Earlier this week, I began a series of blog posts showing some examples of automated programs that anyone can use as a starting block for marketing automation. Last time, we reviewed a program that allows you to nurture customers once they make a purchase – welcoming them, sending helpful tips and information, and giving them the opportunity to provide some feedback on your product or service.
With this post, I want to look at the other end of the lead funnel and talk about how we can nurture your new subscribers into sales leads by encouraging them to further engage with your brand.
Program 2: Nurture Subscribers into Leads
I like this program because it allows you to differentiate between the early stage leads that are just researching and gathering information, and those that are possibly more qualified. The goal of the program is to take people who have subscribed to your email list but have not yet downloaded any of your premium content and encourage them to do so, showing that they are interested and should be considered a valuable lead.
Step 1: Send a “Thanks for subscribing” email. This can be simple, just a welcome message. It does not need to have a call to action, other than possibly asking them to add your email address to their contact book to make sure that they continue to receive your emails.
Step 2: Wait. Give them some time to start receiving your normal email blasts – newsletter, blog digest, whatever it is that they have signed up for. You want to build some rapport with your subscribers before you start pushing more content on them.
Step 3: Check to see if they have downloaded any of your premium content. If so, they can exit the program, as you will likely have other programs set up for leads that have downloaded content. If not, then continue on to step 4.
Step 4: Send an email with a popular piece of premium content. This could be an invitation to a webinar or a popular whitepaper download. Make sure it is enticing and gives the recipient good reason to click through.
Step 5: Once you give them sufficient time to read the email and decide if they are going to click through or not (we recommend at least 3 days or so), check to see if they have downloaded the content you sent. If so, great, they have shown their interest, and they can now exit this program. As mentioned in step #3, you can let other automated programs take them from here – they have completed the goal of this program. If they have still not downloaded the premium resource, continue to step 6.
Step 6: If, after offering a premium resource, the subscriber does not click through to download, don’t write them off. You could copy them to a cold leads list and continue a similar series of emails over time, attempting different premium resources based on what other content they have viewed. But at this point, they can exit this program because you have separated them from the active leads.
The things to keep in mind are that this program relies on you having a website with a prominent call to action to subscribe to a newsletter or some sort of regular communication. You also need to have premium resources – ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc. – that a visitor could access by filling out a simple form. These are two fairly standard requirements of a content-driven site that is built to generate leads. Once they are in place, it allows you to run programs like this, and a variety of other programs, of which we will discuss in further detail in the coming weeks.
Here is a look at what this type of program could look like in Act-On: