the right lead at the right time, resulting in more appointments and demos for your sales time to convert into paying customers.