If you want your business to succeed, you need leads. A lead is a potential customer who’s interested in what you’re selling.
Interest is a significant first step, but it’s not enough. You also need a lead nurturing campaign.
Lead nurturing involves a few different steps. To nurture a lead, you need to engage them. That means offering information and support. Leads should be excited throughout the entire buying process.
Brand awareness should be the first item on your lead nurturing plan. Leads who are familiar with your brand should already know what makes your company special.
Once a lead is aware of your product or service, their journey through the purchase funnel can begin. Ensure that you focus your marketing strategy on nurturing and converting leads.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is simple and complex at the same time. At its core, lead nurturing is how you build and maintain relationships with prospective customers. Understanding that fact is the easy part. Monitoring and keeping up with changes as a lead moves through the sales funnel is where things get complicated.
Knowing where to begin with lead nurturing is challenging. Luckily, we have put together some helpful ideas.
Lead nurturing examples:
- Email drip campaigns are helpful because they stick with leads over time. The messages they receive change as they move through the sales funnel.
- Personalized, targeted emails are also handy lead nurturing tools. Targeted emails are more relevant to their recipients. Personalization makes individual leads feel seen.
- Email newsletters can help keep former, current and future customers up to date on your activities.
- You might consider direct mail to be ancient history. Why send a letter or card when you could send an email? Tangibility matters in an increasingly digital world. Physical mail can help you connect with your leads.
- Communication is crucial for relationship building, and lead nurturing is no exception. Sales calls allow you to communicate with your leads in real-time.
- Love it or hate it, social media marketing is here to stay. Having a social media presence for your company humanizes your brand. You might attract leads with your corporate personality.
- Blog posts and content marketing are a way to provide your leads with something of value. In this case, that’s information.
- Social media or PPC retargeting ads can help you provide relevant information to leads. Using data about webpage visits, you can ensure your leads see the most persuasive content for them.
Why is Lead Nurturing Important?
Off the top of your head, how many sales do you make during first-time interactions? You can’t know for sure without running the numbers. However, we all know how difficult it is to secure the sale at the first touchpoint.
Don’t let that discourage you. Your goal shouldn’t be to make a sale the first time someone stumbles across your company. Learn to nurture the lead. Build a relationship.
When you form a connection with a lead, a one-time purchase may very well blossom into a long-term relationship.
As the old saying goes, “You only get out what you put in.” It’s true across practices and industries, including sales. The more effort you put in, the better off you’ll be.
Some efforts are more worthwhile than others. You need to know what works, and the earlier you identify meaningful practices, the better.
The 9 Most Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics
We have put together the nine most effective lead nurturing tactics to help you get started. These should apply no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Understand Your Target Customer Completely
The first of our lead nurturing tactics might also be the most vital. Understanding your target customer is essential. If you don’t know what kind of customer you’re hoping to attract, how will you attract them?
Understanding your leads will help you tailor their experience with your company. A tailored experience facilitates greater success with marketing and sales.
Your operations are only as good as their foundation, and knowing your audience is a cornerstone.
To get started with understanding your target customer, first decide who they aren’t. From there, you can conduct interviews and surveys. Experiment with different ad campaigns.
Adjust your marketing strategy until it’s perfect. Then, keep making adjustments as times and customers change.
2. Use Your Targeted Content as Leverage
Your market consists of several groups of people unless your product or service is uniquely particular. Consider this scenario:
- The ages you’re targeting range from 25 to 65.
- You’re focusing on men and women.
- You’ve narrowed ideal economic status down to the middle class.
That covers a lot of ground, so create unique buyer personas. Maybe one of them is a 25-year-old woman working her first professional job in a city. Another might be a man in his early 60s getting ready to retire.
You might include parents with toddlers or maybe parents with teens. Perhaps, you’ll get even more specific. You could have a persona for women in their 50s who also own beagles.
Whatever the case, this bears repeating: Know who you’re targeting. Leverage your knowledge to create relevant ads.
3. Expand the Focus of Your Lead Nurturing Techniques
In its most basic form, lead nurturing might take the form of a generic email campaign. Emails are cheap and easy to create and send, so that’s understandable. They’re a great way to get started and stay in touch consistently.
Emails shouldn’t be the extent of your lead nurturing efforts, though. Make phone calls, send snail mail and use social media or online advertising.
You don’t want to overwhelm or annoy a prospect. You also don’t want them to delete your emails without reading them and eventually unsubscribe. It’s a tricky balancing act.
Because it’s a complex process, everyone needs to be on the same page. Your sales and marketing teams have to communicate to make a multifaceted approach work. Organization and awareness are necessary even with the individual members of your sales team.
4. Prepare for Multiple Interactions
We mentioned that few sales occur the first time someone interacts with your company. Because of this, it’s necessary to plan ahead before a lead even makes the first contact.
In the digital age, most first-time interactions occur as website visits. That’s helpful because you know where to focus your efforts. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to make a lot of effort.
After eight seconds, at least half of all visitors will leave. They might be lost for good unless you give them a reason to come back and spend more time on the page.
To ensure you’ll have a chance for a second contact, you need to offer your visitors an incentive to communicate. That often takes the form of something free—provided they give you their email address in return.
When you have contact information, you can reach out again. Ideally, the free content you offered will also add to the lead’s positive experience.
The exception to the eight-second rule comes in the form of targeted ads. Some ads are targeted based on the websites someone visits or their search history. If that’s the type of ad campaign you have set up, there’s still a chance.
On average, it takes ten contacts before you make a sale. Every one of them needs to count.
5. Timing is Everything
Getting your timing right is vital. In most cases, that means the sooner you follow up with a lead, the better. As soon as someone fills out a form on your site indicating interest, contact them.
Your company, product or service is fresh in a lead’s mind. Their current interests and needs are evident to you. That means your chances of having a productive interaction are much better.
Correct timing when you reach out to a lead is sure to save a lot of time and rejection. While it’s sometimes necessary, think about the arduous nature of cold calling. Now think about the interest form on your site.
It’s estimated that 2 percent of cold calls are successful. That’s not a hard statistic to beat, especially when the people you’re contacting are already interested.
6. Make Emails Personal
No one likes generic form messages. They scream that you couldn’t be bothered to treat someone like an individual. Leads will notice if you use them, so personalize emails instead.
Personalization is about more than just including a lead’s name. The content needs to be personalized for them too.
You might be thinking that you don’t have time to create content for dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. And who does? However, you don’t have to.
The process is similar to marketing the same product or service for different buyer personas. You don’t have to get everything right—just enough that it still applies.
Use a lead’s behavior to trigger emails.
Has it been a while since they’ve interacted? Send them a “we miss you” coupon to encourage engagement.
Did they spend a lot of time on something specific? Email them about whatever it is they’re interested in.
7. Incorporate Tactics for Scoring Leads
Lead scoring might be an unfamiliar term to you. Here’s how it works: You rank your leads based on the value you think they’ll have. Lead scoring helps ensure you’re getting a return on the time you’re investing.
Lead scoring can also help determine where in the sales funnel a lead is. With the right algorithm, you can know what and how you should communicate next.
Most companies use marketing automation platforms to create these algorithms. These programs can find patterns in your data more quickly and accurately than human employees.
8. Have Complementary Sales and Marketing Strategies
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of interdepartmental communication. It’s critical enough that it gets its own section.
To retain customers and successfully convert leads, your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page.
Creating an internal service level agreement can help ensure collaboration. With everything laid out and documented, there won’t be any surprises. Everyone knows what their responsibilities are and when they should perform their duties.
9. Take Advantage of Automated Marketing Campaigns
Automation is the future of marketing. Here at Selling Revolution, we’re excited to embrace new technology, especially when it allows us to provide more effective services.
The other eight items on this list all get easier with automation. The right program will help you do just about everything, including:
- Creating those unique buyer personas we covered.
- Keeping track of email and social media engagement.
- Identifying patterns in your sales funnel.
- Making immediate connections.
- Doing the calculations for lead scoring.
- Identifying relevant content for email personalization.
If you aren’t taking advantage of marketing automation, now is the time to start.
That was a lot of information to take in, so let’s summarize. Here are the key takeaways about lead nurturing.
Lead Nurturing Best Practices:
Get input from internal stakeholders. That includes your marketing, sales, and customer support teams.
As helpful as it is, don’t rely solely on automation. A human touch will always be necessary.
Make an effort to personalize whenever you can. Leads will notice and appreciate it.
Time your outreach appropriately.
Sales outreach is challenging. It involves a lot of moving pieces. When things are going well, the buying process flows smoothly for your clients. As soon as something goes wrong, though, processes grind to a halt.
It’s essential that your sales team is operating to the best of their ability. To do that, they need all of the tools and training you can provide.
At its heart, the sales process is simple. You identify your target audience. You find leads. Then, you convert leads.
Simple is not the same as easy.
That’s why Selling Revolution is here. Our very own Ryan Chute has helped thousands of businesses reach their full potential over the years. Now, he’s offering solutions for you. Selling Revolution is focused on aligning sales, advertising and a significant web presence to get you, customers.
Whether you want to improve your sales, advertising or recruitment, Selling Revolution is here for you. Book a call to find out more today.