There’s more to finding potential customers than cold outreach by sales reps. Lead nurturing is the art and science of forging relationships with prospective and current customers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it uses various tools and strategies to make it happen. Why wait? Let’s get into it.
Lead Nurturing & Lead Generation Are Cut From the Same Cloth
Generating a lead means capturing it for the first time. A good example is when a visitor hits a company’s social media account. When this visitor engages with the brand, it generates a lead. The engagement resulted in the conversion from a casual visitor to a prospective customer. Nurturing the lead should start as soon as it’s captured. This LinkedIn article actually says that you should follow up with a lead within 24 hours. Why? Well, they probably just stumbled across your social media or saw your ad, making you still top-of-mind. Wait too long, and the lead is as good as gone. Non-nurtured leads won’t interact with your brand and will likely never enter your sales cycle, even if they were a quality lead!
You see how important lead nurturing is now, right? Good.
1. Email Marketing
Industry insiders and statisticians agree that email campaigns are unbeatable for a great return on investment (ROI). In 2020, email marketing generated $7.5 billion. In 2023, it’ll likely cross the $10 billion threshold.
Segmentation is a critical aspect when positioning leads within the sales funnel. Besides that, expert segmentation allows for a personalized approach to messaging that appeals to the subscriber. And, because it ensures that leads only receive emails that are relevant to them, there’s less of a likelihood that emails remain unopened or recipients unsubscribe.
Try email marketing automation to make it even easier on your marketing team. CRM tools like Hubspot and Mailchimp have templates for easy designs and automated email sends based on the date or user action (like if they left something in their cart). Meanwhile, nurturing emails help customers along the sales process. There’s so much you can do with email marketing, just keep an eye on your metrics to see what’s working. (If an email caused a ton of people to unsubscribe, take a hard look at the wording, the design, the time it was sent, everything — and then don’t do that again.)
2. Content Marketing
An expertly crafted content marketing campaign is a fantastic way to nurture leads and build relationships. Content refers to anything from blog posts to how-to tutorials. Moreover, we use it to meet specific needs that potential customers might have.
- E-books and white papers offer in-depth information on a specific subject or product family.
- Webinars capitalize on industry expertise that positions a company as an insider.
- Video tutorials personalize answers to frequently asked questions.
- FAQs are a favorite format for breaking down complex details and potential pain points into bite-sized chunks of information. (Plus, they make things easier for your sales team.)
- Case studies are like testimonials on steroids. They show leads an example of a great customer experience and how your company helped them.
Your content marketing strategy should complement your email marketing. Send them relevant content that they would be interested in directly into their inbox. This can help you move them through their customer journey or keep you top-of-mind if they already made a purchase.
3. Surveys & Questionnaires
Sometimes, lead nurturing is as simple as asking questions. Consumers are frequently willing to complete surveys, take quizzes, or answer multiple-choice questions. When worded correctly, it’s easy to discern needs, feelings, and pain points. Depending on a lead’s answers to the questions, segment them into the group that most closely meets their position in the buyer’s journey through the sales funnel.
4. Social Media Presence & Ads
As noted in the Journal of Advertising Research, a vibrant social media presence presents the secondary effect of stealth-marketing to friends of customers who “liked” or “followed” a company. Making an effort on social media platforms is crucial to brand awareness. Just make sure the channels you’re on align with your target audience. Think of it this way: a makeup brand whose target audience is aged 18-24 shouldn’t put that much energy into keeping up a LinkedIn profile. They will find more successful leads on platforms like TikTok or Instagram.
There’s more you can do on social media besides rely on organic social media marketing to find qualified leads (organic social media just means being on the platform and not buying ads). Social media ads let you target specific demographics to find quality leads. Your ad should have an enticing call to action (CTA) that increases click-through rate and sends them to a landing page (where you can then measure conversion rates). Did we just say a bunch of words that were above your head? Check out this blog article to get the skinny.
Retargeting ads are a great lead management strategy. Retargeting ads are shown to users who engage with your ad, click through to your landing page, and other stuff like that, but don’t convert. They may not have been sales-ready when they saw your first ad, so retargeting ads keep you top-of-mind until they’ve had enough and decide to buy.
5. Post Sale Nurturing
It’s time to build a lasting relationship with the customer. Post-sale lead nurturing has the potential to turn a satisfied customer into a brand ambassador. Many companies do this aspect of the brand and customer relationship well. Since a lot of the follow-up work is automated, it’s easy to incorporate it into a business’s marketing platform.
Yet even here, there are opportunities for taking the relationship with the lead to another level. For example, recent purchases indicate what the customer could need in the future. It’s a good time to upsell or introduce a different department that makes or sells products that complement the item they bought. For service providers, this is the time to introduce specialized price plans or add-ons for a selected plan. Post-sale nurturing is great for your sales team to focus on or set up an automated email workflow. You can design emails to send after the user completes a trigger (like the example we just said of sending an email with related products after a purchase).
6. Lead Scoring
Is it as simple as it sounds? Simply grading potential leads? Yes! No two leads are the same, so don’t shy away from giving them a score. Qualified leads fit into your target audience and are likely to buy. Unqualified leads are less likely to purchase your product or service, so you shouldn’t spend time or energy on them. Most customer relationship management platforms have integrated some type of scoring system. Examples include the number of social media interactions, the number of abandoned shopping carts, and chat function usage. The score then determines the ongoing lead nurturing approach.
The Lead Nurturing Process Can Be a Lot — Call Us
Even if a small business’s current lead nurturing campaign is on par with its expectations, there is always room for growth. Besides that, buyer personas change as the target demographic ages. It’s a lot to keep up with, so turn to the experts! If you’re struggling to implement or maintain an effective lead nurturing program, we can help you. Our inbound marketing team can find quality leads so you don’t waste time. Raise your expectations and contact us today.