In B2B sales, prospects and leads don’t convert into clients overnight — they need ads over time as they self-educate and create faith in a brand. According to Hubspot, 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority. The time gap between when the lead first interacts with you and when he or she is ready to purchase is the most important phase of the sales process. Lead nurturing allows you to keep your prospects engaged with your brand consistently throughout the sales cycle.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential customers over time through targeted communications, guiding leads down the sales funnel and converting them into paying customers. It involves identifying, segmenting, and regularly communicating with leads using tactics like email, social media, and content marketing. Automation can help improve the efficiency and scalability of these efforts.
There are several key elements to a successful lead nurturing strategy. The first is identifying and segmenting leads based on their level of engagement and their specific needs and interests. This allows you to tailor your communications to the individual, increasing the chances that they will be receptive to your message.
Next, it’s important to establish a consistent and regular communication schedule. This can include a variety of tactics such as email marketing, social media engagement, and content marketing. The goal is to provide valuable and informative content that will keep your leads engaged and interested in your company and its products or services.
As leads move further down the sales funnel, it’s important to tailor your communications to their level of engagement and intent. For example, for leads that are further along in the sales funnel, you may want to include more detailed product information or case studies.
Another important aspect of lead nurturing is lead scoring. This is a method of assigning a numerical value to leads based on their level of engagement and their likelihood of converting into a customer. This allows you to prioritize your follow-up efforts and focus on the leads that are most likely to convert.
Lead nurturing can also be automated with Marketing Automation software, which helps to improve the efficiency and scalability of your efforts. It can segment your leads based on their behavior, past interactions and other attributes. Automation can also assist in creating and delivering personalized communication, scoring the leads and triggering different actions, such as notifications for sales team, sending them to different nurture campaign and more.
Overall, lead nurturing is a critical part of the sales process that can help you build stronger relationships with potential customers and increase conversions. By providing valuable and relevant content, tailoring your communications to individual leads, and using lead scoring and automation, you can improve the effectiveness of your lead nurturing efforts and see better results.
What Is The Difference Between Lead Generation And Lead Nurturing?
Lead generation is identifying and generating leads for your businesses. Lead nurturing is nurturing those leads from one stage to another in their buyers’ journey.
What Are The Key Elements of Lead Nurturing?
Following are the key elements of lead nurturing:
- Defining the goal
- Having a buyer persona
- Contextual Content
- Monitoring and Optimization
In this article, you will learn the top five successful lead nurturing tactics, a deep dive into types of lead nurturing campaigns, and how data is at the heart of the lead nurturing process.
5 Successful Lead Nurturing Tactics
1. Leverage targeted content.
When it comes to nurturing a lead, one size certainly doesn’t fit all. As research shows, strategically nurturing your leads with targeted content can significantly improve results. Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates.
To leverage targeted content, start by working to understand each and every one of your unique buyers. Then, create a set of targeted content designed to nurture each of your people based on their characteristics, such as interest, goals, objectives, and marketing triggers.
You should also have the data insights such as firmographic and technographic data in place to help you identify, segment, and target the content to your unique buyer personas as you scale your strategy.
2. Focus on multiple touches.
Although the buyer’s journey will differ based on the product and service, reaching your prospects through multiple channels will become crucial from the time they become aware of your company until the time they convert into customers.
The most effective lead nurturing techniques deliver content that helps prospects advance through the buyer’s journey by resolving typical problems and concerns. In addition to email strategies, you can use a combination of content formats such as social media, blogs, videos, whitepapers, ROI calculators, or even direct mail to help your prospects.
3. Use lead scoring tactics.
Lead scoring is used to rate your leads and prospects on a scale that measures the relative importance of each lead for your business.
Lead scoring can be implemented by assigning numerical values to leads and prospects based on behavioral signals, response to your marketing initiatives, or even social networking interactions. The best way to start lead scoring is to understand the intent of your prospects, namely whether they are ready to buy or need more nurturing to push down the sales funnel.
The subsequent score is used to assess which leads can be pursued immediately by sales and which leads need to be warmed up more by marketing before sales engage.
4. Use multi-channel lead nurturing techniques.
In the past, common lead nurturing techniques involved setting up simple email drip campaigns targeting a list of prospects.
Today, marketers are looking for new channels and tools that go beyond email nurturing. Smart marketers are now introducing multi-channel lead nurturing techniques.
Successful multi-channel lead nurturing techniques often involve a combination of marketing automation, email marketing, social media, paid retargeting ads, dynamic website content, and warm calling. Because there are so many tactics involved to ensure effective execution,
you really need to validate that your sales and marketing teams are well-aligned and working cohesively.
5. Align your sales and marketing strategies.
As sales and marketing collaborate, lead nurturing techniques are more effective and customer satisfaction rates increase.
For smarketing to help nurture leads and prospects, you need to determine the precise points in the buyer’s journey where targets can be transferred between the teams. To ensure a smooth transition, consider various factors such as lead scoring, workflows, and conversion goals and events.
The shared expectations, responsibilities, and goals for this cross-team collaboration should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating an SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers.
Given these tactics, you need to have a good understanding of the right lead nurturing campaigns to match intent and timing.
Types of Lead Nurturing Campaign
Developing a successful lead nurturing system can be a challenging task. One of the things you need to be conscientious of is the type of lead nurturing campaign you want to build. There are several ways to choose campaigns, depending on your priorities. Here are the three primary types of lead nurturing campaigns.
1. Engagement Campaigns
An engagement campaign helps to keep your leads and prospects engaged with your brand/offering by providing relevant, clear, and uncomplicated messaging that grabs their attention. There are three types of engagement campaigns based on stages.
The Welcome Campaign communicates your value proposition to leads that you are not acquainted with. These promotions are designed to assist your outbound prospecting activities and to keep the communication going with leads who have recently downloaded an eBook or other asset from your website. This type of campaign positions your company in a place where you give value before requesting more information from your prospects in exchange.
General Drip Campaign:
This campaign is used to keep your product or service top of mind for your prospects. If anyone downloads a piece of content from your website, goes through your lead qualification criteria and is considered qualified, then you are aware of what your prospect is looking for. Your goal should be to keep them engaged using emails or direct dials.
Examples of general drip campaigns include newsletters, blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, or relevant industry news.
Once the prospects have passed through the Welcome Campaign or General Drip Campaign, one of the following will be the next action:
- Case 1: Prospects or leads will enter the sales process.
- Case 2: You might not be able to connect with them for more information.
- Case 3: You will mark the prospect as not ready for your sales process.
- Case 4: You will mark the prospect as disqualified.
In the first three cases, you will want to execute a re-engagement campaign to keep communicating your message consistently, provide more knowledge about the challenges they face and their importance, and ensure that you are there when the opportunity arises. Your database may have leads that have become inactive at some point in time. The re-engagement campaign provides them the opportunity to get actively engaged and encourage further nurturing by your team.
2. Education Campaigns
Education campaigns ask the leads to recognize the value of your product or service and offer valuable input into how they can achieve their business goals or perform their job better and more efficiently.
This is achieved by a Teaching Point-of-View (TPOV) Campaign, a Product-Based Campaign, or a Competitive Drip Program.
Teaching Point-of-View (TPOV) Campaign:
Using strong messaging, the TPOV campaign is designed to stimulate and reframe views, perceptions, and opinions of a prospect regarding their current situation. You can achieve success if you can simulate the thinking of your prospects and create interest. TPOV campaigns focus on showing future opportunities and addressing your prospects’ issues, not your solution.
The product-focused strategy incorporates specific product details based on what you can offer. As you continue to connect and build the partnership with your prospect, they will want to learn more about additional and precise product details. During this initiative, your message should address the pain points of your prospects, show how you can collaborate with them to define the cause, and then find a solution to the issue. Use consumer testimonials, use cases, and case studies that offer relevant information to offer useful knowledge and also strengthen your business expertise.
Competitive Drip Campaign
A competitive drip strategy is useful when you have sufficient knowledge of your competitive position and you know you are competing with a specific competitor for business.
3. Sales Funnel Campaigns
Sales funnel campaigns are based on leads that have become actively engaged, entered into the buyer’s journey, and have the highest chances of converting into customers. This is when the rubber hits the ground and marketing and sales teams must work in full harmony to get all their efforts coordinated around the ultimate target – the paying client.
Lead Introductory Campaigns
At this point, your leads should be familiar with your brand, have evaluated the competition, and consider you a strong and reputable partner. The purpose of the lead introductory campaign is to persuade them on “Why should we communicate,” not “Why should you buy” and to create a comfortable, more face-to-face partnership with your team.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. The objective of the MQL campaign is to boost the desire of your prospects to engage with your brand and qualify for a sales conversation. Targeted, personalized communication is most effective, preferably through direct, personal emails or a phone call from the sales department. Your messaging must focus on answering the question “Why change? ” or “Why change now? ” The ultimate goal is to convey the immense value of working with your business.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
Sales Qualified Leads are the highest quality leads. Ones who meet sales buying criteria such as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) and are actively engaged with your sales team. These leads are your most promising source of future closed-won opportunities and are navigating the lower part of the sales funnel.
Nurture Programs vs Life Cycle Journey
A nurture program is a marketing strategy that focuses on providing targeted content to leads and prospects over time to build trust and credibility. A customer life cycle journey describes the stages a customer goes through from awareness to loyalty. Nurture programs and customer life cycle journeys are related, but they are not the same thing.
A nurture program is a marketing strategy that involves providing targeted and relevant content to leads and prospects over a period of time to build trust and credibility, and to move them closer to a sale. Nurture programs are designed to engage potential customers with personalized content that addresses their specific needs and interests. This content can include emails, blog posts, webinars, social media posts, and other forms of communication.
A customer life cycle journey, on the other hand, refers to the stages that a customer goes through from the time they become aware of your product or service to the time they become a loyal customer. The stages of the customer life cycle journey can include awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, and loyalty. Marketing efforts during each stage of the customer life cycle journey are designed to move the customer to the next stage and ultimately to a sale.
While nurture programs and customer life cycle journeys are related, they are not the same thing. Nurture programs are focused on providing targeted content to leads and prospects over a period of time, while customer life cycle journeys describe the stages that a customer goes through as they interact with your business. Both strategies can be useful in helping to move potential customers through the sales funnel and ultimately to a purchase.
What is a Lead Nurturing Example?
Lead nurturing campaigns are often addressed to prospects who have previously expressed an interest in a brand, which is often the consequence of one or more lead-generating techniques. They reconnect with or follow up with prospects who have made some form of action. For example, they might:
- Visited your website.
- Participated in an event or webinar
- Downloaded a free e-book, case study, checklist, etc.
- Contacted you over the phone
- Made a small purchase
What is The Lead Nurturing Email?
A lead nurturing email is sent by the marketer to nurture the lead from the consideration stage of your sales funnel to the decision or purchase stage.
How to Nurture Cold Leads
To nurture cold leads, create personalized and valuable content that addresses their pain points and needs. Use email campaigns, social media engagement, and targeted ads to stay top-of-mind. Offer educational resources and keep communication consistent. Build trust and show your expertise to increase the likelihood of conversion.
How Would You Calculate the ROI of Lead Nurturing
To calculate the ROI of lead nurturing, compare the cost of your nurturing efforts with the revenue generated from those leads. Consider the length of the sales cycle and factor in any potential upsells or cross-sells. Use metrics like conversion rate, lead-to-customer rate, and customer lifetime value to determine the overall impact on your bottom line.
Wrapping Up: Data is the Key
Given all of the above, you need to have as much data about your prospects as possible to ensure your lead or prospect nurturing gives you the best results. Along with general information like job title, phone number, and email address, SalesIntel provides additional data such as technographic, firmographic, and buyer intent signals to help you understand your prospects better and push them down the funnel quicker than usual.
Firmographic data includes company size, annual turnover, locations, and more. This data will help you to filter your target prospects from a huge set of audiences. You can then focus on a specific audience that will make it easier to strategize your campaigns.
Technographic data gives you data about the hardware and software that your prospects are currently using. This not only helps you to understand the technical stack of your prospects but also helps you come up with tailored messaging.
For example, you can focus your message on how your product can help them considering existing infrastructure. You can also check if they are using your competitor’s product and push a comparison blog or a PDF comparing your product with your competitor’s product.
Buyer Intent Data
Buyer Intel Data gives you an opportunity to go a step ahead and identify the prospects that have the best possibilities of buying your product or service immediately and the prospects that need further nurturing.
The more data you have, the better your prospect and lead nurturing efforts will yield results.