In the world of B2B marketing, knowing how to create a lead nurturing strategy is critical to achieving marketing and sales success. A strong lead nurturing strategy influences a prospect’s conversion to a customer and supports the sales team in creating more quality opportunities. According to Demand Gen, companies with a full lead nurturing strategy saw a 20% increase in sales opportunities on average.
Wait, what is lead nurturing?
Inbound lead generation-driven organizations emphasize generating leads so much that they often neglect the processes of nurturing them. Lead nurturing bridges the gap between when a lead is generated and when it is sales-ready. It is the process of moving leads through their buyer’s journey by building awareness, engaging, and educating them with valuable content, and creating relationships/building trust.
Lead nurturing is about putting your prospects and customers at the center of your marketing strategy, anticipating their needs, and delivering content that resonates with them. The ultimate goal is for your leads to receive all the information they need to convert into opportunities and fruitful customer relationships.
Why should you focus as much on nurturing leads as generating them?
In most cases, only a tiny percentage of your inbound leads will be ready to make an immediate purchase. About 90% of your inbound leads will need to be nurtured towards purchase. It takes time for a lead to convert into a customer; in fact, Demand Gen research found that 51% of marketers needed five or more touches in their lead nurturing campaigns.
How to create a lead nurturing strategy in 5 steps:
- Know Your Audience
The first step is to understand your target audience and their challenges and pain points. By understanding your audience and creating buyer personas, you can develop content that speaks directly to their needs. Additionally, it’s essential for marketing to work with the sales team to better define marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs), which will be incredibly useful when building your lead nurturing strategy.
- Understand the Buyer’s Journey
Once you know your buyer personas, then it is essential to understand their buyer’s journey. A buyer’s journey map outlines each stage a buyer goes through as they move through the sales process. From first realizing that they have a problem that needs solving, to deciding on a purchase, it’s helpful to know the steps that your buyer personas take. This will help you create valuable content that meets them where they are in the buying process.
- Implement a Marketing Automation Tool
Once you’ve done your baseline research, we recommend using a CRM and a marketing automation tool to capture and nurture your prospects. A marketing automation tool helps capture lead data, sends emails, qualifies leads using scores/grades, and allows you to efficiently automate lead nurturing processes that would otherwise require a heavy lift.
- Send Personalized Emails
Email marketing continues to be one of the most successful marketing strategies, and personalization makes it even more effective. A study by Accenture found that 41% of consumers switched businesses due to a lack of personalization. There are a lot of great ways to personalize emails in your lead nurturing strategy. For example, with the help of a marketing automation tool, you can automate personalized emails when a visitor completes an action like downloads gated content, clicks on email links, visits a specific page on your website, or demonstrates a high level of engagement. Combining the power of personalization with behavior-triggered emails, you can deliver the right marketing messages to the right people at precisely the right times.
- Retarget on Social Media
These days there is no “one size fits all” tactic for reaching prospects. Welcome to an omnichannel world. Omnichannel marketing acknowledges and addresses the fact that the modern customer is no longer confined to a single platform, and therefore, strives to deliver a smoother buying experience to customers regardless of the channel, platform, or the stage of the buyer’s journey.
If email is the only way you communicate with leads, you could be missing a huge audience who prefers to receive information through different channels. Diversify your lead nurturing strategy with creative campaigns across multiple channels, including social media advertising. By harnessing the power of retargeting on social media and promoting sharable, valuable content, you’re able to reach your leads and continue building trust across multiple channels.
Lead nurturing is an ever-evolving process. As you learn more about your prospects and their buyers’ journeys, you’ll be able to create content that speaks to them with the right messages in the right places at the right times. Learning how to create a lead nurturing strategy is the first step in the process of transforming your marketing to be more customer-centric and reaping the benefits of true sales/marketing alignment. If you have any questions about creating a lead nurture strategy, we’d love to help – contact us!