This article outlines all there is to know about lead nurturing, including what it is, its benefits, and seven of the most effective tactics.
With the word “lead generation” thrown here and there, many small and medium enterprises owners believe that getting some leads, converting them, and making profits is all there is to it.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Actually, 80% of new leads never translate into sales. It’s unrealistic to think that you can find a lead today, call or email your prospect, and close the deal immediately. Leads are not a guaranteed sale. They’re just possibilities.
So, what exactly happens between the time you get a lead to the moment you actually close the sale? That’s where lead nurturing comes in. In this article, we take a deep dive into lead nurturing. We will explore what it is, why it’s important, and seven of the best lead nurturing tactics.
Let’s get started!
Lead Nurturing Defined
Lead nurturing is a process where businesses engage, support, and build meaningful relationships with their prospective customers. As a result they provide relevant and appropriate information and content at every stage of the marketing funnel.
A successful lead nurturing program involves listening to prospects’ needs and providing the answers and information they require to build trust and boost brand awareness.
You should note that not all leads generated by your sales and marketing teams are sales-ready. Although some consumers may be interested in your products or services, they would typically have some concerns or questions about what you offer. Answering these questions correctly and providing the prospects with relevant information moves them from the awareness stage to the decision stage.
Doing so helps move new prospects from the awareness stage to the decision stage. It works by taking them on a personalised tour of your brand and the solutions it offers.
Reasons Why Lead Nurturing is Important
57% of marketers consider it an essential part of their success journey and for a good reason! From contextual communication to encouraging referrals, your business can get tons of benefits from lead nurturing.
Here are five top reasons you should invest your time, money, and efforts in lead nurturing:
- More sales at lower costs: Research shows that businesses that excel at nurturing leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
- Boosts engagement: Lead nurturing allows businesses to maintain engagement with leads.
- Builds a brand reputation: Lead nurturing allows you to provide helpful information and content to your subscribers. In turn, this gives you the upper hand in the market, hence gaining a competitive edge over the competition.
- Improves the decision-making process in businesses: With lead nurturing, your business can focus its energy appropriately, making it easy to make informed decisions.
- Identifies both upsell and cross-sell opportunities: Lead nurturing provides an opportunity to inform your clients of other products and services.
Now that you know the various benefits of lead nurturing, it’s time we look at the different tactics to help you convert those leads that have been coming your way.
Lead Nurturing Tactics
The discovery of new leads can be a daunting task. Let alone developing a full-blown lead nurturing campaign. In fact, 65% of businesses believe that generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge. Fortunately, there are several tactics you can leverage to develop a winning lead nurturing campaign.
Here are seven of the most effective lead nurturing tactics to grow your customer base and make more profits.
1. Take advantage of targeted content
Nurturing your leads strategically with targeted content is proven to be effective in improving your businesses’ performance. So, how do you create targeted content?
You may begin by understanding your buyer personas, which represent your ideal client. It involves creating one or more fictional customer(s) who reflect your target audience.
Then, using your buyer personas, you can create targeted content to nurture each of your persona’s character traits, including their objectives, goals, interests, and marketing triggers.
A marketing automation platform can help you determine, segment, and target your unique buyer personas as you scale your strategy.
2. Leverage multi-channel lead nurturing methods
Traditionally, most lead nurturing tactics involved creating an email campaign and sending out generic emails to several prospective clients. However, with the improvement in technology, things have changed.
Today, most marketers are looking for innovative strategies and technologies that go beyond simple email nurturing. Therefore, many are using powerful marketing automation platforms to execute multi-channel lead nurturing tactics.
Effective multi-channel lead nurturing involves communicating with individuals through targeted marketing platforms, including social media, emails, direct sales, and website content.
In other words, the successful execution of the multi-channel strategy demands that your sales and marketing teams work cohesively and are well-aligned.
3. Use multiple touches
It’s unusual for anyone to purchase a product or service at the first or second touch. Research shows that 96% of website first-time visitors aren’t ready to buy your product or service offering. That’s why you need to use multiple touches, so that you can encourage them to buy what you’re offering.
So, how many marketing touches does it take to nurture your leads until they convert? According to research, you’ll need an average of 5 - 10 marketing touches to convert a prospect from a visitor or a lead into a customer.
Aim to provide your prospective customers with relevant content to help answer their questions and concerns about your offerings. The right content allows prospects to progress through the sale funnel until they become buyers. You can use direct emails, blog posts, social media, interactive calculators, or white papers to nurture your leads into customers.
4. Follow up with lead promptly
Did you know that about 80% of sales leads requires up to 5 follow-ups after the initial interaction, but only 8% of sales representative follow up this many times? This is a surprise, given the evident benefits of immediate follow-up with the prospect.
So, after using the automated lead nurturing techniques to reach a large group of prospects, take your time to write an email or make a phone call. This will get you the sale you’re looking for. Ensure to execute the follow-up call or email immediately after the initial contact. Don’t wait until the lead turns cold!
A timely, well-planned follow-up is far more effective than any volume of cold calling. This is because the prospect has already shown interest in your products or services. Plus, you know what they want based on their browsing history.
5. Send personalised email
Email marketing remains among the most effective strategies for both lead generation and nurturing. And, personalising these emails makes these efforts even more fruitful. You get more qualified leads, and your conversion rates go up!
Personalisation remains to be one of the most effective marketing practices out there. People want to be seen as individuals and are more comfortable talking to fellow individuals rather than a firm. In fact, research indicates that 41% of consumers switch businesses due to a lack of personalisation.
So, how do you personalise your emails to improve your lead nurturing strategy?
The best way is to create automated emails, which send triggered messages whenever a visitor completes a specific action. You may segment your emails based on certain factors, such as age, gender, country or others.
With a combination of marketing personalisation and behaviorally triggered emails, you can deliver the right marketing message to the correct individuals at precisely the perfect times.
6. Take advantage of lead scoring tactics
For those hearing this concept for the first time, lead scoring involves ranking leads to determine their sales-readiness. Here, you score leads based on the interest they show in your products or services, their present position in the buying cycle, and how they fit in your brand.
You can implement lead scoring in most marketing automation platforms by assigning numeric values to social media interactions, conversions rates, and certain website browsing behaviours. The results you obtain can guide your sales and marketing team in identifying which leads to prioritise in your nurturing campaign.
7. Align your sales and marketing tactics
Aligning your sales and marketing efforts improves the lead nurturing strategies and boosts customer retention rates.
You should identify the exact points in a sales funnel journey where the prospect is transitioned between the sales and marketing teams. Next, you should outline the shared responsibilities, expectations, and goals for this cross-team collaboration. You can create the sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA) for this purpose. The SLA helps the two teams to understand their shared responsibility in nurturing leads and converting them into paying consumers. If you are looking for support and utilising proven to work strategies to nurture your leads, check out our Automated Growth Scenario.
The Bottom Line
Lead nurturing is undoubtedly a vital aspect of any business’s success journey. In addition to increasing businesses’ return on investment, it has proved effective in reducing costs and building brand reputation.