5 Steps for Creating an Automated Lead Nurturing Workflow
A lead nurturing workflow is essential for shaping a successful promotional campaign that caters to the needs of specific buyer personas.
Today’s marketing era demands hyper-personalisation. According to a survey, 99% of marketers say personalisation helps advance customer relationships.
A lead nurturing program addresses such marketing requirements and cater to the specific prospects’ needs. It utilises various methods like lead segmentation, scoring, email sequences, etc., and makes it easier to stay connected with the target audience and existing customers.
But manually following up with different leads from the first touchpoint to purchase results in exhaustive lead nurturing practices.
B2B marketing automation solves this problem by taking over the time-consuming lead nurturing processes and developing buyers’ journeys aligned with a brand’s marketing goals.
Through this blog, I will explain how you can create automated lead nurturing workflows of your own and build a personalised marketing funnel for the target audience.
What is an Automated Lead Nurturing Workflow?
A lead nurturing workflow is a set of actions that get triggered based on a prospect’s behaviour and attributes. It is a multi-step process that marketers implement with the help of automation.
Companies associate buyers’ personas and marketing campaigns with the workflow, generating marketing experiences that easily earn prospects’ business.
Lead response timing is a significant factor affecting every company’s marketing success. Research says a fast response to prospects’ actions wins up to 50% of sales. By employing an automated lead nurturing workflow, marketers ensure that potential customers stay in constant touch with the brand till they become ready to buy.
The two broad goals of lead nurturing are:
- To move leads from one stage of the sales cycle to another.
- To make prospects perform an action.
For creating a successful buying process, businesses need automation software to streamline the marketing funnel that is robust and fits right into their budget. Some of my recommendations include ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, and Plezi.
Suggested read- Hubspot Review: Is It A Complete Inbound Marketing Tool?
Steps for Developing an Automated Lead Nurturing Workflow
Curating a lead nurturing workflow takes a lot of initial effort. But when set up correctly, it becomes a source that generates a constant flow of qualified leads and an optimised buying cycle.
If you feel confused about whether you should start building a lead nurturing workflow or not, I would recommend you to check out this blog: When You Should Start Building an Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign. It will make your lead nurturing concepts clearer and help you plan the workflow better.
Here are the steps you need to follow to create an automated lead-nurturing workflow:
Step 1: Lead Segmentation
Long lead lists are the worst nightmare of every marketer. It is tough to plan a personalised buyers’ journey when a business can not identify a prospect’s pain points and sales funnel stage. Lead segmentation tackles this problem by grouping leads in separate lists according to specified factors.
For example, say a SaaS business has two buyers’ persona, CEO and manager. A CEO is the final decision maker of a company who might already be aware of the problem and qualified to be an SQL. If not contacted immediately, the SaaS company can lose such leads to a competitor. Through lead segmentation, the SaaS business can separate a lead with a CEO job title from the start of their sales funnel and provide them with the immediate attention needed.
If you want to learn the mistakes to avoid in saas lead nurturing, then check out this blog:
Top 9 Mistakes in SaaS Lead Nurturing and How To Fix Them
Step 2: Content Mapping
By sharing the right content at the right time with prospective customers, marketers increase their chances of sales. But how to know what is the right time and what is the right content for a lead.
The answer is Content mapping.
It is the process of organising various pieces of content pieces according to the stages of a sales funnel and augmenting them with the target audience’s requirements. Businesses should analyse past sales funnels and filter out the content pieces that trigger an action from the prospects. Through content mapping, brands can understand the content gaps in their lead nurturing processes and fill them with relevant information.
Marketers must build creative, informational pathways for different buyers’ personas that generate a hyper-personalised user experience.
Step 3: Setting Up Enrollment Triggers and End Goals
A lead nurturing program always has an enrollment trigger and end goal.
Let’s define them one by one to understand them better.
- Enrollment trigger: It is a specified action performed by a prospect that enrolls them in a lead nurturing program. Marketers decide on an enrollment trigger by studying the actions of leads they want to connect with the workflow.For example, a lead nurturing workflow for an IQL can have enrollment triggers like downloading an e-book, attending a webinar, etc. It can also have attributes-based triggers like firmographics, location, demographics, etc.
- End Goal: It is the final action a prospect takes that will end the lead nurturing workflow. After achieving the end goal, prospects get shifted to another workflow depending on their stage in the sales funnel and other factors. The end goal of our earlier example for lead nurturing an IQL can be
__ email open rate
__ CTRBusinesses can fill in the blanks according to their marketing goals, such as 5% email open rate and 2% CTR.
Step 4: Adding Actions to the Lead Nurturing Workflow
After completing the above three steps, it is time to develop the path through which your leads will move from a workflow’s enrollment trigger to the end goal.
In automation software, businesses can add actions like ‘share email-1’ or ‘give access to checklist’, or ‘provide calendly link’.
Such actions get separated by logics ‘delay’ and ‘If/then’.
Let’s understand the function of these logics:
- Delay logic: Bombarding prospects with emails is never a good idea. The delay logic allows you to time the delivery of content in the email workflow according to the convenience of the target lead. Businesses can set the delay time in hours or days depending on their past sales funnels.
- If/then logic: What to do if the lead is not responding to the emails? Marketers don’t need to do anything. The automated workflow takes care of that with the if/then logic. For example, a company wants to filter out inactive leads after sending the third email in an email nurturing workflow.
By simply adding the if/then logic, the business can specify
opened email 3: continue the workflow
not opened email 3: discontinue the workflow>> mark as lost lead>>shift to another workflow.
Marketers can find both of these logics in all the automation software present in the market. Some B2B automation tools offer other beneficial logic like ActiveCampaign offers a logic called ‘Goal’ that allows leads to jump to action in the workflow if they qualify certain conditions.
Pro Tip- Marketers should add lead scoring to their lead nurturing actions for higher efficiency. Read this article to know more: How To Create A Lead Scoring Model.
Now you are ready to put the workflow LIVE.
Step 5: Analysing and Optimising
Every new marketing workflow needs optimisation for better performance. Every lead is different, and market demands can change drastically. Businesses should always check how various lead nurturing efforts perform and which areas need improvement.
Key metrics to keep an eye on include:
- Total contacts enrolled in a workflow
- Conversion rate of the workflow
Companies can increase the number of KPIs they want to follow depending on their inbound marketing goals. Constantly refining the lead nurturing process makes it apt for the active prospects it deals with and serves higher engagement.
How to Make Your Automated Lead Nurturing Campaigns Stand Out?
Understanding your target audience is the foundation of inbound marketing. You don’t want to send a cat video to a dog person, or a sports newsletter to someone who only cares about knitting. That’s just not how it works in the world of inbound marketing.
But fear not! Truly understanding your buyer personas can help you create personalized content and effective lead nurturing campaigns that speak directly to your audience’s needs and interests. From catchy email subject lines to irresistible e-book titles, every piece of content should be tailored to your personas’ unique preferences and pain points.
And don’t even think about making assumptions when it comes to your personas. Your lead nurturing content should be based on solid research. All of this together reduces the burden of your sales team as it helps bring in qualified leads.
Examples of Automated Lead Nurturing Workflow
Here are some email campaign examples which are a part of lead nurturing workflow automation that stands out in design and content.
1. Welcome Campaign
A welcome campaign starts when a new lead enters the sales funnel. The campaign goal is to send welcome or introductory emails is to move new customers through your onboarding process. It helps introduce a brand and its services to new prospects and generates brand affinity.
Make sure your series of emails under the welcome campaign is informative, clear, and actionable. A/B test your content to see what brings you conversions.
Below is a welcome campaign example by WritenZen, an AI-based writing SaaS. After signing up, I immediately received a thank you email that offered me to explore and learn more about the brand. The following email suggested some resources created by WriterZen to understand their software better. In this way, a welcome workflow helps new leads to know more about the brand and how to use the services.
2. Educational Campaign
This type of campaign is best for prospects who are not sales-ready ( present in the awareness stage ), as the content aims only to educate and inform them.
Below is an educational campaign example by Trello, a work management app. It focuses on sharing content that helps increase work productivity and manage tasks better. The layout and suggested content on the emails stand out and look compelling.
The proposed content topics are relatable for professionals and connected to the purpose of the Trello app. Such content solves common consumer problems and generates brand affinity.
3. Re-engagement Campaign
A re-engagement campaign is a marketing strategy to reconnect with inactive or disengaged subscribers, customers, or leads. The goal of a re-engagement email campaign is to bring back those who have lost interest or stopped engaging with your brand and encourage them to become active and engaged once again.
Below is an example of a re-engagement campaign by Grammarly. The email’s subject line, “Hm, no writing activity last week?” plus the email subhead showcases their team’s awareness towards people who missed out on the app.
The zeros on the report look intimidating and encourage one to engage with the app. In the end, there is a small section that lists three blog posts related to various topics and personas like Grammar, professionals, and students, which cater to the needs of specific audiences.
A lead nurturing workflow makes it easier to track a lead’s buying journey to enhance the user experience and serve better content. A lead nurturing campaign is of many types; a workflow helps understand the basic structure of such campaigns and how to execute them efficiently.
Setting up lead segmentation, enrollment triggers, and end goals is essential for the success of a lead nurturing campaign. Marketers must follow the step-by-step process to plan and implement a lead nurturing campaign with the help of a good marketing automation platform to achieve successful results.
If you want to learn more about lead nurturing, then check out this ultimate guide to lead nurturing:
B2B Lead Nurturing: The Ultimate Guide
5 B2B Lead Nurturing Tactics To Re-Engage Past Customers
5 Steps To Win Back Lost Leads With Lead Nurturing
Lead Nurturing Email Examples From My Personal Account
Appointment Booking Funnel: Guide To Build An Automated Funnel