Simply put, lead nurturing refers to the process of building solid relationships with prospects at every stage of the sales funnel. It helps you engage and educate your potential customers and show them how your products and services can create value for them.
Lead nurturing aims to get prospects to choose you when they are ready to make a purchase and to help them get to that stage efficiently.
Businesses with successful lead nurturing programs witness 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. Unfortunately, 79% of marketers do not motivate their leads enough to buy from them. What they do not realize is that lead nurturing offers these three key benefits:
- Increasing the propensity to buy by rekindling the interest of prospects shown during the initial stages of the buyer’s journey
- Shortening the sales cycle by involving the sales team at the appropriate time
- Motivating 47% larger purchases compared to leads that aren’t proactively nurtured
In this article, we will look at 10 powerful nurturing strategies you can apply for more significant results.
In this article
- 1. Retarget and Remarket your Prospects
- 2. Personalize your Email Marketing Efforts
- 3. Cultivate the Fear of Missing Out
- 4. Let your Leads Sample your Offering for Free
- 5. Leverage the power of videos
- 6. Start a Newsletter to Share Quality Content
- 7. Nurture Traditionally Through Direct Mail
- 8. Tap Into the Power of Testimonials
- 9. Build a Relationship Through Surveys
- 10. Create and Share Lead Magnets
- Nurture as a Team? Collaborate with your Salespeople.
1. Retarget and Remarket your Prospects
Retargeting is a critical strategy to reach out to consumers who have already visited your website. Essentially, they continue seeing your ads on other websites they visit on the internet even after they have left yours.
Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that allows you to place a small piece of code on your website, which sets a cookie in the website visitor’s browser, following them all over the web. Interestingly, customers who are retargeted with ads are 70% more likely to convert.
But before implementing this strategy, be sure to build up a decent volume of website visitors to boost your chances of success.
2. Personalize your Email Marketing Efforts
Email marketing continues to be a relatively efficient mode for lead nurturing. And the more personalized your emails are, the better result they will produce for you.
An Accenture report found that 41% of consumers switched businesses due to the lack of trust and poor personalization in their email campaigns.
There are many ways to customize emails to improve your lead nurturing strategy. For starters, you can send a trigger email when a prospect downloads your gated content or subscribes to our newsletter, thanking them for taking that specific action.
Over time, you can send a series of emails to:
- Share other content upgrades or blog posts they might be interested in
- Invite them to your webinars
- Promote your ongoing offers or discounts
To manage your email efforts better, use a comprehensive CRM system such as vcita, and integrate it into your website, enabling visitors to submit their contact details for a free consultation, registering for an upcoming webinar, attending an event, and so on.
Once the lead is in the vcita CRM, you can store, manage and label your leads in one centralized hub. You can also set up highly targeted nurture flows for different types of leads. For instance, if you are offering a 30-minute consultation, set up an email drip sequence that starts after the consultation appointment takes place.
When you combine the power of personalization with triggered email marketing, you increase your chances of delivering the right message at the right time.
You can stay in touch with all of your leads at a moment’s notice and never miss an opportunity to keep them engaged or interested in your business.
3. Cultivate the Fear of Missing Out
FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the phenomenon that appeals to a person’s desire to hold on to every viable opportunity before it slips through their fingers.
In marketing, FOMO can be leveraged for any time-sensitive sales you are running, webinars you are hosting with limited seats, or when a specific product’s stocks are running out.
For example, you could be giving free international shipping for 24 hours on your eCommerce store. Add a countdown to your product pages or show exit intent pop-ups whenever someone tries to bounce off the website — with an aim to spurring your lead on to a decision.
Here is what Salesforce did to boost its event registration numbers:
4. Let your Leads Sample your Offering for Free
If you are planning to offer a free trial to your potential customers, create a landing page that tells them what they would miss out on if they do not use your product or service. Add social proof or testimonials to demonstrate how you have helped other brands.
Also, choose an appropriate length for the free trial — most companies offer two weeks to a month or more. Use the landing page for promoting your different paid plans.
During the course of the free trial, reach out to your leads to resolve their concerns or queries, and help them by sharing additional resources related to your offering.
The better the experience with the free trial, the more likely customers will be to sign up for a paid plan.
5. Leverage the power of videos
According to Biteable, 32% of businesses use videos for sales. And with everyone online all the time ever since working from home became a norm, video has become more crucial than ever for marketing and communication.
So if you are not using videos for nurturing your leads, start now. Here are three ways in which you can integrate them:
- Outline the value of your offering and why your leads should continue exploring your company for business. Use this type of video content to welcome new leads, whether they came through contact forms or newsletter subscriptions.
- Create teasers, providing a short snippet of content related to an upcoming webinar or event. Demonstrate your thought leadership by showcasing valuable information about your company’s offerings and culture. Microsoft Office does a fantastic job adding a 30-second trailer to most of their 15-minute webinars.
- Record an interview with thought leaders or customers and allow your leads to see the difference your business has and is making in the lives of your customer base.
A dilemma that B2B marketers often face is whether to give away a piece of content for free to attract organic traffic or to use it as a gated content piece to generate leads.
One approach to this is a hybrid technique by which lead generation forms can be embedded in videos that you share on your social media pages so that the forms pop up or get displayed while customers are watching the video.
This is also a great approach to keep your customers coming back, as you can create the videos as a series of episodes that all feature some helpful content.
6. Start a Newsletter to Share Quality Content
There is no shortage of email communication in this day and age. Curating a newsletter that delivers practical, engaging, and timely content is a challenge but not impossible. Use the platform to share information that addresses a pain point or creates a sense of excitement.
Create newsletters for all kinds of purposes such as:
- Company news
- Referral program
- Content round-ups
- Customer interview
- New product launch
- Lead magnet promotion
For example, send a special Labor Day-themed email promoting a service that reflects the holiday, or simply share instructions about using your product properly.
A men’s shaving and grooming products company, Harry’s, once shared an educational email explaining a 4-step method to get the most out of the shaving experience. It did not directly sell its shaving kits but instead created a story around it, as shown below:
Also, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for you to email your subscribers every day. Sending newsletters a few times a week will give you ample opportunity to connect with your leads and convince them to buy what you have to offer.
7. Nurture Traditionally Through Direct Mail
An often-overlooked strategy for lead nurturing is the use of direct mail. Given its rarity today, sending your leads a package in the mail will grab their attention much more than a regular email. They will have a tangible item to hold, touch and feel.
No wonder people’s brand recall is 70% higher when exposed to direct mail. Therefore, take the time to brainstorm practical mailing ideas.
You can use this strategy to send your leads a generous gift that ties in with what you are selling and incorporates your branding.
For instance, if you are launching a new range of corporate stationery items, you can send a small hamper of freebies along with a small note. Or use cut-offs to stand out and show off your brand (this works better if you are in the F&B industry).
While expensive, this strategy can generate loyal customers when timed well and designed thoughtfully. Having said that, you do not need to send direct mail to everyone who is on your lead nurturing list. Pick those who are more likely to convert than the rest.
8. Tap Into the Power of Testimonials
Testimonials contribute to building your company’s reputation. They indicate trust and credibility, and customers will always look for this powerful trust signal when considering a purchase from a business.
Therefore, you need to promote testimonials in your email marketing, social media, videos, website banners, and so on.
The perfect testimonial formula clearly outlines the customer’s challenge and describes how a product or service eliminated their problem, truthfully sharing the results.
So instead of sprinkling generic testimonial comments all over your platforms, such as “keep it up” or “great product,” craft meaningful testimonials using the formula.
You can also take videos of your customers wherein they share their experience of working with you and how they can perform better because of your offering. These videos can be promoted across all digital channels to influence their decision-making.
The most effective platform for collecting reviews is Google. Simply generate a direct link for your Google Business Review page and share them with your customers so that they know exactly where to share their testimonials.
9. Build a Relationship Through Surveys
Surveys for feedback combined with site user behavior data can help pre-qualify leads and customize messaging appropriately. The key to effectively using surveys to nurture leads is to avoid pitching your offering too early in the buyer’s journey.
They need to be approached with relevant questions, with your actions strictly relating to their answers. To identify the specific stage your leads are in, use Google Analytics to track most-visited pages on your site, such as blog posts, specific products, or pricing plans, and create separate lead nurturing journeys to different answers.
If a prospect visits a page that compares your offering to your competitor and declares they are browsing options in your survey, it might be worth inviting the leads to a free demo or sharing a pre-recorded video that they can consume at their own convenience.
Similarly, if a user finds your blog via organic search and answers in your survey that they are visiting only for educational purposes, you have most likely encountered someone who is not ready for your offering yet.
This gives you a chance to customize your marketing message accordingly. For instance, you can invite them to subscribe to your newsletter. Over time, you can show your leads that their Google search queries relate to a problem your product is an answer to.
In terms of placements, you could embed your survey in the hero banner of the homepage, or an exit intent pop up.
10. Create and Share Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are well-crafted pieces of content such as an eBook, a how-to guide, a webinar, or a set of templates or cheat sheets that prospective customers in your industry space will find helpful. They form a rather important part of a lead nurturing strategy.
When a prospect downloads your lead magnet, their journey to become a paying customer has only started. Unfortunately, most leads do not become customers.
A Salesforce study revealed less than 0.5% of webinar leads ever convert to customers. The picture is grim for lead magnets, even though other forms of downloadable content pieces fare a bit better.
Still, there is hope. You can create an email follow-up sequence to help your leads learn more about your business. However, a drip-email campaign is all about the flow of your content. When prospects opt-in for your email list to receive the freebie, you have a fantastic opportunity to start a conversation with them.
But the shift from “merely downloading a resource” to “scheduling a meeting with you” is massive for them. A lot of commitment is involved in becoming a business partner with someone. You cannot just say, “buy from us!” and expect them to do it in a flash.
You need to provide value, help leads learn enough about what you offer, and build a rapport with them. Here is an ideal email sequence to follow:
- Email 1: Give thanks for downloading the lead magnet
- Email 2: How to overcome common pain-points
- Email 3: A sneak peek into your company story (e.g. a video)
- Email 4: Customer success story (case study)
- Email 5: Book a sales consultation with our experts
- Email 6: Re-engagement email (are you still interested?)
Nurture as a Team? Collaborate with your Salespeople.
Even if you have a robust marketing game plan, it is crucial to work with your sales team for the best results. While marketing can do wonders with crafting relevant messaging, the salespeople can initiate one-to-one communication on the phone or via video calls.
Managing the nurturing process with the sales team allows them to stay close to the messaging and be as relevant, personal, and up to date as possible on the prospect’s online profile changes. With their input, marketers can tweak their strategies accordingly.
By assessing how your lead feels about your business and its offerings, you can deploy the right approach and tap into those feelings, and create a much more reliable connection for higher conversions.