The automation process in inbound marketing cannot exist without two important techniques such as Lead Nurturing and Lead Scoring. It is not about automating just to get rid of repetitive tasks, you must take into account that it is also necessary that your database is in order and these two techniques will help you enrich it.
The first to activate in this entire automation process is Lead Nurturing, also known as contact nutrition. It is executed by sending chain emails automatically after visitors to a web page take specific actions on it, such as leaving their contact information.
As the Lead Scoring or qualification of contacts, it consists of evaluating and giving a classification to the contact. This information will allow the marketer to identify who is ready to receive a business proposal from the sales team.
So that you can better understand how both develop, we are going to delve a little deeper into them below:
How does lead nurturing work?
Within the sales process of a company that bases the development of its business model under the inbound marketing methodology, there is a highly relevant technique that allows us to identify and establish a relationship with the customer throughout their purchasing process.
This key technique is lead nurturing or contacts nutrition, which is what allows us to get closer to that prospect or favorite client defined in our buyer persona until the final transaction is finalized.
Lead nurturing is a marketing automation technique that is oriented towards the maturation of the contact through its education through useful content focused on its buyer profile. That education is crucial because it is what will allow us to establish business opportunities with that contact.
To put it in context, you are currently in a contact maturation process because you are educating yourself while this article is going on. Since you came here because of pain or need to know what lead nurturing and lead scoring is about.
It is likely that during this awareness and investigation process you will become a qualified contact and ready to receive a direct offer from our sales team, but maybe not. Maybe you are not interested in buying anything and you only enjoy our content because you feel a greater affinity for it or because you understand it better.
In any of these cases, our brand wins because it has the possibility of hooking that audience that will keep us in mind whenever they need to clarify any doubts.
That is the richness of the contact nutrition process, it creates a relationship between brand-consumer; attracts loyalty, and interacts with each prospect to get something in return. In this case, the provision of a service, the sale of a product, or only valuable content that effectively educates.
How to guarantee the effectiveness of lead nurturing?
In order for a lead nurturing and maturing process to be implemented effectively, the contacts of a database must be identified based on three elementary factors:
What is their similarity to the buyer persona of the brand?
That is if that contact identifies or closely approximates our buyer persona (ideal prospect) to guarantee that the content we send them is of interest to them, read it, interact with it and get closer to our brand.
What phase of purchase are they in?
You probably already have contacts in your database who have interacted with your brand. Maybe some of those contacts are already ready to receive an offer and you haven’t identified them yet. That is why you must determine and know in which phase of the purchase process certain contacts are found and then send them the appropriate content according to their level in the buyer journey.
What is their level of interaction with the brand on digital channels?
Perhaps that contact has had some interaction with your brand through social networks or the website, and it is important to know what content they have consumed to determine how your conversation with that contact should be. By doing so, you can be closer and more attentive because you will know what their true needs are, which will facilitate the closing of the business.
What came first? Lead nurturing or lead scoring?
When starting the development of an inbound marketing project, it is natural to wonder which of the two techniques should be activated first and, although logically the decision should be lead nurturing, it is important to remember how relevant it is to first identify your contacts and at what level they are in their purchasing process.
That is why, before making any decision about what content to create, you must determine the qualification of each lead with which you are going to interact, to guarantee the greatest possible effectiveness in the campaign.
If you do not perform the corresponding scoring before nurturing, it is likely that over time you will discover consistency and structure problems in your plan to interact with the contacts in your database. The absence of scoring will make you make isolated decisions because you lack a previously defined strategy and this is where entropy takes over the entire process.
To avoid this, a scoring system must be created that allows you to rate each contact based on the criteria that the company defines, so you can order the contact database efficiently and then implement the best strategies for sending chain emails for lead nurturing.
How does lead scoring work?
The purpose of the qualification of contacts or lead scoring is to qualify all the leads in a database based on their proximity to the buyer persona, their degree of interaction, and the purchase stage where they are and to indicate which is the greater business opportunity with that contact.
This automation marketing technique must be activated before taking any contact maturing action to achieve the highest possible effectiveness in the campaign.
And as with lead nurturing, lead scoring has three important variables that allow us to implement it. Variables such as the degree of affinity or similarity between the contact we have in our database and the buyer persona of the company.
Once the above has been identified, the next thing to do is to know what the degree of brand awareness that contact has is in order to then determine at what stage of the purchase is.
Why should leads be qualified?
The age of mass information deserves effective techniques to classify, identify, and manage the contacts in a database. The larger the database, the greater the entropy in it, and in this chaos of information, the order is essential.
Lead scoring allows you to create that bridge to organize all the marketing actions that you are going to carry out with those contacts. Do they know the brand? Do they know what you offer and how can you help? What level of interest do they have in the brand? What has been their interaction? Have they already started a purchase process? These and other questions allow you to decipher the rating of contacts.
The correct qualification of the contacts will allow you to send the correct, personalized, and effective message for the appropriate contact. That in turn will allow both the marketing and sales departments to better identify and approach the qualified contact.