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How-to Develop a Killer Lead Nurturing Campaign

Air Baloon

Lead nurturing is nothing new. Sales people have to constantly follow up with their leads, engage in conversation, show them the benefits of their product/service, and try to close deal after deal. This used to be a very manual, hands-on experience. Now, with automation and the amount of data we have at our fingertips, marketers are able to map content to fit every buyer’s needs at any point in the sales cycle. In fact, this is something that we all should be doing if we want to generate a higher response rate and guide our prospects down the funnel.

So, the question remains for many, “How do I develop content for each stage of the funnel?” There is no easy answer, but there is a way to make it more strategic.

First, you have to understand the sales funnel. There are four main stages to any funnel: Awareness, Evaluation/Consideration, Purchase, and Evangelism or Customer Retention. At each of these stages the buyer requires different information about your product or service. Let’s evaluate the types of content needed at each phase. Use this as a guide for your own lead nurturing campaigns.

I am going to break down each stage into 4 different areas: User Behavior, Research, Content Types, and Key Terms.


Buyer Stages




User Behavior

Have realized and expressed the potential problem/opportunity

Have a clearly defined problem and opportunity - considering how to address said issue

Have defined the solution and strategy


Research is vendor neutral. Simply looking at 3rd party information about their realized problem/opportunity

Started researching all available solutions to solving defined prob/opp

Reviewing how-tos, case studies, select vendors, etc. to make final decision and aid in implementation

Content Types

Analyst reports, eBooks, editorial content, educational content, landing pages, social media posts, contributed articles (thought leadership pieces)

Comparison charts, expert guides, webinars, interactions with sales/support, Case studies, reviews, drip campaigns, educational vendor specific blog posts

Vendor comparisons, free trial documentation, educational drip campaigns, live demos, product documentation, how-tos, implementation guides

Key Terms

Improve, optimize, prevent, solve, streamline, organize, empower, increase revenue, integrate

Tool, software, application, success, easy-to-use, custom, customer service

Pros and cons, reviews, comparisons, customer support,


Before you start strumming up all of this content, ask yourself, “Do I know who my buyers are?” Have you already established your buyer personas?

Buyer personas are specific illustrations of the different types of people considering and purchasing your product. For example, if you sell website development and social media marketing services, chances are you are not going to give them the same types of content. Establish your buyer personas first so you can accurately target those that are interested in your product/service.

Click here for a guide on developing buyer personas.

Let’s look at a real-life example of lead nurturing at each stage of the funnel.

Brent is a small business owner looking for a small business operating system. He wants an integrated platform that his whole team can use. He does not want his team having to move back and forth between systems.

He starts to Google small business operating systems, sales and marketing systems, how to integrate sales and marketing, and a few other key search terms. In his search, he comes across an interesting eBook from a CRM and marketing automation vendor, GreenRope. They are offering an eBook. “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Sales and Marketing Software.” He thinks this might be a helpful educational eBook, so he gives his contact information and downloads the eBook.

He confirms he wants to opt-in to GreenRope’s communication and is dropped into a drip campaign with his eBook download, as well as a series of helpful emails about selecting marketing software as well as marketing tips and tricks.

In these emails, there are calls-to-action for a free demo of GreenRope.

Finally, after the third email, he clicks the link for a live demo. GreenRope’s sales team is notified and he is contacted to schedule a meeting.

Once Brent has seen a live demo, he wants a trial. Brent sets up his trial and is immediately dropped into a Welcome drip campaign that goes into all the features of the system and how he can use them specifically for his business.

In the meantime, his sales rep occasionally follows up to inquire if Brent has questions. Towards the end of his trial, Brent is sent an email with a free month promo. Brent subscribes.

Of course, this is just one simple example of how lead nurturing can turn a marketing qualified lead into a paying customer.

Once you have established your flow and your content for each stage, never forget to test and test again.

Use the data from your campaigns to make changes to your strategy so you can effectively optimize your conversion and engagement rates with your leads.



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