Lead Nurturing Best Practices

Written by: Barbara Pfeiffer, The Partner Marketing Group

Nurture Marketing CycleWhat is lead nurturing and what are lead nurturing best practices? How do you create a trigger marketing campaign? In the past two blogs of this series, I’ve shared the different types of nurture marketing with a deeper dive into drip nurture and now I’ll help you through lead nurture best practices.

As I defined in the first blog, What is Nurture Marketing and Why is it Important in B2B Marketing?,  trigger campaigns (also widely known as “lead nurturing” campaigns) deliver touches based on a prospect’s interaction with your marketing touches.

New messages are sent depending on what a prospect clicks on or downloads. The goal is to provide additional information that relates to what a prospect is researching to help move (or nurture) them through the decision-making process.

Lead nurture is generally a closed-loop campaign. The number of touches varies but, eventually, if a lead doesn’t continue to engage, the campaign ends. At that point, the prospect may be targeted with another campaign or, in time, moved into a drip nurture marketing campaign.

How do you create a successful trigger-based nurture marketing campaign?

Deliver Value

Not surprisingly, delivering value should be part of every nurture marketing campaign you run. With lead nurture marketing, you are providing information that builds on what your target expressed interest in through their clicks.

For example, someone who downloads an eBook on using technology to decrease inventory costs would likely be interested in a case study on how one of your customers was able to do that. A calculator that estimated how much they could save annually could be an additional offer. Unlike drip marketing campaigns, which are typically more focused on awareness (staying top of mind) and offer thought leadership type content, lead or trigger-based nurture marketing campaigns can provide offers and content for each part of the buyer’s journey.

Create a Nurture Marketing Campaign Plan

It’s helpful if you have a content inventory at your fingertips as you create your marketing campaign plan. This makes it easier to map out each step and align it with an offer—or even to help you identify where you may need to create additional marketing content. As shown in the below example, I use SmartDraw to map out visuals of my marketing campaigns, identifying each step and action that I’ll take in response to a prospect’s engagement.

Trigger Marketing Campaign Plan Lead Nurturing Plan

Sample Trigger Nurture Marketing Campaign Plan

Execute Nurture Marketing Campaigns with a Marketing Automation Tool

Lead nurture marketing absolutely requires some level of marketing automation. This is often where many clients I work with get stuck. If you don’t already have a marketing automation system in place, this can seem overwhelming.

There are simpler systems such as ActiveCampaign as well as sales intelligence and integrated platforms like Growbots and LeadSquared, that are easier to implement and don’t require a significant upfront investment in customizing and training. Some platforms, such as HubSpot, are modular so you can start small and then integrate more advanced features when you’re ready.

Whatever path you take, you’ll get the most out of your marketing automation system (and create more successful marketing campaigns) if you have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) between your marketing and sales resources. This should cover lead scoring as well as lead management—at a minimum defining when a lead is handed off to sales and then back to marketing.

Nurture Marketing through Multiple Channels

While not required, “next level” trigger-based marketing will incorporate multiple channels—reaching your targets where they are. For example, do you have a list of people that downloaded your eBook? Send them emails with additional articles on that topic AND use sponsored posts to reach them on LinkedIn. By the way, although we tend to use multiple channels with lead nurture, you can use this strategy in any type of nurture marketing campaign.


This is so much more than a Dear Barbara opener (although that’s part of it). Personalization also extends to subject lines and dynamic copy. Be careful in execution though. Putting my name in a different font or suggesting that you have a solution for “Acme Company” (an actual email I received!) destroys any effort you made to personalize that touch.

Personalization in your message is important too. Remember, you are talking to a person that has taken action with your campaign and you should address that in your message. Consider having different emails coming from different people in your organization. From a design perspective, test some simple emails without headers and images to see if a more personal email resonates better with your audience.

Have questions about building your trigger campaigns using lead nurturing best practices?

If you have questions or need help building an effective trigger-based nurture marketing campaign, our team of experts can guide you through every step. From planning and strategy to fueling your campaign with original content, we’ve got flexible solutions and services to take you to the next level. Reach out to us anytime.

Read Part 4: Trial Nurture Marketing Campaign Best Practices for B2B Companies

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