Ahh, lead nurturing, that elusive key to lead generation, booming sales, and marketing ROI. We should all be doing it and, in fact, most of us ARE doing it – but we could always do it better.
No matter how you’re keeping your target audience engaged, there’s always more you can be doing in your digital marketing strategy to provide your audience with more valuable content and information and prepare them to buy from you. Whether that’s making your marketing funnel more efficient by speeding up the time to sale or simply keeping leads from dropping off your funnel, lead nurturing is a key tool for generating leads across your omnichannel marketing campaigns and turning contacts into customers.
In case you’re into stats as much as we are, here are a few to help drive that point home:
- 96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy (yet)
- 80% of new leads never translate into sales
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost
The reasons lead nurturing works are pretty clear: lead nurturing keeps your business top of mind while giving your leads time to make a decision AND information to make a decision to purchase (from you!).
But hey, it’s summer and we all have better things to do than debate the benefits of lead nurturing in email marketing, so here are our top lead nurturing tips – think of them as five surefire tweaks to turbocharge your lead nurturing strategy and propel leads through the sales funnel:
1. Personalise and target your content
Here’s another stat to mull over: targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates.
No two leads are exactly the same, and not all leads have the same interests or pain points, no matter how well you’ve developed your buyer persona or mapped your user journey (so you know how your leads proceed through the marketing funnel: where they come in, what their pain points might be along that journey, and where they might be dropping off). So segment your database in a way that makes sense given the kinds of leads you have in it: that might be by location, by industry, by job title, by interest, by firmographic data, by number of contacts with your company, or any combination of these.
Once you’ve segmented that list (and it shouldn’t take too long if you have a marketing automation platform or marketing automation software) you can target how you address your leads in two ways:
- Personalise the content you send your leads (use automation and tokens to add in your lead’s name and industry across your communications
- Customise subject lines and emails they receive by adding in content based on their location and target your now-segmented leads with the content you send out (think about your buyer persona’s needs so you can address them separately)
Your lead nurturing strategy is not a “one size fits all” proposition, so tailor the kinds of content you create for each of your buyer personas (and, very importantly, for where they are in the marketing funnel).
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2. Nurture leads across the entire user journey
Research from the Marketing Lead Management Report found that prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they become a customer. Those ten touches are ten opportunities to provide them with valuable content and keep your company top of mind.
The first steps in optimising your lead nurturing across the entire journey are ensuring you’ve mapped your customer journey and creating an attribution model. With an attribution model, you’ll be able to see where leads are interacting with you and which touchpoints are leading to a sale or a conversion, so that you can provide key information or follow-up with leads at these key points in the buyer journey. You can then tailor the content your leads receive from you based on their user journey (and, importantly, tailor the information that you gather from them to allow you to better meet their needs – check out our handy “Best Practice Guide to Gating Content” for more tips on how to use your content to generate leads!)
3. Develop your omnichannel strategies
Having a list of email addresses and sending emails or email newsletters will only go so far in the multichannel marketing age. Make sure you have a dedicated omnichannel approach to reaching your leads, no matter where they are or which digital channels they choose to interact with.
Reach out to your leads on social media and engage with them in ways that make sense for each particular channel. Whether that’s having conversations, curating content from outside sources, or putting your best foot forward with a video marketing strategy and useful webinars, remember to cover all your digital channels in your content marketing strategy so you can drive more ROI from your lead nurturing campaigns.
4. Score your leads
You’ve got your leads interacting across a number of touchpoints – great! Now, it’s time to make sure you’re scoring your leads so that you gauge levels of interest and follow up with the ones that are most likely to buy from you.
How do you know which are your best leads? Think about your ideal buyer persona and what their user journey is, then rate the leads that most closely model that behavior as your best leads and assign points based on job title, industry, number of interactions with your content, or any other relevant indicators. You can automate the process using marketing automation and then filter your leads by score or qualification so that you can target these leads more effectively as they go through your marketing funnel. You can even automate your lead qualification so that your team can get straight to work on the best leads. That way you can ensure you’re getting the most ROI from your lead scoring efforts and from your marketing strategy.
5. Follow up with leads
Don’t let your leads go cold! Follow up in a timely way based on your lead’s patterns of interaction and interest. Based on your lead’s last interactions, you’ll be able to know how to respond and gauge their level of readiness to buy. Depending on the lead’s behavior, it might be time to send more targeted information, or direct them to a webinar or event, or maybe it’s actually time to set up a call with a member of your sales team (and, while there’s plenty to say on how lead nurturing can boost your sales and marketing alignment, we’ll save that for another day!)
Follow-ups don’t have to be time-consuming if you have the right tools. Marketing automation software allows you to set up triggers and trigger campaigns so that you can respond quickly to your lead’s behavior if they download a particular piece of content, click on a particular page on your website, or even make a predetermined number of interactions with your online assets.
Get more ROI from your email marketing campaigns and build in lead nurturing into your digital marketing strategy – because the more value you provide in each interaction, the more likely you are to make convert that lead into a customer.
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