Generating leads is only the first step to a successful demand generation strategy, with studies suggesting that 80% of new leads do not result in sales. Downloading an ebook on the website or filling a form on a campaign page does not always translate to a qualified lead. In most cases, it does not even mean that the prospect is ready to talk to your sales team, let alone make a purchase.
So, how do you ensure that the leads entering your marketing funnel are ready to buy from you? How do you engage such prospects and make them come back for more? More importantly, how do you ensure your presence in front of the people looking for a solution you provide?
The answer to all these questions lies in: lead nurturing. It is a known fact that companies that rely on a solid lead nurturing strategy generate 50% more purchase-ready leads at almost 35% lower cost. That is the power of lead nurturing.
Before we discuss how nurturing leads with automation can help you close more deals, let us take a step back and look at the basics of lead nurturing and its benefits.
Lead nurturing involves a series of emails sent over weeks to leads that are not ready to make a purchase. These campaigns move leads deeper into the marketing funnel by engaging them with content related to your brand and products. They help foster trust, enhance brand awareness, and build a rapport until the lead is willing to talk to the sales.
Lead nurturing also involves tracking behavior, demography, and other web activities, and ranking a lead based on its purchase intent. Scoring allows companies to decide if the lead is ready for sales or should be nurtured further by the marketing team.
When you nurture and score leads based on their engagement with your brand, you can identify hot or warm leads and decide whether to send such leads to the sales team.
According to a Gleanster Research report, only 25% of leads are valid and should be passed on to the sales team. When a hot lead is sent to sales, it is more likely to convert into business and drive revenue.
While lead nurturing promises higher returns, it requires minimum additional investment. Lead nurturing emails have 4-10 more responses than one-time email blasts.
Sending a series of educational emails that answers your prospect’s questions can gradually convince them to purchase without further spending your marketing funds.
Lead nurturing allows you to position your brand as a thought leader and build credibility. It fosters the relationship with practical, relevant, and educational content.
This way, you can show prospects that you understand their problem and are serious about offering solutions that alleviate their pain points.
Now that we have established the benefits of nurturing leads, the next question is how can brands effectively use it?
Manually sending nurturing emails can be time-consuming and a tedious process. Tracking lead behavior without software can result in mistakes and copious data entry work prone to human errors.
Companies are turning to market automation software to avoid such fallout and effectively nurture leads. A Research and Markets report predicts that the global marketing automation market will reach USD 8.42 billion by 2027.
Marketing automation is software that helps automate a specific type of marketing activity such as emails, social media, and website actions. Some of the things it can help you do are:
Marketing automation can make a significant difference in lead nurturing. Here are some eye-opening statistics:
Segmentation can be complicated when done manually. But with an automation tool, you can segment your contact list to send relevant, personalized emails. It can segment data based on different parameters including:
When you send highly targeted emails based on different segmentation, it reduces the chances of users unsubscribing to them. Carefully time, aligned, and designed emails are relevant and helpful instead of annoying and interruptive.
The heart of lead nurture lies in email marketing. Email marketing is considered an effective communication mode for brands, with companies reporting a $42 ROI for every $1 spent (HubSpot).
Using automation software to send emails can improve lead nurturing and build trust with prospects. Some of the email campaigns that can be automated are:
Automation tools allow users to use autoresponder functionality that triggers an email
based on an action taken by users. You can also use it to plan drip campaigns based on “if-then” conditions.
Scoring leads based on their behavior and interaction with emails, websites, and apps can quickly help you determine potential clients. Instead of sending new leads directly to sales, nurturing and scoring them over a while can help you prioritize leads and win more business.
For example, you can assign 5 points to a new lead when they subscribe to your newsletter. When they open an in-mail link, you can add another 5 points.
If they visit your landing page and fill out a form, you can assign 20 points, and so on. Similarly, you can score each lead and monitor them until they are ready to be handed over to the sales team.
Marketing automation software allows users to create landing pages for different campaigns and track their performance. Most automation solutions come with drag and drop features that help create intelligent designs that are highly customizable as per your brand.
It also offers progressive profiling that gradually gather lead information over time through different content and landing pages.
For instance, when a lead visits your landing page and wants to download an ebook, the form will only include fields like first name, last name, and email address.
Next, when you send another email, and the same lead visits the landing page, the form will already have the previously filled information and will now ask for the phone number and the company name.
This way, progressive profiling ensures you do not ask for multiple details during form submissions and reduce friction for the user.
Effective lead nurturing is incomplete without a proper workflow. Creating a workflow of emails, landing pages, tags, and other segments is critical—defining their sequence, schedule time, and date.
Most automation software such as Marketo and Eloqua come with prebuilt workflow templates so you can get started immediately. A great workflow can save a lot of time.
As digital marketing further evolves and companies get online, many have realized the importance of developing a content marketing plan to nurture leads and engage them throughout the buyer’s journey.
A content marketing plan involves consistently creating relevant content mapped with the customer journey. The content needs to be carefully crafted and should be compelling enough to grab the attention of readers for maximum impact on their decision-making process.
Whether you want content for the awareness or consideration stage, sending the right content, at the right time, to the right audience can significantly impact the bottom line.
Automation tools allow users to send a timely, relevant message and help in effectively distributing it across channels.
A lead nurturing strategy is ineffective and not possible without proper analytics and detailed reports. Automation provides region-wise, detailed reports that give insights into your marketing efforts.
Once you know the performance of your campaigns, you can optimize them further by doing A/B testing on content, CTA button and its placements, designs, date, and time.
Marketing automation software has all the features to help you create nurture campaigns that attract and generate new leads and push them further in the marketing funnel for higher conversion.
It can provide much-needed support to marketing teams looking to enhance customer experience, streamline marketing processes and increase personalization.
If you are considering marketing automation (which you should be), let Growth Natives help. We provide robust support in implementing marketing automation that nurtures leads even beyond the purchase stage.
We simplify the entire process so that you can focus more on building long-term relations with your customers. Write to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!