Nurturing your customers through powerful communications: A guide

Nurturing your customers through powerful communications: A guide An experienced digital marketer who has owned and run agencies for almost 15 years, Adam is the head of cross-channel marketing automation specialist Force24. Combining his love for cutting-edge tech with a passion for lead nurturing best practice, Adam has developed a platform that is built by marketers, for marketers. An outspoken advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach, Adam is a regular commentator on industry topics including intelligent multichannel marketing, holistic eCRM strategies, optimising customer journeys, personalisation, digital marketing and retargeting.

Whether targeting a consumer via an email, SMS or direct mail campaign, the underlying goal for any marketer remains the same – to encourage each person to buy their products or services.

However, in a world dictated by online noise, how can a busy professional achieve the critical cut-through it takes to keep individuals motivated enough to engage with their online channels and continuously purchase from their organisation?

On average, it takes six commercial touches before a brand’s message convinces a customer to convert. Therefore, it’s not an overnight process – or often realistic – to think a sale can be completed from the very first touchpoint.

Marketing departments must come fully equipped with a ‘foolproof’ execution strategy – one which includes detailed phases nurturing an individual throughout a unique journey, from the first piece of personalised content all the way to a final transaction.

And that means utilising technologically advanced tools to deliver high quality, tailored comms that are sent at the times when a target is most engaged, and which reflect their individual online buying habits.

But it’s not easy – it takes a persistent, sophisticated and immersive approach. However, modern-day marketers know that they have also never had so many opportunities to generate leads and loyalty, so must act swiftly to meet a customer’s evolving needs.

For those professionals still struggling with delivering a commercially strong nurture sequence, there are some effective steps to help cultivate a deeper online connection for customers, so they begin to trust a brand and buy into the organisation’s offering.

Starting the online journey

A great place to begin is by utilising automation to effectively launch a strong, targeted email campaign which triggers a customer interaction. Here are six core components a marketer must abide by, in order to achieve this:

  • Introduce the concept of why they’re getting in touch and how the company can help
  • Next, deliver the social proof as to why the organisation can assist the individual
  • Thirdly, highlight the gains a person can receive if they were to convert
  • Then instil the ‘why’ through fear of missing out on the transaction
  • The fifth email must always focus on the logic behind why a person should buy
  • And finally, a message of urgency should advise contacts that it’s important to act now

By nailing this kind of sophisticated, personalised nurture sequence, marketers are able to translate exactly how they can offer support – and hold a person’s hand throughout the rest of the journey if they still need convincing.

How to measure marketing success

But how can organisations understand how each phase has landed with a customer? Through the data in which automated systems can supply. It’s this level of information which can help savvy marketing professionals truly begin to understand what is, or isn’t, working for the people they’re targeting.

And when it comes to the metrics which matter, forget about open rates. Why? Because they never tell the full story of a person’s online buying habits or at what point they were most engaged. Yes, they do still provide some insight, but a modern-day marketer’s focus must shift towards a metric delivering a greater understanding of each interaction – and that’s lead scoring.

By adopting this approach, marketing departments are able to place a numeric value – or score – for each person reflecting their level of engagement in the comms they’ve received to date. So, if they’re a loyal advocate of a brand for example, they might have a lead score of 80/100. Whereas someone cold might only be a 1 or 2.

Such intricate detail can help a brand’s team truly understand when someone is likely to convert, the next steps to take, the comms efforts to deploy and if a potential consumer could benefit from a phone call. All of this intel can gift marketers with the ideal window of opportunity to act, or the knowledge of when more ‘hand holding’ needs to take place.

By now, brands should be building up an intricate picture for each one of their customers on a mass automated scale, yet with a humanised, targeted approach it doesn’t stop there.

Maintaining the online journey

Savvy marketers will rely upon different digital touchpoints, not just email – and this is what can make them truly stand out from competitors.

Providing additional support through further valuable comms – such as the creation of a landing page and having gated content to download – are great examples of going above what a customer might expect from their individual journey.

Having an extra layer of tailored comms not only helps to maintain online engagement – because it reinforces what’s already been said via email or SMS – and can keep consumers on-track, controlling the journey towards that all-important completion.

Finally, at this point, it’s the easiest and most effective phase of all – moving the hottest leads into the hands of the sales team to provide a humanised and personalised approach towards conversion.

Such fine touches, during a sequence of targeted comms, underline how an organisation is able to provide a supportive, rounded experience which can be vital towards building trust and loyalty.

With such critical data and tools now firmly at a marketer’s fingertips, having the ability to know exactly which webpage or piece of comms a user has ever looked at, can prove to be pivotal in sustaining a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. It’s then about providing customers with the comms they want to read – rather than a brand pushing merely what they’ve like them to consume.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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