For companies that offer B2B products and services, the sales cycle can be quite long. It can take months for you to develop relationships with companies and walk them through the process of familiarizing themselves with what you have to offer and your company as a whole.
Trying to do everything manually during this time will severely limit your ability to engage with new prospects. You simply cannot expect all nurturing to be done through conversations alone.
Email marketing provides an ideal platform for nurturing new B2B prospects as they work their way through the sales process on their way to converting to new customers and clients.
The process of delivering content to interested individuals and walking them toward becoming a customer is what is known as “nurturing.”
The idea behind nurturing is that you continue to deliver content over a period of time. That content should explain critical considerations for working with your company, endear them to your brand, help them to understand your product or service, and builds trust with them over time.
In this article, we’ll cover some basic tips that you can follow to create an effective nurturing sequence for email marketing.
Create a Truly Sought After Lead Magnet
In order to begin nurturing new clients, you first have to convince them to sign up for your email list. Asking nicely might work sometimes, but you need to give people a reason to sign up for your email list directly on your website.
Most often, this is done with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a resource, such as a checklist or white paper, that your prospects will receive in exchange for signing up for your email list and giving you the ability to continually Market to them.
You have to make sure that whatever resource that you create to entice people to sign up for your email list is truly sought after in your market. It has to be a resource that your audience is truly clamoring for. Then, you have to make sure that the lead magnet is actually good and delivers the value that is promised.
Here’s an example of a lead magnet. You can also find them all over the RiseFuel website.
B2B sales are a long game. It is very rare that a company finds out about your product or service and immediately purchases a high-ticket offer. Those kind of situations are few and far between. Most of your new customers will require some kind of nurturing.
You don't want to immediately throw them into the bottom of the funnel sales materials as soon as they hit your email list. Instead, nurturing sequences look to continually provide value over the long haul, endearing your audience to your brand over time.
Start slow. Give them a taste of the value that your service or product is able to provide, by breaking it down into individual parts and delivering those individual parts over a period of weeks or months. Slowly walk them up to the big picture value and benefits that your offer provides.
You can also deliver materials that are not directly related to sales as well. You should look at nurturing as a relationship-building exercise, and not so much a sales process.
Capture Data and Segment Appropriately
The more specifically crafted each sequence for each prospect, the more effective it will be. If someone signs up for your email list hoping to learn more about your manufacturing services, you want to continue to deliver materials about that topic. Others might be more interested in other services that you have to offer, and they should receive materials related to those services. Almost 30% of marketers use audience segmentation tactics to improve email engagement.
Captured data from prospects through forms, and use that data to segment them into nurturing sequences that are custom-tailored to the topics that they are most interested in. Don't deliver content that people are not interested in. It's better to have 10 highly engaged prospects than 100 people on your email list that are not truly interested in the content that you are sending them.
Source: Email Monday
Maximize Free Value During Nurturing
When it comes to nurturing leads, your entire goal needs to be to build trust with them over time. To build trust with them, give them something for free. That doesn't mean that you need to offer your product or service for free, but rather deliver sought-after information that they will appreciate. When you do something for them, they are more likely to effectively make their way through the sales funnel.
Let Them Look Behind the Scenes
One mistake that many B2B marketers make when creating a nurturing sequence is being too robotic. You want your leads to know that there are real people behind the company that is sending them these materials. Give them a look behind-the-scenes. Let them know that there is a real person writing the emails that they are receiving, and invite them to engage with you in real conversations.