Host: Jen Spencer

Inbound marketers today are armed with a serious amount of data.

And that data can be used to help a sales team close deals faster.

In my latest episode of SmartBug on Tap I covered the three main ways I like to approach this challenge: segmentation, personalization, and well crafted lead nurturing campaigns.

All three of these tactics will give your leads the "I am a special snowflake" feeling and really help build trust.

Approach #1: Segmentation

A marketer who is a master at identifying and segmenting leads is worth their weight in gold to a sales team.

When you're able to segment your leads based on persona, industry, stage of the funnel, or any other qualifier that matters in your market, it helps sales make a more accurate prediction for their forecast.

As a marketer you have proof of what the sales team should expect to come into their funnels in the near and the not-so-near future.

So, segmentation with proper data improves the sales and marketing meetings that you're (hopefully!) having regularly.

Approach #2: Personalization

Personalization became really popular a few years ago, with the most common way to personalize marketing assets for your leads being email.

As I'm sure you've experienced, automation savvy marketers today can personalize emails with any contact information you have in your database.

And while we’re on the topic of personalized emails, here’s a quick pro tip

If you’re using personalization fields in your communications, make sure you have a default field setting, because there's nothing worse than getting an email and seeing <Prospect Name Here>.

Okay, back to mastering personalization.

What if you could go beyond personalizing emails and actually personalize your website content?

Imagine a stranger comes to your website and downloads a helpful worksheet.

Now imagine a customer of yours or a partner comes to your website.

Wouldn't it be great if each person could see something different?

Well, they can.

New tools that can help you do this are being developed daily.

One of the first to implement a sleek personalization system into their CMS was Hubspot. They launched smart content and marketers, well, we fell in love.

So now, not only can we tailor downloadable content to lead the different stages in the funnel, we can actually tailor website pages to say different things, as well.

If you haven't checked out smart content yet, you should.

Pro tip: Marketo has some similar functionality for landing pages, too.

In addition to smart content, Hubspot's CMS offers smart calls to action that can be assigned based on segmented lists, life cycle stages, or contact properties.

This way, the compelling content you create gets shown to the right people at the right time.

Approach #3: Well Crafted Lead Nurturing Campaigns

These campaigns, also known as drip campaigns, are instrumental in moving your leads closer to buying.

But you need to be methodical in the way you approach this.

If you find yourself creating a lot of general campaigns, you're defeating the purpose.

Lead nurturing campaigns should be specific, personal, and solve a pain point for your persona.

And I can't talk about lead nurturing campaigns without giving you tips on how to create great lead nurture campaigns. So, here’s a bonus round of tips for you:

  • Understand your sales cycle and the buyer's journey
  • Decide which persona you're targeting with the campaign
  • Set specific goals for the campaign
  • Map your content
  • Always use email marketing best practices
  • Mix up the types of emails you send out — some marketing style, some more personal
  • Test before launching
  • Track and report on your results
  • Do not be afraid to update or delete that campaign if it is just not working for you

Remember to view lead nurturing as more than just what your website provides.

The first download is an invitation to a conversation about how you can be the solution to the lead's challenge.

But it's up to you to follow through with great nurture campaigns to prove it.

If you're able to tackle segmentation, personalization, and well crafted lead nurture campaigns, not only will sales be really happy with you, but you will also be better equipped to prove marketing ROI for your company.

Tweet me or SmartBug about your journey at @jenspencer or @smartbugmedia.

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Jen Spencer

About the author

Jen Spencer leads SmartBug's sales, marketing, and brand strategy. Over her career, Jen has built several demand generation and sales enablement programs from the ground up and has experience working within tech startups, publicly traded companies, mid-market organizations, and the not-for-profit space. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch. Read more articles by Jen Spencer.

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