For marketing professionals, lead generation boils down to two main tasks – bringing leads in the door and making leads sales-ready. Today we’ll explore the benefits of multitouch direct marketing campaigns and lead nurturing – two marketing tactics that have been proven to help turn leads into sales.
Successful marketers are quickly moving from expensive single media campaigns to more effective multitouch campaigns that use a mix of media, such as phone, email, and direct mail. The benefits are clear: by using multiple points of contact a marketer can build the familiarity and trust needed to generate sales.
To be successful, multitouch direct marketing campaigns require regular, consistent, targeted messages that resonate with each prospect. The ability to execute an effective multitouch campaign relies on an accurate and detailed prospect database that can be searched in detail to build very targeted prospect lists.
Bringing leads in the door is only the first step. One of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make is to turn a lead over to sales before it is sales-ready. Sales gets frustrated that they have to qualify leads. Even worse, because salespeople are compensated for closing deals and lack the resources necessary to adequately follow up, they often don’t pursue the lead any further – throwing a potential sale out the window. Research has shown that 80% of lead generation expenditures are wasted because the leads are lost, ignored or thrown away by salespeople.
To avoid this wasted effort, marketers need to nurture leads through the qualification cycle so that when a lead is turned over to sales, it is truly sales-ready. An effective lead nurturing program involves multiple points of contact and should provide a value-add in terms of content. Today, teams of people execute content programs, and they need to be aware of how to create multitouch campaigns with the most current tools available.
Lead nurturing should also provide secondary calls to action to allow the contacts to “raise their hand.” Some examples of effective lead nurturing tools include: case studies, white papers, newsletters, third-party articles, events, Webcasts, and executive briefings. The tools employed and the contact timeline will vary depending on the solution being sold and the sales cycle. For example, a longer sales cycle will require a greater number of tools (marketing vehicles) spaced further apart than a shorter sales cycle.
Multitouch direct marketing campaigns and lead nurturing programs result in a greater number of qualified leads, higher close ratios, and a stronger sales pipeline. Customers and prospective customers are happier because they are well informed and feel like they are receiving information that is relevant to them. And the sales team is happier because they are getting actionable leads and can focus on closing deals, not qualifying cold leads or cold calling.
Frank Vaculin is CEO of San Mateo, CA-based software provider Spoke Software.