A Comprehensive Look at the Best Tactics and Benefits of Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is an essential part of your marketing process. An effective lead nurturing strategy can boost your conversion rates, up your sales, and give you a competitive advantage over your rivals.
A lead nurturing strategy is also critical to your customer retention and loyalty goals. Every company should have one or more lead nurturing campaigns. But before you create your winning lead nurturing strategy, it’s critical to learn a little more about its concepts.
In this article, we’ll break down lead nurturing and walk you through effective lead nurturing tactics that will convert your prospects to customers.
What Exactly is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of not only generating leads but intentionally consolidating your buyer-business relationship with your customers every step of the sales funnel. It is the process of guiding your potential buyers through your funnel until they eventually make purchases. This is achieved by understanding their needs, communicating and engaging with them, sharing useful information, and generally keeping them interested in buying your product.
Paying customers is a marketer’s dream, but lead nurturing stats indicate that over half of your leads are often reluctant or not ready to buy yet, especially when they first contact your website or product. Marketo places this figure at nearly 80%.
With an effective lead nurturing campaign, you give these leads the attention they deserve to turn them from potential buyers to loyal customers. Lead nurturing also has other benefits. We’ll look at a few of these below.
6 Benefits of an Effective Lead Nurturing Strategy
According to Forrester Research, companies with an excellent lead nurturing strategy generate up to 50% more sales-ready leads at a lower cost of 33%. Also, marketing studies show that nurtured leads make 47% more purchases than non-nurtured leads.
These are encouraging stats that show the importance of a comprehensive lead nurturing campaign. However, there are other reasons why you need to invest in your business’s lead nurturing.
Helps build your brand-customer relationship
Don’t expect to send occasional texts messages or email newsletters, and expect something to come out of it. You have to keep the prospects in your sales funnel interested. This entails communicating regularly and showing that you’re interested in an actual relationship and not just what you can get out of it. It’s the same with lead nurturing. As you share relevant information and personalized content with your leads, you reinforce your brand’s relationship with them and increase your chances of converting leads to purchases.
Saves money and reduces customer acquisition cost
Effective lead nurturing helps you save money. You can reduce your customer acquisition cost (CAC) by using less expensive nurturing methods and automating your marketing process. CAC can be calculated by dividing the total cost of marketing by the number of sales made.
Also, since lead nurturing is a form of inbound marketing, it’s easier to convert internal leads to paying customers than cold-calling a lead you’ve never interacted with. And cheaper too, because you already know what content to send to them at every stage of the funnel.
Improves lead generation
While lead nurturing focuses on the leads in the sales funnel, it can also be used to generate new leads. When potential buyers find value in your content, they may decide to share it with their friends and family. These shares can translate to one more lead added to your funnel. You can generate new leads through lead nurturing by adding CTAs to your blogs, articles, and emails, amongst others.
Builds brand authority
As you continually share useful tools with lead and as you provide better answers to problems within your niche, you become a thought leader. Lead nurturing builds your reputation as a relevant information source and brand authority. The more questions you answer and the solutions you proffer, the more people look towards your brand for help.
With lead nurturing, you get to stay on your potential customer’s mind. You remain fresh in your memories, and they’ll always remember to refer you when faced with issues related to your industry/line of business.
Creates loyal customers
Lead nurturing tells your would-be customer that you aren’t only concerned with sales; you genuinely want to create a bond of trust with them. It shows that you are interested in addressing their needs and providing solutions to their numerous pain points. Thus, gaining the trust and admiration of people in your funnel, which often turns into sales!
Acts as a filter
Lead nurturing also acts as a filter in several ways. It can help weed out dormant or unwilling leads by giving them the option to unsubscribe from receiving your content. It also helps you ensure leads with greater value or Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) reach the sales team instead of generally prospecting and possibly losing your best leads.
8 Effective Tactics for Your Lead Nurturing Campaign
Although lead nurturing is an essential part of marketing (and sales), the number of companies implementing lead nurturing campaigns is still on the low side. Invesp believes only 35% of B2B marketers have established a lead nurturing strategy.
This number is discouraging but also serves as an opportunity for your company to rank above its competition. You can leverage this by creating and strengthening your lead nurturing campaign with nifty lead nurturing tactics. Some of these tactics include:
Creating buyer personas
You cannot provide solutions when you don’t know your audience’s problem or background. You’ll end up offering spammy, salesy information that no one needs or is interested in. By analyzing and segmenting the data acquired from your leads’ activities and interaction with your website and content, you can create multiple buyer personas for various categories of people in your sales funnel.
A buyer persona is a well-researched fictional or semi-fictional representation of the type of users that may purchase your product or service. Hence, armed with profiles of potential customer categories, you can streamline your activities according to these profiles. Be sure to use automated tools to help you recognize similarities between leads in your funnel and group them accordingly.
Targeted content marketing
You must have heard this sentence, “content is king.” Well, no matter how cliché it sounds, it still rings true today. Buyers are concerned with what you can do for them and how you can help them solve their challenges. Valuable and timely content shared across various channels show leads that you know what troubles them and how your product can help them solve it.
Content here can be a newsletter, videos, e-books, blogs, and articles, amongst others. However, website content seems to lead the charge. A Statista survey among B2B marketers in the US found that 55 percent of respondents were considered articles and blog posts the most valuable content for moving prospects through the sales funnel.
But it doesn’t just end at providing content; your content must be relevant to your buyer’s journey. Aligning content with a lead’s stage in the funnel can boost conversion rates by 72%. Therefore, segmentation remains key to sharing content that suits your prospect’s requirements.
Automating the lead nurturing system
Lead nurturing is beneficial to your marketing strategy, but it becomes a pain when you do not automate the process. Manually studying and segmenting data can waste your time, money, and energy.
However, automating repetitive tasks such as studying and analyzing qualified prospect’s behavior or browsing activity, email marketing, social media sharing helps make the process of lead nurturing efficient and cost-effective. It also provides a more personalized experience for your potential customers.
Automation also means that you’re able to give answers to problems faster and better. There’s also the fact that you can ensure your presence across all relevant channels without going through the process of tweaking your content every time. This doesn’t mean you should neglect the human part of lead nurturing. Nothing beats a human touch, and one-on-one marketing still has a place in your lead nurturing campaign. We’ll get to that soon.
Multi-channel lead nurturing
A well-recognized pillar of lead nurturing is email marketing. It’s common to see a lead nurturing strategy that consists of an email drip campaign and the occasional direct sale. However, in this day and age, it is not advisable.
Your leads are spread across a variety of channels now, and an email drip may not cut it. Instead, you should spread your efforts across multiple channels like your website, retargeting ads on Google, and social. To put this into perspective, the average number of social media accounts operated by a millennial or Gen Z-er is 8.4 worldwide. So, it’s not enough to send mails; you need to interact with your leads on other channels – like social – to add a personal element to your lead nurturing. Join their conversations and show your knowledge in a conversational and respectful way.
Scour hashtags and internet forums to know how people feel about your brand or what challenges they have for you to solve.
Coordinating your sales and marketing teams
This is a crucial lead nurturing strategy. If your sales department is moving on a different trajectory from your marketing department, then your campaign may fail. These two teams must know what each other is doing and what stage one hands over to the other. For instance, if there’s no communication, your sales team may scare off prospects that require more nurturing.
It’s advised that your sales and marketing teams use shared software so each department can see how far they’ve gone with a lead and brainstorm on ways to achieve their target — acquiring loyal customers.
Using smart forms or surveys
Building a connection with your lead requires you to know more about them. And you can’t know more without asking questions. This is where surveys come in. Sometimes the data from a lead’s website browsing behavior isn’t enough. With carefully placed forms and surveys, you can identify your lead’s goals and know where they fit in your sales funnel.
For instance, you could prompt your readers to answer a short question about why they visited a particular page on your website or why they made a certain purchase. If they respond that they were looking for a product, you could refer similar or complementary products to them. And if your lead says they were only browsing, you could invite them to go through informational articles on your site or prompt them to join your mailing list. Surveys also help you figure out what buyer profile a lead fits into and what type of content best suits them.
Making use of a lead scoring system
Lead scoring is also called lead qualification or classification. It is the process of ranking leads according to their level in the buying process or based on their willingness to purchase. It involves grading potential buyers according to their value or potential value. This ranking is usually based on actions they’ve taken or are taking and their interactions with your content or marketing campaign.
A lead scoring system helps you determine the amount of nurturing a lead requires. For instance, if a prospect regularly interacts with product content more than informational content, then they are most likely looking to purchase soon. With this in mind, you can redouble your efforts to convert them into customers or simply hand them over to the sales team to follow up.
However, leads that rarely interact with your content may require more nurturing before they can be convinced.
Follow up and follow-through
Lead nurturing doesn’t end when you’ve made a sale. You should continue your interaction with leads you’ve converted into customers. On average, repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. This means you’ll lose more money chasing after new customers than consolidating your relationship with existing ones.
So, stay in contact with your customers even after they’ve made a purchase with regular check-ins and loyalty rewards to keep your brand always on their minds. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to boost your lead nurturing campaign. Every lead is unique, and your approach should be too. The key is to observe your leads’ activity, segment the data, and personalize your brand’s content according to the categories you’ve created. Remember to automate your lead nurturing process, so your campaign is cost-effective and efficient.