Designing a Lead Nurturing campaign
Lead nurturing campaigns are your way to stay connected to your leads who aren’t ready to buy just yet and build up trust until they are ready to buy.

Thanks to your marketing efforts you may have provided enough valuable content to your visitors that they’re willing to give you their contact information in exchange for something more.

So what’s next?

Do you just go into sell mode the second you receive their contact information? Well, 50% of the leads you get via a lead magnet may be qualified but aren’t ready to buy from you just yet. 

So, if you aren’t nurturing them, you’re simply burning money. 

What you need is a system to stay connected to the leads you collect, who aren’t ready to buy from you just yet and build up trust until they are ready to buy.

What you need is an enticing lead magnet that works in combination with your automated lead nurturing campaigns.


Lead Magnets


But first let’s take a step back, what is a Lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a bribe for your consumers that offers a specific chunk of value in exchange for their contact information. The idea is to draw your incoming traffic from FB ads, blogs, tweets, Instagrams into your lead magnet bait.  

nurturing campaign, lead magnet, nurturing campaign design
A typical lead magnet to nurturing campaign workflow.

If they bite and enter their info, you would then send them down a lead nurturing campaign or re-target them until they bite.

So what makes a good lead magnet?

Well, sorry to be a cop-out but this is totally dependent on what kind of product you offer. But we can tell you it needs to be irresistible and should maximise the number of targeted leads you are getting for an offer.

Maybe an example would help illustrate this point.

If you’re a SaaS based product you can use the classic free trial approach or offer them a free tool that compliments your product.

One of our favourite examples of an effective lead magnet is Snappr’s LinkedIn photo analyser. It’s a free tool that rates your LinkedIn photos while simultaneously complimenting their offer of booking an on demand professional photographer if you score poorly.

lead magnet, designing effective lead magnet,
Notice the “Get a new photo” call to action to hire a Snappr photographer to improve your score.

Snappr will immediately capture your LinkedIn information when you allow it to link to your profile and has that irresistible inbuilt virility that comes with comparing/sharing your score out of 100 (This tool really appeals to people’s ego!).

It’s also targeted, in that people who are using this tool to rank their profile pictures care about their professional image and are therefore more motivated to improve it. Finally, if they score poorly, Snappr will redirect them to their minimum offer (trip wire) with a “get a new photo” call to action, this then directs visitors to book a simple shoot with a photographer.

So a lead magnet should:

    • Promise one big thing (not a tonne of things, or something vague) – So in Snappr’s case, Feedback on your LinkedIn Profile Picture.


    • Provide a specific solution (or value) for a specific marketAn ego boosts for professionals.


    • Lend itself to a known, specific end resultA score out of 100.


    • Give immediate gratification Either an Ego boost or a reality check.


    • Move your lead down your life cycleIntroduces visitors to their core offer of easily booking a professional photographer.


    • Have a high perceived value – Snappr’s photo analyser “uses the latest research, combined with image recognition and machine learning technologies”.


    • Be consumed in a few minutesJust need to allow access to your LinkedIn profile.


Besides your idea and actual magnet, you will need to have a landing page with required form fields as well as a delivery mechanism for your lead magnet.


lead magnet, effective lead magnet,
An example of Hubspots E-book form landing page. A visitor has to manually input data to access the lead magnet.

Ideally, you’d want to create a dedicated landing page on your website for a form field plugin however if you don’t have the ability to create this or don’t have a website yet you can use Unbounce or Instapages.

Part of the brilliance of Snappr’s lead magnet is that it doesn’t require users to manually input information but rather just grant permission for Snappr to access it.

The simple press of a button makes the process far easier and less confronting for any visitors.


Nurturing your Leads


Automated lead nurturing campaigns – Designing, measuring and optimising. is your way to stay connected to your leads who aren’t ready to buy just yet and build up trust until they are ready to buy.

It essentially involves a sequence of marketing emails that are sent out automatically on a schedule with the goal of moving your users down your funnel towards a high-value purchase.

There are three value driving features of email:

● It’s personal

● Cost-effective

● Drives high return on investment when done right

And with around 4.3 Billion email accounts (According to Radicati Group’s E-Mail Market, 2012-2016 Report) that’s over half the world’s population opening emails, reading emails and buying from emails.


Segmenting Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns Users


Nurturing campaigns are all about breaking your subscriber list into sections and targeting information to user segments. So the most important piece here is determining which triggers and groups you’re going to use for your drip campaign strategy.

As you will see, there are different levels of qualified leads and campaigns types for each lead.

  • Enrollment Sequence – This is your leads initial interaction with your business after engaging with your lead magnet.It’s an opportunity for a human introduction to your consumer, to deliver your lead magnet or as a primer for your product (i.e. case studies or educational videos).It also sets the expectations about the frequency and subject matter of future emails.


    • Engagement Sequence – Your goal here should be to build a brand affinity with your business by moving them into a deeper relationship with your company.You want your users to take small scale actions such as educating themselves about your service or using free trials as a way to prime them to take larger actions in the future.


    • Conversion Sequence – No beating around the bush here. This is where you ask your subscribers to take action; typically to purchase your product or service.Offer a discount or promotional offer.


    • Onboarding Sequence – Generally used by SaaS companies, onboarding messages should get customers up-to-speed on software usage as quickly as possible so they’ll stay paying customers for as long as possible.It should also be an introduction to brand and values


    • Re-activation Sequence – Get your customers whose engagement has declined (or ended entirely) engaged with a special offer, product or coupon code.Should use an activity-based trigger (i.e. re-targeting through social media sites).


    • Event Sequence – Let subscribers know about an upcoming event (for instance, a webinar, training course or in-person meetup), encourage them to register, and then remind registered users to attend via email or sms.


    • Abandoned cart recovery sequence – Typically used by e-commerce sellers, abandoned cart recovery sequences encourage shoppers who have left unpaid items in their digital shopping carts to come back and complete the purchase.Your goal here should be to lead users back to your ‘buy’ button.


As you can see, there are numerous nurturing campaigns you can send your leads down so you need to have an in depth understanding of your user segments.

This will require a fair amount of research or an audit of your current mailing lists if your leads have been unceremoniously grouped into one.


Optimising your Campaign


Just remember that the strength of a lead magnets and lead nurturing campaigns is that they’re an automated, repeatable process.

Ideally, you’d set it up with leads going in one end and money spitting out the other end. However, getting to this point requires a constant process of measuring and iterating on your approach.

For instance: If you aren’t getting as many clickthroughs as you want, try rewriting your calls to action; if you aren’t meeting your conversion rate goals with your sale-closing email, try more educational communications before asking any user to pull the trigger.

To effectively plan out your lead nurting campaigns and possible campaign triggers you’ll want to map out your workflow.

AutoPilot is an intuitive customer journey mapper that offers a free trial with pricing starting from around $20 a month. Or you could use MailChimp (free – no mapping/trigger activations), Drip or Agile & Infusionsoft CRMs (if you can afford it).

nurturing campaign, designing effective lead nurturing, lead nurturing map
A simple lead nurturing map. With various directions depending on user behaviour.

The Metrics that Matter

Everybody likes to think they’re data-driven these days, but while everybody likes looking at numbers, not everybody acts on them.

If you’re looking to optimise your lead nurturing campaigns for growth you need to make sure you’re focusing on numbers that are actionable not absolutes!

For example, an absolute metric is 1000 new email sign-ups whereas an actionable metric is a 10% email list growth over a certain period of time.

An actionable metric is:

  • Comparative – Compare to other time periods, groups of users or competitors (increased conversion rate by 8% from the last month)
  • Understandable – If people cannot talk about it, it is much harder to use it as an actionable insight
  • Ratio or rate – Easy to act on (distance travelled vs speed), comparative

So, for an automated lead magnet to email campaign, some actionable metrics could include:

  • Subscriber to lead ratio
  • Lead to customer ratio, cost per lead
  • Marketing qualified lead to customer ratio, cost per lead, length of sales cycle

Ideally, you want to stay away from ‘vanity metrics’, numbers that are always up and to the right such as subscribers so when you’re deciding on your metrics, make sure to ask yourself: “What will I do differently based on this information?”.


Some Final Thoughts

No matter what industry you operate in, when implemented correctly, a nurturing campaign will increase your amount of high-quality conversions and reduce your cost of customer acquisition.

The key to optimising your campaign will be identifying and segmenting your target audience, crafting an appropriate message that fits where you want to lead them and then testing and iterating on that message.


If you’ve made it this far that’s awesome.

We know lead nurturing campaigns aren’t the sexiest part of marketing. Everyone wants to hear about how they can drive traffic to their sites but then neglect the next step which actually involves the activation of these leads and physical sales.



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