There’s a lot of talk about lead generation and why its necessary for business success, and rightfully so. Your business needs leads in order to generate more sales and keep things running smoothly. In fact, we recently discussed what some of the best lead generation tools are.
But, once you’ve got a bunch of leads: what do you do with them? Even with the most qualified leads, your job doesn’t stop at capturing them. Once you’ve got them, you need to nurture them. In doing so, you push them towards your ultimate goal of converting them into paid customers.
Lead nurturing is just as important as lead generation, but for many marketers, there is a major imbalance. Research shows that less than 10% of leads you capture will make an immediate purchase with you. Are you content to let the other 90% go? You shouldn’t be!
Here are 7 of the best lead nurturing tactics that you can use to successfully convert your leads into paying customers.
If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of lead nurturing is email marketing, you aren’t alone. Email marketing is the traditional way of connecting with leads, but as you are well aware of by now, its effectiveness is dwindling. Should you abandon it all together? No. Should you consider other platforms to bolster your efforts? Absolutely.
There are numerous ways that you can engage with your leads in order to properly nurture them. For most effective results you should consider engaging with them on multiple platforms- including email marketing, social media marketing, paid ads, and via web push notifications.
Each platform has its pros and cons and varying levels of effectiveness and engagement, which is why a multi-platform approach is almost always going to yield you better results. For example, you can easily upload your email subscribers to Facebook as a custom audience and target them with ads. This way, even if they aren’t opening your emails, they may see (and hopefully, click) your ad on social media.
The above carousel ad is not just visually engaging, it also helps provide the user with relevant information that will help persuade them to buy. If your target demographic cares about corporate responsibility, for example, incorporating that into your content will help engage your leads and give them more of a reason to shop with you.
If visibility is a concern for you, utilizing web push notifications will help fill in that gap. These notifications deliver instantly to both desktop and mobile devices, even when the user isn’t at your website or even using a browser at all. Utilize custom segments, personalization, automation, and more to engage and nurture your leads.
As a travel company, you might engage your leads with compelling content that will lead them back to your site. You shouldn’t focus on selling right away, but rather on providing your audience with content that they will find useful. More on that later!
Content marketing is a great way to nurture your leads. Quality content is something that your audience will find useful or entertaining. They’ve got a problem, and you’ve got the solution. Utilizing various forms of content is a great way to nurture your leads. Does content marketing just mean blog posts? Of course not. In addition to blog posts you can also create content such as:
A variety of valuable content is one of the greatest assets a company can have. As we mentioned earlier, most leads are not ready to purchase immediately. Instead, you need to have a way of engaging with them that doesn’t feel like a hard sales push. Quality content is just that tool you can leverage. We’ll discuss more content marketing tactics below.
No matter what type of lead nurturing you engage in, you should incorporate as much personalization as you can. Take the email above- it does a great job of personalizing the content to make it feel like the company is speaking directly to the lead, Matthew. Not only do they include his name, but the language of the email itself is very direct, and the content is very specific. Sending out this message to a group of graphic designers would be an effective way to engage and nurture those leads.
Make personalization happen by using smart segmentation in your lead nurturing campaigns. If the above email was sent to a customer support agent, for example, it wouldn’t have the same results. The campaign wouldn’t at all be relevant and even if the person’s name was included in the email, it wouldn’t really matter. Easily segment your email campaigns, PPC ads, and web push notifications.
Segment your audience based on factors that matter based on your industry and sales goals. Perhaps it is their interests, various demographic factors, or their activity at your website. Tailor your campaigns to speak directly towards that group of people. This is one of the best lead nurturing tactics, especially considering that 90% of people have a favorable view of personalization.
Once you gather your leads you need to make sure your lead nurturing tactics are already well established and ready to go. Timing is a big factor when it comes to lead nurturing. Even the best campaigns can fail if you don’t properly optimize your timing.
So, when should you follow up with a lead? Is there such a thing as too soon? Not really! In fact, research shows that your odds are 21 times greater when engaging a lead within 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. If you thought you should be following up a day later or several days later, you’re wrong! Initial contact should be made with your lead as soon as possible once they are gathered.
What about beyond initial contact? That timing matters as well! While you want to be sure your leads remember your business, you don’t want to annoy them by being in contact too frequently. As with most marketing initiatives, finding the right balance is crucial for success. A daily contact is likely too much, but waiting a week between follow ups is likely too infrequent. Come up with an initial strategy and tweak accordingly based on your own results. A sample strategy might look like this:
Based on your specific audience you can determine what works best for you. Always analyze your results and adjust accordingly in order to nurture your leads as effectively as possible.
Rely on the power of automation with your lead nurturing! It is far too much effort to try and keep up with all your lead nurturing campaigns manually. This is particularly important when dealing with your initial follow up campaign. Remember what we said? Contact should be made as soon as possible. Trying to handle that on your own is a task that is likely to fail. You could have someone monitoring your leads 24/7, or you could set up some automation.
The above web push notification is an example of an automated campaign you could set up. All new leads could receive this notification after submitting your lead generation form at your website, for example. Notice in the title section that the first name custom attribute has been added. Combine personalization with automation for excellent results!
Spend some time to create a custom drip campaign that will help nurture your leads over time- and be sure to keep in mind the tactics we’ve discussed so far like personalization and timing. The more of these tactics you can implement, the better your campaigns will be!
Keep in mind that your goal with lead nurturing is to have them eventually convert and become a customer. That’s the entire point of this process! As you continue to nurture your leads they are likely to move through what is known as the buyer’s journey. This framework is something to keep in mind as you craft your lead nurturing campaigns.
Just as you want to personalize and tailor your content based on a person’s interests, you also want to create unique content for each phase of the journey. A new lead shouldn’t be shown content meant for a lead who has been nurtured for a while and is ready to make a decision. Alternatively, that same nurtured lead shouldn’t be shown introductory content that they likely already know.
Effective lead nurturing results from showing a lead the right content at the right time. Set up your campaigns in such a way that follows this natural flow that will (hopefully) result in a conversion. Easily accomplish this with an automated email series or web push series that dials up the content as a lead becomes more invested and learns more about your business and products.
At this point you’ve learned that lead generation is not the end of your job, it’s just the beginning. Next comes lead nurturing, with your most qualified leads converting at your site. Is that the end? No! Even once a lead has converted at your site, you need to continue nurturing them. Repeat customers are incredibly valuable to any company.
Repeat customers spend on average 3 times more than one time shoppers. That is significant! These customers also essentially serve as brand ambassadors for you, and by now you should be well aware of the power of word of mouth marketing.
Once a lead converts at your site, they present you with new opportunities to engage with them. This can include cross-selling and upselling your products, as well as encouraging them to purchase from you again with a discount offer or invitation to a rewards program.
Lead nurturing is a continuous process that shouldn’t ever come to an end. Closing a sale is certainly cause for celebration, but it is also a signal to shift into another avenues of lead nurturing that will secure these customers for life.
Nurturing your leads is an effective way to boost sales for your brand. By crafting quality content, personalizing your campaigns, optimizing your timing, utilizing numerous channels, relying on automation, and following up post-sale, you are creating a valuable lead nurturing cycle that will amplify your sales.
What is your favorite lead nurturing tactic? Did we forget to include anything on this list? Let us know and share your favorite strategy!