What’s a good marketing strategy that will:
- Get leads into your sales pipeline?
- Help leads stay in your pipeline for an extended period of time, keeping them engaged with marketing content that’s relevant to their needs and wants?
- Gently guide your leads towards making a purchase?
You guessed it! Lead nurturing.
With lead nurturing, you can hold your lead’s digital hand (in a totally non-creepy, platonic manner) and walk them through their decision-making process – from learning about your product, to evaluating viable solutions on the market, to signing up for your service. This is otherwise known as the buyer’s journey, which has 3 stages:
- Awareness: Your lead has a problem or a symptom, but they can’t put their finger on what it might be. It’s your job to help them “name” their problem or “diagnose” their symptoms.
- Consideration: Your lead is evaluating the best possible “cure” for their problem. At this point, they are exploring possible solutions, and you can help them with the exploration process.
- Decision: Your lead is ready to make a purchase. Your role now is to make it easy for your lead to know that you are the best solution.
Lead nurturing allows you to build a relationship with your lead, which can boost your customer lifetime value and help keep leads “warm” during longer sales cycles.
Think of your website like a storefront. Visitors at different stages in their individual buyer’s journeys will come through the door. Some are just hearing about your product or service for the first time; others may be ready to make a purchase. This is where lead nurturing comes into play. Here are 6 ways you can work lead nurturing into your marketing strategy:
Map your content to the buyer’s journey.
It’s important to send relevant content to the right audience at the right time. You need to have content that’s relevant to every stage in the buyer’s journey. Someone considering solutions similar to yours but not quite ready to sign the dotted line might not want to sign up for a consultation. But they might be more comfortable reviewing your comparison sheet that provides an overview of the top solutions on the market. Likewise, if your lead is ready to make a purchase, they might be more interested in your case study or a free demo.
Work with your sales team to qualify your leads.
Open communication between your sales and marketing teams will help your lead nurturing efforts. Marketing and sales need to be on the same page when distinguishing between a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) and a sales-qualified lead (SQL). Without clarification, your sales team might not know when a lead is ready for sales follow-up. This could result in losing that potential customer, all because of internal miscommunication. When you do define your leads, have your sales team reach out to your SQLs via phone or email.
Segment your leads into different email lists.
Email list segmentation can be incredibly useful when collecting data about your contacts and leads. Collect information from your site visitors through contact forms throughout your site or on landing pages, such as their industry, organization, job title, etc.. The information you collect may help you determine their stage in the buyer’s journey. See if your potential lead fits into one of your buyer persona profiles.
With the data you collect, it will be much easier to send relevant, targeted content to different segments within your audience right when they need it the most. This content can range from educational material (e.g. blogs, how-to guides, etc.) to reasons why you are a viable solution (e.g. case study, success story, vendor comparison, etc.). Targeted content can keep leads engaged with your brand until they are ready to seal the deal.
Set up workflows for emails.
Setting up workflows for emails to reach your audience at different touch points can boost your lead nurturing. Be sure to define the criteria that will trigger your workflow; for example, do your site visitors need to perform a certain action or be a member of one of your segmented lists? By automating emails to nurture your leads, you are saving time, while engaging leads with relevant content. For example, You’ve categorized your leads by company size. If your lead fits the criteria, one of your workflow emails could include a free e-book download on small businesses you just published.
Personalize landing page and emails for your lead.
Deliver an online experience that is unique to your customer. Make them feel special and cared for – with personalization. A tool like HubSpot’s Content Optimization System (COS) can help customize your user’s experience using your lead’s name and other contact information (as appropriate). With personalization, you’re breaking down the wall separating the seller and the buyer. This can be comforting to buyers and ease them into closing the deal. Consider this statistic:
According to an Adobe CMO article, when asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, one-third of marketers answered “personalization.”
Lead nurturing to the rescue!
With lead nurturing, you’re not just working toward making a sale. You’re building trust to show that you are a top choice in your industry. As you build out your lead nurturing strategy, keep in mind that your website visitors could be at any stage of the buyer’s journey. Maybe they’ve known about you for a couple of years, or maybe they have no idea who you are. Working through your lead nurturing tactics will take a little time. But with a full sales pipeline, you’ll be so glad you made it part of your overall marketing strategy.