9 Ultimate Lead Nurturing Strategies

The ultimate lead nurturing strategies

Lead nurturing is one of the toughest things to do in the buying process.

There are various reasons and statistics to back the statement. Here are some figures to baffle your mind:

  • 80% of the possible sales opportunities are lost (Emarketer)
  • 73% of prospects are not ready to buy when you first receive their contact details (Marketing Sherpa)
  • 96% of website visitors aren’t there to make a purchase (Marketo)

After seeing the above statistics, two questions arise:

  • When this task is so painful, why marketers pursue it?
  • What is the benefit of lead nurturing?

The answer to this lies in the research conducted by Annuitas. According to the study:

  • Nurtured leads received a 47% higher order value.
  • Nurture emails have 2x better open rates than one-off emails.
  • The deals’ win rate improved on nurtured sales by as much as by 20%.

The benefits are definitely worth the effort. If a nurturing email gives you an incremental 50% chance of getting a deal is definitely worth the effort. Companies that excel at lead nurturing create 50% more sales-ready opportunities at 33% lower cost. If you’re considering to build stronger relationships with your buyers and make higher order values, now’s the time to think through lead nurturing as a strategy for your business.

So, how do you do lead nurturing effectively? So that you start cracking deals, the prospects start flowing down the pipeline, and salesperson keeps closing deals one after the other.

How to do lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing helps you to be active and show presence on the channels where your buyers are active, engage them, and increase the chance that they will start a relationship with your business. Building a relationship is to have the right message at the right place at the right time. Here it is what you need to have to do lead nurturing better.

  • Have a complete understanding of the buyer persona across the organization.
  • Define your Goal (Attention and Interest vs. Conversion)
  • Align sales and marketing objectives.
  • Identify all the opportunities touchpoints across the channels (Email, Social, Content, Event).
  • Create messages across channels for each action taken by the lead.
  • Define actions in different stages of the funnel (First Contact –to – Follow Up).
  • Add weightage to different actions taken by the lead.
  • Use a Lead Scoring System
  • Have a CRM in place, keep track, and analyze each lead.

When you have most of the above things in place, it becomes more comfortable as you only need to have the right strategies in place. The right approach will help you build a mutually beneficial relationship.

It’s a warm-up for purchase. There are two different central notions when it comes to lead nurturing campaigns:

  • Drip Campaign: A series of content is sent at regular intervals keeping the brand name top of mind. It could, for example, be a welcome series flow; (monthly, quarterly, and weekly) newsletters or a product/company updates flow.

  • Lead Nurture Campaign: You may perhaps say that it’s the drip-campaign version 2.0. While drip campaigns are explicitly based on timing, lead nurture campaigns are behavior-based, and other attributes lead exhibit. For example, a click about a particular product or a CTA triggers an email relevant to that specific product.

So it is the same idea that triggers differently.

9 ultimate lead nurturing strategies

To propel your conversion rates, you will have to implement different lead nurturing strategies, from primary ones to advanced policy.  You build a relationship at each interaction in each stage of the sales funnel and with every step of the customer buying journey. Active listening will help you focus your marketing efforts on the right content and product that addresses the needs.

1. Have a unified buyer persona and understanding

Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) or buyer persona guarantees all business activities align with procuring and serving your clients’ needs. You need to pay thoughtfulness to the way you present your business, and you’ll start observing that many will begin speaking about what they do – not what the customer requirements.

When selecting a product or service, people by nature are enticed to what they trust, similarly, towards companies they know and trust or mentioned by a trustworthy source.

The best way to shape trust is to show thoughtfulness and empathy towards your clientele. Gain assurance; it’s vital. Companies need to shift the way they portray themselves.

First, address the pain points of your probable customers only then, they will be open to exploring your proposition. Create buyer personas and persistently use them to guide your businesses. It can help keep you focused on the needs of your customers.

2. Align Sales and Marketing

According to a study by market research firm CSO Insights, when both sales and marketing share responsibility for lead nurturing, companies experience a significant increase in conversion rates. As the 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study revealed, 89% of companies that aligned sales and marketing lead generation efforts reported measurable improvements in the number of leads that turned to opportunities as a result of continuous nurturing.

For both sales and marketing to contribute to lead nurturing, you’ll need to identify when prospects should be transitioned between teams as they progress through the funnel. In creating your lead nurturing strategy, think about how you can use triggers like lead scoring, page views, workflow enrollment, conversion events, or sales contact to transition leads from automation to direct one-on-one outreach.

The shared expectations, responsibilities, and goals for this collaboration between sales and marketing should be distinguishable in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating a formal sales and marketing SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers.

3. Identify your goals

  • GOAL: Attention and interest

    The initial phase in the procurement. In this stage, the connections look to learn something, not to buy. It is where you can display that you’re the expert in your field, and the receiver can start believing your knowledge.
    • Newsletter campaigns: the most common example to engage or educate. It is the perfect occasion for you to share understandings, trends, and tips that don’t mostly always talk about your products and services.
    • Welcome flow: Do you have loyalty clubs, memberships, or communities? Make your new contacts/members feel welcome with relevant messages, so they get to know you, the forum, and what they profit from it.
    • Re-engagement: Target contacts that are low in activity and need a little push. A flow to prompt them that you exist and that you’re good at what you’re doing.
  • GOAL: Close the deal

    This stage is further down the funnel where the prospects have taken strides to give your product or service a chance, or at least tried to get to know you a bit well.
    • On-boarding: Are you presenting a trial or a test period for your product or service? It’s essential not to leave them hanging just because they entered for a sample. Send them emails to help them uncover all features of the product and discover the potential it offers. You only increased your chances of actually buying the product when the trial is over (or stick with the product if they’ve already purchased it).
    • Promotions: When closing a deal is so near, you can almost smell it, but there’s still somewhat holding it back. Help the lead become a patron with discounts or other free stuff.  “get 2 for 1” or “Sign up today and get a month for free”  – who can resist such offers? Here you could also comprise testimonials. How can anybody know that you’re better or as good as you say you are? The most reliable sources are your patrons. Build “success stories” with case studies of how your product or service helped them. That’s a great piece of content for probable buyers, and you get to bragging rights.
    • Product-focused: Once your receivers are ready to learn more about the product itself, you don’t want them to look elsewhere to find that information. You’re the go-to person if they should go to when they set for more product-specific info.
  • GOAL: Customers Retention

    Once you receive the money, you indeed scored a new transaction. But that is uncalled for you to leave your customers dangling. After all, 80% of your income generates from 20% of your already existing clients. Here are recommendations on how you can mind them.
    • Upsell: Keep instructing your consumers about your product and service, whether it’s tips and tricks to aid them to use your product more or inform them when you’re proposing something new, like a product update or a brand new product announcement. You inspire them to discover more possibilities, plus you can get some extra cash with paid improvements or add-ons.
    • Get feedback: Make sure that you pick up something from your customers as well. It is done quickly with a small survey. Allow your consumers to tell you what they like and what they think could be improved. The critical thing to remember here is actually to use the response you gain. If you keep on asking your clienteles for feedback and they don’t see that you’re heeding, well, they’ll stop facilitating you.

      You won’t just get propositions on how to progress, but you will find the “unhappy” customers that might be about to ditch you and the ones that love you. It is your opening to tend to the accounts that necessitate some extra consideration from your sales team to avoid churn. For happy consumers, ask them to advocate for you in testimonials or success stories.

4. Email Marketing for Lead Nurturing

Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers says, “The most effective way to nurture leads is through emails,” “Why? The reason is that email marketing tools are very cost-effective when matched with advertising. Also, you can completely mechanize your email marketing campaigns.”

An Eloqua study states, of 10 B2B organizations found that lead scoring systems increased deal closing rates by 30%. The establishments also saw a revenue increase of 18% and a revenue-per-deal increase of 17%.

Your welcome emails are the first point of contact(POC) between you and your prospects. It’s the leading step in your lead nurturing plan. It is perhaps the most vital email that you can send to your probable leads. Transcribe your message in such a way that it leaves a good imprint and inspires your prospect to start a conversation.

A positive welcome email helps you build an enduring relationship by inviting users to discover the industry further and to learn how your product or service can solve your client’s problems. If the person doesn’t start a dialogue with your business after the first welcome email, you can move the lead to the next sales lead nurturing phase.

The pace of your welcome emails matters too, as up to 75 percent <bluehornet> of prospects that subscribed to your email list expect it immediately. Every passing second could potentially stop them from connecting, and therefore, result in a lost opportunity for conversion.

When it comes to a fruitful lead cultivation process, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of personalization in the email copy. A tailored email message that combines the person’s name and a message that is related to his/her latest activity on your website has the better potential for the interaction with your brand and increases your income. Understandably, this is a much better tactic than just generic and template-based emails.

You have to be relevant. It can be achieved by segmenting your email list based on leads’ interests and then sending personalized emails. It leads to a better engagement rate, more clicks, and more conversions. Best practices for sending emails are continually changing, and data takes the guesswork out of it.

Keep your eye on how many leads open your messages. Then, see how many also click rates on the links you included. Lastly, create different messages for each segment of contacts based on how they interact with your content

The main whys and wherefores for the accomplishment of the personalized lead nurturing approach over social media marketing are precise – it makes individuals feel appreciated and unique, and it demonstrates that you realize them as human beings instead of just numbers on the target board. It also gives them the feeling of exclusiveness in their inbox, that your message is strictly proposed for their attention only, something that is unachievable with social media marketing posts.

5. Retargeting through social media marketing

The best way to nurture leads is through a combination of email marketing and retargeting across multiple platforms. Email newsletters and retargeting combined ensure that your company stays on top-of-mind.

Social media retargeting is one of the most effective ways to stay visible to our prospects. That said, the efficacy of our advertisements depends on our specific customer segment and the social media site. When targeting individuals under the age of 34, we prefer not to use Facebook or Twitter. We’ve established that Instagram and YouTube are the most engaging boards for this segment. Plus, using videos allows us to connect with them on a more personal level.

To productively nurture customers with your content through social media, keep the following things on the top of your mind:

  • Retain the tone conversational and approachable.
  • Try to have a high-quality and attractive content for your target audience.
  • Include a compelling CTAs to make people take the action you desire towards your sales funnel.
  • Deliver value in your social media posts; don’t assume that people will want to explore further just by noticing activity in the feed.

6. Content Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Content marketing is the process of crafting valuable content that is appropriate to your target audience (videos, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, webinars). It will attract your prospects and allow them to engage with your brand online.

Content marketing was the third most prevalent lead nurturing strategy in the Bop Design study. 2 of 4 respondents said that they use content marketing to cultivate their leads.

Potential customers have already done their study on the Internet for questions and solutions to their complications. So, to start an exchange and educate them on the sale, you will have to place your brand so that it answers all of their queries. You will have to cultivate different content for each phase of the buyer’s journey, and with that, help your buyers transfer through your sales funnel.

But, to make your content marketing and lead generation strategy more effective, you will have to integrate an email marketing process, too. Email marketing will help you build the association you want to achieve.

Your email subscribers have already established that they want to receive more from you by personally providing you with info such as their name, contact information, or the webpage of the company they work. This info will help you create a personalized intro message for the receiver that goes out automatically.

Look into the following guidelines that you can include in your content strategy to foster your leads for deals:

  • Produce content around your target audience’s pain points rather than palpably promoting your product or service and its features. For instance, let’s say you’re developing a live chat platform. Instead of producing a blog post about the features of the product or service, you could create one on how companies can improve their customer care services.
  • Craft content catering to the customers who are at different stages of the Sales Funnel Journey. For instance, you could make whitepapers and blog posts lecturing on the pain points for those at the opening stages. You can create case studies and testimonials that establish your worth for those towards the advanced stages. Devising different types of content to suit different buyers will help you deliver more relevant and targeted content for each lead.
  • Develop educational content to establish your brand’s value and your expertise, rather than pushing your products to people. It will slowly produce curiosity in the product and nurture your leads for deals. You could make how-to videos, online courses, webinars, whitepapers, and many more.

7. Website for Lead Nurturing

Your website is one of the best conduits for nurturing your leads. You could show dynamic website content relevant to their profile data and their previous exchanges with your company.

One of the easiest ways to have a dynamic website is personalization. It is by providing content propositions and product commendations based on their behavioral information. For example, you could suggest certain case studies that are most relevant to the visitor’s industry and job role. Or perhaps you could recommend a particular software suite centered on the pages they have visited.

Some businesses also personalize their Call-To-Actions and offerings provisional to the visitor’s activities and where they are at the sales funnel. Such as, they might suggest signing up for a newsletter during your first visit. But on your next visit, after signing up for their newsletter, you might see a CTA asking you to watch their free webinar.

8. Devise an Effective Lead Scoring System

To formulate lead nurturing strategies you can use, your marketing and sales team need to work together. Try to assess the business and marketing schemes and where they can find the most exceptional people online. You will have to develop a lead scoring strategy to decide whether or not the prospect is the right fit for your business.

Your lead scoring system should be detailed and relevant to your organizational requirements while taking into account your targeted niche marketplace, your industry, and your target audience.

Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study revealed, 68% of positive marketers cite lead scoring grounded on content and engagement as the most operational tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing. A recent study by MarketingSherpa indicates that only 21% of B2B marketers are using lead scoring.

How a particular prospect meets the benchmarks of your ideal target customer. It will outline from the start of the buyer’s journey to whether or not an opportunity is worth pursuing at all. The lead fit conditions have three categories:

  • Demographic – The individual’s profession, the company that he/she works in, location, work experience, and others.
  • Firmographic – The corporation where the prospect works, the size of the company, annual revenue, and others comprise firmographic information.
  • Lead Qualification Framework –  What kind of sales qualification frameworks you use like BANT, BANTA, MEDDIC, ANUM, CHAMP, and GPCTBA/C&I?

Assess people’s interest in your product or service is to track your brand’s overall behavior. Do your prospects visit your website often enough? Do you have any engagement with them on social media? You will have to attribute each of these behaviors with a scoring number, for instance:

Visiting page/blog post +1 point
Visiting Jobs page -30 points
Engaging with primary stage content +15 points
Email opens +20 points
Email replies +30 points
Social media shares +10 points
Opened pricing packages +40 points
Mid-stage content +20 points
Late-stage content +30 points

Carefully screen the lead’s behavior; you will get valuable data on whether or not he/she is sincere about buying your product. It would help if you assigned low values to actions such as browsing your website. Furthermore, it would be best if you attributed high importance to behaviors such as filling an opt-in form and downloading your lead magnet.

Ranking the buyer’s worth will help you decide the stage of your sales funnel that the person can reach. To score a lead for the procurement stage, you will have to know the person’s exact behaviors within the top, middle, and bottom of your sales funnel.

Give higher scores to people that are always on your product pages, pricing package pages, and the ones that need to conduct a product demo.

In the B2B segment, you have to prudently assess every single company that left its credentials in your landing page opt-in forms. Not everyone wants to purchase from you; perhaps they only want your lead magnet (ebook) to learn more about your business process and strategies (competitors).

Not every establishment is a sales-ready B2B lead; some of them are the employees of these companies who fill out the opt-in form as they’re interested in your product; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can pay for your product/service.

9. Have a CRM in place keep track, analyze, and score each lead

Maximize the value of your CRM platform and marketing automation tools. Determine the consumer data that is most valuable to capture and what actions will trigger your marketing communications. 

As your opportunities travel through your flows, decide what actions are a purchase signal. In other words, what does a prospect have to do to become a Qualified Lead by Marketing (MQL) and later on a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)? It could be a click on a link, a brochure download, sign up for an event, and so on.

Decide when the lead is ready to be sent over to sales. Right when they become an MQL or wait until they’re further down the funnel? Take the discussion together with sales to make sure that you’re fully aligned and that you’re both aware of what it takes for a lead to convert.

Now, how should you hand over the information about you’re MQLs and SQLs to the sales team? Many businesses today still do the dull, manual work by sharing excel sheets among each other, not knowing of the great tools out there that can do this automatically for you. Choose a marketing automation tool that speaks with the sales team’s CRM. That way, you can build automation that doesn’t just trigger content and marketing actions, but it also “shoots” the information you choose to the sales team.