Literature, both ancient and modern, is full of epic journeys. Jason and his Argonauts spent years seeking the Golden Fleece. Odysseus was away from home for decades. Frodo faced terrible struggles to bring the One Ring to Mordor. It shouldn’t feel like an arduous slog up Mount Doom for your leads to make their own buying journey to sales readiness. Make their buying journey a walk through the park on a sunny afternoon instead of a struggle when you implement a lead generation program that accompanies them every step of the way.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to smooth the path for your leads is to be more responsive to their needs. When they ask for more information, be ready to provide it. The challenge here is hearing them when they ask; most won’t seek contact directly, so it’s up to you to read other cues and interpret. Here’s where marketing automation’s lead nurture programs are a game-changer; they let you understand your leads’ behavioral cues in context so you’re ready with the next piece of content or offer just as they’re ready to have it. If, for example, a lead visits a particular product information page and downloads a spec sheet for it, it’s a safe bet he or she would be more interested in a white paper offer directly related to that product than in one geared to a different line.
If we frame buying in terms of a journey, then segmentation lets you assemble individual leads into tour groups of traveling companions. When they’re grouped, you can offer them more cogent decision-making help, better special offers, and more useful content. You can still address each lead individually, but by also seeing them in terms of the groups with which they have something in common, you’re better able to meet their needs efficiently. By separating your audience according to industry, business size, location, or other demographic and firmographic identifiers, you’re able to be a more knowledgeable guide along the buying journey.
Guided Tours and Nurture Programs
Marketing automation allows you to take your “tour groups” on guided expeditions via nurture programs that set up a series of triggers and content cascades for your leads to access. Instead of giving them one-size-fits-all content that isn’t relevant to them, you supply the right information at the right time in an automated process. Let’s go back to the lead who spent time on a particular product page. You know this prospect visited the page for a reason, and with other behavioral cues, you can react to those cues with targeted content such as your white paper offer. If that lead then signs up for your newsletter, you can even set up the newsletter to display industry-specific content and graphics that are more relevant to that lead.
Think of nurture programs as guided tours for a buying journey. You can use them to highlight points of interest, educate your travelers, get to know them better – in short, they let you join in on the journey.
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