One of marketing automation’s signature benefits is its ability to create complex workflows from simple elements. A single autoresponse email or customized landing page in isolation doesn’t have much of an impact, but put it together with other triggering events and lead attributes, and you have a magnificently agile and sensitive system that guides prospects through every step of their buying journey. Automation is an effort-saver and a revenue driver for you, but it’s also a great benefit for your leads, who no longer need to wait for you to anticipate their next moves and can instead forge ahead at their own pace.
These nurture flows represent some of our most effective programs. They’re customizable and flexible enough to work for virtually any B2B organization.
It would be terrific if everyone who visited your site was ready to buy, but that’s rarely the case. Most of the leads you encounter need to know more before they make a buying decision. The first step is getting to know who you are, so an introductory workflow is a staple of any marketing automation strategy. When a lead triggers this workflow by signing up for your blog or newsletter, you need to understand his or her needs quickly so you can offer relevant solutions.
In your introductory nurture workflow, your primary goal is to gather more information while streamlining the information-gathering process for your prospects. Your sign-up form should be straightforward and brief with clearly defined actions to take. Verify that the email address is accurate with an autoresponse that includes a click-through to activate the subscription. With this confirmation, you ensure that the most important piece of contact data you have – an email address – is accurate.
Other introductory workflow events might include:
- Welcome email with a quick-start guide or introductory offer
- Promotion of entry-level content
- Preference page link
- Latest ebook, webinar, or white paper offers
- Social media invitations
When leads move past an introductory phase and show evidence of more engagement by downloading white papers, signing up for webinars, or requesting a free trial, they’re ready for a usage workflow that demonstrates practical value to them. This chain of events is a classic lead-nurturing process that takes leads from the top of your funnel to the sales team in the most efficient yet informative path possible.
Usage workflows are as varied as the businesses that offer them, but these elements are part of most successful programs:
- How-to guides and videos
- White papers and case studies
- Tips and tricks
- Deeper reading of early-funnel topics leads expressed interest in investigating
Your prospects rarely interact with you on a single platform or with a single device. Think about how often you switch from desktop to laptop to smartphone and back again, and you have some idea of how much coverage you need to earn mind-share with your leads.
The point of a multichannel workflow is to broaden your brand’s footprint. If a lead found you via organic search on a desktop computer in the office, here’s your chance to be present in other ways and meet that lead where he or she already is:
- Mobile apps
- Calendars or calculators that synch across devices
- Webinar and tradeshow invitations
Your leads are too important to lose to competitors who are more solicitous. Set up nurture workflows with your marketing automation system, and you’re sending them the clear message that you’re there for them.
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