We live in an era of data democratization. Today, customers have access to more options, and better information than ever before. Through social media pages, business websites and online reviews, buyers are developing a complete understanding of market offerings, long before they ever decide to engage with sales team members at any particular company.
With a multitude of touchpoints now available to the average customer, the process of creating a sales-ready lead becomes all the more difficult. According to B2B research firm Bright Funnel, the time between lead generations to conversion increased by 32% over the course of 2014 alone.
Enter Lead Nurturing
Recognizing that traditional outbound marketing is no longer effective, many businesses have begun to pivot their marketing strategies away from cold-calling and mass mailing, towards focused inbound lead generation powered by strong digital content.
But while these techniques are certainly effective for capturing and stimulating the interest of your target audience, they will by no means guarantee a prospect that’s ready to move towards a purchasing decision. In fact, a Hubspot study reveals that a full 79% of these leads never translate into sales at all, with the primary reason being poor lead nurturing.
To turn these warm leads into red hot conversions, businesses need to focus their marketing strategies on building relationships with these customers. So that when it does come time for them to buy, your products are the first that come to mind. With a good lead generation strategy in place, your business could see up to 50% more sales coming in at a far lower cost.
Lead Nurturing Emails
In 2017, email still remains one of the most effective methods for creating and sustaining customer attention. Few other marketing techniques allow you to customize the timing, content, and audience of your content to such a minute degree. Additionally thanks to your lead generation efforts, your email lists will already be populated by a self-selected group of interested prospects.
Just because these individuals and businesses have opened their doors to your marketing doesn’t mean you can blanket their inboxes with a deluge of generic promotional material in the hopes of forcing a sale. Nor should you expect a few standalone emails to do the job. Proper lead nurturing requires a focused, coherent strategy that aligns with your audience’s needs.
Here are some tactics you should definitely look to employ.
In recent years, article after article has revealed that savvy millennial buyers are in search of personalized experiences over products. Any email marketing campaign must take these preferences into account to create tailored content for each particular recipient.
Any good marketing automation platform should provide plenty of opportunities to craft this sort of personalized marketing:
- It can be used to adjust the greeting on the email in accordance with the name given by the recipient
- By integrating a submission form into the sign-up process, you can gain valuable insights from your customers. Answers to questions like: “why did you sign up” or “what are you looking for from a business,” can be used to develop relevant email campaigns that target the buyer’s needs. They can be used to develop email lists based on which URLs users click most often.
- They can be used to develop email lists based on how active users have been on your website recently
- They can be used to send confirmation emails for purchases and trial subscriptions.
- They can be used to notify customers about upcoming events in their area.
Lead nurturing isn’t necessarily about creating direct responses, it’s a long-term strategy that must involve a certain amount of give and take. By offering consistent value to the customer, you can provide them with a greater understanding of your products and services even as you teach them helpful new skills.
These educational emails might contain: blogs, industry news, breaking statistics, testimonials and product how-tos. As mentioned above, make sure to tailor the specific content you send out on the basis of the prospect’s identified interests. End these emails with a single, CTA that links them to a relevant page on your website.
Make It Current
A great way to create personalized content is by tagging your emails to real life events. Holidays, and sales days like Black Friday are an obvious example of this strategy. In each case create customized designs that fit the occasion based on the special event you decide to target. Additionally, if you have any relevant product that could be tied into these email campaigns then make sure to promote them throughout the content with clearly marked CTAs.
If you don’t want to tie your emails to traditional celebrations, then another great way to maintain relevance is by jumping aboard current pop culture, or breaking news stories. To successfully execute this strategy, you need to make sure that the trends you choose to capitalize on are relevant to your target audience, and ensure that the content you choose to include is still of value. Otherwise you might end up looking gimmicky and out of touch.
Want More Lead Nurturing Insights?
Through our technical implementations, and industry insights we’ve managed to increase the quality, quantity and value of leads for multiple organizations across a variety of sectors, and our data-driven approach to sales can help your company cut costs and boost revenues as well.