How to Start a Nurturing Campaign

How to Start a Nurturing Campaign

Nov 2, 2016 by Emily Gunderson

Today, making sales involves forming a relationship with leads and nurturing them with quality content until they’re ready to purchase—and a lead nurturing email campaign is just the way to do this. To help you get started, we’ll break down just what a nurturing campaign involves.

Why start a lead nurturing campaign?

The simple answer is this: only 25% of new leads are sales-ready. Another 25% are not sales opportunities at all, and the remaining 50% are opportunities but are not ready to purchase yet. Lead nurturing campaigns target that 50%.

Lead nurturing has many other benefits, too. You’ll remind leads of your business, teach them about your products and services, and build trust. This way, when they are ready to make a purchase, you’ll be first to pop in their minds. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about them from observing their opens and clicks, allowing you to better market to your audience.

What tools do I need?

If you don’t already have one, you’re going to need a marketing automation platform (MA). While you can certainly send nurture-like emails to a list using any email service provider, an MA will allow you to send scheduled emails to segmented lists, which will yield much better results. And by “scheduled,” we don’t just mean sent on certain dates, we’re talking sends based off of lead behavior, like downloading a whitepaper. Plus, you’ll be able to generate reports on your sends showing how many emails bounced, how many delivered, and who opened them, among other benefits.

G2 Crowd Grid for Marketing AutomationThere are many MAs out there to choose from, so you’ll need to do your research before settling on the one that’s best for your company. G2 Crowd created a comparison tool that pins MAs against each other. You may find this tool useful, as G2 not only includes leading MAs like HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot, but also lists niche MAs. (Note: When in comparison mode on G2 Crowd, be sure to scroll down; there is a lot of white space at the top.)

G2 Crowd places MAs on a grid (see right), relative to their status as a leader, contender, niche, and high performer in comparison to other MAs.

In the comparison below, MAs HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo are shown side by side.

HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo comparison











We use Marketo for nurturing campaigns, list segmentation, lead tracking, reporting, and more. We encourage our clients to use Marketo not only for its many features, but for its Community. Marketo’s Community provides resources for learning about its features and forums for customer discussions. Plus, Marketo User Groups are set up in cities around the world for users to get together and talk about their experiences and challenges. While we love Marketo, we do encourage you to do some exploring yourself to ensure you choose the best MA for your needs.

What should the emails say?

We have defined 10 types of nurturing campaigns that serve different purposes. Welcome campaigns focus more on letting leads get to know you, rather than pushing for sales; whereas call-to-action campaigns attempt to accelerate a sale by pushing for leads to take action. The type you choose will depend on your goals for the campaign, but also on your audience.

One of the benefits of a nurturing campaign is the ability to get personal with your leads. Unlike a billboard or TV ad, you have the power to know who will be viewing the content. Effective nurturing campaigns segment their audience to generate highly personalized emails. For example, when a lead for our furniture client fills out a form on the company’s website, the lead is asked to choose their organization type: business, government, education, or healthcare. We have created four different nurturing campaigns for the four types of products, so leads will receive highly relevant content.

Timeline also plays a role in the type of campaign to choose. Campaigns that promote products may work best with a longer timeline, since more emails can be added as new products are developed. Emails like this may serve as reminders of your business and be sent as little as once every three weeks. On the other hand, a welcome campaign may run shorter and include email sends much closer together. It all depends on what you want to accomplish and how urgently you want to push for sales.

To see more sales conversions from your leads, we highly recommend starting a nurturing campaign. Use this starter guide to get cracking, but know this isn’t the end of our nurturing advice! Keep an eye out for our Nurturing Campaign Spotlight which will highlight a few real-life campaigns we love.

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