Lead nurturing is the process of engaging prospective customers by providing them with appropriate content at each stage of the sales funnel to earn their business at the end.
The HubSpot Academy lecturer considers the importance of lead nurturing and explains how to do it.
Lead nurturing is all about listening to the needs of prospects and giving them information that adequately addresses their concerns regarding the products and services offered by a particular business. To nurture sales leads successfully, marketers should provide content that depicts their brands as the best choice from the others in the same niche. By elevating the profile of a business in the eyes of a potential customer, marketers significantly boost the chances of consumers purchasing a product or service from their brands when the time for buying comes.
Why is lead nurturing important?
- More sales at lower costs
- Better decision making in businesses
- Builds a business reputation
- Boosts engagement
- Identifies upsell and cross-sell opportunities
More sales at lower costs. With lead nurturing, a company stands to benefit from more sales conversions while spending considerably less on traditional marketing strategies. This approach thus offers any brand better ROI. A Forrester Research survey concluded that brands that did well in lead nurturing generated 50 percent, sales-ready customers, at a 33 percent lower cost.
Better decision making in businesses. Lead nurturing helps companies focus their energy appropriately. On the one hand, through this approach, brands can identify legitimate “hot” leads and send them directly to the sales team. In turn, this ensures that the sales department invests its energy and time on solid prospects. On the other hand, lead nurturing helps identify “warm” leads, which are then sent to the marketing team and nurtured to the point of purchase.
Builds a business reputation. Through lead nurturing, brands develop and strengthen their presence by providing useful educational content to their subscribers. Moreover, lead nurturing allows a brand to show its customer base that it understands their concerns and can offer permanent solutions.
Boosts engagement. With automated lead nurturing, a business can easily maintain engagement with leads who have already interacted with it. In case a specific lead has stopped viewing a brand’s offerings or visiting its site, lead nurturing is an excellent way to remind the lead about the business.
Identifies upsell and cross-sell opportunities. When dealing with existing customers, companies can use lead nurturing to inform consumers about other goods or services provided.
How does lead nurturing work?
- Score all leads
- Identify the ideal buyer
- Develop a lead nurturing program
- Evaluate campaign results and adjust where necessary
- Score all leads. Lead nurturing starts with lead scoring, the process of identifying where a particular lead is within the sales cycle. For this strategy, a marketer can rely on various lead scoring tools to assess leads based on a set of demographic and behavioral scoring data. Marketers can also tap into past experiences with different types of customers to create lead scores.
- Identify the ideal buyer. Once a marketer identifies the target customers, they should proceed to define the profiles of all perfect buyers. With this information, a business can focus its lead nurturing strategies.
- Develop a lead nurturing program. After identifying the target consumer segment, a brand should create a program by looking at how often it wishes to communicate and what content offers (webinars, case studies, white papers, and so forth) to share. It also makes sense to segment the customer list by buyer personas and create targeted campaigns based on industry, location, job function, buyer cycle, and so on.
- Evaluate campaign results and adjust where necessary. After the program is set up and put into action, all that is left is to evaluate its effectiveness. Here, one can measure the engagement of users: email open and click-through rates, the time it takes to move a lead within the sales cycle, and the number of leads that made actual purchases. After that, a marketer can analyze all of the results, determine trouble areas in your lead nurturing process, and try out new solutions like providing new communication channels or fresh content.
Lead Nurturing Strategy
A lead nurturing strategy is a particular approach adopted by a brand aimed at attracting and engaging customers while retaining existing ones. That said, here is how to develop one.
How to create lead nurturing strategy
- Align sales with marketing. Identify both marketing and sales leads at the very start. Marketing leads are sent to the nurturing process where they are “weaned” until they are sales-ready. Sales leads are redirected to a salesperson where they are handled in the CRM.
- Set up a lead management process. This process ensures that the sales department only handles “hot” leads while the “warm” leads are sent to the nurturing process.
- Collect useful data. For effective lead nurturing, a marketer should gather information regarding target buyers and what they require throughout the purchase process. This info can be attained through interviews, surveys, doing keyword research, and so forth.
- Develop a content plan. Marketers should create lead nurturing content plans to understand their timelines better and know when to send out appropriate content.
- Communicate your message via email. Seeing as email offers the most ROI compared to other marketing tactics, it makes sense for a marketer to get the message out to the target customers.
- Keep tabs, measure, and analyze. Once the strategy is rolled out, the marketer should track various metrics to know if the endeavor is worthwhile or not. It is also vital to measure leads to determine how many are sent to the sales or marketing teams. Lastly, the brand should gauge the content that generates the most leads to help to improve the process.
Lead Nurturing Tactics
- Create your buyer persona
- Build your customer base
- Outline your buyers’ journey
- Score your leads
- Create targeted content for each stage in your buyers’ journey
- Follow up leads with automated campaigns
- Combine marketing channels
We've collected a list of the proven and most effective tactics that will help you bring your lead nurturing to the next level. Check them out.
- Create your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal client. It implies creating a portrait of your fictional customer that reflects your entire target audience. It will help you better understand your consumers and discover the right strategies and techniques to reach them. To create a buyer persona, research your target audience thoroughly taking into account its gender, age, location, needs, interests, pain points, budget, etc. After that, you'll be able to answer the question "How can we help them?". You'll realize what barriers stand in your clients' way and prevent them from making a purchase. Then, manage to eliminate them. Follow this guide on our blog to create a customer profile.
- Build your customer base. To organize your workflow, we recommend you to choose a customer relationship management system (CRM) where you will store all the information about your leads. A professional CRM system will help you track all users’ interactions with your company. So, you’ll have a customer profile for each lead. It will help you easily find information about them such as demographics, the way and date they joined your community, channels they prefer, most visited site pages, the content they mostly engage with, etc. SendPulse provides a free CRM system to automate sales and communication with your customers.
- Outline your buyers’ journey. It allows marketers to deeply analyze their consumers’ path from identifying a problem to solving it by purchasing their products. Creating a buyer journey implies developing a customer journey map. It helps you understand a lead’s behavior at each stage. With this map in the front, you’ll get to know which benefits and solutions your target audience is looking for, how they make decisions, which troubles they have when working with your service, what stops them from buying, and a lot more valuable information that will help you meet their needs.
- Score your leads. Lead scoring is the process of assigning your leads points from 1 to 10 which means evaluating the level of their interest along with their potential to buy your product. This technique allows you to identify which leads are ready, able, and willing to buy, and which ones still fall from your sales funnel. The results of lead scoring will help you realize that some leads are a complete waste of time for your business, while others just need more education and nurturing.
- Create targeted content for each stage in your buyers’ journey. Valuable content is crucial to nurturing your leads effectively. Depending on a user’s stage in your sales funnel and the results of lead scoring, develop targeted and relevant content for each lead. It will help you educate them and move them further down the sales funnel. For example, top-of-funnel leads need articles that answer their common questions. You can discover them by looking for popular search queries using AHrefs. Leads who are the consideration stage need more proof and high-quality content that will help them realize why your brand is the best choice. Such content includes comparisons, case studies, webinars, etc. Bottom-of-funnel leads just need the last push since they’re ready to buy. Provide them with a free trial, demo, FAQs, etc.
- Follow up leads with automated campaigns. You can lay back in your chair and leave educating leads to email marketing automation. With such email services like SendPulse, you no longer need to send each lead a different message manually. Automation 360 allows marketers to set automated email sending based on subscribers’ actions. This way, every lead will receive a personalized and relevant email according to their position in the sales funnel. For example, after a new user joins your mailing list, they receive an onboarding email series based on their engagement. If a user added a product to their shopping cart without buying, you can send them an abandoned cart email with a special discount.
- Combine marketing channels. You can’t ignore such an abundant amount of channels available today. Combine them to personalize your approach to each customer and increase your outreach. You can send automated campaigns, SMS, web push notifications, help customers via chatbots, boost engagement on social media, run retargeting campaigns, utilize PPC ads, and much more. You need to be where your customers are.
Lead Nurturing Campaign
Given that we have already covered what lead nurturing is and why it is essential, let’s now look at how to develop an excellent campaign.
How to create an effective lead nurturing campaign
Highlighted below are useful tips for creating a nurturing campaign:
- Segment the target audience.
- Send out high-quality and valuable content.
- Set up email marketing automation.
- Make the sale.
How SendPulse Helps Nurture Leads Effectively
SendPulse is a service that helps online marketers, business owners, online marketing experts, and anyone operating an online brand to generate, nurture, and convert leads through sound marketing tactics. SendPulse helps companies build relationships with buyers at different stages of the sales funnel in the following ways.
Email, SMS, and web push notifications marketing
Using email, SMS, or web push notifications to talk to prospects and customers can significantly help to gain exposure for a brand.
SendPulse offers email marketing services for all types of businesses. By signing up, one can make subscription forms, place them on their website, and collect subscribers. Then, using the drag and drop email editor, one can create professional-looking marketing email templates lightning fast. To start an email campaign:
- Upload a mailing list
- Create a preferred email template
- Send email
With SendPulse, it is easy to set up bulk SMS automation.
- Go to SendPulse features and then SMS.
- Input the recipient’s name/ID, message, and date and time the messages should be sent.
- Send SMS campaign
Web push notifications
With SendPulse, sending web push notifications to leads is possible in all major browsers and smartphones as well. The service offers easy personalization options, and one can also segment subscribers based on specific criteria and set up web push automation.
- Add your website.
- Add the generated code to your website.
- Create a push campaign.
Email marketing automation
Marketing automation is a way of reducing repetitive tasks while making their execution more effective. With the Automation 360 feature, brands can nurture leads at every stage of the sales funnel. Automation 360 allows one to:
- Create and send emails to a new subscriber or customer, welcoming them to the website.
- Dictate and manage the time and frequency of sending emails to a mailing list.
- Identify and focus on the most relevant offers. By monitoring prospects’ behavior, one can identify which offers are doing well and concentrate on them more.
- Send automated reminders to customers who have added a product to their cart but have not completed their purchase (abandoned cart).
- Send an order confirmation email to a customer confirming an order they have made.
- Set up milestone emails. A milestone email is a personalized message sent to an existing customer on specific dates such as birthdays and anniversaries.
- Combine multiple channels — SMS, web push notifications, and email — in an automation flow to get more customers.
- Track conversions and follow up on those who fall through the cracks.
With our CRM system, you can monitor the success of your lead nurturing strategy. The system allows you to manage the sales process and automate communication with the audience in one place. Create deals with different statuses depending on the stage the client is at. For example, "New", "In progress", "To assign" and so on. The kanban board allows you to visualize the process of closing a deal and see the results. For each transaction, you create a deal card that stores information about its history, the client, and comments. You can also send an email campaign and contact the client directly from the card. This way you can move them down the sales funnel.
Look below to see how the deals are organized on the kanban board according to their statuses.
You can find out more about working with a CRM system in our Knowledge Base.
Lead Nurturing Examples
Take a look at how Airbnb is nurturing leads via email campaign
And now a push notification for lead nurturing from MakeMyTrip
Lastly, a lead nurturing SMS from Uber
Lead Nurturing Best Practices
- Set goals wisely. Every strategy starts with establishing a goal. Lead nurturing is no exception. You may want to drive as many leads as possible through your sales funnel, re-engage passive leads, or get more data about your existing leads. You should set a single realistic and measurable goal for each campaign. Consider the KPIs in advance to measure the effectiveness of each campaign. If you re-engage passive clients, you should monitor the number of cold leads that converted; if your goal was to gather more data, track both information quantity and the value it brings to your business.
- Create clear CTAs. If you want to convert a lead, they should clearly understand what they need to do. Make sure that the next step in their buyer journey is logical and obvious. By logical we mean that it should correlate with the stage your leads are in now. Create different CTAs for each stage. For example, if a user is not yet familiar with your service, ask them to “Get started” or “Learn more.” If a lead is qualified enough and ready to buy, use the following CTAs as the last push “Grab my discount” or “Buy now.” You can motivate them with a time-limited offer.
- Personalize your emails. Sending the same email to your entire mailing list is a thing of a past, especially when considering lead nurturing. Sharp competition for subscribers’ attention makes marketers do their best to engage users. Personalization allows you to provide your lead with an individual approach with minimal effort. Collect personal data about subscribers and use it in your email campaigns. This includes their name, gender, location, interests, and hobbies, etc. Follow this guide to send personalized campaigns with SendPulse.
- Run retargeting campaigns. They are focused on leads who have already interacted with your brand. They are users who visit your site pages, view products but don’t buy. With a retargeting campaign, you can win them back and remind them about the product they liked. This will help you increase sales and brand recognition. You can set up such campaigns using Facebook pixel and Google Ads.
- Collect information about leads from marketing, sales, and support teams. Don’t delegate this task to your marketing or sales team alone. Users often address their questions and troubles to a support team, so this team knows pretty much about your clients. They can easily tell you about the problems your leads face when using your product, as a result, you can regularly improve it.
- Use paid ads. This form of online advertising is also known as PPC. It means that you pay a search engine a fee each time a user clicks on your ad. Paid ads are placed above the organic results on the SERP. For better performance, we recommend you to research and find out the keywords which people use as search queries to find your product and use them in your ads. This way, you’ll increase your site traffic and sales.
- The article "3 Ways Automated Lead Nurturing Can Supercharge The Sales Cycle" on Neil Patel's blog explains how to automate lead nurturing to supercharge the sales cycle.
- The article "7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics" on HubSpot academy defines the term and offers seven lead nurturing tactics.
- The article "The Ultimate Guide to Lead Nurturing in 2019 (Process & Resources)" on Impactbnd blog builds a holistic view of lead nurturing. It offers eye-opening stats on lead nurturing, answers the question "How to align sales and marketing with lead nurturing," provides best practices to follow, sheds light on lead scoring, and considers a lead nurturing campaign.
- The article "5 Ingredients of Effective Lead Nurturing" on Convince & Convert offers five tactics to nurture leads effectively.
Last Updated: 23.03.2023
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