Nurturing your prospects in a sales funnel doesn’t need to be based only on marketplace assumptions. It can work in the same way as you engage with your clients. By utilising the insight from your client feedback, you can identify the themes, opinions and issues that your clients face. Once identified, you can create bespoke and personalised marketing content to not only improve your clients’ journeys but also to pre-empt the questions prospects have during the sales process.
What is nurture marketing?
Nurture marketing is all about drip-feeding information about your firm to key clients or prospects to foster engagement. It can be used as part of your firm’s sales communication strategy and or as part of a retention strategy for current clients. The most common form of nurture marketing is email marketing, largely due to the increase in marketing technologies that enables you to automate the drip-feeding process.
However, nurture marketing is only half of the picture, the other side is identifying what your prospects want to know more about. Nurture marketing is all about keeping individuals warm, so it is important to reach them with content they care about. Leave this step out, and you will be left sending endless dry emails. Get this step right, and your sales funnel should grow.
Bringing client feedback into the mix is the crucial step. Without insight into the clients you currently engage with, your marketing team is effectively working blind. Therefore it is important, before making your nurture email campaigns live, to look at the insights your firm has already collected.
Adding client feedback to the mix
As most marketers will likely be aware, client feedback can give you a whole host of insights into how your clients perceive your firm, including the way your firm delivers its core services. If collected in a consistent manner, this information will assist your firm to better engage with prospects, by providing fee earners with the content areas of interest. Understanding key insights such as why the client chose to work with you, what informed their buying decision and the value your services added to their business, will inform your future marketing content and strategy.
Consider a client who indicated a particular service area as adding value to their business; if used to market to a similar profile prospect, this insight can show the likely value the prospect would gain if they used your services. It's all about utilising the insights you already have to stay one step ahead of your prospects by marketing services to them they haven't even realised that they wanted to know about.
The power of segmentation
Segmenting your clients is a very important step. Once you have this in order there is no stopping your nurture campaigns from thriving. By segmenting your clients (either by market demographics, firm demographics, or the derived content), it is easier to ask questions of the collected information to identify the trends and themes. Once these themes have been understood you can then segment your prospects in the same way and promote the key messages identified. In matching the data fields and experiences shown in the client feedback to that of your prospects, you will be able to marry up the experiences the client has had with your firm, with the journey your prospects are likely to have.
Once your segments have been identified, and the themes or trends for each segment have been realised, then you can create content that resonates directly with what your prospects in a particular segment are thinking or are experiencing during the sales process. Thinking in this mindset will unleash your marketing and should help you stand out from other, more generalised email marketing the prospects are likely to receive.
Filtering the right information
So what themes should you draw from for your nurture marketing?
Feedback will assist you in understanding your firm’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, and questions around, for example, your standing against competitors, and innovation, will give you a strong indication of what messages currently resonate well. If a particular cohort of clients express that they like an element of the service you offer, then the nurture campaign can heighten the message for similar profiled prospects, thereby increasing the chances of the prospect continuing through the sales journey.
Similarly, responses around service innovation may highlight the priorities of current and future clients. When used to nurture your prospects, this information can help your firm stand out from the crowd of competitors whilst highlighting the new services or innovations that are of most relevance to the prospects. In removing the generic update information about your firm and replacing it with tailored content, your firm can heighten its profile as thought leaders in your sectors.
Organising your client feedback through tagging will make it easier for you and your team to understand the feedback themes, and the hierarchy of the feedback given, for example, is a theme describing an issue affecting more than one client and/or what priority is that client for the firm? Knowing the priority of the client to your firm is important.
You don't normally want to create a nurture stream for an individual; you want to create nurture streams for similar profile prospects who will resonate with similar content. This is the difference between key account management and nurture marketing. Nurture marketing is all about creating relevant messaging that can be disseminated to a segment or cluster of important or high net worth individuals that have been identified as having similar areas of interest and therefore are likely to have similar journeys with your firm.
Taking clients on the journey of your firm
Finding a way to make the content relatable is crucial and is what differentiates a nurture campaign from an email blast. If you miss this step out, you will find that your engagement will stagnate over time, whereas a successful nurture campaign should see a gradual increase in engagement levels from the start to the end of the campaign.
Another way to ensure an increase in engagement is to automate your nurture marketing process. In doing this, you will ensure consistent communication with your segments. Nurturing potential and current clients with messaging that aligns with the point in the journey the individuals (within the segments) are on will bring personalisation to the forefront of your marketing activities. Using marketing automation will also ensure that communication will be less interrupted by staff absence or any other internal circumstances.
Once the nurture campaigns are up and running, it is important to continue to review them via your client feedback. Reviewing the key metrics, such as open rates will give you part of the picture. Using regular client feedback will give you the other half - the human half, and somewhat more importantly the half you can work off to repurpose relevant content. Identifying your content themes in this way will ensure they remain current and of relevance, to the individuals you are marketing to. If regular client feedback is undertaken on an annual or even more basis then you are likely to remain one step ahead of your prospects needs.
The client opinion and market intelligence gathered through client feedback is undeniable and is something every marketer should be using to comprehend the needs of their clients and prospects. When used in nurture marketing, it is a method that can differentiate you from competitor firms by ensuring that the content used will remain relevant to your segments. Avoiding generalisation and instead, giving personalisation and improving your understanding of your prospects, will help in winning new clients or when retaining your current clients.
Continue the discussion
Acuigen offers client feedback services assisting you with many of your client feedback needs, from planning your initial programme to providing face-to-face interviewing support and a cloud-based platform to collate all the information provided. Get in touch to find out how you can unleash your client insights.