For businesses that want to find and keep their customers, the importance of lead nurturing cannot be underestimated. Marketers are shifting more of their focus to guiding high-quality leads along the consumer journey to persuade them to purchase.
In this challenging economy, 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority. Although 81% of companies use lead nurturing initially, only 29% are nurturing their existing customers beyond the first purchase. A more robust lead nurturing campaign will likely maximize your return from more of your customers.
The truth is every phase of the sales process offers a new opportunity to foster a closer relationship with your customers. From the instant they become aware of your company to the moment they decide whether or not to buy your products and renew your services, you need to be ready with these lead nurturing ideas to ensure the success of your business.
1. Create an automated responder for forms
After a user fills out a form on your website, make sure to set up an automated email response. Users will feel comfortable now that they know their information has been received. To extend your reach just a step further, you can provide links in the email to follow your social media pages.
2. Send users content based on activity
Say your company hosts a webinar—make sure you send out follow up emails to attendees. Don’t forget about those who signed up but did not attend—this is not a lost connection! Send the non-attendees a follow up email to remind them of your services and why they signed up in the first place.
3. Run ads to users who engaged with your website
Once a user clicks on your website, you have the opportunity to further connect with them on other platforms. Even if the user doesn’t sign up for a service on your site, you can run an ad for your company that will pop up on other pages they visit. That extra ad may be just the small push the user needs to take action.
4. Use multiple touches
If a prospect doesn’t respond within your first attempt or two, don’t give up! Research from the Marketing Lead Management Report demonstrates that it can take up to ten touches for a prospect reply to your company. Here, persistence is key.
5. Time lead nurturing campaigns with your sales process
If you align your marketing and sales processes, research from CSO Insights shows that you have a much higher chance of converting leads into customers.
If, for example, you were part of a software company that provided a demo every week, you could use a lead nurturing campaign to educate users during the seven days leading up to the demo. Making strategic use of energy pays off.
6. Use promotional drips
A good deal has great power! If you’re inches away from closing a sale or signing a new customer, sometimes offering a limited time promotion can be helpful in giving the customer that little extra push. A lead nurturing campaign can be designed to push hesitant prospects over the fence.
7. Try a welcome campaign
Drip campaigns allow you to welcome new prospects to your company over a gradual period of time. Instead of bombarding new customers with lots of information and questions right at the outset, you can send a series of lead nurturing emails that will provide and gather necessary information in several phases.
The goal here is to confirm their decision to sign on with your company and to start educating them with content.
8. Implement an onboarding campaign
You know that it takes a lot to onboard a new client. While this will always be an involved task, you can use a lead nurturing campaign to remove some of the stress.
Try automating some of the lesser steps in this process, like emails that provide a list of necessary company contacts, a question resource page, calendar of relevant dates, list of upcoming webinars, etc. By automating some of these smaller items, you will be freed up to provide higher level support.
9. Try a reengagement campaign
Even if a lead shows great interest at the beginning of the sales process, sometimes they lose steam as time goes on. Reach out to these leads with material that will reengage them in their relationship with your company.
If you run a health food company, for example, you could send out a piece of research affirming the health benefits of a key ingredient in one of your new products.
10. Use a product-focused campaign
Make sure your customers are receiving information about the products in question from your company, not your competitors. Remember, you are the expert in the field.
Remind your customers of how your products are addressing their specific needs. Try providing evidence to back your claims up, like customer feedback or case studies.
11. Send more personalized emails
The more specifically targeted your emails, the better! Depending on how your user engages with your emails and websites, you can create specific emails that will address that user’s behavior.
For example, if a user spends time looking at a page of hand-made cabinets on your website, you might then send an email providing more information on that specific product.
12. Explore multiple channels
While email is a very powerful marketing tool, it’s also important to broaden your horizons and nurture leads through multiple channels. If your email open rates are low, start to consider other avenues.
You could increase your company’s presence on social media, use direct sales outreach, or implement dynamic website content.
How to create a successful lead nurturing campaign
Now that you have all these killer ideas for lead nurturing, how will you ensure your next campaign is a success? Follow these tips.
Find out who needs nurturing
Define your ideal customers, and get to know them. Since most businesses have more than one type of customer, make sure not to choose just one.
Nurture with value first
The point of lead nurturing is to support and encourage your customers through the sales funnel first so they are readier to buy. Rather than starting with a sales pitch, offer your customers something they can value, such as a whitepaper, an in-depth guide, a new webinar—or leverage one of your assets that has been successful converting leads in the past.
Create a purpose for each email
Determine the type of content that is relevant for each of your customer segments, and then decide the purpose of sending it to them in an email. Content marketing research shows marketers who align content to specific stages of the buyer’s journey yield a 73% higher average conversion rate. Delivering relevant content that meets their current needs is the most effective way to get them one step closer to buying.
Time your emails effectively
The timing of an effective lead nurturing campaign should coincide with your business’s typical sales cycle, although it's important not to rush into the sale. Figure on sending at least two or three nurturing emails spaced out over the length of your sales cycle.
Keep campaigns fluid, and analyze your success
Experiment with email subject lines and preview text, the offers you send, and the call to action for each email in your campaign with an eye toward improvement—which translates into better nurturing of leads and more lead-to-customer conversions.
11outof11 for successful lead nurturing campaigns
When you want to use killer lead nurturing campaigns as part of your inbound marketing strategy, connect with 11outof11. Request a complimentary call with an 11outof11 expert. Contact us to learn more.