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6 Steps For Handling Content Marketing Leads


With all this talk of content marketing and landing pages, an obvious question might be, "What do I do when someone opts-in or downloads a piece of content from my site?". Great questions! It's a question that will likely be a bit different from one company to another, but here's a basic list of tasks:


Did you hear me scream that? I hope. I don't want the engaged website visitor getting a restraining order against you. You're welcome.

Aggressive sales people may think that simply visiting your website makes a person a qualified lead that the sales team should pursue. They aren't. If someone downloads a resource from your website, it simply shows that the web visitor has now engaged with your content. They may open it, and decide that it wasn't what they thought it was. They may love it. Hopefully the latter is true and they tell everyone they know that would benefit from the content to go get it (via email, social media, etc...).

The main point here is that these folks still need nurtured a bit. One downloaded resources does not equal 1 sales opportunity. It's more equal to picking up a sale advertisement in the newspaper.

2 - Do Some Stalking of this Engaged User

stalker-muchI would avoid peeping in their windows unless you've been invited over and they aren't answering the door, but on a publicly available level, do some research on this engaged user and their company.

What does this entail?

First, if you aren't asking for company in your download form, look at the engaged user's email address domain (@domainname.com) and see if that domain goes to their company's website. Hopefully it does. Log the company's information in your CRM or whatever system you are keeping track of these leads in.

Second, look for this person and their company on LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other social media site that you feel are important. Make note of their profile links/company pages and enter them in your CRM or other lead management system. You don't need to reach out and connect yet.

Third, check any internal systems to see if you have ever interacted with this person in the past. If so, update your records and make sure past communication is in your CRM.

Fourth, see if you can get any details online about where they might be in their buying process for your product/service.

Fifth, Based on what you've learned above, decide if they fit any of your buyer personas and document that in your CRM or other lead management system.

3 - Segment this Engaged Web Visitor

Segment this user in your email marketing system to make sure they get buyer-persona-specific content sent to them. Make sure that this person is segmented to receive similar, helpful content to what they initially downloaded.

4 - Connect in Social Media IF the Timing is Right

You may want to follow their company in social media, follow them on Twitter/Google+, connect with them on LinkedIN, but certainly a personal friend request is not appropriate yet. Be careful here. You may scare people away if the timing is wrong. Following a company is different than following a person. Twitter and Google+ are much less "personal" when following a person, so those may be appropriate early on.

5 - Follow Up

The amount of time between when they become engaged with your content and when you follow up should be tested. In some cases, depending on the type of content, you may want to follow up within 20 minutes via email. You may find it more appropriate to wait a day, a week, etc... It all depends on how the user engaged with you. A simple "best practices" whitepaper download may result in a follow up no later than 3 days later. A quote request form on the other hand should have more urgency.

The content of your follow up will depend on far down your inbound marketing funnel the engaged user is, but if this is the first time this user has engaged with you, you may want to send an email asking if they have any questions or feedback on the material they downloaded. You may want to suggest something similar that you offer. You may want share an insight not provided in the content they engaged with. You DEFINITELY want to follow up and ask a question in hopes of a response from this person.

6 - Consistently Offer More Value

Continue to send them resources through your email marketing campaigns and update their CRM record when further engagement happens. The idea is to nurture them closer to being a prospect for opportunity. They've clearly expressed interest in what you offer. It's only a matter of time before they enter your sales pipeline :).