How to get started with lead nurturing
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the ongoing process of building stronger relationships with prospective customers until they are ready to buy. You can anticipate their needs and build greater trust and loyalty by engaging with leads at every stage of the buying process.
Lead nurturing means you connect with prospects across multiple touch-points with a mix of blog posts, social media marketing, promotional emails and paid retargeting ads.
Why is lead nurturing important?
On average, 50% of leads are not yet ready to buy. But with a well-planned lead nurturing strategy, you can provide helpful, relevant information at every stage of the prospect’s buying journey so that you’re the first one they think of when they're ready.
Lead nurturing helps you:
create a personalised sales process
develop strong customer relationships
establish authority in your niche
increase sales and average order value.
When you have limited time and resources, it’s crucial to prioritise your sales and marketing activities. Lead nurturing through personalised marketing helps you filter prospects and focus on leads that are more likely to buy.
What are the prerequisites for a lead nurturing strategy?
Define your ideal customer
Your ideal customer is who you should target your marketing at, as they are most likely to buy from you. Unless you want to miss the mark with irrelevant sales and marketing messaging, you must know who your ideal customer is and keep them at the forefront of your lead nurturing campaign.
Interviewing your ideal customer helps you understand the buyer’s journey, as well as what they’re looking for from your brand. Try asking them questions like:
What are their specific pain points that your product or service can help resolve?
How can you better meet their needs?
Why do they choose to buy from you versus a competitor?
Why are you interested in our product?
When you know what your customers are looking for, you can align your sales and marketing efforts to speak to their needs.
Analyse past results
An in-depth review of your past campaigns will help you assess their impact on revenue and help to pinpoint any problem areas in your sales funnel.
Speak to your customers, asking questions like:
What marketing content would they like to see more of
Is there anything in your sales process that you could do better?
What do they think your brand does well at?
A sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps you see how leads interact with you through social media messages, emails, phone conversations and more. This 360-degree view makes it easier to find and fix friction points, address sales objections and keep leads moving toward a purchase.
Segment your audiences
Segment your audiences according to what stage of the sales funnel they are at and what their buying preferences are, so that you can meet their needs at every stage of the buying journey and help move them down the funnel towards purchase. This approach helps you build engagement with more relevant content and appropriate messaging for each group.
Set your goals
To increase your overall sales, you might want to set lead nurturing goals so you know whether your marketing activities are effective. For example, you could set the following targets for email open rates:
30% in the awareness stage of your sales funnel
40% in the consideration stage of your sales funnel
50% in the decision stage of your sales funnel.
These sub-goals help your team focus on moving leads down the funnel — to achieve your main overarching goal.
How do you set up a lead nurturing campaign?
Pick your channels
Text messages are no longer just for one-time promotions, deals and discounts — 75% of consumers under 44 want to communicate with businesses via text messages.
With artificial intelligence (AI) at its core, a live chatbot learns from every conversation to solve customer problems quickly and to become more effective over time.
It may be old-school, but direct mail can still be effective — especially if it’s a preferred channel with your ideal customer. Offering something different may also help your business to get noticed amidst the online noise.
This channel is more personal than social media. When you segment your customers and prospects and use automation to message them, you can nurture leads and drive conversions at every stage of the funnel.
Plan your content
Your content strategy depends on the goal of your lead nurturing campaign and should cater to leads at different stages.
For example, leads in the awareness phase may need more education about how your product could solve their problems. In contrast, leads in the decision phase may be looking for product comparisons or frequently asked questions to build confidence prior to purchase.
Schedule the steps
A successful lead nurturing strategy guides prospects from one stage of the buying journey to the next. Start simple with these best practices for lead nurturing campaigns:
Focus on a specific segment
Use a simple and direct call-to-action (CTA)
Track performance against your goals
Make small adjustments based on data feedback
Create new segments and relevant buyer personas
Add new messaging sequences to engage each segment
With a focus on incremental progress, you can keep iterating your marketing messaging and sales process to offer a more personalised experience.
Pro tip: Automate messaging based on specific trigger events to engage leads. For example, you might want to reach out to prospects who have abandoned their shopping carts to remind them of the items they selected.
Define your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Consider the following metrics to gauge the performance of your lead nurturing campaigns.
Email open rate
If the percentage of subscribers who open your emails drops, you may want to improve your subject lines to attract more clicks, or consider the cadence of your communications which may be too frequent.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of subscribers who click a link on an ad or email indicates the strength of your copy and targeting.
It’s vital to track the percentage of prospects who take the desired action, such as signing up for a webinar or buying your product. If you have decent traffic but low conversions, you may need to adjust the offer to convince more people to take action.
The percentage of subscribers that opt out from your mailing list is worth watching — a high unsubscribe rate is a bad sign and means you’re losing a lot of leads.
Measure and adjust
Embrace a proactive approach to constantly track data and look for ways to improve your lead nurturing process to make it more efficient and effective.
For example, if your click-through rate is low, you could include a discount offer to inspire action. Similarly, if you’re spending a lot of time and money lead nurturing, try a time-limited offer to move leads through the funnel faster.
Marketing is all about testing and iterating. As changes happen in the market, customer behaviour and even in your organisation, you’ll need an ever-evolving lead nurturing strategy to boost your sales performance.
Use your CRM for lead nurturing
As your business grows and scales, the benefits of CRM software and the value of lead nurturing become extremely clear. However, when your CRM is integrated into your broader business management platform, you can get even better results for your business.
MYOB is a business management platform that addresses the six core workflows that any business may need to handle: customers, suppliers, projects, employees, finance, accounting and tax. Cloud based, you only pay for the software you need, but can add on capabilities across all workflows as your business matures and your needs become more complex.
And as an open platform, you can also add on a range of third-party integrations to get the tech stack that you’re looking for. At MYOB, we have you covered.