How to Automate Your B2B Lead Nurturing.

Most B2Bs don’t nurture leads before or after a transaction. Follow the easy steps in this blog and make your lifetime customers even more valuable, so your profits and earning potential soar.

Here’s what you’ve done so far as you followed your stream through this series of blogs.

Here’s what you need to know about the context of this B2B lead nurturing strategy

This blog is part of an extensive series on B2B lead generation and revenue growth (and salary growth - the thing that really matters to you). 


The B2B lead nurturing you’re going to do comes at the end of a process explained through the blogs we linked to above. 


This lead nurturing strategy is a simple step-by-step walkthrough if you completed the previous steps. 


If not, you can still get a lot of value from reading on, but not as much as you would with all the pieces combined.


If you’re reading this and want someone else to do this work for you, so you can reap the rewards without any additional work, you can contact us and we’ll handle it for you.


What we show you below is part of a lager B2B lead generation strategy. The kind that transforms a business forever and fast forwards a career.


If you’re interested in that, you’re in the right place! You can start with any of the blogs linked above.


And if you want to save this blog to read later…


Click here and take the PDF with you

When you’re ready to continue with this, here’s something else you need to know:

In the other blogs you read on our website, we outline how people in different roles in your business can complete the various B2B lead-nurturing tasks in this large workflow. Simple steps based on who you are.


There’s a method for owners, directors, and others managing staff at a high level. We call these people Conductors.


There’s a method for sales professionals and others who might be interested in creating a permission asset to help with their main job role. Making this kind of content isn’t their primary responsibility, so it’s done quickly, off the side of their desk. We call these people Curators.


And there’s a method for the marketing manager or marketing generalist or content writer. We call these people Creators.


Find your steps below and get on the path to the revenue growth you want.

Here are some interesting B2B lead nurturing facts we turned up from Hubspot.

  • 72% of companies with less than 50 new opportunities per month didn't achieve their revenue goals,
  • 15% of companies with 51 to 100 new opportunities didn’t achieve their revenue goals.
  • Just 4% for companies with 101 to 200 new opportunities didn’t achieve their revenue goals.


With more opportunities it becomes increasingly likely that you’ll achieve your revenue goals. In fact, it becomes almost impossible that you won’t. Achieving those goals makes your company more formidable, more stable, more valuable. Makes your job more secure. Makes your salary bigger.

Want to bring this read along on your commute? Download the pdf here

But you have to proactively go after those opportunities.

Large companies have dedicated teams of Sales Development Representatives (SDR). Their only job is to book appointments for the sales team. To take leads, wherever they find them, and get those leads talking to seasoned sales professionals.  

Most small to medium enterprises don't have a full-time SDR team. Most, like yours, send those leads straight to experienced sales reps. And that actually takes away from their ability to do their best work. 

Your sales reps might spend around ⅓ of their day talking to actual leads. Where does the rest fo the time go?

  • A little over 20% goes to writing emails.
  • 17% goes to entering data.
  • Another 17% of the day goes to prospecting and researching leads.
  • 12% goes to internal meetings.
  • 12% goes to scheduling calls.

What you have to do is build a system to nurture the leads collected by your permission asset (and eventually, assets), so the lead is red hot by the time they first communicate with your sales team.

Then, your sales team is talking to hot leads for a larger portion of their day, not prospecting and researching and writing emails and entering data and scheduling calls that go nowhere.

You can automate this whole process and chase down these leads at scale, fire them up, by following the steps you find in this chapter.

You’re going to get:

  1. More proactive appointments booked for your sales team.
  2. And you’re going to maintain better contact with your existing customers, which leads to unearthed sales opportunities, unrelated to your permission asset.

What exactly am I going to do now?

You’re going to write (Creators), generate (Curators), or assign and evaluate (Conductors) short, plain text emails inviting your prospects to communicate and let down their guard. And your ultimate goal is booking sales appointments (although you’ll never call them that). 


These emails are going to:


  • Appear personal and human.
  • Be brief.
  • Come from an email sender that’s not your usual marketing sender.
  • Be plain text.
  • Contain dynamic text (like the lead’s name).
  • Multiply the revenue generated by your permission asset.

Want it done for you? Hop on a quick zoom when you’re free

What is my goal with these plain text emails?

To get a response from as many contacts in your database (new leads and existing customers) as possible. 


And for leads to book sales appointments on a real-time calendar so your sales team can do more of what they love (and generate more revenue).

What else do I need to know before doing this?

You’re going to send these emails from a phantom. A fictitious member of the staff at your business with a job title that screams helpfulness to your contacts. 


So you’ll choose a full first and last name, you’ll create an email account that follows the same conventions as other emails in the business (for example [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]). You’ll authenticate this email address with your email marketing platform. And you’ll use this email sender for all your plain text emails.


The last thing to know is that you can do this three ways. 

#1. You can send this nurturing campaign to all your contacts - those who downloaded the permission asset and everyone else in your database. All your current customers. Cold customers. All of them.


The main benefit of this is the unexpected sales opportunities you’ll unearth from existing customers or cold customers. And of course you nurture leads who downloaded the permission asset more closely than you otherwise could. 


#2. You can send this nurturing campaign only to the leads coming out of your permission asset download. 


This way, you can target them very specifically with questions about the permission asset and their application. This kind of targeting produces better results than option #1. But with a smaller audience. 


#3. You can do both. A nurturing campaign for your permission asset downloaders with specific messaging related to the permission asset and their application. And a parallel nurturing campaign for your existing contacts, where you speak more generally about problems they might have.


We recommend #3. But you might choose one of the other options based on your resources. It’s up to you. 


Don’t worry about getting it wrong. Let us do it for you


Creators - here’s how you build your B2B lead nurturing email campaign.

We’re going to start with 2 templates you can follow for your first email. One is for your existing customers and cold customers. One is for your permission asset downloaders.


You can complete them with details relevant to your business. 

You’ll notice a few things about them. 

  1. They're short. But it needs to be. Contacts don’t always receive your emails while sitting at their desks. And on their phone, they aren’t going to read a long block of text. Your message needs to come fast and clear.
  2. They contain a real signature, just like a real person! Prospects are more likely to respond if they think it’s a real person on the other end. 
  3. There’s no teaser text to go with the subject line, unlike the marketing emails you send. Why? Because humans don’t write teaser text in their emails. They just write the email.

Here are your 2 templates.

Subject:
Carrying stress home from work, FIRST NAME?


Hi FIRST NAME.


Hope you had a great weekend. 


I wanted to drop you a note today because I just got off the phone with a customer who waited 3 business days last week for a response from her regular SUPPLIER OF X. She still hasn’t heard back.


And when she finally does, she knows it’ll be an email. Not a real, helpful person on the phone. 


So she called us. Got on the phone with SALES PERSON NAME right away. And had A SOLUTION/WHAT SHE NEEDS within 2 hours. 


2 hours!


She’s not carrying that stress home with her at the end of the day again. 


And now she knows she can call SALES PERSON NAME again any time and get a quick resolution. No stress.


Do you have a ticket you’re waiting for another provider to solve?


-Ben (OR WHOEVER YOUR PRETEND SDR IS)



Ben Benson

Customer Assistance Escalator

COMPANY NAME

EMAIL ADDRESS

PHONE NUMBER

Subject:
Need a hand with (SOMETHING RELATED TO YOUR PERMISSION ASSET) FIRST NAME?


Hi FIRST NAME.


It’s not every day you’re tasked with investing in a new ITEM FROM PERMISSION ASSET CATEGORY. 


If you spent all your time thinking about them, like I do, it wouldn’t be such a pain. 


But since you don’t, I’d love to help you get this done quick so it’s off your mind.


What exactly are you using your ITEM for?


Ben Benson

PRODUCT CATEGORY Application Expert

COMPANY NAME

EMAIL ADDRESS

PHONE NUMBER

When you pretend SDR gets a response from a contact, it’s the job of the person or people monitoring that inbox (more on this on the next page) to nurture the contact down the funnel. 


Remember - the goal after getting that initial response is to move the prospect toward a sales call. 

So let’s say you get that response from a prospect about their application. You can respond to them saying something like Oh interesting. I’m not as familiar with that as my colleague Rick so I don’t want to lead you astray. Can I have Rick give you a call at 1pm today? 

You could also direct the prospect to choose a space on Rick’s real-time calendar if that works for them (every CRM today has this feature). But promising a call at a specific time makes it deadly easy for your prospect, so we often recommend that option.

The response must be another exercise in restraint. Just like the initial email. If products in the category are on sale, don’t mention that in the response. Don’t push for the sale in any way. Just offer help. Free value. Nothing more. It goes against the instincts of every sales professional in your business, but it’s important to stick to the approach. The gentle nurturing is why it works.

Using the templates provided, you can build out a total of 12 emails to your existing contacts, and 12 emails that go to every lead generated from your permission asset.

You can build them as marketing automations in your email marketing platform and set a rule that the prospect is removed from the automation when they complete the preferred action (responding to the email). 

Now, when you write these emails, they will change slightly with every iteration. And the final email in the series will look very different from the first. But remember:

  • Stick to a single message.
  • Lean on the USPs you developed in chapter 3 of this book to develop your messaging.
  • Think about the problems your customer might have and offer help.

Resist the temptation to build a monument to your product or service benefits in these emails. We repeat: stick to that single message.

Your schedule for sending this nurturing campaign.


Choose a schedule that doesn’t conflict with the permission asset email send schedule you created in chapter 9. 

Leave 1-2 weeks between email sends, so you aren’t driving your contacts away with excessive neediness.

However, there’s something else worth thinking about. And we don’t have the exact answer for you. But your sales team can’t handle a huge influx of appointments at once. They lose the ability to respond to customers quickly. 

So you’ll have to spread out your email sends. Break your list up by some sort of characteristic you already have tagged in your email marketing platform. If your contacts are tagged by some subcategory, try that. Or by location.

Want us to set it up for you? Send us a message here


With that done, you can now maintain a steady stream of nurturing contacts at scale. You free up your colleagues in sales to focus on the actual sales, not the early stage nurturing and development. 


You contribute to their success alongside your own, since their compensation is often directly tied to sales, and yours is not (although your case for a big salary increase grows as they make more sales based on your nurturing strategy). 


And with this nurturing campaign running, you’re doing more than every competitor on your horizon.

The Curator’s path to building a B2B lead nurturing campaign.

You read the introduction earlier in this blog, so you know the idea behind this nurturing campaign. 

Since this is not your primary job function, building these types of campaigns, we recommend you create one single nurturing campaign for all your contacts. 

Later, when you have capacity - like in 12 months - you can use the method outlined in the coming pages to create a nurture campaign just for your permission asset leads. 

But for the sake of your sanity, right now you can focus on just 1 campaign.

You’re going to use ChatGPT or your preferred AI to generate these emails for you, and you’re going to rely on the mind map you created as you read this blog on permission assets to prompt the AI effectively.

Back then, you mapped features to benefits. And those benefits inherently solve a frustration. 

So you’re going to ask your AI to write brief emails about those frustrations, ending each email with an open ended question to which they can respond.

Or you’re going to use the template below to write your own, following the same pattern but with different frustrations taken from your mind map.

Here’s an example:

Subject:

Hey FIRST NAME. What’s your risk tolerance?


Hi FIRST NAME.


How much $ do you think human error costs your workplace?


For one of our clients in X INDUSTRY, a single TYPE OF ERROR last year cost about $5 million. 


To make sure it never happens again (or at least to get the absolute best chance that it won’t happen again), we helped them automate several repetitive steps in the APPLICATION.


Machines don’t get as casual as humans do after running through the same steps 50 times.


There might be similar easy ways to reduce the risk of human error (or other risks) in your workplace. 


I dare you to stump us with your problem!


Where are you seeing those costly recurring errors?

In that example, the frustration is human error and the financial cost incurred. But you could easily change it to human error and the time burden incurred. Or human error and the workplace culture hit. Or human error and the logistical challenges of product recalls. 


From that single template with a single frustration you could turn out 4 valuable emails that touch on exposed nerves for your prospects. 

You can follow the same pattern and niche down your frustration. 

Maybe the frustration is sharing equipment in their workplace. Maybe the frustration is working long hours because there is too much demand on existing infrastructure in the business. Maybe the frustration is managing the budget with a supervisor breathing down your prospect’s neck. 

There are dozens of frustrations you can work with inside this template and it may be less effort to simply adjust the template yourself than using AI to write them for you. 

So if you choose to use our template and adjust the messages yourself based on your mind map and personal knowledge, just…

  1. Open a new Google doc and write out the example template we provided.
  2. Copy and paste the same email 11 more times into this same document.
  3. Look at your mind map and adjust the email templates one-by-one to speak to the different frustrations you know your customers have.

If you choose to use our template, combined with AI to generate your emails…

  1. Copy the following prompt into your preferred AI tool (ChatGPT is the OG, so we usually recommend it):
  2. We’re a B2B manufacturer of X. Our customers are frustrated by X. Write me an email that encourages the recipient to respond to me to talk about the solution to their frustration. The email should be no more than 175 words. Should contain a friendly greeting. Make a joke about working in X industry. And close with an open ended request to email me back, so the recipient is likely to respond directly to the email. I do not want this to sound salesy. Here is an example of the style I would like you to emulate with this email: here’s where you paste in our email template.
  3. The AI will generate a version of the email you want, and you can adjust it as you like. The idea is to get good enough output from the AI that you can make 5 minutes of adjustments before it’s ready to go to your audience.

Once the emails are written to your liking…

  1. Open your email marketing platform and create a new email.
  2. Choose the most basic template available (every platform has a simple, plain text email). 
  3. Paste your content into the template using the “paste as plain text” option when you right click. You don’t want any formatting to carry over from your Google doc.
  4. Check to make sure you selected or inputted your new, phantom email sender (we talked about this at the start of the chapter).
  5. Schedule the email to send based on your schedule (which we also talked about at the start of this chapter).
  6. You can now duplicate this email and input the text from your next plain text email into the duplicated template.
  7. Rinse and repeat until your entire campaign is scheduled.

You and your colleagues will have to monitor the phantom inbox so you can respond in a timely way. That’s part of the power of this type of campaign - responding as quickly as a human would. 


You could even assign two junior staff members to monitor the inbox so you and your more experienced colleagues don’t have to. Get those junior staff to inform you when an email comes in. 


And having done all this, you are now nurturing new prospects attracted by your permission asset, existing contacts from previous purchases, and cold contacts who haven’t worked with your business in a long time, at scale. You’re doing more than most teams at your largest competitors and positioning yourself for a good pay increase.

Not enough time to do this yourself? We’ll handle it for you

How Conductors can make sure this gets done right.

So much of your job is just keeping staff honest and giving them the tools to do well.


They feel like imposters because they don’t know how to do everything, and they produce work that isn’t up to your standard because they feel like imposters. Not because they aren’t capable of the work, but because their fear shuts them down. 


They’re afraid of being found out.


But with the right guidance, you can nurture them so they can nurture your customers. So they stop performing like imposters and start shining like the skilled applicants you hired. 


You can give your Creators the tools to do this right, so they have steps to follow and know exactly what you’re looking for in their output. 


And so you have the steps to review with them just as easily. You don’t have to take mental time out of your day to review their work, you just have to go through the checklist with them and verify they’ve done it all.


And if their ideas aren’t good (because contrary to the maxim, there definitely are bad ideas), you can help them improve those ideas easily.

First, how do you assign this nurturing campaign to your Creator?

Step 1. Send them the link to this blog, so they can read the section dedicated to them above.


Step 2. Give them the mind map you created when you worked through this blog.


Step 3. Tell them you need this turned around by the end of the week (even if it’s Friday, to make them sweat!).


Want to shed the burden of assigning and evaluating? Just hire us 

Second, how do you evaluate the quality of their work?

There is a qualitative and a quantitative element to this.


To measure the quantitative element, review this checklist with them:


  • Does it contain space for dynamic text (for example, the lead’s first name)?
  • Does it contain fewer than 175 words?
  • Does it contain an email signature from the phantom sender?
  • Does it end with a question?
  • Are the sentences and paragraphs broken up to avoid looking like a big wall of text?
  • Does it talk about a frustration in your industry?


Then, to measure the qualitative element.

  • Does it sound like the Creator knows what they’re talking about?
  • Does it contain platitudes (phrases that don’t provide any value, like don’t stop believin!)?
  • Does it adequately describe the prospect’s frustration?
  • Is the closing question enticing (is it a small enough commitment to make the reader want to reach out)?
  • When you read it, does it flow like a person speaking (that’s the way we want it)?
  • Does anything seem weird about it?

The qualitative elements are where you can really start shaping your Creator into an expert. A lead (and revenue) generating machine for your business.


If you answer in the negative to any of the qualitative questions, you can show your Creator exactly why. 

Or we can

This shows them you’re investing your personal energy into their professional development, and it helps reduce the long-term burden of their learning on the business. 


As you work through this checklist, you give them feedback they can write down and post all over their workspace. And they’ll take it to heart the next time they perform this task for you. 

Once these 12-24 emails are to your standard, your Creator can build them out in your email marketing platform just as described in the Creator section of this chapter. 

You can then require monthly reports on the results from this nurturing campaign to see how each individual email performs. And you can look at long term trends after about 8 months, to see if existing customers have increased spending with you. Sometimes the most important metrics aren’t the clicks or opens of individual emails, but the long-term trends you can only start to see after some time has gone by. 

And holy smokes Creators, Curators, Conductors. You’ve done it. You’ve completed all 6 steps of your lead-and-revenue-generating permission asset marketing and merchandising program.

What can you do next?

Take a moment outlook at everything you made in the last few weeks. 


Feel proud.


Then tell us how it went, or how it’s going. We love talking to you. Reach out any time for a friendly chat about your growth, your weekend plans, your plans for the business next year - just email [email protected].


We want to see people do well. Because life isn’t a competition. It’s about helping each other succeed. 


So tell us about your success and make our day.


Want to download the pdf copy of this blog to hand out to your colleagues? Click here.

How to Automate Your B2B Lead Nurturing.
Journey, John Buie February 7, 2024
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