Lead nurturing is a crucial aspect of the marketing and sales process. That’s because not all leads are ready to convert into paying customers immediately. By building relationships with potential customers and guiding them through the buyer journey, organizations can significantly improve their conversion rates, shorten their sales cycle, and ultimately drive more revenue to the business.
Converting Qualified Leads
You’ve probably seen it before. You’ve created a great marketing campaign with lots of potential leads. But for some reason, the leads aren’t converting.
We know that not all leads who enter the sales funnel are ready to convert into paying customers. Even though they’re qualified leads, they may not be ready to buy immediately.
These people have shown interest in your product or service by filling out a form, but they may still be in the early stages of the buyer’s journey — exploring the market or learning more about your company. Or maybe their department doesn’t have the budget right now.
Enter — Lead Nurturing
That’s why it’s crucial to establish and maintain relationships with these prospective buyers and gradually guide them toward making a purchase.
This can be achieved with lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing involves building meaningful relationships with potential customers by providing them with appropriate and relevant content and resources at every stage of their buyer journey.
Despite its name, lead nurturing involves the entire customer journey, from awareness to consideration, decision, purchase, and post-purchase.
Why else should I invest in lead nurturing?
There are so many benefits to building out your lead nurturing programs.
Effective lead nurturing can significantly impact the growth of any organization. By successfully nurturing your leads, you’ll generate more sales-ready leads at a lower cost and drive more revenue.
Lead nurturing through content marketing
This is the basic idea behind lead nurturing through content marketing. Customers today have access to lots of resources, do extensive research, and are pretty knowledgeable about the purchases they make. If a prospect is constantly reminded of your company, gets their questions answered, and feels that your organization can meet their needs, then they are more likely to turn into a customer.
Here are more valuable benefits your organization can tap into with through lead nurturing programs:
- Shorten sales cycles by nurturing leads through the sales funnel
- Gain trust with your audience and building stronger relationships
- Increase your company’s average order value (AOV)
- Stay top of mind in your industry
- Enable upselling or cross-selling for your products/services
Key Components of a Lead Nurturing Strategy
To implement an effective lead nurturing strategy, consider incorporating the following components:
- Invest in a marketing automation tool: This will enable you to streamline and automate your marketing efforts, ensuring each prospect receives the most relevant messages, at the most opportune times.
- Conduct surveys: Surveys are a great way to understand what your audience needs and build a connection with them. By gathering personal insights about their pain points, interests, and preferred channel of content digestion, you can make a plan for guiding them toward the end of the buyer’s journey.
- Develop a content plan: Content marketing is a valuable strategy that involves creating various types of content, such as blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, webinars, videos, and more. Through content, you can show that you understand your prospects’ needs and help overcome their pain points instead of focusing solely on your own products and services. As you develop your content plan, you’ll need to consider and create content across the buyer’s journey.
- Leverage email marketing: Email marketing is a highly effective strategy that can drive the highest return on investment of all digital marketing strategies. By leveraging segmentation and personalization through data and user behavior research, you can increase engagement and conversion rates.
- Apply a multi-channel approach: Email has always been the popular method of communication with lead nurturing. But with customers digesting content across various channels, it’s important to understand where your customers are, and communicate with them on those channels. Other channels can include social media, website/landing pages, SMS, etc.
- Align sales, marketing, and customer support teams: Nurturing leads is a team effort. Each team has unique insights on the customer that can be uncovered through collaboration. And by aligning across teams, you’ll be able to learn more about the customer and understand what attributes, triggers, and actions identify that a prospect is a sales-ready lead.
- Use lead scoring: Prospect scoring lets you assign a numerical value to important actions such as email clicks, file downloads, page views, and form submissions. As prospects engage with your content, their scores increase, which helps you to determine their engagement levels. When those scores reach a threshold and convert to sales-ready leads, they can be passed over to sales for follow-up.
Types of Lead Nurturing Programs
There’s so many types of lead nurturing programs you can run, whether it’s onboarding new employees, welcoming new customers, or a renewal campaign.
Here are some of the ways you can nurture your audience based on where they are in the sales funnel:
- New subscriber campaign: Welcome new subscribers with a simple introductory campaign that introduces your brand and lets them know what they can expect from your organization.
- Customer onboarding campaign: Use nurture campaigns to manage your customer onboarding. Welcome new customers, provide them with a path to success, answer commonly asked questions, and offer support options.
- Re-engagement campaign: Win back the interest of inactive or unengaged leads who haven’t opened your emails, visited your website, or clicked links for a period of time.
- Lead recycling campaign: Nurture leads that have been returned to the marketing team by the sales team due to various reasons such as disqualification, losing to a competitor, or becoming unresponsive.
Nurturing Leads Builds Relationships
Lead nurturing is key to any organization’s marketing strategy. By building relationships with potential customers over time, organizations can improve their chances of converting those leads into actual customers.
If you’ve built out your lead nurturing programs and are looking to take them to the next level, check out this blog: 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program. Or, reach out to the team at Sercante for help connecting all the dots with your lead nurture program.