Where to Start Your Lead Nurturing Program


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Getting started is often the hardest thing to do once you decide you want to create a lead nurturing program. Lead nurturing is about continuously engaging B2B prospects across their buying process by providing the right content at the right time to help them take the next steps toward purchase.

Your lead nurturing programs will differ based on how they are populated. So, consider the source of lead origination as you create your program. The first touch in a lead nurturing program after opt in should be related to the reason the prospect chose to raise their hand.

If you think about this, it’s highly unlikely that a lead downloads a white paper because they’re really saying “call me now, I’m ready to buy.” So knock that off, will you?

If they opted in by downloading a white paper, for example, it’s because they were interested in what they thought the information in the white paper would share with them. This means the first place to start in this case is with the white paper landing page – not the white paper itself.

What’s promised on a landing page to promote conversion can be much different than the information in the white paper. How many times have you been disappointed by a white paper after you’ve downloaded it? I can’t tell you the number of PDFs I’ve downloaded that were touted as research white papers which in reality contained a couple of analyst quotes and a product features dump over 4 pages.

Assuming none of you would do that, make notes of the key promises on the landing page. Then assess the white paper to see how well those promises were delivered on. The promises caused the prospect to complete the conversion. How else can you use them to create additional content that will compel the prospect to click on the links in your nurturing emails?

The sources for lead origination will vary. A webinar is also a great source of lead generation. The same process applies – start at the source. Take a good look at it from your prospect’s perspective. Step into your prospect’s shoes and go through the process yourself. Review the email invitation messaging. Look at the promises made in the landing page content. Listen to the webinar again. Pay close attention to the Q&A and the post-webinar survey responses.

To create the first touch points in your nurturing program you need to consider your prospect’s status quo.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What current business situation could they be dealing with that made the promise compelling?
  • What business goals would make the promise(s) relate to their top priorities?
  • What further information than what was showcased in the white paper will help them learn more about solving the problem or reaching their goals?
  • Which persona is most applicable to the types of prospects who downloaded the white paper, or will I need to segment the list?
  • If I segment the list, how do the answers to the first 3 questions above change?

Once you’ve got your first idea, create an outline for developing the content.

  • Include a premise. A premise is a short orientation paragraph that includes the promise of the content, what you want the prospect to learn and why it’s important to them.
  • Jot down three bullet ideas about what you’ll share in the content article, to flesh out the premise.
  • Note the white paper and any reference materials you know about. For example, I often do searches on topics when I’m brainstorming. I’ll memorialize links to some of the best ones to help get my mind back in sync with the topic once I start writing.

Given the above, once your prospect has the information from touch one, what else will they need to learn about? A lead nurturing program should present a logical progression of ideas focused on helping them solve a specific problem as they move through their buying process.

The best way to get started with a lead nurturing program is to engage your audience on their terms in relation to the interest they’ve expressed upon opt in. In other words – get to their status quo and you’ll find higher engagement because your content is talking about something that’s instantly relatable to them.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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