Nurturing leads is important to the growth of any business. According to Forrester Research, companies that are successful at nurturing leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. However, lead nurturing can fall by the wayside at many companies. If you haven’t already implemented a lead-nurturing strategy, you should consider doing so. But before you get started, make sure you understand why lead nurturing is important and what strategies you can apply to your own business.
Lead nurturing is when businesses build relationships with prospects. It is an important aspect of inbound marketing, which is the use of content marketing, social media and other online communications methods to attract customers’ attention. When a potential customer finds your business, they may not be ready to purchase your products or services. Nurturing leads is an effective strategy for driving sales, because it can keep you top of mind for prospects so they come back when they are ready to purchase.
Lead nurturing is similar to any relationship: The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. But if you fail to strengthen a relationship, then you’ll naturally drift apart. [Looking for customer relationship management software to help manage your leads? Check out our reviews of the best CRM software solutions.]
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects.
Although the ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to drive sales, it offers several other benefits:
Lead nurturing is important for increasing sales, but it can also help you improve your company’s reputation and gain your audience’s trust.
There are plenty of strategies you can use to nurture leads, but keep in mind that they can change over time. A method you successfully used to engage with your prospects in the past may not work in the future. The right CRM software will allow you to automate a lot of the nurturing strategies you need to close new business.
Here are seven effective strategies for nurturing leads:
Not only is email marketing more cost-effective than advertising, but it can also be personalized through data and user behavior research. Email segmentation, or the division of email subscribers into smaller groups based on different parameters, allows you to target leads more effectively.
For example, if your company created an e-book, you could send it only to subscribers who have engaged with past e-books or similar content, because they are more likely to welcome it. If you were to send it to your entire email list, some recipients would not open it and might even be annoyed by receiving an extra email, which would damage your relationship.
Email segmentation is versatile. You can target customers according to the products they browse, the type of content they download, where they are in the sales funnel, what emails they open and more. As you get more information about your prospects, you’ll be able to create more-personalized messages.
In addition to segmenting emails to increase engagement, you should do the following:
Another benefit of email nurturing is that you can automate it. With the right tools, you can easily create email lists, as well as schedule emails when it’s most convenient for you.
Keep in mind that with this strategy, you must strike the right balance. You want to communicate with your audience regularly so that you’re building a relationship but not too often that they feel you are spamming them.
To get started with email nurturing, you’ll need the right tools. Here are some to consider:
Finding the right email marketing tools can help take much of the heavy lifting off your shoulders.
Content marketing is an incredibly useful strategy that revolves around creating content, such as blog posts, e-books, FAQs, how-to articles, webinars, research reports and more. You can use this content to build brand awareness and draw in more people.
Content marketing also feeds into your other lead-nurturing strategies. For example, you can use social media and email to distribute the content you produce. Or, you can add CTAs, such as encouraging readers to sign up for your newsletter or reaching out for more information.
Content marketing can also help to improve your company’s reputation. Through content, you can show that you are concerned and understand your prospects’ needs. Instead of concentrating solely on your own products and services, you can shift the focus onto your potential customers.
Using the sales funnel, you can account for different leads’ needs. There are three stages in the sales funnel:
While it’s important to think about targeting your audience when you’re creating content, you’ll also want to make sure you are creating good content. Take these steps to enhance your content strategy efforts:
Social media is an effective way to build relationships with prospects. It gives them an easy way to talk to you, and it also puts your content where many people spend their time. In fact, internet users ages 16 to 64 spend an average of 2.25 hours on social media each day, according to Hootsuite.
You can use social media to distribute your content and to show some of your brand’s personality. Follow these tips to excel at social media:
You can also use social media to retarget ads. After potential customers leave your site, they may forget about your products and services, but social retargeting can remind them about your business.
Nurturing leads is a team effort. Sales and customer support teams learn about a company’s audience firsthand, and the marketing team has a lot of actionable data.
Effective collaboration among these teams will result in better insight, which will lead to better solutions.
To build a connection with your leads, you must understand their needs. Surveys allow leads to tell you what they feel in their own words. If you ask them about their goals or the problems they face, you’ll be able to make a plan for how to get them to the end of the buyer’s journey.
Lead scoring lets you assign a value, often numerical, to your leads based on their behaviors.
Because not every lead will be in the same stage of the sales funnel, you shouldn’t invest the same amount of energy into each prospect. For example, your lead-scoring model may assign more points to prospects who spend time browsing your site and have higher click-through rates, and fewer points to those who have signed up for a newsletter but rarely open emails. Your efforts will likely make a bigger difference if you focus on the prospects who are engaging with you.
You can try to connect with those who score highly on a more personal level, such as by having a sales rep reach out to them.
Lead nurturing doesn’t end after the sale. After a customer has bought your product or service, you want them to keep coming back, because they are likely to spend three times as much as one-time customers, according to a report from e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo.