- On 05/08/2019
When it comes to marketing, lead nurturing is one of the most important steps that lead to success. The better you understand how to capture the interest of potential clients and produce a sales journey, the more easily generate existing leads into paying customers. A lot of companies spend a lot of money on lead nurturing but also get a lot in return. This is exactly how you should look at lead nurturing; as an investment. Lead nurturing is soon becoming the most important marketing strategy in 2019, thanks to its ability to guide customers through potential sales and develop strong relationships along the way. In order to help you optimize your lead nurturing process, we put this ultimate guide to lead nurturing for 2019.
Centralize Your Content According to a Sales Funnel
To understand the selling process, one needs to understand the various stages that each customer goes through. A sales funnel consists of three steps, or stages: awareness, consideration, and purchase. Each one determines the processes with which you should be acquainted. All these steps have different intentions which require different methods, and therefore different content.
Creating content that speaks directly to an individual is a way to build trust and make your lead feel like a person and not just a number on your list. That’s why addressing your leads using their information, like name, location, job industry, etc. is so essential.
Lead nurturing can be provided using different channels, such as:
- Website content (landing pages, blogs, and strategic content)
- Social media (surveys, target messaging, entrainment content, and educational materials)
- Retargeting ads (as reminders to your prospective customers)
- Emails (automatic emails, follow-up emails, announcements, news, and information campaigns)
- Events and webinars
Each of these channels has its specifics. However, emails tend to be the most effective, as they have a personal approach and can be sent as frequently as you want.
Create content about customers pain points, a.k.a. be relevant
Given how the Web has empowered buyers, marketers have to shift away from self-centered content and provide information that’s useful to their buyers. Russo shared that one campaign that accomplished this for HubSpot was “The Marketer’s Guide to Salesforce,” helping those looking to learn more about the software. The eBook broke down Salesforce terminology, explained data objects (e.g., account, campaign, event), how a typical Salesforce environment worked, as well as the methodology and best practices behind topics like lead scoring, sales, and marketing alignment and ROI tracking — while subtly introducing HubSpot. It was downloaded more than 8,000 times and helped HubSpot close many new customers who may have originally gone with Salesforce.
Don’t send every email to everyone
You’ve got the gist by now. Every lead is different and likely in a different stage of their buyer’s journey. With this in mind, there is no way you can effectively nurture ALL of your leads with the same email. You need to segment and group your contacts by more defining, influential traits such as:
- Job Title
Grouping contacts by this information helps ensure that the information you deliver is more relevant to them and in turn, more likely to earn their attention and click. HubSpot, as Product Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Russo explains, segments their audience based on marketing persona and lifecycle stage. There are three main personas that HubSpot uses to create useful content to nurture leads:
Analyzing data is key to understanding your user. By using tools like Google Analytics, you can track users interests, where they’re from, age, gender, and site behavior, allowing you to craft your content accordingly.
Personalize your mobile and web design
Another way to offer a personalized experience is to consider the responsiveness of your website or email. If a user is having trouble accessing your mobile site, more than likely, they’ll turn to a competitor who has a more mobile-friendly user experience. As a result, it’s important to make sure your templates are designed to respond to your user’s device to avoid losing a potential customer. Again, Google Analytics can help track the percentage of users using mobile and desktop, as well as the make and model.
Generate leads on social media
One-on-one interactions are an important part of the automation process and are crucial when considering effective points in nurturing. Generating leads on social media is a key example of one way you can add a personal touchpoint to your nurturing process. These touchpoints are an essential part of accumulating a strong and profitable audience. By connecting to your leads directly through social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can add a personal element to your relationship and, therefore, generate a powerful lead toward your sales process.
Social media can also provide some insightful knowledge into your content marketing plan. By regularly checking your accounts, you can gain insight into the content your audience is interested in and possibly gain a better understanding of competitor content. Another way to utilize your social media presence is by setting up google alerts for any relevant content that may interest you or your audience. This way, you can easily comment, like, and share audience feedback. Building a following and interacting with your audience not only encourages them to engage with your company, but it also shows that you’re present and up to date with your marketing strategy.
The Importance Of Lead Scoring / Qualification
Generating leads is a bit like panning for gold. Can you be sure that every little sparkly nugget you dredge up will be worthy to make a necklace or a wedding ring? Of course not. By that same logic, it’s important to remember that not all leads are created equal. You’ll need to qualify the incoming leads and separate the wheat from the chaff if you’re to capitalize on your lead generation effectively and efficiently.
Of course, that’s not to say that some leads are wasting your time, but some will be “hotter” (and by hotter,we mean more intent-rich) than others. Knowing the interested from the intent-rich can help you to set your sales team at work on the prospects which are ripest for conversion while your marketing efforts can help nurture those leads which need a little more help along the way. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that part later. It also prevents you from inadvertently turning cold leads colder by “harassing” them with unwelcome sales calls.
So, how do we score and qualify these leads? Glad you asked…
How To Score Your Incoming Leads
With a scoring criterion that’s appropriate to the needs of your business, scoring leads can be a quick and easy process. While every enterprise’s needs are slightly different the following rubric can serve as a rough guide which you can later personalize to better suit your needs;
- Demographic Information- This helps you to build up a customer profile. How old are they? What’s their income? Who do they work for? Where do they live? Do they have children? How can this information inform their consumer behaviors? You may also find outliers that make the lead unsuitable for you due to geographical restrictions.
- Company information- B2B businesses will want to get to know the company the lead works for. What industry do they serve and how much quantifiable need is there for your product or service in that industry?
- Online behavior- What social platforms do they use? What other brands are they engaging with?
- Brand engagement- How, if at all, are they engaging with your brand? Are they clicking through to links sent on email shoots? Are they retweeting you? Are they commenting on your Facebook posts?
- Types of interest- The type of interest a lead has shown will demonstrate whereabouts in your sales funnel they are. Are they downloading your free e-book, requesting a free sample or demo or simply viewing a product page repeatedly?
- Activity level- How active are they on your website? Which pages are they spending the most time on? How many inquiries have they made and how much content have they downloaded?
- Spam detection- Finally, your qualification criteria should also weed out the spammers and bots.
Determine your own points system based on which of the above criteria matter most for you and align the closest with your priorities.
Nurturing Your Leads
Once you’ve applied your lead scoring criteria and filtered out the “hottest” leads, you’ve redirected them to your sales team who are ready to work their magic and get some conversions. But what about all the cooler leads?
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because a lead isn’t red hot right now that it won’t have value later.
Lead nurturing is the process of helping cooler leads through your sales funnel and guide them successfully to the point of sale. Here are some effective lead nurturing strategies which will help convert the tentative lead into a faithful customer.
Lead nurturing campaigns are quite effective when it comes to increasing sales. Not every lead will become a paying customer or client, but you can get a positive dynamic in your sales by using these simple and effective tips for creating content for your leads.