6 Steps to Get Started with a Lead Nurturing Strategy.
Lead Nurturing is a process of engaging with a targeted group by providing relevant information at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It helps your buyer get to know your business. Lead nurturing is like dating period where two people get to know each other before getting married. It mainly enables you to educate, inform and build trust with your leads.
Importance of lead nurturing strategy.
Creating and maintaining the relationship is very important in this modern era. Lead nurturing helps you to be at present channels where your buyers are present, engage with them and increase the chance to start a relationship with your business.
The latest research says that-
- 1. 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to lack of lead nurturing strategy.
- 2. Companies that implement lead nurturing strategy generate 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.
- 3. Companies with planned lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales achievement rates.
Not only that only 35% of B2B marketers have established lead nurturing strategy, which means that implementing the lead nurturing strategy you can gain sales and can have a competitive advantage.
6 Steps to get started with a lead nurturing strategy.
Lead nurturing takes more time and efforts but yields effective results in the online marketing. If you haven’t started with the lead nurturing strategy, start it as soon as possible since there is no time like the present.
Here are six steps to get started your lead nurturing strategy.
1. Align marketing and sales.
Have you heard the statement saying that- marketing is from Venus and sales is from Mars because these two never agree? Sales always point the finger at marketing and saying “you don’t give me enough leads.” Marketing also shoots back, “Yes, we do. You just don’t follow-up on the leads.” and the problem goes on and on.
In marketing, we say there are two types of leads. They are the marketing leads and sales leads. Both are leads but marketing leads are the top of the funnel and sales leads are lower in the funnel. Here is a question of what you do with which lead and who owns what lead.
But, lead is someone who has responded to the marketing communications whether it is a form of a marketing campaign, paid search campaign or by email marketing. If a lead is ready to enter into the sales process, then the lead is sent to a salesperson to handle in the CRM. If it is not ready, then it is owned by marketing and enter into lead nurturing process where the lead is follow-up by until it became sales-ready.
But here is an important point to keep in mind that every business can or will define a lead differently.
2. Define a Lead Management process in your business.
When you work hard on lead generation process, It is very important to have a lead management process to handle the incoming leads. Additionally, lead management process helps to ensure that your sales team talking to the most qualified leads and filter out fewer sales-ready leads and so that you can put them in your lead nurturing process.
You will need to discuss with your team how you will handle the leads, how and where the leads are registered and how the leads will be qualified and what criteria must the lead fulfill the order to enter into the lead nurturing process.
We recommend that both sales and marketing should work together, discuss and agree on the whole process. This process cannot be done by one person you need to have a dedicated team. It is also very important to have a CRM responsible person to maintain the leads in a CRM system and this person can help in some possible ways when required.
3. Gather the lead intelligence data.
The lead nurturing process is all about sharing personalized, relevant and targeted information to ensure that you stay top of the buyer’s mind. In order to do this, you need to get a good overview of what type of buyers you and what type of information they need in each step of the buying process. You can do by this-
- i. Interviewing the sales team.
- ii. Sorting out the in-house database to identify characteristics of best and worst customers.
- iii. Interviewing the customer service.
- iv. Monitoring activities on social media sites.
- v. Using the keyword research to identify the topic of interest.
Once you have collected the information, you can create a database which mirrors your prospective customer.
The collected database is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based information about the demographic behavior, educational specifications, online behavior and about their histories, motivations, and concerns. This data also helps to understand the prospective customers better and make it easier to divide into different groups based on behavior and specific needs.
4. Create lead nurturing content program.
In order to maintain the relationship with your leads, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar so that you know when to and what to send. At starting the lead nurturing process will be very easy and further don’t make it very complicated.
5. Use Email marketing to communicate.
Once you have created the content calendar, the easiest and most effective way to get your message out is through email marketing. Latest research says that 64% of the companies believe that email marketing provides high ROI of any marketing strategy.
Email marketing is the crucial part of any lead nurturing process.
Here are the five types of emails which can be used to generate the leads:
- Email Newsletters – The purpose of this type of is to give your audience something they need to enhance their skills or grow their business and some will also respond by giving their attention. The size and amount of content in your email newsletters depends on your resources. It can be concise as a single 500 to 1000 word article on a single topic of interest written by you.
- Educational Content – These are educational emails that demonstrating the value of your company can offer. But make sure these emails are not sales driven. Educational type emails are best for lead nurturing.
- Product Announcement – These type of emails are best for lead nurturing. But they shouldn’t be too frequent and they don’t have to be a boring content. Make them highly targeted and create clear content and sent the emails. Basically these type of emails you can see from e-commerce site like Amazon, Flipkart etc.
- Event Invitation – These emails are used to a specific event you are hosting or participating in. These emails should be straightforward and should include your company branding along with event details. Suppose your company is hosting an event, ask the readers to register for the event. By this way, you can generate leads with their contact information.
Once they register, send them a reminder email before the day or morning of the event. Use those contact information for upcoming events as well. To grow your event invite list, make it easy to contact to share the registration form with others by adding social sharing buttons that can be used on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc.
5. Personal Emails – If a lead has gone down the sales funnel and getting closer to the bottom, it could be a great idea to send more personal and targeted emails from the sales team members. By this personal touch, lead has a chance to ask specific questions and get to the real person rather than a part of an email group. A small personal conversation can sometimes be just a chance to convert a lead into a potential customer.
Use various types of to build a comprehensive lead nurturing process and also build out the different type of emails, create templates that can be re-used to the consistent look and feel through your email marketing efforts.
6. Track, Measure and Analyze.
This is the final step in this process, measure how many leads come in, how many leads get handed to the sales team and how many enter into the lead nurturing program.
Also, evaluate which type of content generated most leads as well as the quality of the content. Ask your sales team how they are receiving the information and ask them what they are thinking about the content too. All this information and the review will help you to improve the whole lead and content generation process.
Finally, the lead nurturing is one of the most important functions of sales and marketing and the nurturing leads also takes time to move into the sales process. It is done in a month or even half a year. This requires dedication, cooperation, and hard work within the company. But finally, the efforts will worth it.