Moving a lead through the sales funnel is called lead nurturing. A successful lead nurturing strategy can help B2B marketers increase conversion rates and maximize ROI. In fact, a widely reported stat from Forrester research notes: …Marketers see an average 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured versus non-nurtured leads.
In order to remain competitive and keep pace in today’s marketplace, there’s no doubt that many marketers are rethinking their nurturing efforts and eyeing new tactics.
Ingredients of a Strong Lead Nurturing Strategy
Lead Scoring: Serving as the cornerstone of a solid lead nurturing strategy is a lead scoring system. This can help marketers identify when and how to address a prospect with the most relevant and timely communications. Lead scoring is a technique that assigns each lead a point value that indicates where a lead is in the sales funnel. The stronger the lead, the higher the score. This enables companies to look at their leads and understand whether they are the proper fit (explicit) and/or are demonstrating the ideal level of interest (intent).
A Clean Database: If your data is outdated or is missing integral information to properly score leads then effectively nurturing leads will prove challenging. Implement a regular data cleansing process and make good data hygiene a priority.
Content Marketing: Content marketing is essentially the process of providing relevant and useful content to you audience to help them solve issues. Some of the most effective forms of content marketing include hosting webinars, white papers/publishing research reports, producing videos, infographics, case studies and social media posts.
Personalization: Break through the clutter and strengthen your connections with personalization. The more personalized the communication and targeted the better as it can set you on the path to higher engagement and conversion rates.
Targeted Content: If you’ve segmented your audience or created personas, consider developing targeted content for your segments. Reaching your audience segments with relevant communication and customized campaigns can help drive conversions.
Multi-Channel Reach: Email is a great communication tool but if your email open rates leave much to be desired then it’s time to take a closer look at your data hygiene or a multi-channel approach. Connecting with prospects by way of targeted messaging delivered across multiple platforms and touch points can help you change the game. A mix of social media, email marketing, direct sales outreach, paid retargeting, marketing automation and dynamic content is the recipe for effective multi-channel nurturing.
Timely Response: This may seem like an obvious point but the importance of immediately contacting an inbound lead is not to be underestimated. “When marketing aligns with sales using effective content planning, integrating the customer buying process with the company’s sales process, distributing leads that have not been turned off by your processes (and horrendous forms), providing sales people with details that matter to them about the prospect’s interests and motivations and then distribute those leads effectively, their isn’t a salesperson who wouldn’t want to respond to that kind of ‘qualified’ prospect right away,” wrote Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder of Buyer Legends.
Measure, Analyze and Test: Ok, so you’ve implemented your lead nurturing strategy but the real question now is, “How well is it working?” “What’s resonating and what’s not?” That’s where testing comes in. Effective lead nurturing needs to be tested and fine-turned accordingly. One way to do this is through A/B testing, which can help you better understand which messages are resonating (or not) with specific audiences.
In today’s hyperconnected, buyer-driven marketplace, the importance of lead nurturing has never been greater. Building an effective lead nurturing strategy will not only improve conversion rates but also increase ROI.
to download the complete B2B Lead Program Success: Setting Expectations, Data Hygiene, Lead Scoring and Nurturing and Conversions
Eisenberg, B. (2012, September 06). 5 Steps to Increase "Qualified" Leads From Your Website by @TheGrok. Retrieved from https://www.bryaneisenberg.com/5-steps-to-increase-qualified-leads-from-your-website/#axzz1G248R7ID