Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

November 18, 2019

What is Lead Nurturing?

4 min read

Written by: Guido Bartolacci  |  Share:

lead_nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of educating and building trust with your prospects in order to guide them through the buyer’s journey. The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to provide your prospects with a unique experience that keeps them coming back for more — and eventually converts them into customers. 

However, the first step to a successful lead nurturing strategy is to understand who the people on your website are, what their pain points are and how you can solve for them. By analyzing your popular web pages and conversion points, you can get a better idea of how people are interacting with your website. Then, you can use that knowledge to provide value to your prospects in a contextually relevant way. 

Lead nurturing is vital in personalizing your prospects’ buyer’s journey. It allows you to guide someone from where they are to where you want them to be while helping them understand the full scope of their pain points in the process. 

Additionally, lead nurturing will directly impact how much revenue you’re able to generate and the lifetime value of the customers you bring in. In fact, research has found that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.  

Lead Nurturing Tactics 

When developing your lead nurturing strategy, there are multiple tactics you can use to reach your prospects. In your efforts to foster a relationship, keep in mind the inbound tenet of “Add value before you extract value” and make sure you’re not asking for more than you’re giving in return or marketing too intrusively.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true tactic for lead nurturing. Once a site visitor has filled out a form to become a lead, you have their email address in addition to some other information about who they are and what they’re doing on your website. You can use that information to follow up by email and provide more information about the interests they’ve expressed. 

For example, if a prospect converts on a content offer about inbound marketing, you know they’re interested in that topic. You can send them a follow-up email recommending a more in-depth resource on inbound marketing to nurture them further down the funnel. 

Marketing automation features like personalization tokens, email workflows and segmentation can enable you to do some of this nurturing automatically. By structuring your outreach around the actions your leads take and the challenges they tell you they have, you ensure your conversations are contextually relevant and increase the prospects’ trust in your company with every interaction.

Download the Essential Guide to Demand Generation to learn the essentials of  deploying this powerful strategy within your business.

Remarketing ads 

Once a prospect has visited your website, you can cookie them and serve them remarketing ads across different websites and social media platforms. These ads can bring previous website visitors back to convert on your website. 

For example, if a visitor was on a landing page for a demo but left your site before submitting a request, you can show them ads for the demo while they’re browsing other places on the internet. The goal is that seeing your ads will keep your company at the top of the prospects’ minds so they’ll eventually come back and finish requesting your demo.

You can segment your remarketing ads into two groups of people to start off: people who spend the most time on your website without converting and people who get close to finishing a conversion. 

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing enables leads to have an experience on your website that’s similar to what they would have in a physical store. If someone walks into a store with questions about a specific product, they can ask an employee and get the information they’re looking for. 

If someone comes to your website looking for specific information, a chatbot can direct them to what they’re looking for in real time, instead of requiring them to fill out a form and wait for a response.

What’s most important in this case is to be sure you have a stellar playbook strategy — no one is going to answer a chatbot that doesn’t ask the right questions. 

Smart content

Smart content or dynamic content changes what’s displayed in a website module, ad or email based on the behaviors and interests of the viewer. 

For example, you can change the body content of an email based on whether or not the recipient opened a previous email. Or, you can change a blog call-to-action (CTA) if the reader has already downloaded that content offer.

Using smart content allows you to continuously offer your leads a unique experience and increase the likelihood of them continuing to engage with your content.

Progressive Profiling

Progressive profiling enables you to customize the form fields a prospect will see based on the information they’ve already given you.This enables you to ask strategic questions to continue collecting information about your leads and prospects without adding too much length to your forms.

For example, if a prospect told you their company size and industry when they first visited your site, the next form they fill out can ask them about their role and company revenue. 

Social media

Social media groups are a great way to tangibly segment your leads and prospects into an online community dedicated to offering solutions and relevant content to their needs. Facebook and LinkedIn both offer a groups function where you can create an exclusive online group for leads and prospects who have converted on specific offers. Additionally, brand-specific hashtags provide a searchable online space where your prospects can ask questions and interact with your content. 

Key Takeaway

Lead nurturing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While some companies may find great value in conversational marketing as a conversion tool, others may find email performs better — it all comes down to who your prospects are and what their digital body language looks like.

The first step of effective lead nurturing is understanding how to communicate in a way that best resonates with your personas. But, once you know that, you can use lead nurturing to bring in bigger deal sizes, higher win rates and a faster sales cycle.

Lead nurturing is just one element of ensuring your lead generation efforts turn into revenue for your company. Learn how to optimize your marketing efforts throughout the entirety of the buyer’s journey with our Essential Guide to Demand Generation.

download the essential guide to demand generation

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation, Lead Generation

About The Author

Guido is a Demand Generation Marketer for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.

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