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Use Automated Workflows to Nurture & Convert More Leads

Originally published on 3/2/2015. Content refreshed and republished on 6/21/2019 by Emily Murphy.

Automated Workflows Allow You To Easily and Efficiently Close More Leads

You know how the saying goes, “if you can’t beat em’ join em’!”.

Well, if you work in digital marketing, your time to join in on automated lead nurturing workflows is now.

Over the last few years, marketing automation has completely changed the rules of the game for marketers. So much so that, without automating your lead nurturing campaigns you simply cannot compete in today’s marketing field.

What’s so great about workflow automation?

Generally speaking, workflow automation uses rule-based logic to automate manual processes. By leveraging automated workflows, you can help your business save time and money, reduce errors, and boost overall productivity.  

Increasing efficiency and productivity while reducing time and errors? This should be music to your ears!

While workflow automation doesn’t eliminate human error entirely, it can help to reduce the likelihood of error (and save your business from having to reconcile the mistake). Rather than forgetting to send an email or worrying about attaching an outdated file–your team can get back to doing what they do best and leave the repetitive tasks to their automated workflows.

Not only do automated workflows reduce the risk for error, but they also save your team time. By using automated workflows to off-board some of the tedious tasks that consume your team’s bandwidth, your team can focus on their more productive tasks.

Are you bought in yet?

What you need to get started: A marketing automation software like Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, or HubSpot (shout out to HubSpot!).

So ask yourself this: Are your leads moving through the funnel or are they just sitting looking pretty in your database?

If it’s the first answer, good for you! You’ve probably already set up some awesome automated workflows to nurture leads to customers, or even customers to promoters.

Want us to run an audit of your current inbound marketing efforts? We’d be happy to.

If your leads aren’t moving, well, let’s get em’ going.

How To Implement Your Own Lead Nurturing Workflows

Consider opportunities within your lead nurturing strategy where you could use automation to:

Deliver targeted content

The key to any good inbound marketing strategy is to touch leads at the right time, in the right place, with the right content–all of which you can use workflows to do.

Delivering targeted content is delivering the right content.

Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%.

Workflow example: Lead submits a form to receive your Social Media Handbook free download. Assume this lead is interested in receiving more of your social media resources and eventually, may be interested in your social media services. Create a workflow that continues to nurture the lead with social media content.

Follow up on time

This is the “right time” aspect of lead nurturing. Several research studies have shown, the odds of converting a lead into a sales opportunity are exponentially higher when the lead is contacted immediately following a website conversion.

The benefits of following up with leads in a timely manner are big. But you should know, not many B2B marketers are using this to their advantage. Check out these benchmarks:

  • The average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours.
  • Only 37% of companies responded to their leads within an hour.
  • 24% of companies took more than 24 hours.
  • 23% of the companies never responsed at all.

Workflow example: Build a workflow that automates the timely follow up for you. Built into your workflow will be actions like “send email” or “send internal SMS” which you can separate with time “delays”. When it comes to upper funnel lead nurturing, the workflow can do the following up for you. But as you get towards the bottom of your funnel, your team will want to start reaching out via phone call (or with a very personalized email). For this, you’ll use the workflow to remind your team with texts or internal emails.

Pro tip: If you’re marketing to other B2B companies, chances are your leads are not checking their email on the weekend. Set your workflow to only follow up on weekdays and between normal work hours when you can be sure they’ll see it.

Nurture leads on multiple channels

Nurturing with email “drip campaigns” can only be so effective. I mean think about it, four out of five marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20%.

It’s time to start thinking about nurturing your leads with more than just emails.

Workflow example: Use your marketing automation platform to create workflows that incorporate a combination of channels from email to social media, paid retargeting, dynamic website content and direct sales outreach.

Touch Multiple Times

While your buyer’s journey will differ from others, research shows multiple touches are necessary when nurture leads. On average, prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel until they’re a closed-won customer. But surprisingly, 49% of marketers only include five touches in their lead nurturing workflows.

While 10 seems like a lot to keep up with, keep in mind you’re not the one doing the work–your automated workflows will do it for you.

Protip: When outlining your “multiple touches”, don’t lose sight of your lead’s stage! Consider what questions a lead may have at that point in the cycle. What resources they might find valuable at that time. Or whether you’d be ready to talk to a salesperson yet.  

Delight your customers

A rather new, yet brilliant lead nurturing strategy is to nurture current customers into becoming repeat customers, seeing the value in purchasing more of your products or services, or converting leads for you!

All of this can be done with a campaign that aims to delight your customers and nurture them into higher paying customers or promoters.

Workflow example: Re-engage old customers with workflows built specifically for them. Serve content and offers that encourage them to become repeat customers.

Workflow example: Communication with your customers shouldn’t stop after they make a purchase–especially if you have more to offer them. Use workflows as an opportunity to sell complementary products and services specific to what they’re already purchased.

Workflow example: Have you thought about using a workflow to reward happy customers? How about a workflow to turn less-than-happy customers into happy customers? It’s possible!

Workflow example: Does your product or service require the customer to purchase on a cycle? Enter them into a workflow to remind them when it’s time to purchase.

Need leads?

Lead nurturing can’t happen without lead generation. Download your free 30 Lead Gen Tips, Tricks, and Ideas guidebook. By implementing one (or all) of these lead generation tactics, you’ll be able to ensure your automated workflows are consistently fed with fresh new leads.

Download Free Guide