The task of generating qualified leads is no small feat; it demands a significant amount of research, time, and funding. However, the effort needed to produce leads is just the starting point of a much larger task: lead nurture. Let’s dive into the importance of lead nurturing strategies and explore effective methods to convert hard-earned leads into sales.
The Importance of Lead Nurture Campaigns
The majority of leads that enter the pipeline are not ready for sales conversations. While discovering the right prospects is undoubtedly a positive development, the drawback lies in the timing, which might not align perfectly for closing a deal. However, these leads are valuable and primed to work their way down the sales funnel with the support of lead nurture campaigns.
Lead nurturing campaigns shepherd your leads through the buyer’s journey. Even if the leads are not sales-ready, nurture campaigns play a vital role in consistently updating prospects about your company, products, services and key messages. This approach ensures that your company remains top of mind when it comes time to move forward with a buying decision. Without lead nurturing strategies, it is common for leads to sit in the pipeline with little or no movement and minimal attention.
Three Components of Effective Lead Nurturing Campaigns
To create effective nurturing campaigns, marketers should incorporate:
- The Right Message: Marketers need to segment their leads and target their messaging to appeal to lead characteristics, like demographics and psychographics. It is best to avoid sales messages at this point as this will deter their interest. For nurturing campaigns, high-pressure communications will be unwelcome. The key to nurturing campaigns is to focus on a specific segment’s pain points and send content that provides valuable tips and strategies to address them. The more value the recipient receives from the communications, the more likely they will continue to welcome them.
- The Right Activities: When it comes to nurturing campaigns, a mix of marketing activities is key. It is important to position your company as a thought leader and a resource. Create content focused on best practices and leverage customers and industry experts to support your case. Successful nurture campaigns include a variety of resources such as webinar invites, whitepapers, articles and more.
- The Right Timing: Marketers can’t know when or if static leads in the pipeline will convert to sales-ready leads. This uncertainty underscores the importance of well-timed nurture campaigns. To achieve this, nurture campaigns need to have consistent timing and maintain a regular cadence of communication. Striking the right balance, however, necessitates steering clear of overloading your target audience with excessive messages, so they are not perceived as a nuisance. Campaign delivery should intertwine closely with how your leads interact with your communications. If they aren’t showing engagement and unsubscribing, it might be time to space out your distribution schedule.
Three Effective Lead Nurturing Strategies
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the primary driver of lead nurturing. It is the most effective way to deliver content and information to your audience. When creating nurture emails, keep it simple. Focus the email on one or a few offers and one call to action. This directs your lead’s attention to one action rather than many, which can deter a conversion. This is a key part of the lead nurture process – providing critical information as they move their way through the buyer’s journey.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the biggest support role to lead nurture and is often the most important lead nurturing strategy. Without content, there are no emails to send out. When thinking about your content, think about how it aligns with your buyer’s journey and its three stages. For the awareness stage, blogs, articles and infographics are the most effective. Anything ungated and easy to access builds the most awareness. As leads move into the consideration stage, content such as eBooks, white papers, guides and videos make the most impact. They dive deeper into a topic than a blog or article would and offer even more valuable insights. The decision stage is the final step and content such as a decision checklist, product demo video or a case study support this stage the most. These assets put your leads in the shoes of a customer and highlight the potential benefits of being a customer.
3. Social Media Marketing
For B2B marketers, social media is a game changer. Sharing your content with not only your followers, but everyone that comes across your post and company page, can boost awareness. Social media plays a key role in the lead nurturing process. It is the ideal avenue for getting your message out there to billions of people on every platform. Depending on the platform you use, the more accurate the audience. For example, LinkedIn is a B2B marketer’s dream platform as this is the platform of choice for many key decision-makers. Building relationships with customers and prospects on social media can be a fantastic way to show who your company is and what you can offer.
Nurturing Your Leads on the Way to a Conversion
For B2B companies, the acquisition of a qualified lead marks the inception of the sales funnel. A strategic approach to lead nurture, however, holds the potential to reshape your sales pipeline into a finely tuned conversion engine. Don’t leave untapped opportunities on the table. Instead, contact Launch Marketing to help plan and execute an effective nurture strategy.