Email Lead Developer
Finding and keeping good leads can be one of the most mystifying parts of marketing and sales and requires a nurturing relationship by an experienced email lead developer.
The term “marketing automation” does not mean creating one email and blasting it out to a purchased list of “guaranteed” prospect. That’s spam–don’t do that!
A full 72% of B2B buyers are not ready to make a purchase from a first email, and neither are most B2C leads, either. Lead generation isn’t the same as lead nurturing. An estimated 98% of MQLs (marketing qualified leads) never convert to closed business.
Email marketing can be an effective way to communicate with your leads, if it’s used correctly. But marketing automation isn’t something you “set and forget.” You still need to create useful, valuable content that your leads will find interesting, educate them and offer them value before you start sending out anything.
Think about it–would you buy a product from a salesperson after one random email, phone call or direct mail piece? Probably not. It’s like sending out one email that tells prospects to BUY TODAY! and you’re ready to magically make sales. It’s not going to work. These are leads that may not know:
- Who you are
- Your company’s name, or who your company is
- What kind of products or services your company sells
- What value your company can provide to them
- What you can do to address their pain points or solve their problems
Why should they even give your email a second thought?
Inbound Marketing is an excellent Lead Developer
The process of lead nurturing involves building trust and relationships through conversations with your prospects. You’ll educate them about your company through these conversations so you eventually earn their business when they’re ready to buy. Offering and providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey keeps them informed and engaged until conversion.
The first rule of email marketing is to make sure that anyone you send email to has given you permission to send it. Once that’s done, you can use email marketing to establish an ongoing relationship.
Using inbound instead of outbound marketing draws interested leads to you. From there, you’ll initiate the conversation that lets you inform, educate, engage and eventually convert. Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities, and 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% less cost.
Best Practices as an Email Lead Developer
- Decide how to use lead nurturing for your business. After you acquire leads online or offline (i.e., trade shows), you’ll use email to determine if it’s a good lead for your business, and if this lead is interested in your offer. If a lead is ready to buy, then your sales reps take over. If not, then the lead is “nurtured” by your marketing reps until they are ready to buy. These leads can be nurtured with relevant, appropriate information and content. If you determine that the lead isn’t interested, their plans have changed or they aren’t a solid, qualified lead, that’s the time to terminate communications completely.
- Learn to build a great individual workflow:
- Figure out who you would like to nurture
- Select your marketing goa
- Create and send relevant email content to them to help establish that goal
Once you’ve decided on who and what, it’s time to figure out what you’ll be sending them. How many emails is the right amount? A general rule to start with is 3 to 4 emails per workflow, and you can always add in or remove emails if you need to.
How often are you going to send emails to this group? Too few, and they’ll forget. Too many, and they may unsubscribe, especially if the content isn’t relevant. A longer or more complex sales cycle will probably require more emails, but don’t inundate your leads, either.
- Communicate with your leads based on their behavior (“Behavioral Email.”) Begin sending automated emails based on your lead’s interaction with your brand. This may be email, social media, on your website or another method, based on their “triggers.” It’s one of the most effective methods of engagement, rather than the traditional method of sending content or an offer to a group of potentially interested people. With behavioral email, you’ll:
- Track how people interact with your business online (seminars, surveys, signing up for blogs, etc.) Gather this information, store it in each contact’s CRM entry, and use it to start your conversation.
- Determine the important actions a user might take. Here, the user dictates the next step, and you’ll send email based on what the user does. At this point, your job is to figure out what user actions will trigger an email–follow up when a lead downloads your content, interacts on social media or just disappears.
- Start your conversation with the user based on that behavior. For instance, if a contact hasn’t visited your site in a period of time (say, 90 days) send a “we miss you” note with some recent content they may have missed. (This article explains 7 methods for lead nurturing.)
If you have a number of communication channels for your prospects (email, website, surveys, Facebook or other social media) to interact and communicate with you, you’ll also need a way to store this information (i.e., CRM or other database.) Each interaction is another opportunity to learn more about each prospect, what they need, want and are interested in finding. Connecting your automated email system to this resource allows you to further communicate with them with these triggers.
Now, your job is to figure out which of your lead’s actions are triggers. For instance, did they download a free whitepaper or subscribe to your blog? Send them a “thank you” or other related email. Visit a specific page on your website? Follow up with an email that offers “more related content.” Knowing how your contact database works and using it effectively helps you to keep in touch and nurture your leads better.
Behavioral email is more personalized than a blanket email sent to everyone. Triggered by an action taken by the user, and connected to your contact database, they allow you to better interact with your lead, and increase your chances of conversion.
Done correctly, an email lead developer can effectively market your brand to leads and prospects. Rather than randomly sending out emails to anyone who drops by, you’ll converse and interact with them to educate them about what your company does, and how you can solve their problems. By offering them value through your emails, they’ll know who you are and why they should open your emails. Do the work, and these leads and prospects will become informed enough to know whether or not they want to convert.