The Power of Lead Nurturing: How To Build Stronger Relationships and Close More Customers

 

Lead generation is a key goal in every company’s marketing strategy, but focusing all of your attention on generating leads may actually cause you to miss out on opportunities. In fact, Invesp found that companies that only employ  lead generation lose 80% of leads, while companies that have a well-executed lead nurturing strategy in place tend to spend 33% less while generating 50% more sales.

While all of your marketing activities help you to better connect with your prospects and bring new contacts into your database, lead nurturing helps you to maintain on-going conversations with the contacts that have already been captured and move them further along in the sales process. With the right lead nurturing strategy, you can offer value to your contacts and provide your sales team with leads that are more qualified and ready to buy.

Four key things you should consider when building out your lead nurturing strategy include:

1. Understand your goals
To begin your lead nurturing program, you must first clearly understand exactly why you are undergoing the process in the first place.  Is it to educate your leads about a specific problem and help them find a solution? Or is your intent to maintain contact with leads who are not yet ready to buy? These goals should go beyond just general ones, like increasing revenue, and instead focus on more specific goals like number of email opens and/or an increase in demo requests. Setting targeted goals helps you determine the journey you want your leads to take and defines the steps needed to keep them engaged and moving further along in the sales cycle.

2. Use data to your advantage
According to HubSpot, lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they’re ready. But how do you know when they’re ready? With the help of a marketing automation system, you can track a wide variety of activities your leads are taking with the content on your website and use this information to better understand where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Use information like your buyer personas or a contact’s lifecycle stage to segment your lists and trigger workflows based on specific behaviors. This will enable you to provide valuable and timely content to your leads and develop a trusting relationship. For example, if someone downloads an eGuide on your site, they would likely benefit from another relevant piece of content that provides a more in-depth view of the topic they are researching. It’s important to be helpful and nurture your leads by engaging with them on an ongoing basis and gradually guiding them through the buyer’s journey with relevant content at the right time.

3. Create a balanced email strategy
When crafting your emails, it’s crucial to align your email messages with a specific action or goal you want your leads to take – a call to action. For instance, you may want a contact to download a case study to learn more about a specific client and how your products and services helped them or you may want to encourage them to speak with a representative or request a demo. There are a variety of different emails you can work into your nurturing campaign, but the overall goal is to educate, build trust, and add value to ensure these contacts are receiving quality communications from your organization and want to hear from you again.

Another thing to keep in mind with lead nurturing is to avoid the temptation to over email your contacts. When you bombard their inboxes, you go from being helpful to being annoying, and you miss out on opportunities to solve their issues and gain their business. Be patient with your nurturing process and continue to foster strong conversations that help point your leads in the right direction.

4. Analyze your results
Lead nurturing takes time, and you likely won’t see tremendous results right from the beginning. Your prospects are constantly researching information and moving back and forth through the buyer’s journey every day. While automation is a great tool to scale your email activity, don’t simply set up your lead nurturing workflows and then never look back. It’s important to regularly evaluate your nurturing campaigns and adjust them to ensure you’re grabbing the attention of your prospects and getting them to take the desired actions.

Running a content marketing program is a great way to increase brand awareness and generate quality leads for your business, but it’s the relationships you cultivate with your leads that allow you to see real return on investment from your marketing efforts. With a strong nurturing strategy, you can meet your leads where they are in the buyer’s journey and give them quality content to move them to the decision stage more quickly and efficiently.

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