Friday February 5, 2016
If you are a marketer responsible for driving sales through a national dealer network, you know how difficult it is to keep your prospects engaged in the pre-purchase phase of the customer lifecycle. That’s why email marketing and lead nurturing plays such a crucial role in whether or not your prospects will actually buy your product at the end of the day. But in order to implement an effective email marketing and lead nurturing strategy that converts sales, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants. So, here are a few tips for implementing an effective lead nurturing campaign:
1. Automate your communications
Technology has come a long way in the past decade. There are tons of email providers and marketing automation platforms that can automate marketing efforts, but selecting a provider that aligns with your industry and sales process is critical to your success. Here comes our shameless plug. Our marketing automation platform, Aimbase, was built for manufacturers who sell through dealer/distributor networks. We integrate with some of the world’s best email marketing and digital media providers, which allows brands to seamlessly integrate their marketing operations into one central location. See how it works.
2. Map the customer journey
As a marketer, one of the hardest things to do is to accurately map out the steps your target customers take before they buy. By formally mapping out this process, you will be able to effectively sync-up your email messages to the specific actions your prospects take online. For example, if a prospect submits a request on your website to schedule a test drive, you should craft an email nurture stream that:
- Confirms their request for a test drive and product of interest.
- Provides detailed information about the dealer nearest the prospect (and that you contacted the dealer to let them know about the prospect’s product interest).
- Holds the dealer accountable for following-up with the prospect. A common method is to send the prospect a “yes” or “no” survey, asking if the dealer promptly contacted the prospect for a test drive.
All of these strategic interactions start to build trust with your prospects at the brand level, which increases your chances of capturing a sale at the dealer level.
3. You have a lead/prospect, now what?
You have to nurture them - even if the prospect showed interest in buying/testing your product. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to pepper the prospect with high-pressure communications that close the sale, but you’ll likely shoot yourself in the foot with this approach. It’s a good idea to implement communications in your nurture stream that further qualifies the prospect, such as links to product brochures, “Build Your Own [Insert Product]” features and brand lifestyle content. As the prospect interacts with your content, your marketing automation platform should provide a prospect score that pings your marketing and sales team once a certain threshold is reached. Then, you can go into sales-mode.
Ready to take the next step in your lead nurturing strategy, download our “Ultimate Guide to Lead Nurturing.”