In an era where the customer is the king, building trust and connecting with them form an essential part of today’s digital marketing efforts. And marketers do it using the various lead nurturing tactics. Lead nurturing is a process that helps to develop and reinforce relationships with prospects and buyers during each stage of the sales funnel. In this article, we will see how a successful lead nurturing program can focus effectively on the marketing and communication efforts of your business that listens to the needs of prospects and accordingly provide them information.
What is Lead Nurturing?
As per several surveys, on average more than half of the leads generated by marketers using their lead generation systems are not ready to buy, and most of the new prospects never turn up to make any purchase! That is the reason why marketers must develop relationships with their prospects and buyers. So, that leads us to ask the question – what is lead nurturing? Well, it’s a process that helps businesses to build a connection with their customers and prospects is called lead nurturing.
It’s important to note that today’s consumers expect to have a personalized experience that catches their attention and engages without shooting them with numerous ads. Implementing a lead nurturing strategy enables businesses to make more sales at a reduced cost. All this highlights the importance of lead nurturing in a highly competitive market. In a highly digitized world and the advancements in technology have made it possible to induct marketing automation platforms to develop flexible and effective communications for lead nurturing purposes.
Lead Nurturing Stages
To move your prospects from one stage to the next, you need to implement and leverage your lead nurturing processes. It helps your marketing and sales teams. As per studies, a visitor to your website is there mainly for research, and more than half of them might end up buying from your competitors. It is because your prospects are today spoiled with choices – they will engage with you only after being somewhat sure of your product or service meeting their expectation. On average, there’s a 20 percent increase in sales due to a lead nurturing activity. Let’s now check out the different stages of lead nurturing.
First Stage – Creating Awareness
This stage is the initializing point. At this stage, your prospect becomes aware of your brand. This awareness occurs mainly through an online search by the potential customer, or a marketing email sent by your marketing team, or a personal referral. They may also come to know about you seeing your advertisement or some other attraction that your marketing team has created. You need to play well your nurturing role during this stage.
After studying the customer, you need to create their profile. Further, you may segment your prospects that can be useful in your personalization campaigns later on. This stage also involves building and marketing your brand. Make it visible on all the platforms and channels. Levering social media can be a good idea. In this stage, you must create useful and insightful content that helps your prospects to understand more about your brands and their benefits.
Second Stage – Generating Interest
Once you are sure that your prospects are aware of your brand, you need to generate a higher level of interest. Here, subtleness and elegance in communication play a delicate role, and you need to ensure that. Avoid shooting your prospects with too much information – take time to understand them and accordingly start delivering them the content of their interest and relevance. Do it by sending small videos or presentations, or product demos, case studies, and so on.
Third Stage – Evaluating the Leads
Having generated awareness followed by an interest in your brand, it means the prospects have interacted with you somewhat – perhaps they have given their consent via your opt-in forms. And, this is the exact the point when your lead nurturing begins.
During this stage, you need to take care of certain aspects. Qualifying your leads based on their budget, or requirement, or timeline can be a good idea. For others, you may still have to keep nurturing them. Based on your understanding of each prospect, you may initiate your personalization by sending them unique and relevant content that eventually leads to dialogue. Sending industry reports or other material that gives more insights can convince the prospects of how well you know them. Another way that you can use to showcase your skills is by scheduling personalized webinars.
Fourth Stage – Converting the Lead
Now that the lead has been convinced and have given their contact details via your lead generation campaigns, it’s now time to qualify and score them effectively. It is a crucial period when the sales and marketing teams need to coordinate well. In this stage, lead nurturing conversion happens.
Being a crucial stage, the marketing team can help the sales team by giving the prospects’ background along with providing a few call scripts and relevant marketing collaterals that can prove useful during the first call. The marketing team can then help the sales team in understanding how the first call went and the interest shown by the prospect. Accordingly, the sales team can further their lead nurturing process. Once the sales team is aware of customer interests and requirements, they can schedule meetings with their representatives and follow-up after that to complete the deal.
Fifth and Final Stage – Post Customer Deal
Once you have made a sale to your prospect, it does not mean that your lead nurturing process is over. You need to welcome the customer via an automated email and informative material. Hand-hold the customer and offer useful advice. Further, your personalized landing pages should display content that shows that you know your customer well!! Going ahead, your customers should feel happy – they should feel relieved that they chose you. You can reinforce that feeling by sending newsletters, information, and features about new services. You may even update them about your promotions and discounts, or extended services or warranties. Further, you may send them reminders or loyalty benefits, etc. But, do not overdo – send only that information for which they are comfortable.
Tips for Your Lead Nurturing Strategy
Now that you are aware of the stages of lead nurturing, you should also know the commonly used lead nurturing strategies or tactics used during the various stages of lead nurturing. Let’s quickly list them out below in brief.
- You cannot nurture each lead the same way! The strategic lead nurturing with targeted content can be beneficial. For that, you need to understand each buyer persona. Accordingly, create a targeted content designed such that it helps to nurture each of them. Using marketing automation platforms can help you to identify, segment, and target your prospects.
- Email personalization is an effective strategy. It tends to generate great results. You may personalize your emails in various ways – by triggering them when visitors complete an action, or clicks on your links in your emails, or visit a few pages on your website, etc.
Read other article : Lead Generation – The Foundation for Any Marketing Strategy
- Deploying multi-channel lead generation strategies can help. It should not be restricted to just email nurturing. You can have a combination of email marketing, marketing automation, social media, paid retargeting, interactive website content, direct sales, and so on.
- Aligning your sales and marketing is successful when nurturing leads – it helps to retain customers. If both sales and marketing identify the exact nurturing points in the buyer journey, it can work wonders. The sales and marketing teams can outline their shared expectations, responsibilities, and goals in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA) that helps to hold each other accountable.
The Closing Comments
You need to note that marketing and sales are required to perform a lot of activities in coordination with each other to generate a successful lead nurturing output. There are several existing lead nurturing tools that can help you to handle all the lead nurturing stages discussed earlier. Your lead nurturing can begin after you have them in place. If the generated leads are genuine, your further tasks for converting them into customers becomes easy. But most start-ups and small businesses are either unaware of their lead generation strategy or cannot afford to put in place a dedicated team to carry it out. For them, it is most advisable that they use readily available databases from a reputed data provider.
BestDataProvider.com is a data providing company which is into the latest trends in digital marketing. Our databases are thoroughly verified and regularly updated that helps in reducing the bounce rates along with improving your ROI. For a great digital marketing experience that enables you to sail smoothly in your sales journey, our data sets and email lists can be most reliable and useful. For our free sample database, reach us at [email protected]
Making your prospects feel like they have an exclusive membership in a club makes lead generation a positive customer experience.
– Eric Bower