No one likes being sold to. This is where having a lead nurturing strategy helps businesses big time. People dread getting on a call with a business development executive. It puts them in a difficult situation where they have to say ‘No’ at the end of a long drawn presentation or demo. Also, if you are going to sell to someone on the first meeting or call, you will surely put them off.
Your best bet is to nurture your leads. The nurture marketing definition says- “Marketing by constantly engaging with the clients”. It is considered to be an extremely effective strategy if you want to convert your leads into customers.
What is a lead nurturing strategy?
It is a strategy where your buyer gets to know who you are, what you offer, and how you can help their business with targeted content and nurturing instead of pushing for a sale. Both the parties get to know each other during the lead nurturing strategy. There is a clear understanding of how the buyer can be helped after the end of this. You gain your prospective customer, aka buyer’s trust, move them from the top of the funnel to its bottom.
Why do you need a lead nurturing strategy?
In this fast-paced world, you must build relationships with your prospective customers. Otherwise, you will be one more seller vying for their attention. They will only try to come up with ways to avoid giving their time to you. Through lead generation, you will be able to educate the user about the need for your product. It will increase the chances of them doing business with you.
Here are some interesting statistics that will help you understand the importance of having a lead nurturing strategy:
- 96% of your website visitors are not ready to buy yet. They need to be nurtured, so once they are prepared to spend, yours will be the first name that comes to their mind.
- 48% of businesses say that most leads require a long cycle of nurturing with the help of many influencers
- 57% of marketers say that lead nurturing is the most valuable feature of automation software
- Companies with a good lead nurturing strategy will generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
1. Meet the needs of different leads:
Some of the most efficient lead nurturing strategies will include the use of data and analytics. These, when used cleverly, you will be able to know what each of the leads wants. Brands will understand what each buyer is looking for at different points in the sales cycle.
2. Automate to scale:
By automating the lead nurturing process, you will be able to work on many other core tasks. You can deliver more value to each of the leads instead of manually doing things that will tie up your time.
3. Create brand ambassadors:
When you nurture your leads, you are more likely to turn them into brand ambassadors once they realize as a customer that you are all that you promised to be. By forging strong relationships with good content and excellent user experience, they will crave more from you. Satisfied customers will always have good things to say about you; all you need to do is keep exceeding their expectations.
4. Gain competitive advantage:
When you have a lead nurturing strategy in place, you set yourself up for a win. Unless your competitors are also doing it, you are clearly at an advantage. Through the lead nurturing strategy, you would have captured the attention of your prospects. You will have shown them why you care about their needs, and it will act as a massive plus for you when your prospects are in the decision making stage in the buyer’s journey.
Steps to create a lead nurturing strategy:
A customer nurturing strategy is a long drawn process that takes time. You need to put in a continuous effort to succeed with it. If you do not have a lead nurturing strategy yet, then now is the time.
1. Align marketing and sales:
There was a time when the marketing and sales team would work in silos. They would hardly collaborate, and the only time they communicate with each other is to blame the other one. Things have changed recently. Thanks to an Account-Based marketing strategy, businesses understand the importance of the sales and marketing team working together.
There are two types of leads- marketing leads and sales leads. The former is at the top of the funnel, while the latter is at the bottom of the funnel. If the lead is ready to buy, then the sales team will take care of it. If they are not in a buying position yet, then the marketing team takes care of it, and they are put into the lead nurturing process. They are kept warm and nurtured until they are ready to be sent to the sales team.
2. Lead Scoring:
In this, you assign points to leads based on specific parameters. The points are to indicate the leads that are closest to becoming your customers. Based on the points assigned, you will have a clear understanding of what to do with the lead at this point. Instead of giving equal attention to every lead in your CRM tool, you can assign leads to your sales team according to their strengths and reach out to the right lead.
Here are a few factors that you can use to score the lead:
- The number of times the lead visited your website
- Their demographic and firmographic information
- How many times have they opened emails from you?
- The amount of time they have spent on your emails, content and website
- Have they filled any opt-in forms?
- Have they attended any webinars or demos?
- What is their social media interaction with your brand like?
Lead scoring helps companies eliminate their interest in leads that do not have much interaction with the brand, so to say. It will also provide you reasons to concentrate on a lead more.
3. Create your email marketing campaigns:
Your leads are best nurtured with the help of automated email campaigns when they are not ready to buy. Create a variety of lead magnets to capture their contact information.
Here are a few ideas to collect contact details:
- Create an ebook, whitepaper, industry report, etc. where customers should share their details to gain access to it
- Organize a webinar where you share valuable information with your target market
- Free demos to interested leads
- Sign-up forms on your website and other interaction touchpoints
- Free consultation calls
Use a good email marketing automation platform to create automated email sequences. Do remember that each lead will have different needs, so you need to develop various information for each of them.
Write down everything- welcome email sequences, customer education campaigns, re-engagement campaigns, comparison campaigns, after-sales campaigns, and so on. Someone who got recently introduced to your brand will trust your products more once they start consuming your content daily.
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4. Write targeted content:
Your nurturing lead strategy is all about bringing prospective customers closer to your brand. One of the most powerful methods is to send them targeted content. Creating good content will showcase your authority and offer them solutions that they might have been seeking for.
Create content pieces that will help them in their business. If you can create personalized content to their needs, you will be in an even better position. The content you create should show them that you are the best in the business and give them the belief that you are the right vendor. As mentioned earlier, send different types of content based on what the leads are looking for.
5. Measure your success:
If you do not measure, you will never know the effectiveness of your lead nurturing strategy. It is also difficult to hit the right note during your first lead nurturing strategy itself. You will have to look at your results to determine what worked for you and what did not. Tweak the plan to see if you can find any improvement. It is a continuous process that requires immense effort.
Set goals for what you expect and write down your present status in quantifiable terms. Write down your plans for the future as well. Choose metrics that you can track with certainty that will undoubtedly help to ascertain your campaign’s effectiveness.
Watch closely how your lead nurturing strategy is bearing fruits. Measure the results and analyze them. Are there areas where you can improve? What were the mistakes committed from your side? Is it possible to reduce the effects of the previous error?
There are so many other questions like this that deserve an answer from you.
Here are some effective lead nurturing strategies that businesses can use:
1. Use multiple channels:
There was a time when lead nurturing meant being put into an email automation campaign that sent nurture emails in drips. That is no longer effective. You need to connect with your prospective customers on multiple channels. There are powerful marketing automation platforms that will allow you to execute multiple-channel based strategies.
When referring to multiple channels, we want you to think about using social media, email marketing, podcasts, paid targeting, organic content, web content, and sales outreach. By using all of these strategies, you will be able to sway your target audience’s minds into thinking that you are a reliable brand worth their attention.
2. Timely follow-up:
The importance of follow-up regarding sales is so fundamental that how most companies treat this process is almost tragic. Many leads who are not followed up tend to ignore communication from you later once they are cold. Businesses know that most B2B buying decisions have a long window and cannot be closed in your first meeting. That’s where relationship building and nurturing takes center stage.
While automated lead nurturing allows you to reach out to a vast customer group, you need to follow up separately. You can use any channel to do the follow-up; preferably, methods discussed in your previous meeting with the prospect.
The probability of converting a lead into a customer is high when they are followed up within a few days of the meeting. You can add more supporting information while following up with them, such as a case study or a new advancement in the technology you use or a feature you offer. It might help them with deciding to choose your business.
3. Multiple touches:
As we have time and again been telling you, you cannot close a lead with just one or two interactions. All customers do not have the same journey regardless of what kind of product they buy from you. You will need to have multiple interactions before things start to look favorable.
An excellent lead nurturing strategy will contain a mix of content types such as emails, blog posts, white papers, social media posts, webinars, podcasts, etc. All of this will bring them closer to your brand. Make sure when your leads progress deeper into the sale cycle, you interact with them as much as possible and answer their queries. They should find it easy to reach out to them.
4. A/B test your content:
The best part of the online space is that you can check which content works best for your audience. They are bombarded with different kinds of marketing messages throughout the day, and you need to capture their attention. So what do you do? You need to come up with a bunch of content ideas and see how it works on them.
A segment of your customers will like A-type content, while another segment will like B-type content. Once you have this knowledge, ensure that you only send out the content based on their likes. It will help with your lead nurturing efforts as well.
5. Test your CTAs:
The Call-Through-Action button can either stir a lot of conversions or make your funnel super dry. Your CTAs are super important in your lead nurturing strategy. Experiment with your CTAs with a bunch of power words, first-person pronouns, and text. There are no “perfect” CTA. It depends on how well you place the CTA and word it.
Key metrics to calculate the ROI of your lead nurturing strategy:
Average Deal Value:
When you know your deal’s value, when a lead becomes a customer, it will help you predict your revenue. Focus on deals where the prospect shows a lot of interest; it doesn’t always have to be the biggest deals.
These are metrics that tell you the awareness of the brand by customers. They include your growth in website traffic, social media count or the number of people who have downloaded your app.
The effectiveness of your lead nurturing strategy is measured by the number of conversions you make. These conversions can include the following- 1. The number of current downloads, 2. The number of podcast attendees, 3. The number of people who passed their information through the lead magnet, 4. The number of consultation calls booked, 5. The number of sign-ups, etc.
It shows how your leads are interacting with your lead nurturing process. The performance metrics could include click-through rates and email opened rates. These are also referred to as engagement metrics.
The better your lead nurturing campaign strategy, the cheaper it will be to convert leads into customers. When your content convinces your leads, it becomes much easier to expect them to open their purse strings. Make sure you keep tracking this metric as you need to know how much you are spending for a marketing campaign and each lead before they become customers.
Wrapping it up…
Nurturing a lead and converting them into a customer takes time. It requires a series of efforts from the business to make that happen. It can take anywhere from a month to more than two financial quarters, or even more. All of it depends on the effectiveness of your lead nurturing strategy and the prevailing market conditions. Lead nurturing is an important function of your sales and marketing team. Still, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves because it doesn’t offer instant results.
Businesses that have a long-term lead nurturing strategy can certainly hope to create more revenue. You need to devote time, effort and the right set of resources to make this happen. Using some of the above steps that we have outlined for you, you will be able to get more conversions.
As a part of your nurture campaign, you can send a market research survey to your prospects with the help of the online survey tool SurveySparrow. You will be able to collect a variety of information based on the questions you formulate. It will help you with lead capturing and conversion when the data from the survey is used effectively. Businesses can also use SurveySparrow as an online customer experience management tool by understanding what they grow through and how your content affects them.
Get in touch with the SurveySparrow team if you would like to understand more about how we could help you in your lead nurturing strategy.