Written by   |   Aug 30 2019   |   Read 67 times

Lead generation continues to be among the leading priorities for both B2C and B2B marketers, but surprisingly, few effectively qualify and nurture leads to increase the probability they'll eventually make a purchase. 

Consider these eye-opening metrics1:

  • More than 60% of marketers say generating a sufficient volume of leads is their top marketing priority
  • Almost 80% of leads never make a purchase 
  • 65% of B2B marketers have no lead nurturing strategy 
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing have 50% more sales-ready leads, spending 33% less in marketing expenditures
What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects by sending personalised and relevant content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. By identifying the needs of the prospect and providing the information that they need, you have a greater chance of converting them into a paying customer and developing a long lasting business relationship.

Lead nurturing itself doesn't get you or your marketing and sales teams to the finish line. To do that, you need to implement sound strategies which dramatically increase the likelihood that your lead generation and nurturing efforts will be successful. Central to a strategic approach are marketing automation and the adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) software that's customised for your business.

What are the most effective lead nurturing strategies?

There are probably as many lead nurturing strategies as there are businesses deploying them—and with good reason. The tactics you use to push leads through the sales funnel need to be dictated by your company's principal marketing needs. That said, some lead nurturing strategies are, in general, more effective than others for most businesses. Here are 5 strategies that can help to increase your lead conversion rate:

1. Select and implement the right CRM for your business

To be successful, the lead nurturing tactics you deploy, whether it's sending personalised emails or pushing targeted content, need to be grounded in robust customer data. The right CRM will ensure that you have easily accessible data regarding every interaction your company has had with every customer. The trick is to select the CRM which has the flexibility to meet your deployment, operational and access needs. Before you select your CRM, be sure that it will do all the things you need it to do, that it integrates with existing software, and that your marketing and salespeople are comfortable working with it. 

2. Boost awareness and interest with personalised emails

Email marketing remains the most effective strategy for lead nurturing. When you personalise those emails, on average you'll generate 6 times more revenue as compared with non-personalised emails. Again, you'll need accurate and timely data to send out personalised emails that get the job done. That said, you can personalise your emails based on online behaviour, like when a lead downloads particular content or visits key web pages. You can also automate the process, sending emails immediately following those online actions.

3. Push targeted content

You can increase the effectiveness of the personalised emails you send by coupling them with targeted content. This means, in essence, sending the right content to the right leads at the right time—and it works. Market research indicates that the leads you nurture with targeted content increase sales opportunities by 20% on average.

Targeted content addresses the questions, needs and concerns of key market segments. There are many ways to segment your leads - one of the best is by creating buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representatives of your customer base who share the same demographic and behavioural characteristics. One of the prerequisites for using targeted content is that, in addition to linking it to key segments of your lead base, you create a sufficient volume of content to address all their needs. And, again, you also need to integrate your content into your marketing automation and CRM platforms.

4. Continued communication

Effective lead nurturing doesn't happen overnight. On average, your leads will need about 10 communications from your business from the time they enter the sales funnel to the time they make their first purchase. Even so, most marketers stop at 5 (2015 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study), greatly decreasing their odds of success.

Remember that lead nurturing isn't transactional—if done correctly, it's transformational, gradually over time moving leads through the buyer journey. And each successful communication with your leads is necessarily grounded in the ones which preceded it. In other words, effective lead nurturing means continually monitoring and, when needed, amending your strategy.

5. Follow up as quickly as possible

You need to understand that consumers are impatient. The faster you answer their questions or provide them the information they need, the more likely they are to convert. In fact, when you contact a lead within 5 minutes, that lead is 21 times more likely to convert than when the contact takes 30 minutes. Nevertheless, most businesses are surprisingly slow to respond. On average, B2B companies take 42 hours to respond to their leads, and only 37% respond within 1 hour2. This is where a sound marketing automation strategy can dramatically improve your performance, instantaneously pushing out lead responses that include the relevant content your leads need. This demonstrates to leads that your business cares about them, and makes them more likely to move to the next stage of the buyer journey.

It's understandable that most businesses spend a large portion of their marketing budgets and time on lead generation. However without an effective lead nurturing strategy, most of those leads will ultimately abandon your business. The new marketing automation tools with Act! Growth Suite will give you the resources you need to set up lead nurturing campaigns that will increase your conversions, boost sales and grow your business. At Act Today, we specialise in implementing lead nurturing strategies for small business. It's not as expensive as you may think so to learn more about our marketing automation and CRM products and services, contact us today.

  1. The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2019 (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
  2. Harvard Business Review.
Cate Dempsey

As Managing Director, Cate Dempsey manages the strategic direction of the business along with the day to day management of the core team for Act Today.

Starting as CRM Consultant in 2001, Cate has an inside view of what clients need and want when it comes to CRM. Cate is able to bring her client facing experience into the strategy and decision making process, enabling Act Today to be very focused on customer experience and satisfaction.

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