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Trip, Not Drip:
10 Ways to Nurture
the Buyer’s Journey
An Act-On eBook
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 2
RETENTION
A B2B prospect’s journey
through the sales cycle has
always been painfully slow,
typically lasting from three
months to a year. Now the
cycle lasts even longer, with
much more time spent upfront
for consideration and raising
awareness. According to
Forrester Research, prospects
wait until they are 65 percent
to 90 percent of the way
through their journey before
even approaching a vendor.
Why the change? B2B buyers are comparison-
shopping prices and offers in their work
functions the same way they do in their personal
lives. Instead of waiting for an invitation from
marketers, they’re beginning the buying journey
on their own, gathering information long
before they are ready to buy. The B2B buyer
is assuming the autonomy the B2C buyer has
always exercised.
This profound change in buying behavior is
transforming B2B marketing from an outbound
to an inbound process. Increasingly, buyers are
in charge, not marketers. Prospects don’t want
to be squeezed to fit a marketer’s mold. They
have climbed into the driver’s seat, and they’re
taking your competitors for a nice long spin
before committing to your business.
So how does a marketer guide this new
revved-up, take-charge prospect to the point
of purchase? Hop aboard! Chances are, you’ll
enjoy this journey as much as your prospect
will. And don’t worry. No matter how long the
trip takes, it’ll be worth it:
• Nurtured leads make purchases that are 47
percent larger than those of non-nurtured
leads. (The Annuitas Group)
• Companies that excel at lead nurturing
generate 50 percent more sales-ready
leads, at a 33 percent lower cost.
(Forrester Research)
Use the following 10 tactics
as your own road map to a successful
lead nurturing campaign in today’s
inbound, multichannel, custom-tailored
B2B marketing world.
Trip, Not Drip:
10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey
the buyer
Awareness Interest Consideration Purchase
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 3
Tactic 1: Make Everything Personal
Despite the irresistible trend toward inbound leads, email is still a mainstay of digital
marketing, and lead nurturing in particular. But the old mass emails – one impersonal sales
message, mailed to your entire database – are literally a blast from the past. Using your prospect’s
name is the smart game in email strategy today. According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized
emails improve clickthrough rates by 14 percent, and conversion rates by 10 percent.
Of course, personalization means more than
slapping a name on an email salutation. Buyers
want relevance. They want communications
customized to their preferences, needs,
occupation, or location.
You can do this by segmenting your email list
according to certain criteria, such as industry,
job title, location, size of business, and source
of lead.
Here’s where you need email marketing’s
capability to segment lists and personalize
messages. If your data and email marketing
tools can’t make that easy, consider getting
new ones.
In the same way that personally targeted
emails raise response rates, “relevant website
content means more website traffic, longer
website sessions, and more frequent website
visits,” reports Gleanster Research.
Use buyer information from landing pages —
such as name, email address, occupation, size
of business and so forth — to create the most
meaningful, relevant web experience.
Twice As Nice
Conversion
Rate
The Expert Institute’s email
campaign featured double
personalization: messages were
addressed to an individual and
signed by the CEO. Resulting
increases were double-
and even triple-digit.
200%
60%
20%
Open
Rate
Clickthrough
RateSource: Marketing Sherpa
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 4
Tactic 2: Build Custom Buyer Personas
What if you don’t have that information for personalization? How can you customize your
emails and websites if the buyers you want to target remain largely anonymous?
One solution is to take a DIY approach to
building your own buyer personas. Using
information from focus groups and interviews
with current customers, one company created
personas to match key buying segments.
They learned about preferences, needs,
behaviors, and job demands of each group,
and then they transformed relevant website
pages accordingly.
For instance, because salespeople professed
a short attention span, the company created
quick, actionable chunks of content for sales
pages. Data managers wanted more technical
information, and so on. Across the board,
the company shifted its focus from “we,” the
company, to “you,” the customer.
As you can see, the results were spectacular.
Personas Get Results
Outcome	Increase
Length of visit
Number of
pages visited 100%
Email open rate
111%
Marketing-
generated
revenue 171%
One MarketingSherpa case
study found that using
personas had a dramatic
impact on marketing success.
900%
What’s a persona?
A persona is a character who models
the common attributes of your
best customers, such as industry,
responsibility, and problems to be
solved. These personas represent
segmented groups who are large
enough to be worth marketing to and
distinct enough from each other so
that campaigns to each can be quite
different. “Mary the Marketer,” “Sally the
HR Executive,” and “Bob the Builder”
are all examples of personas who have
different buying needs and reasons.
You might sell the same thing to each
of them, but your approach, images,
messaging, and language to each would
be personalized very differently.
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 5
Tactic 3: Communicate With the Person,
Not Just the Job Title
The trend toward personalization and relevancy is part of a shift in B2B focus that was
dubbed “human-to-human” (H2H) by PureMatter CEO Bryan Kramer. It means business
marketers are using simple language, empathy, friendliness, warmth, and humor to reach the person
behind the job function. Marketers’ perception is that customers want to feel a “we’re-all-in-this-
together” camaraderie, instead of a remote relationship defined by traditional buyer and seller roles.
The trend is well-timed, coming just as
society demands more transparency
in business. Customers want names
and faces, and to know there are actual
people behind corporate logos —
people who care about them.
Social media agency Oktopost says this
makes an ideal environment in which to
take an extra step. For instance, if you
have a phone number for your lead, call
to thank them for downloading content
or signing up for a trial. Search names
of new leads on LinkedIn and ask to be
part of the person’s network. Follow up
with a personal note. Unless you overdo
it, reaching out as a person will build
your credibility and earn trust.
Nurturing the Anonymous
Website Visitor
Most of the people who visit your
website are anonymous. With a website
visitor tracking system, your marketing
automation system captures and stores
behavior activity attached to an IP
address. When a visitor decides to fill
out a form on your site, the system will
be able to attach all previous browsing
activity to the visitor’s name, so you
can enter this prospect into the correct
nurturing campaign — automatically.
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 6
Tactic 4: Get Social With Prospects
and Customers
In just a few years, social media has attained a level of high importance as a business
marketing channel. It is now an important part of a B2B marketer’s strategy, even in the C-suite.
According to Forrester Research, fully 100 percent of business decision-makers use social media for
work purposes.
This is all part of transparency, and something
more: People are eager to express their
opinions, and they want an audience. Social
networks give them a way to make a dialogue
happen, and they give marketers new
opportunities, too. Here are three steps
to get social:
• Join the conversation, engaging with
people on the platforms they choose.
• Listen more than you talk; focus on
others and don’t sell overtly.
• Add social sharing buttons to all of
your content, from emails and landing
pages to retargeting display ads,
e-newsletters, and more.
• Make it easy for leads to connect with
your sales department and to sing your
company’s praises on their networks.  
Social Media Platforms Rated by B2B Effectiveness
Platform
Percentage of Marketers Rating Effective/Very Effective
LinkedIn
63%
Twitter
55% YouTube
48%
SlideShare
55% Vimeo
40% Facebook
32%
Pinterest
25%
Instagram
55% Google+
20%
Source: B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 7
Tactic 5: Retarget Prospects, But Don’t Stalk
Retargeting means following leads who visited your website, but left without converting.
Retargeting can be used wherever they go online, usually using display (banner) ads. How can you
follow anonymous visitors? Follow their cookies, which are invisible footprints dropped into their web
browsers by tiny bits of code on the pages they visited.
Retargeting is a highly effective technique to
boost search conversions and lead visitors back
to your website, especially in a synchronized
multichannel campaign where display ads show
the same creative, messaging, and calls to
action in emails and on social media. Targeted
display ads used as part of a multichannel
nurturing campaign have been reported to raise
ROI more than 80 percent.
Retargeting works, but how much is too
much? ReTargeter recommends a maximum
of 17 to 20 ads per user, per month. Others
advise pulling the plug after seven days of no
response. However, no matter the number,
consider implementing a frequency cap to limit
the number of times the ads appear. You want
to be top of your prospects’ minds, but not too
much in their faces. That can make them feel
like they’re being stalked. Or they might just be
sick of seeing your name — and that’s not the
kind of brand awareness you want.
The 3 Steps of
Retargeting
Prospect visits your
website and leaves
without taking action
Prospect visits
another website and
sees your display ad
with enticing offer
Prospect returns
to your site
Step1
Step2
Step3
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 8
Tactic 6: Help Customers Back
Into the Buyer’s Journey
What happens when a lead converts and becomes a customer? Too often, nothing. But buying
something should not mean the end of the line. Every customer can – and should – start a new life as a
lead in a different campaign.
Turn Customers Into New Leads With Re-Retargeting
Retarget converted customers with display
ads offering different products and services,
upsells or cross-sells. It’s very important to first
remove them from the old ad sequence with a
conversion pixel — aka a “burn pixel” — which is
a piece of code that untags purchasers. You’ll
save money, because the customer isn’t going
to make the same purchase again. You also
will avoid turning off your customer — or worse,
looking like you don’t know who they are.
Triggered or timed communications with
current customers — whether they’re through
email, social media, or the good old-fashioned
telephone, can make sure they stay loyal, while
also providing valuable upsell and cross-sell
opportunities for you.
Once your prospect has become a customer,
be sure to provide helpful information on a
regular basis. A purchase could trigger a “thank
you” email, followed by an ongoing series of
messages. This can be a benefit to them —
and to you:
• Deliver a series of instructional videos
designed to help them get the most out
of their recent purchases
• Ask the customer to provide a review of
your product or service on social sites
• Give customers the first opportunity at
current or upcoming promotions
Use every channel available to you,
including customer service, support, and
even accounts payable to get targeted
messages to your audience.
Burn Pixel: A piece of code used
in retargeting that identifies a
visitor who has already converted
(i.e., made the purchase) and
should no longer be served
retargeted ads for that item/
service. The pixel may indicate
not to retarget that person again,
or may call for a different set of
ads to be served instead.
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 9
Tactic 7: Deliver Value to Prospects
With Customized Content
According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs,
70 percent of companies are producing more content this year than last.
It makes sense: Content has proven value.
However, not all content is created equal.
Like emails, websites, and landing pages,
the content that resonates most with buyers
is relevant to their needs, preferences, and
job titles. In a nurturing campaign, content
has to be relevant to where a lead is in the
sales journey — from brand awareness to
education to conversion.
Whatever content works for you, be sure to
mix it up so leads don’t get bored and bail.
Content B2B Marketers
Use MosT
1.	 Social media content
(other than blogs)	
2.	 E-newsletters	
3.	 Articles on company
website	
4.	 Blogs	
5.	 Case studies	
6.	 Videos	
7.	 Illustrations/photos
8.	 Whitepapers	
9.	 Online presentations
10.	Infographics	
11.	Webinars/Webcasts
12.	Research reports
13.	Microsites
Note: Bolded content types are most effective.
Courtesy of Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 10
Tactic 8: Build a Smart Content Library
on the Cheap
You need content to get the jump on the
competition, but the need to constantly create
content doesn’t have to keep you hopping.
• Think small: You don’t need a huge
arsenal of content to begin a nurturing
campaign. Target a few key buying
segments and create a handful of relevant
pieces. Build from there.
• Repurpose: Collect relevant blog
posts together into targeted eBooks or
an e-newsletter. Add a relevant, fresh
introduction, plus links to third-party articles.
• Open the gate: The content you offer
doesn’t have to be gated. It doesn’t even
have to be yours! For instance, you can offer
links to journal articles, product reviews and
industry reports, gaining useful information
about which topics get the most clicks — all
the while establishing your company as a
thought leader.
You should have content that addresses
the needs of your prospects throughout
every stage of their journey. Get a better
understanding of the kinds of content that
move prospects from one stage to the next,
and make sure you’ve got every phase covered:
• Content that gets prospects interested in
your company, such as blog posts, eBooks,
and thought leadership webinars that
solve a problem they have.
• Proof of your solution’s
contribution to similar
companies, such as case
studies and testimonial videos,
will help move the prospect
toward conversion.
• Tools that demonstrate the real
value of your solutions, such as
product comparisons or ROI
calculators, are a good way to
close the deal.
Whatever your content strategy is,
write it down! According to the Content
Marketing Institute, businesses that document
their strategies have the most content
marketing success.
Content
Marketing
Cycle
Listen
Decide
on
Themes
Decide
on
Topics
Create
Promote
Measure
Evaluate
Re-purpose
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 11
Tactic 9: Add Video and Watch Profits Go Viral
According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
No wonder videos have become such a top content marketing tactic.
In a survey by Forbes Insight, 59 percent of
senior executives say they would rather watch
a video than read text. About 50 percent
say they watch business-related videos on
YouTube, and 65 percent say they visit the
marketer’s website after viewing a video.
Video-based campaigns have been reported
to boost profit by 400 percent. What’s
the downside? There really isn’t one. Plus,
adding a video to your website is easier —
and cheaper — than you may think. Just post
a video on YouTube and add the link to your
site. While you may not want to embed videos
in your emails (they might not play for many
of your recipients), you can incorporate a
playback screen with a video merge tag.
Animated GIFs can be an effective tactic to
make your reader look twice. They can be a
good way to demonstrate a product feature or
to add life and depth to a photo.
Take 5
Executives answer,
“How long do you prefer
work-related videos
to be?”
	 Under a minute:	3%
	 1-3 minutes:	 36%
	 3-5 minutes:	 42%
	Longer than 5 minutes:	 9%
	 Don’t know:	 5%
Source: Forbes Insights: Video in the C-Suite
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 12
Tactic 10: Automate With Care
It may seem like a contradiction, but the only way to manage the personal, customer-centric
campaigns today is through automation. Manual systems can’t handle the complexity of multi-
segmented, multichannel, multi-touch marketing.
Enter marketing automation
software, the fastest-growing
CRM-related segment in the last
five years. According to Focus
Research, the industry is expected
to reach $1.9 billion by 2020.
Marketing automation responds
to predetermined triggers
to deliver a customized,
systematic series of relevant
communications and keep
track of the results. It collects
information you can use to build
a progressive profile and analyze
campaign effectiveness.
You need marketing automation to keep up with
your competitors and deliver the quantifiable
results your management needs to take to the
bank. But guess what? Marketing automation
needs you, too. Real humans need to revisit
triggers and tactics constantly, so they can
adjust for new priorities and pull stale content
off the shelf.
If you’re new to marketing automation, industry
experts recommend phasing it in with a small
campaign. But once you see the results of
automating targeted, relevant campaigns, you’ll
want to scale it across channels quickly. Your
B2B prospects are ready to get started on their
journeys. It’s up to you to help them get where
they need to go.
Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 13
the buyer
Awareness
Interest
Consideration
Purchase
SEO Social Media Content Marketing Brand Awareness
Educational Content Marketing Webinars Videos
Competitive Analyses Personal Note Invitation Phone call
Retargeting Segmentation Personalization Social Media Email
Acclaim for
www.act-on.com | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW
Act-On Software is the leading provider of cloud-based integrated marketing automation software for small and mid-size businesses, helping 3,000+ companies
to tie inbound, outbound, and lead nurturing programs together. Users can achieve superior return on marketing investment by leveraging behavioral data and
website visitor activity to increase engagement throughout the customer lifecycle – from acquisition and retention, through expansion.
About Act-On Software
©2015 Act-On Software, Inc. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved.
Connect with us to learn more
See all of Act-On’s
awards and accolades

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Nurturing ebook - trip not drip 2015

  • 1. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey An Act-On eBook
  • 2. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 2 RETENTION A B2B prospect’s journey through the sales cycle has always been painfully slow, typically lasting from three months to a year. Now the cycle lasts even longer, with much more time spent upfront for consideration and raising awareness. According to Forrester Research, prospects wait until they are 65 percent to 90 percent of the way through their journey before even approaching a vendor. Why the change? B2B buyers are comparison- shopping prices and offers in their work functions the same way they do in their personal lives. Instead of waiting for an invitation from marketers, they’re beginning the buying journey on their own, gathering information long before they are ready to buy. The B2B buyer is assuming the autonomy the B2C buyer has always exercised. This profound change in buying behavior is transforming B2B marketing from an outbound to an inbound process. Increasingly, buyers are in charge, not marketers. Prospects don’t want to be squeezed to fit a marketer’s mold. They have climbed into the driver’s seat, and they’re taking your competitors for a nice long spin before committing to your business. So how does a marketer guide this new revved-up, take-charge prospect to the point of purchase? Hop aboard! Chances are, you’ll enjoy this journey as much as your prospect will. And don’t worry. No matter how long the trip takes, it’ll be worth it: • Nurtured leads make purchases that are 47 percent larger than those of non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group) • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads, at a 33 percent lower cost. (Forrester Research) Use the following 10 tactics as your own road map to a successful lead nurturing campaign in today’s inbound, multichannel, custom-tailored B2B marketing world. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey the buyer Awareness Interest Consideration Purchase
  • 3. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 3 Tactic 1: Make Everything Personal Despite the irresistible trend toward inbound leads, email is still a mainstay of digital marketing, and lead nurturing in particular. But the old mass emails – one impersonal sales message, mailed to your entire database – are literally a blast from the past. Using your prospect’s name is the smart game in email strategy today. According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14 percent, and conversion rates by 10 percent. Of course, personalization means more than slapping a name on an email salutation. Buyers want relevance. They want communications customized to their preferences, needs, occupation, or location. You can do this by segmenting your email list according to certain criteria, such as industry, job title, location, size of business, and source of lead. Here’s where you need email marketing’s capability to segment lists and personalize messages. If your data and email marketing tools can’t make that easy, consider getting new ones. In the same way that personally targeted emails raise response rates, “relevant website content means more website traffic, longer website sessions, and more frequent website visits,” reports Gleanster Research. Use buyer information from landing pages — such as name, email address, occupation, size of business and so forth — to create the most meaningful, relevant web experience. Twice As Nice Conversion Rate The Expert Institute’s email campaign featured double personalization: messages were addressed to an individual and signed by the CEO. Resulting increases were double- and even triple-digit. 200% 60% 20% Open Rate Clickthrough RateSource: Marketing Sherpa
  • 4. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 4 Tactic 2: Build Custom Buyer Personas What if you don’t have that information for personalization? How can you customize your emails and websites if the buyers you want to target remain largely anonymous? One solution is to take a DIY approach to building your own buyer personas. Using information from focus groups and interviews with current customers, one company created personas to match key buying segments. They learned about preferences, needs, behaviors, and job demands of each group, and then they transformed relevant website pages accordingly. For instance, because salespeople professed a short attention span, the company created quick, actionable chunks of content for sales pages. Data managers wanted more technical information, and so on. Across the board, the company shifted its focus from “we,” the company, to “you,” the customer. As you can see, the results were spectacular. Personas Get Results Outcome Increase Length of visit Number of pages visited 100% Email open rate 111% Marketing- generated revenue 171% One MarketingSherpa case study found that using personas had a dramatic impact on marketing success. 900% What’s a persona? A persona is a character who models the common attributes of your best customers, such as industry, responsibility, and problems to be solved. These personas represent segmented groups who are large enough to be worth marketing to and distinct enough from each other so that campaigns to each can be quite different. “Mary the Marketer,” “Sally the HR Executive,” and “Bob the Builder” are all examples of personas who have different buying needs and reasons. You might sell the same thing to each of them, but your approach, images, messaging, and language to each would be personalized very differently.
  • 5. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 5 Tactic 3: Communicate With the Person, Not Just the Job Title The trend toward personalization and relevancy is part of a shift in B2B focus that was dubbed “human-to-human” (H2H) by PureMatter CEO Bryan Kramer. It means business marketers are using simple language, empathy, friendliness, warmth, and humor to reach the person behind the job function. Marketers’ perception is that customers want to feel a “we’re-all-in-this- together” camaraderie, instead of a remote relationship defined by traditional buyer and seller roles. The trend is well-timed, coming just as society demands more transparency in business. Customers want names and faces, and to know there are actual people behind corporate logos — people who care about them. Social media agency Oktopost says this makes an ideal environment in which to take an extra step. For instance, if you have a phone number for your lead, call to thank them for downloading content or signing up for a trial. Search names of new leads on LinkedIn and ask to be part of the person’s network. Follow up with a personal note. Unless you overdo it, reaching out as a person will build your credibility and earn trust. Nurturing the Anonymous Website Visitor Most of the people who visit your website are anonymous. With a website visitor tracking system, your marketing automation system captures and stores behavior activity attached to an IP address. When a visitor decides to fill out a form on your site, the system will be able to attach all previous browsing activity to the visitor’s name, so you can enter this prospect into the correct nurturing campaign — automatically.
  • 6. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 6 Tactic 4: Get Social With Prospects and Customers In just a few years, social media has attained a level of high importance as a business marketing channel. It is now an important part of a B2B marketer’s strategy, even in the C-suite. According to Forrester Research, fully 100 percent of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes. This is all part of transparency, and something more: People are eager to express their opinions, and they want an audience. Social networks give them a way to make a dialogue happen, and they give marketers new opportunities, too. Here are three steps to get social: • Join the conversation, engaging with people on the platforms they choose. • Listen more than you talk; focus on others and don’t sell overtly. • Add social sharing buttons to all of your content, from emails and landing pages to retargeting display ads, e-newsletters, and more. • Make it easy for leads to connect with your sales department and to sing your company’s praises on their networks.   Social Media Platforms Rated by B2B Effectiveness Platform Percentage of Marketers Rating Effective/Very Effective LinkedIn 63% Twitter 55% YouTube 48% SlideShare 55% Vimeo 40% Facebook 32% Pinterest 25% Instagram 55% Google+ 20% Source: B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America
  • 7. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 7 Tactic 5: Retarget Prospects, But Don’t Stalk Retargeting means following leads who visited your website, but left without converting. Retargeting can be used wherever they go online, usually using display (banner) ads. How can you follow anonymous visitors? Follow their cookies, which are invisible footprints dropped into their web browsers by tiny bits of code on the pages they visited. Retargeting is a highly effective technique to boost search conversions and lead visitors back to your website, especially in a synchronized multichannel campaign where display ads show the same creative, messaging, and calls to action in emails and on social media. Targeted display ads used as part of a multichannel nurturing campaign have been reported to raise ROI more than 80 percent. Retargeting works, but how much is too much? ReTargeter recommends a maximum of 17 to 20 ads per user, per month. Others advise pulling the plug after seven days of no response. However, no matter the number, consider implementing a frequency cap to limit the number of times the ads appear. You want to be top of your prospects’ minds, but not too much in their faces. That can make them feel like they’re being stalked. Or they might just be sick of seeing your name — and that’s not the kind of brand awareness you want. The 3 Steps of Retargeting Prospect visits your website and leaves without taking action Prospect visits another website and sees your display ad with enticing offer Prospect returns to your site Step1 Step2 Step3
  • 8. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 8 Tactic 6: Help Customers Back Into the Buyer’s Journey What happens when a lead converts and becomes a customer? Too often, nothing. But buying something should not mean the end of the line. Every customer can – and should – start a new life as a lead in a different campaign. Turn Customers Into New Leads With Re-Retargeting Retarget converted customers with display ads offering different products and services, upsells or cross-sells. It’s very important to first remove them from the old ad sequence with a conversion pixel — aka a “burn pixel” — which is a piece of code that untags purchasers. You’ll save money, because the customer isn’t going to make the same purchase again. You also will avoid turning off your customer — or worse, looking like you don’t know who they are. Triggered or timed communications with current customers — whether they’re through email, social media, or the good old-fashioned telephone, can make sure they stay loyal, while also providing valuable upsell and cross-sell opportunities for you. Once your prospect has become a customer, be sure to provide helpful information on a regular basis. A purchase could trigger a “thank you” email, followed by an ongoing series of messages. This can be a benefit to them — and to you: • Deliver a series of instructional videos designed to help them get the most out of their recent purchases • Ask the customer to provide a review of your product or service on social sites • Give customers the first opportunity at current or upcoming promotions Use every channel available to you, including customer service, support, and even accounts payable to get targeted messages to your audience. Burn Pixel: A piece of code used in retargeting that identifies a visitor who has already converted (i.e., made the purchase) and should no longer be served retargeted ads for that item/ service. The pixel may indicate not to retarget that person again, or may call for a different set of ads to be served instead.
  • 9. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 9 Tactic 7: Deliver Value to Prospects With Customized Content According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 70 percent of companies are producing more content this year than last. It makes sense: Content has proven value. However, not all content is created equal. Like emails, websites, and landing pages, the content that resonates most with buyers is relevant to their needs, preferences, and job titles. In a nurturing campaign, content has to be relevant to where a lead is in the sales journey — from brand awareness to education to conversion. Whatever content works for you, be sure to mix it up so leads don’t get bored and bail. Content B2B Marketers Use MosT 1. Social media content (other than blogs) 2. E-newsletters 3. Articles on company website 4. Blogs 5. Case studies 6. Videos 7. Illustrations/photos 8. Whitepapers 9. Online presentations 10. Infographics 11. Webinars/Webcasts 12. Research reports 13. Microsites Note: Bolded content types are most effective. Courtesy of Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs
  • 10. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 10 Tactic 8: Build a Smart Content Library on the Cheap You need content to get the jump on the competition, but the need to constantly create content doesn’t have to keep you hopping. • Think small: You don’t need a huge arsenal of content to begin a nurturing campaign. Target a few key buying segments and create a handful of relevant pieces. Build from there. • Repurpose: Collect relevant blog posts together into targeted eBooks or an e-newsletter. Add a relevant, fresh introduction, plus links to third-party articles. • Open the gate: The content you offer doesn’t have to be gated. It doesn’t even have to be yours! For instance, you can offer links to journal articles, product reviews and industry reports, gaining useful information about which topics get the most clicks — all the while establishing your company as a thought leader. You should have content that addresses the needs of your prospects throughout every stage of their journey. Get a better understanding of the kinds of content that move prospects from one stage to the next, and make sure you’ve got every phase covered: • Content that gets prospects interested in your company, such as blog posts, eBooks, and thought leadership webinars that solve a problem they have. • Proof of your solution’s contribution to similar companies, such as case studies and testimonial videos, will help move the prospect toward conversion. • Tools that demonstrate the real value of your solutions, such as product comparisons or ROI calculators, are a good way to close the deal. Whatever your content strategy is, write it down! According to the Content Marketing Institute, businesses that document their strategies have the most content marketing success. Content Marketing Cycle Listen Decide on Themes Decide on Topics Create Promote Measure Evaluate Re-purpose
  • 11. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 11 Tactic 9: Add Video and Watch Profits Go Viral According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. No wonder videos have become such a top content marketing tactic. In a survey by Forbes Insight, 59 percent of senior executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. About 50 percent say they watch business-related videos on YouTube, and 65 percent say they visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. Video-based campaigns have been reported to boost profit by 400 percent. What’s the downside? There really isn’t one. Plus, adding a video to your website is easier — and cheaper — than you may think. Just post a video on YouTube and add the link to your site. While you may not want to embed videos in your emails (they might not play for many of your recipients), you can incorporate a playback screen with a video merge tag. Animated GIFs can be an effective tactic to make your reader look twice. They can be a good way to demonstrate a product feature or to add life and depth to a photo. Take 5 Executives answer, “How long do you prefer work-related videos to be?” Under a minute: 3% 1-3 minutes: 36% 3-5 minutes: 42% Longer than 5 minutes: 9% Don’t know: 5% Source: Forbes Insights: Video in the C-Suite
  • 12. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 12 Tactic 10: Automate With Care It may seem like a contradiction, but the only way to manage the personal, customer-centric campaigns today is through automation. Manual systems can’t handle the complexity of multi- segmented, multichannel, multi-touch marketing. Enter marketing automation software, the fastest-growing CRM-related segment in the last five years. According to Focus Research, the industry is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2020. Marketing automation responds to predetermined triggers to deliver a customized, systematic series of relevant communications and keep track of the results. It collects information you can use to build a progressive profile and analyze campaign effectiveness. You need marketing automation to keep up with your competitors and deliver the quantifiable results your management needs to take to the bank. But guess what? Marketing automation needs you, too. Real humans need to revisit triggers and tactics constantly, so they can adjust for new priorities and pull stale content off the shelf. If you’re new to marketing automation, industry experts recommend phasing it in with a small campaign. But once you see the results of automating targeted, relevant campaigns, you’ll want to scale it across channels quickly. Your B2B prospects are ready to get started on their journeys. It’s up to you to help them get where they need to go.
  • 13. Trip, Not Drip: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey | 13 the buyer Awareness Interest Consideration Purchase SEO Social Media Content Marketing Brand Awareness Educational Content Marketing Webinars Videos Competitive Analyses Personal Note Invitation Phone call Retargeting Segmentation Personalization Social Media Email
  • 14. Acclaim for www.act-on.com | @ActOnSoftware | #ActOnSW Act-On Software is the leading provider of cloud-based integrated marketing automation software for small and mid-size businesses, helping 3,000+ companies to tie inbound, outbound, and lead nurturing programs together. Users can achieve superior return on marketing investment by leveraging behavioral data and website visitor activity to increase engagement throughout the customer lifecycle – from acquisition and retention, through expansion. About Act-On Software ©2015 Act-On Software, Inc. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved. Connect with us to learn more See all of Act-On’s awards and accolades