The success of your inbound marketing strategy is facilitated in part by how well you look after the leads you generate. Your choices help determine how quickly your prospects move from being a lead to becoming a customer, or how effectively you sustain their interest if they’re not yet ready to make a purchase. Read on to learn how to expertly nurture your leads and build a thriving customer base.
What Is Lead Nurturing, and Why Is It Important?
Lead nurturing is a relationship-building process that is focused on benefiting your leads—and your brand as a result. It is a logical extension of your brand-awareness efforts—an opportunity to cultivate top-of-mind awareness among your leads through content that helps them address their issues, improve their lives, and enrich their experiences, among other benefits.
As a result, they realize how much value you bring to their lives, and they become a customer; and in doing so, they help you grow your business.
Lead nurturing is crucial in the Close stage, which is stage number 3 of the 4 stages of the inbound marketing methodology (Attract – Convert – Close – Delight).
It allows your inbound marketing strategy to engage your leads in a way that allows your brand to consistently provide value and a valid reason for them to be loyal customers.
How Do You Effectively Nurture Your Leads?
Ideally, your lead nurturing strategy should win you new customers fast. But it also never hurts to be patient when it matters, to respect the pace at which a potential customer moves through the sales funnel.
Here are # ways to ensure they stay interested in your brand:
Be human and get personal.
1. Engage through targeted content.
Your leads come with personal stories, and being aware that these have an influence on their interests, their paint points, their needs, etc., makes it easy to create relatable lead nurturing content, whether it’s an email, a newsletter, a social post, or a blog article.
Understanding unique buyer personas will help you create various forms of targeted content designed to individually nurture them.
Additionally, leverage a marketing automation platform to help you identify, segment, and target your unique buyer personas.
2. Personalize your e-mails.
E-mail marketing is among the most effective ways to nurture leads. Why? Because it allows brands to personalize, and personalized e-mails have been proven time and time again to produce great results. For example:
- A 2013 study by Experian found that e-mails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.
- A white paper by Experian establishes that birthday emails are likely to generate 342% higher revenue per e-mail than the standard promotional emails.
- According to Instapage, personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates, and compared to non-personalized mailings, personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates.
- DMA’s 2019 marketer e-mail tracker found that for every $1 a business spends on e-mail marketing, it can expect an average return of $42.
To improve your lead nurturing strategy via e-mail personalization, you can send triggered e-mails when a visitor completes any of these actions:
- Downloads your gated content
- Signs up to your mailing list
- Clicks on links in your e-mails or webpages
- Visits certain pages on your website
Be versatile and flexible.
3. Work with multichannel lead nurturing methods.
New tactics and technologies are constantly being developed and honed that allows today’s marketers to effectively back up their e-mail lead nurturing efforts.
Multichannel lead nurturing is now possible, enabled in part by marketing automation platforms that ably support the following techniques:
- E-mail marketing
- Marketing automation
- Dynamic and responsive website content
- Social media
- Paid retargeting
- Direct sales outreach
Note, though, that you need to establish a tight collaboration between your marketing and sales teams in order to properly nurture your leads across multiple channels.
4. Employ multiple touches.
According to Marketo, roughly 96% of your website visitors are not yet ready to buy, although they can be persuaded to share their contact information in exchange for valuable content.
Aberdeen’s lead marketing report puts the average number of marketing touches between a prospect becoming aware of your brand and the moment they convert into customers at 10 (as cited by LeadsBridge). This is regardless of the variations in individual buyer journeys.
To ensure your lead nurturing strategy is a success, deliver content that effectively moves prospects through their buying journey:
- Reinforce e-mail tactics with a mix of content types like social posts, blog posts, white papers and e-books, interactive calculators, or even direct mail.
- Address common questions and concerns.
Be prompt and genuinely helpful.
5. Keep up with your leads and consistently give them something useful.
Your leads have to adapt to evolving responsibilities and respond to their own unique challenges and pain points as they move through life cycle stages. In addition, their interests will also shift.
Not only will you have to adapt fast, you also have to be on point so you can engage them with relevant messaging until you successfully close and count them as a customer. When you’re adaptable, you stay relevant.
Being helpful is facilitated by how well you adapt. It lets you deliver high-value content within the scope of your brand and your industry, and within the context of your leads’ current pain points, interests, activities, and life cycle stage.
6. Ensure timely follow-ups.
In this case, it’s not overstating the obvious to say that you shouldn’t miss out on the benefits of prompt follow-up.
With a sizable group of leads, you can automate your lead nurturing. However, it’s usually better to promptly send out a follow-up e-mail or make that phone call to convert inbound leads into a paying customer.
A visitor that converts on your website often has a higher tendency to buy when you reach out to them at once following the conversion.
Compared to a marketer who is making cold calls, your marketer is making a timely call to an inbound lead, who is likely to be expecting to hear from you. And because your marketer is well-versed on their preferences and needs, as well as possess enough information about where they work for and their position, the conversation will be mutually helpful.
7. Keep your sales and marketing strategies parallel.
Well-aligned sales and marketing processes result in highly successful lead nurturing strategies, which often lead to improved customer retention rates.
To ensure your sales and marketing strategies facilitate effective lead nurturing, establish the exact transition points in the lead’s buying journey for them to move from one team to the other. Consider such triggers as lead scoring, workflow enrollment, and conversion events to be accurate.
Cement this collaborative effort with a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA), where you shared goals, expectations, and responsibilities are clearly outlined. This helps instill in both parties a sense of accountability in lead conversion and nurturing.
8 Implement lead scoring.
You can implement lead scoring (the methodology for ranking prospects on a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the business) in most marketing automation platforms: Assign numeric values to certain website browsing behaviors, conversion events, as well as social media interactions.
The resulting score has two main uses:
- To identify the leads who need prompt direct follow-up by a sales rep
- To identify the leads that need further nurturing
Successful lead nurturing is a mutually beneficial two-sided process:
- Your leads get valuable content and helpful interaction from you throughout the multiple marketing touches it takes for them to transition into paying customers.
- You win new customers who will contribute to your business’s growth, not just with their purchases but through customer advocacy, when they are satisfied by their brand experience and feel compelled to recommend you throughout their social networks.
It’s a process you should invest in to come up with a highly rewarding version for your brand.
Need to collaborate with a team who will make sure that achieve standout results?
Contact Purple Cow to explore our highly scalable inbound marketing solutions.