Lead nurturing is one of those essential marketing practices that’s easy to do—in theory. In practice, the subtle nuances can feel hard to manage, and it’s not always clear where to start.
Even so, lead nurturing is one opportunity you can’t skip.
Research shows that companies that nurture leads well can generate twice as many sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. But implementing the right strategy has a huge impact on more than just sales. From brand loyalty to customer retention, nurturing leads can make a big difference.
In this guide, we’re covering the five most effective tips to nurture leads in 2021 and beyond.
What Is Lead Generation?
The marketing funnel is the entire series of interactions between a business and a potential customer that is supposed to culminate in a sale. At the very start, there is lead generation. Simply put, a lead is a potential customer. As such, lead generation is the process of getting potential customers interested in your business’s products and services. Since most businesses are reliant on regular revenue for their continuing existence, this makes it one of the most important components of their operations because they can’t lead their potential customers through the marketing funnel unless they have something to bring in those potential customers.
Why Do You Need a Lead Generation Strategy?
Without a lead generation strategy, businesses tend to have a negative ROI because they waste dollars on marketing efforts that aren’t researched, tested or targeted. In order to increase leads and revenue, a strategy on who to target, how to target to them, and how to get your target into the sales funnel is key.
1. Make Time for Multiple Touches
Although many marketers envision the buyer’s journey via a streamlined marketing funnel, the truth is that every conversion will happen in a different way. Some will actually start out at the top of your funnel, while others may stumble onto specific product details as their first contact with your brand.
Despite the chaos of these journeys, one thing holds true: most marketers believe prospects need upwards of 10 marketing touches to get from brand awareness to conversion. In other words, if your goal is to turn leads into sales, you need to make time for multiple touches!
Too few messages and your valuable leads may disappear. Too many, and they might start to feel harassed.
It’s important to walk a fine line here, but a few simple tricks can help.
Try mixing and matching platforms by reaching out via both email and social media, for example. You can also vary your content types, offering everything from case studies to informative blogs to pricing guides. Don’t forget to also space out the frequency of your messages!
2. Engage Leads With Email Nurturing
In today’s changing digital landscape, email may not seem like the most cutting-edge tool in a marketer’s back pocket.
However, email continues to be the most popular messaging tool around, with over 70% of consumers preferring email as their primary communication vehicle with brands. Because emails are so enmeshed in our lives, email marketing continues to be a highly effective lead nurturing tactic—and one that brands can’t afford to pass up!
What’s more, email marketing can quickly become a no-brainer. With a wealth of tools available to help you automate your efforts, there’s no reason not to reach out to more leads with your campaign.
However, it’s worth noting that automation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find ways to personalize your strategy. Adding a personal touch can be one of the most effective ways to convert leads, especially at a time when 41% of consumers will head to a competitor if your brand doesn’t personalize.
Instead, invest your efforts in finding ways to provide value without losing that helpful automation. Let visitors trigger an email campaign by filling out a form, offer up personalized subject lines, or send them specific offers and messaging based on their behavior. Small changes like these can make all the difference!
3. Use Targeted Content
If you’re doing your marketing right, you’ve already narrowed down your target market by studying your audience’s behavior and demographics. But if you aren’t putting this information to use in your lead nurturing strategies, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.
From your target market, work to further segment your audience into unique buyer personas. This can help you better understand the lifestyle, interests, problems, goals, and marketing triggers of each group.
With these buyer personas in mind, you’ll be better poised to leverage targeted content. Sharing specific content can generate trust with your leads. It shows that what you offer is relevant to their needs—and that they might get more of the same value if they subscribe to your brand.
4. Create Opportunities for One-on-One Interactions
It’s easier than ever to automate your entire marketing campaign online these days. While this can be a great time-saving measure that offers what your audience needs when they need it, it can also make it hard to engage in the in-person interactions some buyers crave.
Face-to-face touchpoints can be a powerful part of the lead conversion process, in addition to your existing automated marketing methods.
There are several easy ways to make this happen as a consistent part of your marketing funnel.
First, you can meet leads face to face—which can mean either in person or in a virtual setting, given the current health crisis. At the top of your funnel, this may appear as a quiet moment at a networking event, for example. Further down, you might use live product demos or seminars.
When face-to-face meetings aren’t practical, connecting with leads on social media can be a great way to stay top-of-mind. Engaging with potential customers in a synchronous chat can help cultivate your relationship for the long-term.
Last, don’t hesitate to let your team bring in their sales strategies. Where marketers craft helpful messages and valuable content, your sales team can come in for the personalized, one-on-one sales meetings that make a difference.
5. Focus on Content Marketing
Bill Gates first said it over 20 years ago: “Content is king.”
Those words are just as relevant today as they were back then, despite how fast the digital landscape has shifted and grown. Great content continues to be what inspires us, what educates us, and what persuades us to make decisions.
Content marketing, then, is the ultimate method of nurturing your leads: it both creates value and shares your brand’s message. That’s why it’s so critical to get your content marketing right!
Time and time again, offering genuine value will always generate trust. Relevant and useful content can be a great way to warm up leads in the awareness stage of the marketing funnel, to inform them about your brand when they’re considering their next move, and—if nothing else—to show that you know your stuff.
How Can You Develop Your Lead Generation Strategy?
Here are some suggestions for businesses seeking to create a lead generation strategy for their marketing funnel:
Recognizing the Problem
Everything in marketing starts with recognizing the problem that needs to be solved. After all, businesses can’t sell their products and services unless there is some kind of use for them. Sometimes, this part of the process can seem very simple and straightforward. For instance, if someone has a broken window, it seems obvious that the solution would be either a window repair or replacement. However, businesses should go for specificity in this regard. This is because the clearer their understanding of the problem, the easier it will be for them to focus their lead generation as well as the rest of their marketing efforts.
Conducting Market Research
Once businesses have a clear understanding of the problem, they should look into its potential to support a new product or service. There might not be enough room for them in some cases. Meanwhile, there might not be enough potential customers to make launching a new product or service worthwhile in other cases. Generally speaking, this research should help businesses answer a number of important questions. First, they need to know who would be interested in their product or service. Second, they need to know who their competitors would be. Third, they need to know what would enable their product or service to stand out from the competition. Fourth, they need to know how they can get that information to their potential customers, which is where their lead generation comes in. It should be mentioned that data is very important because they provide businesses owners with more certainty in their conclusions.
Evaluating the Lead Generation Methods
There are numerous lead generation methods out there. However, each one possesses its own particular combination of ups and downs, meaning that there is no such thing as a perfect lead generation method. Thanks to this, businesses are going to need to look through their potential options based on what their market research has revealed about their potential customers. For instance, if they find out that the bulk of their potential customers spend time on a particular social media site, it makes sense for them to focus more of their limited resources on it. Having numbers from market research will be essential for enabling businesses to calculate the expected benefits as well as the expected costs of each lead generation method, which is critical because they want their lead generation to be not just effective but also efficient. Simply put, the less effort that they have to put into each sale, the more profitable their revenue-earning operations will be.
Using Lead Capture and Lead Magnets
Both lead capture and lead magnets are important components of successful lead generation strategies. For those who are unfamiliar, the first term refers to capturing some of a potential customer’s contact information. This is necessary because a huge proportion of potential customers will never return to a site without that capture. Unfortunately, lead capture is much easier said than done because most people associate being asked for contact information with the very understandable expectation that they will be bombarded with spam messages. Something that can be very irritating to say the least.
As such, businesses need lead magnets, which can be summed up as ways to provide their potential customers with value in exchange for their contact information. Lead magnets can be as simple as regular updates about occurrences that would interest said individuals. These are things like promo codes, and signing up for a newsletter. Market research should have provided businesses with insight into what incentives would work with their potential customers. It is very common for lead capture and lead magnets to be packaged together in landing pages that serve as a metaphorical mouth for the marketing funnel that is meant to bring potential customers closer and closer to being paying customers.
Naturally, businesses should have clearly defined goals for their marketing. After all, if they don’t know where they want to go, they are going to have a hard time measuring the degree of progress that they either are or aren’t making. Generally speaking, businesses should have long-term and short-term marketing goals. Long-term marketing goals can be a bit nebulous because they are supposed to be long-term aspirations. In contrast, short-term marketing goals should be the much more practical steps needed to achieve long-term marketing goals. These should be number-based for the sake of monitoring. Furthermore, these should be based on realistic expectations because making them too big increases the chance of failure, which in turn, can have catastrophic consequences for morale.
By having marketing goals, businesses will be able to monitor the performance of their lead generation strategy as well as the rest of their marketing strategies in a meaningful manner. Fortunately, the online marketing tools used for lead generation tend to make it very easy for their users to collect raw data before converting it into a usable format. Something that should make it much easier for interested parties to see how well they are doing relative to their expectations.
Monitoring is important because businesses should be using their results to figure out how they can improve their lead generation. More exact information can enable them to figure out what is working well and what isn’t working well so that they can retain the former while changing the latter. This process of improvement should be continuous. Primarily, this is because nothing is perfect, meaning that there is always the potential for lead generation to be better. However, it should also be mentioned that the business environment is ever-changing, which is why lead generation as well as the rest of the marketing funnel need to keep up.
Nurture Leads Like You Mean It
As we’ve said above, every buyer’s journey is different—which is why creating effective lead nurturing strategies demands so much time and effort. Still, lead nurturing can be the single most effective process your marketing team tackles. After all, taking time to nurture leads can help you earn more of those valuable sales qualified opportunities, as well as long-term brand advocates.
If you’re ready to nurture leads like you mean it, you’ll need to stop letting potential customers vanish from your marketing funnel. With FormTestr, you can increase lead generation automatically, allowing you to direct your efforts to more of the things that matter. Sign up today to get started!