Growing an email list isn’t all that difficult, when you think about it – you need a great piece of content, a landing page for people to opt in, a system to capture their information, a mechanism to deliver the content, and some budget to boost the lead magnet’s visibility through paid promotion. As people opt in, you’re building your email list. The challenge is how to successfully convert these prospects to customers.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Infusionsoft University on behalf of Mercer-MacKay Digital Storytelling to learn how we can better utilize the platform for marketing automation and improve our nurture marketing campaigns to increase conversion rates.

Here are some new things I learned:

Most companies are searching for quick wins – those prospects that are ready to buy now – within the leads they’ve captured. Once the qualified leads are harvested (about 10 percent), companies abandon the list and start over.

Why is this ineffective?

The answer: 62 percent of buyers who show initial interest will purchase in a year or so.

Only a small segment of our leads may be ready to purchase today. The others, with some nurturing, could be ready in the future. It’s a matter of getting in front of them and staying in front of them.

Infusionsoft has found that having five or more interactions with leads can result in 80 percent of deals closing. However, the reality is that 80 percent of businesses stop at one interaction.

When planning our nurture marketing campaigns, we should include between 5 – 7 interactions with our prospects. Marketing automation can be a useful tool to provide this personalized, automated follow-up.

Nurture Marketing & Automation Best Practices:

Here are some helpful tips to apply to your automated nurture campaign:

1. Deliver valuable content

You don’t want to get marked as SPAM. Send content that your prospects would be interested in, educates them, and adds value. Don’t jump right into sales promotions; instead, re-purpose existing content – like blog posts, eBooks, webinars, videos and white papers.

2. Send related content

The types of content you send should be related to one another and relevant to the original topic of interest (your lead magnet). This will help ensure you’re providing value and content that is of interest to your leads.

3. Make emails personal

Automated emails may seem tricky to make personal, but there are a few things you can do to add a personal touch:

  • Make the “from” address your name rather than an “info@” email
  • Include their name or other relevant information you’ve captured about them
  • Use a personal tone in your writing to make the emails come across as genuine and authentic

4. Vary your sending patterns

Changes in the timing of your emails help certain emails stand out from what your prospect is expecting. If you’ve set up your automation to send every Tuesday at 9 a.m., adding an email on a Thursday afternoon creates intrigue and interest.

5. Match the length a customer’s buying process and increase it by 1.5 times

Buying processes vary by industry. Prospects go through different stages as they gather information and evaluate alternatives before ultimately deciding to purchase. Think about the length of time it takes for your prospect to convert into a customer – that’s your customer’s buying process. It is 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or maybe longer?

When nurturing new leads, the length of time you’re spending nurturing should match the length of time your typical customer takes to make a decision to purchase. For example, if your customer typically takes 3 months to decide before buying, your nurture marketing campaigns should reflect this. It may even require a little extra time to be effective, so increase the length of time by 1.5.

Is your company ready to generate more leads?

Discover how Mercer-MacKay Digital Storytelling client, Media Valet, used an eBook to generate 300+ leads in 3 months with over a million dollars in pipeline opportunities.