Marketers strive the most for designing a campaign that leads to recurring revenue. The main hassle is having ample amount of good quality content that is relatable by the customer - be it blogs, emails or e-books. Today’s customers have everything at their disposal to help them make a buying decision. Researching about a product that interests them can be done from anywhere on their mobile device as they are more digitally connected now than ever before.
So, how do you connect with potential customers out there who are discovering different brands, products, and services on the internet and at the same time are in the beginning stages of an interest in your business too?
You have to put in efforts to stay with them till the decision phase. This is what lead nurturing is all about. So, your overall effort must ensure that emails are perfectly set for lead nurturing success.
But, lead nurturing becomes ineffective once the prospects feel what they are receiving is no longer personalised for their specific needs. To avoid this from happening, do not send generic email blasts or worthless newsletters to your contact list. Don’t cold call leads who downloaded your content either. Send only that content which adds value to their lives in some way. If your content doesn’t offer value to your leads, it’s not going to nurture them.
In such a scenario, here are a few practices that you can adopt to ensure you are on the right lead nurturing path:
1. Define and segment your audience
Identify more than one type of customer and do not market to only one type of them. You need to know the list of leads that need nurturing in the first place! So, take time and define your ideal customer type. This is a reference based on which you can segment the leads and start planning campaigns accordingly.
2. Set Goals and Objectives
What type of content should you send? And what should the purpose of the content be? Any offer that you share with your prospects, must appeal to them. The intention from your end must be moving them down the sales funnel while you do so.
Without establishing a clear objective of what you are trying to accomplish, you cannot have a direction and purpose for your lead nurturing campaign. How will you know if you're seeing success are not? Your goals can be very simple like ‘a% open rate’ and ‘b% conversion’ . But you need to establish them well before and work towards it. Test, learn and adjust to what resonates the best with your ideal buyer persona. A/B test whatever you build - be it emails, landing pages, headline, or email subject line to see what is getting you closer to your established goals.
3. Align Marketing and Sales efforts
If you have to effectively nurture leads, aligning marketing and sales efforts is very much necessary. To make this easy, integrate sales automation with a marketing automation system to track implicit data on lead behavior. Aligning sales and marketing efforts is indeed a challenge, but employing technology to take care of the alignment can make things so much easier. Understand everything about a ‘sales-ready lead’, ‘lead-scoring criteria’, ‘timing to define a sales-ready lead’, and ‘optimal leads’ as without a proper understanding, you won’t be able to effectively nurture leads into sales.
4. Offer value first instead of a sales pitch
How would you feel if you just signed up and downloaded an ebook from a website and get an email about requesting a quote or a demo? Awkward, right?
You must always nurture any lead through the sales funnel, for them to make a purchase. Don’t pitch your product directly as the best thing in the world. Let them see the value in your business. Offer them value in the form of an e-book or a white paper instead of pitching your product directly. You actually don't have to create new content for lead nurturing, you can utilise the existing content assets you have by revamping them. If they have been successful in converting leads in the past, there is a good chance that the prospects will find value in them even now.
5. Understand all about the fresh leads
When you have new leads flowing in, you need to establish trust and give them the information that they are looking for. What sort of information they are looking for, will help you understand what their needs are. This will give you an idea on how to process the leads and segment them to develop a profile of your ideal customer. While processing the new leads, consider demographics, industry, geographic location, and BANT - Budget, Authority, Need and Time, and Thoroughness of customer data. After analysing these criteria, you will be able to determine how closely each profile is aligning with your ideal buyer personas.
6. Re-engage your leads
According to Corey Eridon at Hubspot, “Some of the disengaged leads can be reutilised and engaged as there is revenue potential in your email list which is untapped.”
If a lead is not opening your emails or engaging in your campaigns, there is a good possibility that they have chosen your competitor over you. So, this is the lead that you have to put back on a re-engagement campaign. The chances of that lead engaging with you will depend mostly on the marketing campaign, buyer cycle, and the demand your product creates.
Make an exclusive offer by inviting your leads to a special event. Give them something that is valuable, for free of cost. Give them a software for trial for a cost lower than usual or give them a free of cost extension on their already subscribed service. Try something completely new like changing the email template in which you usually send out mails or giving them access to an unreleased e-book. Generally, after 3-6 months of effort is when a lead should be considered lost.
7. Evaluate and Optimise
As you run the campaigns, experiment and analyse more with the offers you make, subject lines you use, and call to actions you put out for your customers. Always improve your campaigns over and over, by observing how these parameters perform improve them over time, and use the insights to better nurture your leads in the future.
You can use lead nurturing campaigns as part of your inbound marketing strategy.
Put enough thought and time into your campaign for the success of your lead nurturing efforts. If you start an effective lead nurturing campaign by creating it with dedicated people using a strategic approach, it can have a profound effect on your business. With the help of technology, you can align all the actions from beginning to end. There is much effort in here, but it is going to pay off. At Transfunnel, we can help you with the best lead nurturing strategies. Get in touch!