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Why Context Matters in Building Lead Nurturing Programs

August 25, 2011  

"Some people would say that nurturing is based on a marketer's goal such as building brand awareness or your company's reputation for thought leadership," writes Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions. "I say those are integral parts of lead nurturing but that neither is valid as a standalone goal."

In other words, the ultimate purpose of a lead nurturing program is selling something to a new or existing customer—lose that focus and you risk appealing to a lead's "cursory" attention, when you want her "intentional" attention.

So it's important to know why a lead became a lead in the first place. What's the context? Did she download a whitepaper? Did she use a specific term to find your website? Does she follow your company on Twitter? "The type of lead nurturing program you develop should be based on the 'why,'" says Albee.

Once you know this, you can tailor nurturing messages that move her toward your end goal of making a sale. Albee offers examples like these:

  • Leads who sign up for a free trial don't need further education—they're ready to make a purchase and want to know if your product or service meets their objective. "You have a limited period of time to influence their purchase decision," she notes. "Think tutorials, tip sheets and directed use examples that will demonstrate quick wins."
  • Webinar attendees, meanwhile, are not created equal. They've expressed enough interest spend time with your content—but did they stay for the entire presentation, or skip out after 10 or 15 minutes? And does your subject matter help you to determine their likely buying stage? Use this information to nurture appropriately.

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