Laura Shewbridge likens a successful B2B Lead Nurturing to ‘dating’ and rightly so! Lead nurturing is easier said than done. The dilemma of ‘to do or not to do’ and the fear of ‘losing it all’ with a silly goof up – the pressure, sometimes, is too much!
All this might sound tad dramatic to you. However, the truth is that there’s a lot riding on an organization’s lead nurturing program. According to Forrester, companies with strong lead nurturing programs achieve 50% more at 33% lower cost.
So what powerful tactics can you apply in your lead nurturing strategy to ensure its success?
Before we start, let’s bust a myth. Email marketing isn’t the same as lead nurturing. The latter is a subset of email marketing and involves segmenting leads and using targeted content to sail them through the buyer journey. Analysts claim that nurtured leads lead to 47% more purchases than non-nurtured leads. Now that the myth is debunked and out of our way, let’s focus on some of the most amazingly effective B2B lead nurturing techniques:
Experiment with Targeted content
Leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%.The type of content used as per your lead nurturing strategy might be different but the overall goal is the same – you want to guide your prospective customer through the stages of Engagement > Education > The Close > Retention.
A Forrester Research says that almost 33% of B2B marketers find ‘targeted delivery of content’ their biggest lead nurturing challenge.
If you don’t want to be in this 33%, here are a few tips to handle ‘targeted content delivery’. First, understand your unique buyer persona in terms of their goals, objectives, interests and marketing triggers. Next, design a variety of targeted content to nurture each of your personas at various phases of their buyer journey. Have a reliable marketing automation platform in place to help you in identification, segmentation and targeting of your unique buyer personas when you scale your marketing strategy.
Multi-channel lead nurturing
According to a survey by Oracle, four out of five marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20%. Almost 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of effective lead nurturing is often the cause of poor conversion into sales.
Multi-channel lead nurturing can help improve the open rates of emails and conversions into sales. An effective multi-channel approach includes a combination of multiple channels such as email marketing, social media, marketing automation, dynamic website content, paid retargeting, and direct sales outreach.
Speaking of emails, here’s a tip to go beyond ‘personalization’ and get the most out of your email marketing. Use data enrichment email to ask your prospect the right questions.
- Your job title or role
- Company size, number of employees
- What products are you interested in?
- What type of content do you prefer receiving?
The answers to these questions help us not only share content that’s relevant to their size, but also route them to the proper sales channel when they’re qualified.
Touches In Your Nurturing Program – The More the Merrier
A Demand Gen research study says almost 49% of marketers include fewer than five touches in their lead nurturing programs. Although the buyer journey for every service and product is different, on an average, prospects receive ten marketing touches during their journey from the top of funnel to the closure of deal.
Be assured that your lead nurturing strategies are a roaring success if they deliver content that helps your prospects progress through the buyer’s journey by addressing common questions and concerns. Aim for a cocktail of blog posts, social media, interactive calculators, whitepapers, or even direct mail, to nurture your prospects into customers. Make them come back for more.
Timely Follow ups
Life is about timing, says Carl Lewis, former American track and field athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals. We couldn’t agree more. Did you know that the chances of a lead converting into sales are 21 times higher when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead conversion?
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of lead nurturing follow up:
About 68% of successful marketers say that ‘lead scoring based on content and engagement’ has been the most efficient lead nurturing tactic for improving ROI. Despite the proven success record of lead scoring, only 21% of B2B marketers are using the technique.
You can implement this scoring technique in most marketing automation platforms by simply assigning numeric values to various measurable aspects such as website browsing behavior, social media interactions or conversion events. You can then use the resulting the score to decide which leads need to be followed up by sales rep and which leads need to be nurtured further down the funnel.
The Final Word: Love Your Leads
Coming back to what Laura says about lead nurturing program and dating, it’s important for you to learn to ‘love your leads’ the way they ought to be loved – through personalized, relevant and engaging content offered at the right time, in the right place. There may be a lot of fish in the sea (read lot of leads from your lead generation drive) but unless you have a proper, well-nurtured relationship (read nurtured leads in your funnel), you’re missing out on something big.