Nurturing leads is extremely critical to any business’s success. Technological advancements have led to an increase in competition in the online marketplace, while the customer’s buying behavior has also changed over the years. And these are just a few reasons that prove the importance of lead nurturing. In most cases, only a small percentage of the total number of leads land as your customers, whereas over 90% of leads get left out.
You may invest a lot of money, time, and resources in a lead generation campaign, but if you aren’t nurturing them, you're simultaneously losing leads as soon as they come in. This is why it's not enough to generate leads anymore, only a lead nurturing strategy will direct them through a sales funnel.
What is a Lead?
A lead is someone interested in the products and services you offer and has the possibility of turning into your customer. Most leads give you their contact information and expect to get in touch with them at some point for marketing.
By implementing lead nurturing strategies, you cannot only educate your prospects about how your products or services can solve their pain points but also show them why you're the best choice available to them.
Lead nurturing can also help you increase engagement and build a trustful relationship. A well-planned lead nurturing strategy will include offering relevant information or content to your target audience, multichannel nurturing, well-timed follow-ups, and personalization.
Implementing an effective lead nurturing strategy can have a huge impact on the results of your inbound marketing, make your customer loyal, improve your customer retention rate, increase revenue, and more. But all this is possible if you only use the right strategy at the right time.
In this blog, we cover the most effective lead nurturing tactics that will help you skyrocket your conversion rates. But before we get into strategies, let's understand what lead nurturing is.
What is Lead Nurturing?
The process of lead nurturing requires engagement with your target audience by providing them with relevant content, supporting their needs, and providing them a sense of delight while pushing them through a sales funnel.
According to Marketo, over 50% of leads in the system are usually not ready to buy. Lead nurturing campaigns will enable you to increase engagement with your prospects at each stage of the sale funnel and convert them into your customers.
We cannot simply push people to buy something as we also have to be there every step of the way offering any help that may require. Despite it being one of the most important procedures in marketing, only 36% of marketers nurture their leads. This is because most companies completely neglect their prospects after they subscribe and don’t interact with them.
If you implement lead nurturing strategies you will get a higher conversion rate build relationships and earn the trust of your leads. They are many more benefits to using lead nurturing, keep reading to find out what they are.
Benefits of Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing can be timed – Lead nurturing campaigns are usually timed, unlike random email distribution. Lead nurturing campaigns require you to respond in a timely manner in order to show the prospect that you're interested in developing a relationship with them.
Lead nurturing campaigns can be automated – Automating them will not only help you save time from manually tracking the prospects but also be consistent and quick every time. You also get a detailed report that can be used to nurture them further.
Build a trustful relationship – The main reason behind lead nurturing is to build a long-lasting relationship with them so they can re-purchase your products or services in the future.
Provide curated content – With lead nurturing you can understand their pain points and then provide them with the solutions to your products or services. You can also send them targeted and relevant information that will encourage them to take the desired action.
Save money – One of the biggest advantages of lead nurturing is that it is more cost-effective than compared to direct email messaging. It is cheaper because once you automate it, you won’t require any human resources to work on it.
Increase your click-through rates – Many studies have proved that lead nurturing strategies have led to a steady increase in the CTR since it removes people who are not willing to do business and focuses on the leads that most likely will purchase.
Discover cross-selling or upselling opportunities – Lead nurturing will not only increase the number of sales you have but also allow you to increase the value of sales. This is because lead nurturing helps your clients/customers gain more awareness of what your company offers.
Challenges of Lead Nurturing
Requires in-depth research – You have to collect all the vital information that is related to your target audience, this may include their needs, expectations, pain points, motivators, etc. This will allow you to create targeted content for your prospects, which would not otherwise be possible if you are not taking the time to do the research.
Not enough lead magnets or opt-in forms – If you don’t add enough opt-in forms and other lead magnets then your leads won’t subscribe and they won’t be added to the lead list. Only when they are on your list you can convince them to become your customer.
If you are not testing enough – You have to test your lead nurturing campaigns you can A/B test different parts of your email and send the ones that give the best results.
Determining lead nurturing timeframes – If you try to nurture leads after they have turned cold, then you lose out on leads. This is why to set a precise timeline for lead nurturing email and its follow-ups. You can determine the timeline by observing your customer's buying cycle.
Determine relevant content or offers – Without getting to know the interest of your target audience you won’t know about the type of content that should be sent to them. And if they don’t receive relevant content, they will soon lose interest in your brand or its products.
Track your lead nurturing results – Once you send out your lead nurturing campaign you have to constantly monitor its results. This will allow you to make the necessary changes, implement the best strategies and increase the overall results. Make sure to monitor KPIs like open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement rates.
8 Top Lead Nurturing Strategies
1. Utilize Multiple Channels for Marketing
In the technological era, everything is connected, customers like to do their research on any products or services they may be interested in. In fact, over 90% of your customers are said to look for information about the products they are interested in on search engines, social media sites, and third-party review sites. This is why lead nurturing must be omnichannel as nurturing them just through email is not enough anymore.
Multi-channel lead nurturing requires you to automate your emails, provide dynamic content, and implement paid retargeting and direct sales outreach. So, if you want to be tech-savvy marketers make sure to be available on social media, create YouTube videos on your products, podcasts, post blogs, and set events or webinars.
Doing this will also help you reach out to the new audience and build a rapport with them. You should provide them with an ample amount of information in every channel your target audience may use and direct them towards your sales funnel. Being present on multiple channels will help you retarget your leads so they can complete the purchase they couldn’t before or even try to upsell your existing products.
2. Use Chatbots to Interact in Real-Time
Chatbots have now become one of the most effective and vital sales tools used by most marketers. This is because it allows you to interact with your lead and that too in real-time! Chatbots are quick to engage with your leads the minute they land on your website and also help in directing them towards what your leads are looking for.
Another advantage of using chatbots is that you can qualify your leads and shorten your sales cycle since they are equipped with AI. You can use chatbot platforms like Chatfuel, Manychat, and Driftto to use this feature for free. When your customers have any queries regarding your products the chatbots will do all the weightlifting for you.
You will be sending the right message at the right time since timing is delicate at the beginning of the buyer journey. Because of these aspects, chatbots have become an essential aspect of inbound lead nurturing.
3. Provide Leads with Targeted Content
When it comes to lead nurturing, one size doesn’t fit all. The target audience may have different needs, expectations, pain points, and motivators. This is why you have to segment your audience, understand every buyer’s persona, and send them targeted content. You can start by creating curated content based on the characteristics like interests, goals, objectives, and marketing triggers.
Remember to provide solutions to their pain point or at least address them in the content you send them. Ask yourself questions like “How does your product/services solve your audience's pain point?” “Does it give them more opportunities, free up their time or entertain them?” “Can our products/services solve their pain point?”. Once you answer these questions you will be able to create content that is more targeted toward the particular customer.
4. Segment Your Leads
Lead segmentation is a process where you divide prospects into different clusters of groups based on various parameters and insights that you have collected. The main reason behind doing this process is that you can determine certain leads and pay more focus on converting them into your customers. This process also helps you understand the pain points of leads and create personalized content easily.
Since consumers have different needs, they should be nurtured in different ways, and only if you segment will you know what they are looking for. Segmenting will also make you send the right message at the right to the right type of lead. You can also segment your content so that every buyer journey receives the content that is relevant to the stage of the sales funnel they are in. The more curated content you create, the more appreciated your target audience feels.
5. Educate Your Leads with Lead Nurturing Emails
It's very important to educate your leads on what you offer throughout the buyer journey. Your customers are constantly looking for more information on products or services that they are interested in because they don’t want to buy the wrong product or spend money unnecessarily. Email is the perfect tool to nurture your leads through their journey from a lead to a customer.
So, when your leads subscribe to your newsletter, they expect to receive certain information or want a specific question to be answered at every stage of your marketing funnel. It is your responsibility to the right information at the different stages of the sales funnel. Here is an example of the kind of content you can provide them at the three most important stages of the sales funnel:
Awareness Phase – In this stage a buyer becomes aware of your products, services, or company. The lead will most probably look for more information about your company and maybe directly to your website. Here you can offer them blog links, advice via email, and other educational information.
Consideration stage – By this stage, the lead would have realized their pain point or goal and will try to discover solutions to solve their problem or reach their goal. Your product or service will be one of the solutions that they might be considering. Your job at this stage is to make them believe that your solution is the best among your competitors, by providing content that is unique and stands out.
Decision Phase – Your lead will have a decision at this stage and you just need to provide the tipping point. At this stage, you go provide them content that will make them take an action like purchasing your products and services.
6. High-Value Lead Offers
Personalization is the key element of nurturing strategies. You have to implement personalized or customer offers to every single offer, deal, or sale you provide to your prospects. You can send them exclusive offers or bundled deals at the stage where a lead is most likely to make a purchase. If your offer an un-resistible deal like a free trial or discount then, that way you will increase the likelihood of conversion.
Make sure to communicate directly with your leads and provide them with actionable information regarding your product or services and try to go beyond their expectations. Offering these deals is not where it ends as you should make sure you live up to the promise you make. Free shipping has also become a gold standard of offers you can provide your clients. Most customers expect you to at least offer free shipping if and when they purchase your products.
7. Give Importance to Lead Scoring
In short words, lead scoring is the process that ranks the sales readiness of a particular lead predetermined methodology. In lead scoring, you get to determine certain criteria or data points that will help you pick out the sales-qualified leads and assign point values to all the criteria. Leads can be ranked based on their characters and behaviors, and the actions they take when they are on your website.
The biggest advantage of lead scoring is that it helps you rank your subscribers on a scale of interest. It can also tell you which lead requires more attention and which lead is easy to convince.
Depending on the results of lead scoring you can decide whether or not you want to follow up with them. Many marketing automation software has built-in lead scoring which scores leads based on their behaviors so you can use them overdoing it manually.
8. Make Sure Your Marketing and Sales Teams Coordinate with Each Other
It's known that marketing and sales don’t always go together, but if you want to make your lead nurturing campaign work then your marketing and sales teams must work in sync with each other. Since they are working towards the same goal, they must take their respective roles in identifying leads and then nurturing them till they make a purchase. The teams can be on the same page if they use the same tool, where both are able to find all the relevant information and track the journey together.
Both teams need to have a constant eye on the leadership journey and solve any pain points that may arise. It is important to know that only sales and marketing teams can come to an agreement on which demographics and behaviors should be focused upon. Sale and marketing can also filter down the leads that may not be interested in the products and focus on the ones that most likely will purchase.
Launching a well-researched lead nurturing campaign will not only convert more customers and boost sales but will also help you retarget leads that need more convincing. You MUST understand your target audience and make a target persona out of the data you have collected.
Remember to track your leads down the sales funnel, align your sales and marketing teams, and apply some of the lead nurturing strategies given above. With lead nurturing you can seal up those holes in your lead campaigns, capture more attention, and increase conversions. Of course, lead nurturing is not easy, but with time and practice, you can perfect it for your campaigns.