“I saw a Tweet come through the stream from a B2B summit that read, ‘So if sending an e-mail isn’t nurturing what is?’” blogged Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions Inc., a business-to-business marketing consultant (marketinginteractions.com).
Her response: “Lead nurturing is about providing the right content at the right time that addresses a problem that a prospect is focused on (or at least considering) solving. Lead nurturing is based upon content that educates the prospect about the problem, provides expertise about how to solve it and then proves via evidence that the expertise pays off with results the prospect wants/needs. Lead nurturing is done best when it addresses each stage of the buying process in parallel with your prospect’s position in the buying process.”
Albee, the author of “E-Marketing Strategies for the Complex Sale” (McGraw-Hill, 2009), says lead nurturing can be done via e-mail, but it’s not about the delivery system of e-mail, it’s about the perceived relevance of the content delivered via the e-mail.
“Where the concept of nurturing can be sneaky is when we confuse delivery systems with the intention of the nurturing process itself. Do not confuse the delivery vehicle for nurturing. It’s about what’s getting delivered and how well it addresses the audience’s needs, priorities and objectives over time.”
Albee says confusion about nurturing stems from the “ridiculous” notion that by sending regular e-mails – regardless of content – your company will stay top of mind for whenever the time arises for prospects to buy. “Hogwash,” she says.
“If your content hasn’t provided value, you’ve demonstrated a total lack of relevance and expertise that’s a prerequisite to make the short list. Nurturing is about much more than just showing up in your prospect’s inbox.”