It’s important to keep in mind that people aren’t looking for the solution to their problems neither they’re even interested in reading your sales messages. They’re finding reasons to spam or unsubscribe.
Believe it or not, you need to think about it.
However, Marketingsherpa says, 58% of readers are those who stop reading, engage or unsubscribe.
That’s good to know that you have the most qualified leads in order to generate sales revenue and keep things running smoothly. But once you’ve got them: what next? At this point, your job doesn’t stop and you need to convert them into paid customers.
You may have seen that many companies have a bunch of leads but they aren’t seeing any return on investment. That’s where lead nurturing comes in: lead nurturing is just as important as lead generation. Lead nurturing maintains a long-lasting relationship with your potential customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
In this article, you’ll get to know what lead nurturing is, why you need a lead nurturing strategy, deciding what best practices and tactics to implement for effective lead nurturing process campaigns.
About Lead Nurturing
In essence, lead nurturing is a process of building stronger relationships with your potential buyers to maximize sales opportunities and keep buyers moving throughout your sales pipelines. With lead nurturing, you can generate high valued prospects and helps in achieving lead nurturing goals.
Neil Patel, the co-founder of NP Digital, says that leads are real ambassadors of your brand if you play your cards right.
The goal of the lead nurturing process is to educate and engage with potential prospects, provide valuable information, and develop awareness about your product or service.
Lead Nurturing Campaign
A lead nurturing campaign is a series of messages that are to be sent over a period of time. This works with what your customer want, need, or expect – all three should be taken into consideration. A lead nurturing campaign can be automated, or executed manually.
Some of the examples of lead nurturing:
- Email Drip Campaigns
- Personalized Emails
- Email Newsletters
- Cold calling
- Direct Email
- Content Marketing
- PPC Advertisement
The truth you can’t ignore is that the lead nurturing campaigns typically don’t work every time and not every lead can’t convert into a buyer into the lead magnet. So, the more value you add to your campaign, the more customers you can get from your lead nurturing campaign. That’s how lead nurturing works really well!
About Lead Scoring
Before reading further about lead nurturing strategy, how do you know which lead you have to consider and which to ignore? The answer is simple, i.e., lead scoring.
Lead Scoring is a data-driven system that allows you to give each lead a ranking based on its buying potential. Every company designs a lead scoring model to determine how hot or cold a lead is.
Lead Scoring acts as a complement to a lead nurturing strategy that helps companies to find purchase-ready prospects. Leads that score high have greater chances of becoming your customer, while a lower lead score depicts leads that are likely to make subsequent purchases.
Why is Lead Scoring important?
Lead Nurturing system allow marketing teams to determine which scoring leads you need to focus most of the time. These rankings are far more effective when you score leads. But what if your lead score gets lower; you can market to them by sending different types of information like;
- Opt-in forms
- Social Media interactions
- User Behavior
- Professional Information
In fact, Marketing Sherpa found that companies using lead scoring mechanisms increased their ROI for lead generation activities by 77%; a later study found that 68% of “highly effective and efficient” marketers attribute their success to lead scoring processes.
Why do you need a Lead Nurturing Strategy?
We’ve covered the basics of a lead nurturing campaign and its importance, but now we will understand the importance of lead nurturing strategy.
In the book, “Start with Lead”, Brian Carroll says that, “Lead generation isn’t about instant gratification, but rather requires sustained effort to succeed, often over a relatively long period of time. Keywords are consistency and time.”
There are few reasons why lead nurturing strategy must be considered by the companies within their marketing plans.
Lead Nurturing could be the most cost-effective way to generate sales. According to Demandgen Report, Lead nurturing drives 20% more sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads.
Businesses should focus more on nurturing leads for better ROI. This can be proved from the study of Marketo saying businesses that nurture leads enjoy 50% more sales at an average of 33% lower costs than non-nurture prospects.
Lead nurturing generates nearly 3x more clicks than email blasts. Hubspot research shows that emails sent out for lead nurturing purposes had an average click-through rate of 8%, significantly higher than regular emails, which had an average CTR of 3%.
That’s not all, MarketingSherpa found that 22% of B2B companies nurture leads weekly i.e., they reach out to prospects each week, so that might be good to start!
That’s why deciding lead nurturing strategy is so important that helps brands to form ongoing customer relationships. Brands can continue to engage and connect with them until they push them towards converting them into paying customers.
Get Started with Lead Nurturing Strategy
Now, let’s move on to the next step of using lead nurturing strategy tactics that might help you to successfully convert your potential prospects and in achieving lead nurturing goals.
Ready? Let’s look at the best lead nurturing tactics and tools that will drive success to your business.
Fully understand your Buyer Persona
The first step of your lead nurturing strategy needs to be having a thorough understanding of the buyer persona. If you haven’t started identifying your buyer persona, there’s no time like the present.
With all marketing strategies, lead nurturing starts with identifying the ideal customer that allows you to know who is and isn’t the right prospect in your pipeline.
In fact, 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals segment their database by buyer persona. Marketer Insider Group
You need to stay focused on your buyer persona but how do you know your buyer’s wants and needs? All this starts with developing a buyer’s persona and this will require time and resources. This includes the following:
- Demographic (age, location, income)
- Background (work experience, family, job)
- Weak Points
- Preferred content formats (social media, blog post, e-books, videos)
- Find places where they’re most likely to find information
Once you define your buyer’s persona, it will help you cater to what content and communication they respond best to. You can collect their information via forms, surveys, or online research.
Create Targeted content
You’re well aware of the fact that content is the king. Now you’ve got the information about your targeting prospects. Next, it’s time to take your prospecting to the next level by creating segmented content for each phase of your buying process.
According to a report generated by Demand Metric, content marketing is thrice as effective at generating leads as outbound marketing while costing a whopping 62% less.
This is where content marketing comes in – offering something of value to your customers. Segment your content by providing valuable information that is relevant to your target audience. You can go even further by segmenting content that will serve your audience at each stage:
- Awareness Stage (or Top of Funnel): This stage supports awareness and discovery. Content should be informative and engaging that educates, resourceful, solve problems, and answer questions. Content formats often include blog posts, videos, infographics, e-books, podcasts, webinars, worksheets, quizzes, etc.
- Evaluation Stage (or Middle of Funnel): At this phase, content should be created that helps the prospects to learn more products and services. The content will help buyers to find the best possible solutions to their problems and consider the best one. Content formats mainly include case studies, whitepapers, e-books, webinars, and datasheets.
- Purchase Stage (or Bottom of Funnel): Prospects get help in the purchasing decision from the content. Developing the bottom of funnel content makes your users drive towards your content to help make their purchase.
Launch email marketing communication
A lead nurturing strategy needed marketing automation to be set up to deliver the right message to the right prospects at the right time. Email Marketing automation is the backbone of lead nurturing that uses software to deliver the content automatically.
Using a marketing automation tool, you can create message sequences that send out your content and communication. With this, you don’t have to monitor manually what left behind. Your personalized email message must be incorporated in such a way that is most relevant to your buyer’s recent activity.
Personalize your Nurture
Personalization is basically the appreciated lead nurturing hero. You need to be more personalized through your content as much as possible to recognize the buyer’s unique wants and needs. If you already know that if you keep your prospect’s name at the top of your email message, this doesn’t mean that your customers will still be ready to purchase your offerings. They will do too much online research to check whether your brand’s product/ service is worth purchasing or not.
True personalization happens only when you tailor your content in such a way that’ll make each point feel personal, unique, and exclusive. Google says 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. And, even worse, 40 percent visit a competitor’s site instead.
Well, you are familiar with the saying, “The first impression is the last impression”. In lead nurturing, you can make your first impression through welcome emails. This is the initial step in a lead nurturing strategy that usually takes place between you and your prospects. These emails must be written in a way that leaves a good impression and encourages your potential leads to make an initial conversation.
According to Experian, welcome emails have an open rate of 57.8%, compared to 14.6% for other types of emails. When emails are sent in real-time, this figure increases to 83%.
When we talk about lead nurturing, keeping the existing prospect is much cheaper than acquiring new prospects. While a lot of people think that their formed relationship with customers or prospects ends once the sale is closed.
In the process of follow up, ensure that you remind your prospects about your product/ service they loved. This lead nurturing strategy ensures your long-lasting connection with your existing prospects.
An analysis of more than 2,200 American companies found those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even sixty minutes.
Measure your Success
How do you know that your efforts are worthwhile or not? In order to determine the success of your campaign, it’s important to make sure to have defined metrics tied up to your goals. You need to set benchmarks of what you achieve, whether it is the number of leads coming in or conversion rates.
Evaluate that from which content you’re getting the most leads and which campaigns are doing great in getting most qualified leads. However, as a smart marketer you need to monitor the overall campaign KPIs so that you’ll get a clear overview of an analytical report that’ll help you to improve the entire lead generation process and content management system.
Still not convinced, read what important sales metrics and KPIs that every B2B marketer should focus on.
For a successful customer lifecycle marketing plan, there is no better strategy than leveraging retargeting.
Retargeting delivers ads to audiences who have already visited your website or based on past behaviors or interactions with your brand. This works by displaying digital ads based on their activity like visited your website or social profile, time spent on site or pages visited.
How can you do this? By adding pixels from Facebook, Twitter and Google Ads to a brand’s website. The data captured from the pixel is used to create an audience based on behaviors.
Retargeted search ads have higher conversion rates than display ads, but they’re also more expensive. [Source: Wordstream]
There is no doubt in saying that nurturing leads takes time and effort. But always remember that not every lead is going to become your potential client. Your lead nurturing strategies should be a core part of your B2B or B2C marketing strategy, that will help you to nurture better leads and boost sales.
Also, don’t rely on email marketing. It is far more better to track which interaction or behavior to track, how a specific lead should look like and what content is right to deliver to the audience.
Here are some facts that might be helpful for you:
- Organizations that nurture their leads experience a 45% lift in lead generation ROI over those organizations that do not. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
- Nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Source: Demand Gen Report)
Above all lead nurturing tactics will help you to improve your marketing automation and sales processes. Nurturing you leads is an effective way to boost efficiency, engagement, content management, and ultimately results.
What’s your favorite lead nurturing strategy? Did we forget to mention your unique strategy, let us know your thoughts!