Nurture Campaigns: Definition, Types and How To Create One
Updated February 3, 2023
Nurture campaigns focus on prospective customers and they can help businesses transition leads into paying customers, increase their revenue, gain a deeper understanding of their target audience and build trust with their consumer base.
In this article we discuss the definition of nurture campaigns, explain the various types of nurture campaigns you can choose from and describe the steps to create a nurture campaign.
What are nurture campaigns?
Nurture campaigns are marketing efforts that build relationships between an audience and a brand. Also called lead nurturing, this marketing strategy focuses on convincing leads, or potential clients, to become paying customers. Nurture campaigns attempt to create personalized and meaningful connections between leads and a brand by providing leads with insightful content. Content marketers often lead nurture campaigns to help ensure that the content delivered to leads is in-depth and well-researched.
Although marketers can conduct nurture campaigns through multiple marketing channels, many marketing teams choose to conduct nurture campaigns through email marketing. Email automation systems make it easier for marketing teams to trigger specific emails following various interactions with potential customers. For example, marketers can direct certain lead nurturing emails to send when a prospective client subscribes to a newsletter or downloads a white paper.
Read more: What Is Lead Nurturing?
Nurture campaigns vs. drip campaigns
Some advertising campaigns emphasize the value of their company's products or services. Nurture campaigns, however, concentrate on giving prospective customers in-depth content related to a brand's offerings. For example, a sneaker company using lead nurturing might send potential customers emails about ergonomic foot arch supports. Similarly, a car services company could mail their leads a case study about the value of regular vehicle maintenance checks.
Here are the similarities and differences between the two:
Nurture campaigns and drip campaigns have some similarities. Marketers often accomplish both types of campaigns through automated email marketing methods. The audiences of both types of campaigns may overlap depending on the marketing approach.
Drip campaigns focus on sending emails out to a brand's audience based on particular time intervals. For example, an audience member might trigger a drip campaign email a week after subscribing to a service or immediately after making a purchase. A drip campaign can provide in-depth content related to the industry but could provide other types of content too, such as materials specifically advertising the company's products or services. Drip campaigns also can target both potential and current customers, depending on the company's current needs or goals.
Nurture campaigns conducted over email, however, focus on sending emails based on an audience member's behaviors rather than a set time or duration. The content of nurture campaign emails is typically more detailed and insightful than the content of drip campaigns. A nurture campaign also targets specifically potential customers who have shown interest in their company but have yet to make their first purchase.
Read more: Drip Campaign: Definition and How It Works
Types of nurture campaigns
Different nurture campaigns can provide companies with many benefits like transforming leads into customers and boosting revenue. However, it’s important to choose the right type of nurture campaign for your specific marketing goals. Here are a few different types of nurture campaigns:
Introduction campaign: When you first gain prospective customers, consider creating an introduction campaign that explains your brand, introduces your products or outlines the services you offer. This can help provide valuable information to a new customer to encourage them to engage with your company.
Re-marketed campaign: If you have good content that you want to re-use, you can re-market it to potential customers. For example, if a customer shows interest in your website, consider sharing similar content to your social media pages to keep the audience engaged.
Closed-lost campaign: These campaigns help you revive sales opportunities with previous clients. You can use fresh content to market to potential customers to renew the opportunity of making a sale or renewing a contract.
Maintained connection campaign: If a potential customer doesn’t make a purchase, you can maintain a connection with them through a nurture campaign. It’s important to limit this campaign to avoid overwhelming the potential customer while still maintaining a line of contact.
Read more: 12 Best Practices for Lead Nurturing
How to create a nurture campaign
Here are 6 steps to help you develop a lead nurturing strategy:
1. Begin with lead scoring
Lead scoring is a tactic that sales and marketing teams use to determine how likely their potential customers are to make a purchase. Lead scoring can help you figure out how to categorize and interact with your various leads. For example, you may want to target prospective consumers who have shown significant interest in your brand with different messaging than you would with leads who have demonstrated only a little interest.
Use lead scoring for your prospective customers to determine:
If they fit into your target audience: Consider if your lead is a part of your target audience. Purchasing ability, location, interests, browsing habits or other factors may help determine your target audience.
How they fit into your target audience: If you've determined that your leads are a part of your target audience, think about what category. Most target audiences encompass multiple groups of people, such as seasonal shoppers or urban residents, so businesses can connect with as many potential consumers as possible.
Where they are in their consumer journey: An individual lead's stage within the consumer journey, such as awareness or consideration, affects your messaging to them. For example, leads who have just noticed your company's existence likely need different marketing strategies than leads actively considering a purchase.
How engaged they are with your brand: Customer engagement refers to how a lead connects with your brand, such as by replying to an email, signing up for a free trial or sharing your post on social media. Leads who engage frequently with your brand already, for example, might receive more in-depth or insider content than leads who engage with your company less often.
Read more: What Is Lead Scoring and How Does It Work
2. Set your goals
Determine your primary objective for the nurture campaign. Possible aims include targeting a specific segment of your audience, transitioning customers from the awareness stage to the information stage or increasing conversion rates among potential consumers who sign up for a free trial.
Set goals as well for each piece of content within the nurture campaign. Before you decide on the exact messaging or design of the content, determine the purpose of each content piece, such as getting leads to download an e-book, watch a video or share your post on social media. Customize each content piece based on the lead's target audience subgroup, engagement level and stage in the consumer journey.
3. Create in-depth and relevant content
Have your content marketing team write detailed and informative content. Relate the content to your industry or the solutions your business offers without directly advertising them. Keep in mind that the content should provide valuable knowledge to the consumers that helps build trust in your business.
Choose how your potential clients receive each piece of content. Many marketing teams conduct nurture campaigns through emails. However, you can also provide content through other mediums or link to other content within the email, such as:
Thought leadership pieces, or content that shows in-depth expertise and innovation in your field
Opt for formats such as these that allow for lengthier pieces of content.
4. Create a timeline
Figure out the duration of your nurture campaign. Many marketing teams find it most helpful to their company overall if they coordinate their lead nurturing efforts with the start of the sales cycle. If part or all of your nurture campaign consists of email marketing, set up email automation based on your potential consumer's behaviors, traits, actions or engagement.
5. Monitor your progress
Track the results of your nurture campaign. The exact marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you observe may vary depending on your nurture campaign's goals, content delivery methods and related factors. Here are some statistics and information you might benefit from monitoring for each content piece within your campaign:
Inbound links, or people linking to your content from other web pages
Read rates, or how often potential consumers open your emails
Followers or subscribers
Read more:20 Marketing Metrics and KPIs
6. Strategize for current or future campaigns
Analyze the data from your nurture campaign. Use the insights of your data to either optimize your current nurture campaign or strategize about how to improve future campaigns. When determining how to improve existing or future campaigns, you may find it helpful to implement A/B testing. A/B testing involves sending two versions of a content piece out and seeing if one does better at engaging your leads. The content variation can be elements such as the email subject line, the content format, the call to action phrasing or the design.
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