The maximally efficient generation of leads, i.e. high-quality contact with interested parties (added), is considered one of the central factors for long-term success in sales, especially in B2B marketing - and basically in all business areas in which products or services offered have an increased need for explanation or longer decision-making phases.
Of course, the latter is not ensured by lead generation alone. In fact, the most beneficial lead-based acquisition of new customers and/or activation of existing customers requires a sophisticated marketing and sales strategy for the further processing of leads received that is specific to the respective company context and target group. Today, many companies have recognized this - how to optimally proceed in this regard, however, often remains unclear. It is not uncommon for the difficulty of clearly classifying the core disciplines and related terms to be an enormous obstacle to implementation.
What is the difference between lead management, lead nurturing, email marketing and marketing automation?
"Lead management," "lead nurturing," "email marketing," and "marketing automation" are sometimes used interchangeably. In fact, all the disciplines associated with these terms contribute significantly to the success of lead marketing. However, they do not describe the same thing, or only to a very limited extent.
Successful lead management is always based on a strategy and associated goals that are precisely tailored to the respective company and target group. The (potential) customers are to be taken into account centrally in all considerations. Because at the end of lead marketing there is always the core objective of acquiring new customers or activating existing customers.
In order to be able to convince the relevant groups sufficiently of one's own services, it is particularly important to know their challenges or needs, to whose solution one's own products/services can contribute. These facts can be determined very precisely by setting up so-called buyer personas. The buyer persona describes a - fictitious - typical customer. Its characteristics are recorded in a profile. It is particularly important here to estimate as accurately as possible the problems or needs already addressed that a Buyer Persona has to solve. A company can adopt several buyer personas, on the basis of which the individual lead marketing measures are then aligned.
In the course of conceptual design, it is also important to establish a procedure for classifying the leads that are ultimately received. In the so-called lead scoring, different approaches can be pursued. For example, it is possible to implement a point system within which leads are evaluated according to the frequency of visits, the viewing of specific content and/or their behaviour in lead nurturing. In this way, leads can be passed on to sales in a data-based and consequently potentially highly targeted manner.
Lead generation usually takes place via the provision of content that offers the respective target group a particularly high added value. Put simply, this content is exchanged for data. The decisive factor here is that the content is made available at the right time. Leads can also be generated during the initial phase of email marketing. Namely, when a company convinces with its overall package in such a way that potential customers sign up to receive the newsletter and consequently provide their data.
Finally, the efforts of lead marketing must be checked for successes and failures through comprehensive analytics and developed accordingly. In addition to the clear goals, without which the corresponding conclusions would not be possible, key performance indicators (KPIs) are required, which in turn can be used to measure the achievement of the goals.
Leadnurturing starts exactly at the point where leads were generated. Here, corresponding contacts are (at best) most efficiently guided to the purchase decision. With the help of lead nurturing, companies can acquire new customers - but also activate existing customers. The focus is once again on content that offers potential new customers or existing customers significant added value in terms of a problem or need that can be solved with the services of the lead-marketing company.
Furthermore, this content should be tailored exactly to the status of the prospects/customers in the lead-nurturing process. The key question here is: Has it already been determined whether or not there is a real interest in the products or services being sold? Depending on the status, leads need - to put it simply - content with basic information or further details.
At its base,email marketing has two manifestations: Newsletter Marketing and Mailings. The former takes place after a registration of (potential) customers. This registration (usually) takes place via a corresponding feature on the company website. As mentioned above, leads are also generated in the course of this.
Mailings are irregular messages that companies usually use to activate existing customers. This variant definitely falls within the scope of lead nurturing - newsletter marketing, however, does not.
Leadnurturing is indeed based on the medium of e-mail. In these messages, however, contacts are addressed more personally and primarily in a very targeted manner with regard to the solution of a specific problem or need as well as their status in the leadnurturing process.
The term "marketing automation" covers all processes that are automated in marketing - primarily with regard to recurring tasks - with the help of special software. In fact, there are also numerous automation solutions for lead marketing. With the help of these, for example, various analytics on buyer personas, content organization, the playout of lead nurturing messages and controlling can actually be (largely) automated. At best, marketing automation manages all lead management-related processes and relieves the user of a large part of the - undoubtedly enormous - effort involved.
When do lead nurturing and automated email marketing make sense?
As soon as a company makes the decision to pursue lead generation, it must also consider specific lead nurturing measures. Because without strategic, target group-specific further processing of the contacts received, corresponding efforts are not only extremely inefficient, but also run the increased risk of coming to nothing.
Email marketing plays an important role in lead management on several levels. Particularly in view of the many different buyer personas to be served, which are also at different stages of the lead nurturing process, the use of a tool for automated email marketing makes a great deal of sense.
Even on a smaller scale, marketing automation can provide significant benefits to businesses. This is because, when used skillfully, it practically guarantees a strong economization of workflows. Furthermore, automation leaves more time for the further development of lead management as a whole. As a result, the associated processes tend to yield a particularly large amount particularly quickly and also increasingly more profit.
Our support around the topic of marketing automation:
- Development of a custom-fit online marketing strategy, definition of smart goals, determination of your desired target groups by means of buyer personas and coordination of meaningful KPIs.
- Setting up targeted Nurture processes to enrich customer profiles.
- Consulting and implementation ofmarketing automation software that meets the requirements of the GDPR.
- Extensive workshops to train your team on Buyer Personae, Nurturing processes.
For success-oriented optimization of digital sales, we are also happy to support you on the subject of lead management.
Oliver Parrizas will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject. +49-800-911-91-91