• Adam Oldfield
  • 27th September 2011

What is lead nurturing, who is it for and how much does it cost?

Introduction

Lead nurturing is not as radical as some would have you believe, it’s the process your sales team follow each day to your hottest and most engaged prospects already.  

Lead nurturing is quite simply the process of keeping prospects talking to you and visiting your website for longer. The more interaction a prospect has with your brand the more likely they are to buy from you.  

At this stage it is very important to note we use very different techniques in B2B acquisition marketing and retention marketing, although the channels and the platform remain the same.  

In the Instance of B2B Acquisition Marketing (finding new B2B Customers/Clients)

We tend to approach the market in a slightly different way to traditional email marketing, we are more interested in the “long game”, rather than aiming for a quick win. The creative approach can be far less commercial and more informative, setting the desire and creating the initial need, the creative is designed to lure the prospect into the website rather than hard sell straight away.

We do this knowing the initial email is only the trigger in an already well thought-out customer journey. We capture all the activity from engaged users and apply a series of rules to find the most engaged or serious buyers, upon identifying these, we re-engage them with a further piece of correspondence knowing the desire has already been set, this is a gentle nudge to re-engage, again the creative is sympathetic to this.  

We tend to favor a mixture of channels for delivery in this stage of the nurture process to prove to the client we really know them and we are also in the ‘real world’. Too often marketing departments focus on the digital techniques and ignore the offline world.  

In the instance of Retention Marketing (keeping clients and customers)  

We typically split our activity into global campaigns and CRM cycle. The global campaign is designed to keep users aware of the brand and informed with promotions and new products, this is more akin with the traditional email marketing approach, with the added bonus that behind the scenes lead scoring is keeping a close eye on the engagement of the prospects and re-engaging at appropriate times driving people back to your website.  The aim is to record as much activity from each prospect as possible, so we may more accurately profile his or her interests, if someone continually engages about the same thing we need to react accordingly.  

The CRM cycles tend to be order history based and are predefined stages in a product life cycle, for example if you book a holiday, the CRM cycle would send emails or DM to keep you in touch when you got back, such as Welcome home emails, rebooking emails, photo competition emails, and the list goes on!  

So who is lead nurturing for?  

Lead nurturing really is for any business, it is simply an operational consideration to understand how your prospects will engage and how you can re-engage with them. The simple rule of thumb is “if you need a regular supply of warm leads or steady supply of sales via a shopping cart – this is for you”  

Many of our clients operate sales teams with a constant hunger for new leads, in which case the Force24 platform is perfect, the system tracks prospect activity, sends engaging material and escalates users to a telemarketing queue when they reach the optimal engagement for a call.  If you would like to read more about this process why not read our blog ‘the rules of engagement’  

The beauty of Lead nurturing is we use the cheapest forms of marketing during the lower levels of engagement such as email marketing until they show signs of engagement, we then escalate them to more frequent and more costly forms of marketing as the engagement level rises, so a typical nurture process would be as follows (assuming the prospect engages at each stage and does not order/enquire):

1. User receives an email costing.

2. The user engages with the website and views 5 pages

3. Force24 sends a retargeting email 1p.

4. The user re-engages on the website and views a further 5 pages.

5. Force24 sends a low value piece of direct mail personalised to the user 75p (delivered)

6. The prospect re-engages and views a further 5 pages.

7. Force24 notifies your sales team for a gentle sales call 5p.

As you can see here the complete nurture cycle has cost just 82p, even if you were to expand this nurture cycle to include 20 touch points the cost per user would still be minimal or possibly less than £1 if no further direct mail is required.  

Compare this form of client acquisition with PPC, where the average costs per prospect is in the region £40-60, lead nurturing looks very cheap along side this cost.

Another great use for lead nurturing is to act as a fore runner to direct mail. Traditionally direct mail has generated greater impact than email, and it has to when a low value piece of DM costs in the region of 50p delivered and an email less than 1p, by simply communicating with the base via email prior to the DM send, we can remove bounces and attempt to clean the address database with online competitions and only send to those showing the slightest form of engagement. Depending on your aims and objectives this can cut the DM requirement by 80% and still generates the same return on in investment (please understand this is a very delicate process and each and every angle must be considered prior to commencement). Each piece of DM sent from Force24 is personalised to carry the prospects own PURL and name, again allowing us to track the users actions and monitor engagement further.  

How much does it cost?  

Ultimately lead nurturing is extremely cheap in comparison to other forms of marketing. In addition to this the Force24 platform tends to operate in budget reclaimed from wastage in artwork budgets and direct mail budgets.  

Our pricing plan is extremely simple and we charge our service as follows:  

We hold a one off customer journey mapping session and campaign installation workshop, with the objective of understanding the initial approach to your market. £499+vat  

We then install your account and configure the customer journeys according to the rules outlined in the initial workshop £1499  

Our artwork team works with you to create, where necessary, artwork to fulfill the complete journey, we charge our artwork team including creative direction at £55ph 

Our account management, strategy and system utilisation falls into fixed fee price bands from £199 per month, with no annual contract.  

Email and direct mail are charged at the market rate depending on volume, however our aim is to reduce volume and increase ROI where possible.  

How to start  

Its simple call us on 0845 272 5990 and talk directly with a lead nurturing expert.  If we both agree to proceed with your project setup is typically within only 5 days! But the journey can go on for years!

Adam Oldfield

Managing Director

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