You ran an email lead generation campaign and managed to get some quality leads – mission accomplished! Before you pat yourself on the back and consider the job done, you must know that there is a lot more work to do.
Yes, now starts the herculean task of getting your leads to proceed to the next stage of the buyer’s journey and convert them.
Believe it or not – 50% of your leads are not ready to buy. They might be ‘qualified’ but won’t jump at the thought of paying for your product or service. Does that help you? No.
So, you can either do nothing about it and let that promising segment of people go waste or you can drive lead nurturing campaigns and convert those leads into sales.
What is Lead Nurturing?
The process of turning a lead into a customer is referred to as lead nurturing.
As per a study done by Forrester, businesses that focus on nurturing leads generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost which clearly states the benefits of devising a lead nurturing strategy.
Lead nurturing is all about building a strong relationship with your leads, addressing their questions, winning their trust and finally, making them ready to buy your product or service.
How to Drive Lead Nurturing Campaigns?
Nurturing leads is not as simple as bombarding potential customers with emails and newsletters. The last thing you want is to annoy your leads and have them lose interest by mindlessly spamming them with an overload of information.
Lead nurturing campaigns need to be well-planned. You need to engage with your leads and present them with the right information that would help them take a buying decision in your favor. Let’s take a look at how you can drive effective lead nurturing campaigns and increase conversions –
1. Create Buyer Personas
How will you ‘nurture’ your leads if you don’t know who your ideal customer is in the first place? This is why creating buyer personas is of utmost importance.
At a time when personalized and timely content is key, the only way to engage with leads is by delivering relevant content to meet every individual’s needs.
To do that, you need to gather information and put together a profile of your ideal customer. This can be done by performing qualitative and quantitative research.
Qualitative research includes surveying your current, past and potential customers and lost leads. Ask questions to determine their needs, buying behavior, motivations, existing pain points, and priorities.
You can then validate this information by doing quantitative research with the help of Google Analytics to find out the demographic details (age and gender) and interests of your website visitors.
It is also important to identify people you don’t wish to target (also referred to as negative buyer persona). Identifying the pool of people you want to avoid enhances your content creation and targeting efforts.
Once you have the data from quantitative and qualitative research, it is a good idea to create buyer persona templates to streamline your research and strategy.
2. Segment your Audiences
It is important to acknowledge that all your leads are not the same which means you cannot adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach if you want to make your efforts count.
Audience segmentation lets you target the right person at the right time with the right content. It involves dividing your audience on the basis of their characteristics and behaviors such that each segment has a unique need.
Here are some ways to segment your audience –
- Demographics – age, gender, marital status, occupation, income
- Geographic – location
- Website behavior
- Lead source
- Communication preferences
While one part of segmentation is on the basis of your audience’s characteristics, you can also compartmentalize them on the basis of which stage of the buyer’s journey they are at.
Doing this crucial exercise lets you deliver valuable, relevant content to your leads instead of putting out generic messaging, thereby increasing chances of conversions.
3. Send Targeted Content to Segmented audiences
Targeted content pays. So, now that you have segmented your audience, the next step is to create content for every segment and stage in the buyer’s journey.
For instance, a lead in the ‘consideration’ stage who is considering options/solutions, needs to be met with content that would give them more information about your product/service by highlighting benefits and making comparisons, such that it urges them to enter the ‘decision’ stage.
Here are the types of content suited for different stages of the buyer’s journey –
- Awareness (Top of the funnel) – blog posts, infographics, ebooks
- Consideration (Middle of the funnel) – webinars, whitepapers, blog posts
- Decision (Bottom of the funnel) – case studies, product demos, customer testimonials, trial offers
4. Educate Leads
An essential aspect of lead nurturing campaigns is educating prospects about your product/service and building credibility to increase your chances of being considered.
The content you produce needs to provide value, address pain points and offer solutions. The idea is to create awareness and generate interest in your leads.
Content needs to be personalized – you can do so by addressing leads by their names, accurate targeting and including information related to their interests, needs or behavior.
These are the types of informative and educational content you can produce –
- Interactive content
- Live demos
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Social proof and testimonials
Regardless of the content, you create, it needs to have a strong and visible call-to-action that gives a clear indication on what needs to be done.
5. Consider Multiple Channels
Today’s consumer is everywhere – from websites, social media and emails to offline channels. Gone are the days when marketers could put all their eggs in one basket and focus on a single marketing channel, expecting it to generate results.
You need to implement multi-channel lead nurturing campaigns that considers buyer behavior across several channels and delivers targeted and personalized content, encouraging potential customers to act.
Multi-channel lead nurturing involves the following mediums –
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Social media marketing
- Retargeting ads
- Dynamic website content
- Mobile marketing
While you need to be everywhere, you cannot afford to spam people with duplicate content. Hence, always track responses and ensure the sales and marketing teams are aligned.
6. Run a Retargeting Campaign
A potential customer visits your website, fills a lead form and signs up for your email list – now, what? Do you wait around for this lead to come back? No – you retarget this lead using AdWords or Facebook Ads.
The remarketing ads can be generated to entice leads with a free product trial or demo, deliver additional value to influence their purchase decision or even present them with customer testimonials to convince them that your product/service is worth it.
<Insert video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uk_fXZ_xnI>
7. Track Response
You can be producing a wide variety of content to nurture leads but how do you know which one is resonating with the audience and delivering results?
Here are 5 important metrics you should track to gauge the performance of your lead nurturing campaign –
- Click-through rate – measures the percentage of users who clicked the links in a lead nurturing email. You should aim to maintain a CTR in the range of 2-5%
- Conversion rate – measures the percentage of users who clicked on a link and completed the desired action. Conversion rates should be between 1-3%
- Time-to-customer conversion – the time required for a lead to become a customer. The ideal time-to-customer conversion rate should not be more than 18 days
- Cost per customer – the marketing cost required to acquire a new customer
- Unsubscribe rate – this measures how long a business has managed to hold a customer’s interest. It is best to keep the unsubscribe rate below 1%
Lead nurturing takes time but is worth it. By understanding your audience, using marketing automation tools, creating meaningful content, targeting the desired audience and tracking progress, you can drive lead nurturing campaigns that are sure to boost conversions and sales.
So, don’t let your lead generation efforts go waste – seal the deal and complete the circle!