What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is a marketing method used to connect and develop relationships with individuals who are not currently ready to buy, but have the potential to become customers in the future. It focuses on educating your prospect throughout every step of the buyer’s journey. Lead nurturing is all about building trust and establishing relationships, making it more likely for people to choose you when it comes time to buy.
Who should be nurturing leads?
Anyone with an inbound marketing strategy should be nurturing leads. (If you’re not familiar with, or want to refamiliarise yourself with inbound, read our blog What is Inbound Marketing? Lead nurturing is crucial for anyone looking to establish a trustworthy brand and provide people with relevant and valuable information to go along with their products and/or services.
Why is lead nurturing important?
According to a Forrester Research Advanced Analytics Report, companies that practice empathetic lead nurturing generate 50% more high quality leads with 33% lower cost. While big data provides these statistics, it’s passionate and sympathetic marketers that are seeing the benefits of these results. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the effects and implications of their buying habits: environmentally, politically, economically and emotionally. This is leading to a huge increase in research before purchasing. Therefore, many inbound leads are people who are shopping in your industry, but not ready to buy. By establishing a consistent line of communication, clearly communicating your brand’s mission and nurturing a trusting relationship with your potential customers, you’re at the top of their minds when it comes time to make a purchase.
How do you nurture leads?
Lead nurturing strategies and practices vary greatly from industry to industry and depend on your brand identity. Your buyer personas/target audience will determine the techniques you use to nurture them through the purchasing experience. For example, someone selling handmade, one of a kind home decor pieces is going to have a very different approach than someone trying to sell an online SEO course. However, there are certain elements that belong in every lead nurturing strategy.
1. Establishing immediate contact
Responding quickly to a prospect that engages with you exponentially increases your chances of turning them into a happy customer. The method of responding depends on the platform that they interact with. A social media comment should be responded to from the same profile, if they subscribe to your email list, they should obtain their first email instantaneously, if they fill out a form, they should receive confirmation and thanks immediately after. The older a lead gets, the less likely that person is going to respond to your next touch.
2. Multiple touches
The most successful marketers nurture their leads by providing the perfect content for their prospects and helping them progress through the buyer’s journey. Addressing common questions and concerns and sharing valuable knowledge shows that you’re an expert in your field and builds brand trust and loyalty. There are a number of ways to engage and interact with your audience, so be sure to consider and test a number of different mediums including emails, videos, infographics, whitepapers, quizzes, social media posts, blogs and other types of targeted content.
3. Email Marketing
Personalised email marketing is the foundation for most lead nurturing efforts. It is the most direct way to provide significant information to specific people at relevant times. Your email marketing strategy should be well-defined for your customers, so that they know exactly what they should expect when signing up. Each email also needs to be relevant. We all know what happens when we receive an “email blast” from some company (if it even makes it past our spam filter). You should be segmenting your audience as much as possible, and your campaigns should consist of small, highly relevant emails. Emails should also be a conversation. Give your lead a chance to respond, and customise the next email based on their response. The more personalised your email campaign is, the more comfortable your buyer will feel.
4. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is an advanced technique that combines marketing and sales tactics. It is a methodology that ranks prospects on a scale illustrating their value to your business. This scale is typically based on three factors.
The lead fit score determines how well a prospect fits your ideal buyer persona. It is composed of demographics – an individual’s job title, company position, experience, etc. – firmographics – a company’s name, size, location, annual revenue, etc. – and BANT, (budget, authority, need and timeline).
Lead interest and behavior
What actions is your lead is taking? The actions that take them closer to the closing point should give them more value. Scrolling through your Instagram page merits less points than sending an email requesting more information.
Where is your lead in your brand’s sales model? The closer they are to the bottom of your sales funnel, the higher the score.
Lead nurturing is a valuable component of any inbound marketing strategy. Creating and distributing valuable content helps you focus on turning ideal buyers into happy customers. If you’re interested in learning how to generate more leads, download our free eBook: 30 Awesome Lead Generation Tips & Tricks to Drive Growth In Your Business: