Resurrect Your Old Lead Lists Through Automated Lead Nurturing
It’s that time of year again — agri-marketers everywhere are gearing up for trade show season. Yes, the season we all openly dread. Marketers cringe at the annual cost accompanied by a very low ROI, the sales team would rather get a root canal than work the booth, and your potential customers, well… they’re only here for the free beer or t-shirts. Yet, all involved in this time-honored tradition silently agree to continue the dance.
While we’re discussing pain, let’s address that little outworking from the last few years of trade shows as well — your lead list. You know, that list of email addresses producers willingly traded you for a beer or branded hat (secretly, maybe they knew you wouldn’t do anything with it).
If you have leveraged this list, good for you, but you’re in the minority. So don’t feel guilty if you’ve done nothing with that list of leads; according to the Trade Show Bureau (who knew this bureau existed?), about 80% of companies never reach out to the leads they’ve obtained from the show.
Okay, now let’s forget about what you did (or didn’t do) in the past and focus on what you can do moving forward.
Over the past few years, you’ve likely seen the value of content marketing and embraced inbound marketing. Hopefully, that means you’ve produced a good supply of content and have an equally good supply of leads ready to be “nurtured.” According to Marketo, nurtured leads have a 50% better chance of converting to sales at 33% less cost than traditional sales methods. But who has time to qualify or nurture these leads given our ever-shrinking sales teams?
That’s where automated lead nurturing can be effective, as it allows for the systematic tracking of engagements with your content and site, as well as accurate tracking of that lead’s stage in the sales cycle. This means you can feed appropriate content at the right time, so your leads are never forgotten, and opportunities are never missed. It’s a process that even allows you to automate 1-to-1 outbound emails on behalf of your sales team, if you so choose.
At a very high level, here are some steps to take to get started with automated lead nurturing:
- Get organized: Segment your leads database to the best of your ability (there are many ways to do this — here are a few suggestions from HubSpot).
- Schedule out content: For each segment of prospects, build a customized sequence of content-driven emails relevant to that list. We’re talking about 3-5 emails depending on the available content and cadence.
- Upgrade your automation system: This sales automation functionality is baked into platforms like HubSpot, but they do require you to upgrade the licensing for any user engaged in this process.
- Create an appointment calendar: This process has a higher impact when used along with an app that allows prospects to book time directly into the calendar of the sales rep — this functionality is also baked into platforms like HubSpot.
- Stay connected and close! Ensure your sales reps take advantage of various points in the sequence to engage directly with leads and close on sales.
At the very least, automated lead nurturing allows you to do something with your previously “dead” leads (and possibly shed years of guilt in the process). However, there is so much more potential at stake here: automated lead nurturing gives you the opportunity to help build a stronger relationship between your sales team and the end-user and is statistically proven to increase your odds of closing the sale. Imagine finally turning the trade show experience into a fruitful event for all parties involved… speaking of which, we hope to see you in the trade show lounge in the new year!
Looking for more ways to nurture leads and strengthen your digital marketing strategy? Check out our eBook Growing Digital: 7 Ways Agri-Marketing Can Become More Digital.