Any best practices for lead nurturing

Steps to Simplify your Lead Nurturing

Steps to Simplify NurturingLooking for a way to simplify your lead nurturing and better manage your leads? Effective lead nurturing starts in one place: organization. Ensure that your sales team knows the method behind the madness of the lead lists upon lead lists. Here is a simplified overview of what to keep in mind.

1. Segment, segment, segment. It cannot be stressed enough that organizing your streams of prospects into nurture tracks that fit them individually enhances their experience with your company, therefore increasing close rate. Understand what their interest level is and when they might consider buying. Don’t send the wrong targeted content campaign– that’s just asking them to unsubscribe. Still need to be convinced about the importance of high quality content? Read Why Smart Consumers Insist on High Quality Lead Nurturing Content.

2. Add a personal touch. Make sure they have a name and maybe even a face to go with the emails and the voice. Letting them know they have their own point of contact helps them feel more comfortable working with your company. Along the same lines, give new leads a warm welcome, roll out the royal treatment to let them know you’re in it for the long haul with their company. This can also be done with older leads, as a sort of recycling process to revamp their interest.

3. Keep the communication relevant and two way. Include feedback surveys in your campaign that invite them to share their thoughts. Be sure to target industry news to them specifically. Include exclusive offers to let them know you are interested in a long term relationship with them and are invested in the success of their business. Here are some ideas on including offers in nurturing to get you started.

4. Last but not least, keep marketing and sales teams in the same loop. What could be worse than sending an impersonal email to someone a sales rep has almost closed? Understanding the prospect’s journey is a crucial part of building the relationship.

Why Lead Nurturing is Essential for B2B Marketing

Why Lead Nurturing is Essential for B2B MarketingB2B buyers are the toughest consumers to secure, because their decisions are based on the needs of an entire business rather than one particular person. It is harder for marketers to accurately profile the lead and determine their specific stage in the buying process. Company purchases could require a series of tests, comparisons, and approvals before a B2B buyer even considers contacting a potential supplier for more in-depth product information.

It is harder to pinpoint a B2B buyer’s decision making process unless they willingly offer information about their company’s purchasing process. That is what makes lead nurturing so essential to B2B marketing. Marketers need to continuously provide B2B buyers with helpful content that will maintain their interest until they reach the point where they are ready to contact someone in sales.

Lead Nurturing Benefits B2B Buyers

Lead nurturing is essential in B2B marketing, because it gives B2B buyers the opportunity to research product and services at their leisure. If you send the valuable content to buyers by email, it will also make it more convenient for them. Just be careful not to send irrelevant or frequent mass emails to potential buyers. They’ve given your business access to their inbox, because they want trustworthy answers to their questions. They don’t want it filled with useless spam.

Creating Customized Lead Nurturing

If the potential lead has shown interest in a particular product you carry, any future lead nurturing emails should pertain to that specific product. This can be achieved by first profiling the lead and then grouping leads with similar needs into predefined lead segments. It will be too difficult to cater every email to every single person, but you can customize content to groups of leads that have comparable profiles. The email should also be addressed specifically to each individual lead and contain information that will make their purchasing decision easier. That will help strengthen the relationship with the B2B buyer.

Lead Segmentation before Nurturing

Website visitor tracking and marketing automation software are necessary for developing and analyzing a comprehensive lead profile. This automated process monitors and records a lead’s online activity and then profiles, ranks, and segments each lead based on their behavior. Once you understand what a group of potential leads is interested in, it is easier to create content that caters to their unique needs. If you are searching for more lead nurturing tips, please read our previous article on B2B Marketing Automation Tips.

 

High-quality lead nurturing is essential for B2B marketing. It gives buyers a chance to research their options in peace before they are swarmed by eager sales professionals. If the lead nurturing campaign is successful, a B2B buyer will already know they are interested in your particular product or service before they ever have to deal with a salesperson. That is why prospects that are successfully nurtured have a significantly higher conversion rate.

How To Nurture Leads With Your Mobile Phone

Nurture Leads With Your Mobile PhoneWhen it comes to nurturing leads, it means that you have a system through which you are able to communicate with potential clients constantly until they become fully fledged clients. This is done by giving out helpful information and making sure that your brand sticks in the minds of your potential clients.

So you have taken advantage of the internet and you have been working hard to nurture leads through various techniques by using your computer. But, how do you do it with your mobile phone? The answer to that is through content marketing. Content marketing has proven to be the best way to nurture your leads as well as increase traffic and sales. The best part it is, you can do it very easily with your mobile phone, especially if you are on the move.

Email Your Clients

Email is known to be the number one tool accessed by internet users. So if you have not incorporated email marketing in your business yet, you are lagging behind. Email permits you to stay connected with your prospects especially since they can access their email accounts instantly via their mobile phones. Therefore, while you are sharing content on your blogs and social media sites, you can also keep your potential clients updated through email. To do so, make sure all the emails you send out add some value to the receiver by providing useful information. Remember to also separate your target consumers who are still in the first stages of buying from those who are currently sales-ready.

Social Media

Remember that consumers have moved from using mailboxes and computers to using smartphones and tablets to stay connected. You should do the same. Through your mobile phone you can access practically all the popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You can create campaigns to nurture your leads in such a way that they benefit both you and the consumer. Maintain a close connection to your potential clients on social media. You can do this by sharing content and answering questions. This way when it is time to purchase your service or product, your leads will automatically come to you.

Blog, Blog, Blog!

It is common sense that no prospect will come across your website and settle for your brand immediately. Create a blog and use it to reach out to the prospects that have not made up their minds yet. Do this by finding a specific niche, picking up your mobile phone and writing about it. However, feel free to divert a little bit from your service or product to make the blog more interesting, for instance giving solutions to certain problems your prospects may be experiencing.

Nurturing your leads requires that you keep close track all the time and treat each of your leads preciously. Through content marketing you will manage to create a positive perception of your business as one that is helpful and reliable in its industry. In addition to that, your prospects will gain trust in you.

Analyzing Forbes’ 12 Step Process for Lead Nurturing

Forbes Process for Lead NurturingIn an effort to stay on top of trends, I am constantly researching new techniques to improve various aspects of the marketing automation process. During my research, I came across a two year old article that covered many of the same lead nurturing techniques that are utilize at Lead Liaison. Forbes article, the twelve step program for lead nurturing, may have been written in March of 2012, but the lead nurturing advice still holds true today. Marketing automation software has streamlined the process for lead nurturing, but the act of convincing leads to become consumers is still the same.

Lead Generation

The first step in the Forbes’ article on lead nurturing is acquiring quality leads. This seems pretty obvious, but every lead nurturing campaign needs an interested audience to be successful. Marketing automation addresses this crucial step using website visitor tracking.

First Contact

The next step in their lead nurturing program is having an automated or manual instant response system. This should be a friendly, non-obtrusive email advising leads that your sales and marketing team are available if they have any questions and concerns. Forbes’ article focuses more on sending an initial alert to the new contact that you will be in touch with them at a specific time in the future, whereas Lead Liaison’s marketing automation strategy focuses more on notifying the lead that help is available whenever they need it.

Follow Up

The next part of Forbes’ article covers contacting the prospect as promised. Marketing automation uses customized lead nurturing content to stay in touch with prospective leads. It also uses lead nurturing email to cover the fourth step covered in Forbes’ article; offer immediate value. Lead nurturing emails should give the reader valuable free advice to brand a business as an expert in their field.

Listen to Leads

Forbes’ fifth step examines the importance of understanding what each particular lead wants and needs. This would fall under marketing automation’s lead tracking and profiling process. Forbes’ follows this step with providing the lead with a chat feature for faster communication, which is now an essential part of most digital marketing strategy.

Repeat as Needed

The steps the article from Forbes’ covers next involve repeating the nurturing process until a lead is ready for conversion. It discusses the importance of staying in touch, offering more valuable information, and tracking all responses and activity. This strategy can be streamlined using automated website visitor tracking software and customized lead nurturing email campaigns.

Close the Sale

If everything goes according to plan, the lead will eventually be ready to make a commitment. The tenth step in the article is asking for their business, followed by asking for a referral. If you are utilizing marketing automation, your sales team will be automatically notified when a lead is showing signs of conversion, so this can be done immediately.

Assess Results

The final step the article covers is reviewing the results and learning from your mistakes. Every lead nurturing programs needs a system for analyzing the results, so you can make adjustments to improve the lead nurturing campaign’s ROI.

The article Forbes’ published nearly two years ago covers all of the important elements in a successful lead nurturing program. When all of these steps are executed effectively, lead nurturing can produce an endless stream of qualified leads.

The Strategic Alliance between Lead Profiling and Lead Nurturing

The Strategic Alliance between Lead Profiling and Lead Nurturing

I was reading this great article titled; Lead Nurturing; Ripening the Right Bananas, which explained how lead nurturing turns unripe leads into loyal consumers. The article was helpful, but I immediately noticed a crucial step in the process that they had left out; lead profiling. Successful lead nurturing begins with thorough lead profiling.

Lead Nurturing Needs Lead Profiling

Although the article did an excellent job of summarizing the benefits of lead nurturing, it didn’t supply the reader with a real strategy for creating meaningful connections with unripe leads. Leads that are not ready to convert require customized coaxing to convince them to respond favorably to the campaign. Businesses cannot effectively turn leads into consumers without first understanding the leads’ behavior, interests, and needs.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it. How can a company convince someone they need a particular product or service, if they don’t first understand how their product or service will benefit that specific lead?

Lead Profiling for Lead Nurturing

The building blocks for any effective lead nurturing campaign is comprehensive lead profiling. The most efficient way to develop a complete lead profile is marketing automation. Marketing automation software uses website visitor tracking to find out exactly what information a lead is seeking out, which articles or pages they have already viewed, and any demographic characteristics that can be obtained through their IP address or online registries. All of this crucial information is compiled to create a beneficial lead profile.

Marketing Automation and Lead Nurturing

Visitor tracking and profile is necessary for the foundation, but there is still more work that needs to be done before a business develops lead nurturing content. The marketing automation process always involves ranking and segmenting leads based on specific behavior and characteristics. All of this is done to increase engagement and lead nurturing ROI. Lead nurturing content must be relevant and customized based on the predetermined lead segments to create a real connection with the reader.

Relationship Building with Lead Nurturing

Businesses can’t expect to develop an intimate and meaningful relationship with potential prospects if they first don’t take the time to get to know them personally. Leads know they have endless purchasing options online and they won’t settle for a business that doesn’t make an effort to understand their needs and concerns.

Developing a strategic alliance between lead profiling and lead nurturing makes it easier to turn leads into consumers. It makes the prospect feel like the company truly cares about their concerns and is offering valuable advice for free. To generate significant ROI from lead nurturing campaigns, companies must first track, profile, and segment every lead into comparable groups. That is the only proven way to create relevant content that will be truly beneficial to your prospects’ lives.

Six Tips on How to Grow a Business Using Lead Nurturing

Grow your business using lead nurturingThe sole purpose of any lead nurturing campaign is to grow the business. It should be focused on building brand authority, establishing expertise, and creating lasting relationships with new and existing consumers. Every lead nurturing campaign should be designed to expand your customer base and help your business develop a loyal following.

If you are not already convinced of the power lead nurturing has to grow a business, please read why smart consumers insist on high quality lead nurturing content first. Once you’ve accepted that lead nurturing is essential for marketing a business online, the next step is to follow these six simple tips for greater lead nurturing success.

Here are six tips on how to grow a business using lead nurturing:

Know Your Target Audience

Understanding your target consumer’s needs and interests is necessary before you create a lead nurturing campaign. Start by utilizing the website visitor tracking capabilities of marketing automation software to monitor and profile potential leads’ activity on your website. This software will record and analyze behavioral trends and relevant demographic traits to help define your company’s typical consumer.

Understand Your Leads’ Needs

After you get to know your consumers better, the next step is determining what they need from your business. This is not necessarily a specific product or service. Focus more on addressing a solution to their problem. For example, if you sell diet aids, your prospects’ need proven weight loss solutions, which of course will include your product. The key is making sure your lead nurturing campaigns are focused on fulfilling their needs rather than pushing your products or services.

Create a Diverse Campaign Strategy

You can grow a business faster using lead nurturing if you combine it with a multi-media digital campaign. Use a blend of lead nurturing emails, downloadable whitepapers, website blogs, and social media to guide potential leads in the right direction.

Offer Valuable Free Advice

Lead nurturing campaigns should offer potential consumers valuable advice to establish your company’s authority and expertise. The content should contain useful and relevant information that won’t be easily obtained elsewhere. Leads that receive valuable free advice from a business are more likely to be loyal customers in the future.

Personalize Lead Nurturing Campaigns

You can develop stronger relationships with potential leads by personally addressing each lead nurturing email, as well as customizing the content for predetermined lead segment. Marketing automation software can be used to group potential prospects that have similar lead profiles.

Measure Campaigns Results

To grow a business using lead nurturing, it is essential that you monitor the engagement level for each different campaign. Compare the results of all of your lead nurturing campaigns to determine which forms of media and what topics are generating the most interest. Lead nurturing is not an exact science and you may need to adjust your strategy along the way.

If you want to quickly grow a business with lead nurturing, it is essential that you know your target audience, understand your lead’s needs, create a diverse campaign strategy, personalize your lead nurturing campaigns, and measure the results. This will allow you to effectively and efficiently connect with more sales-ready leads.

Why High-Quality Lead Nurturing Will Be Essential in 2014

Why High-Quality Lead Nurturing Will Be Essential in 2014The last year has been an immensely successful year for most businesses’ digital marketing campaigns. Marketing automation, social media marketing, and other online marketing tools have made it significantly easier for companies to interact and engage a wider spectrum of new leads. These impressive new platforms have resulted in significant gains in market share for many online businesses.

However, this gain in their share of the market had to come from somewhere. Many other businesses digital marketing campaigns failed, while some were non-existent. These companies are quickly discovering the reason for their decline and are creating plans to reclaim their lost consumers.

Marketing Focus for 2014

The focus next year for companies that were successful in 2013 will be on maintaining their gains in market share, as more companies start to take advantage of the power of marketing automation and social media. The playing field will return to neutral, since almost every business in the world has now realized how much can be achieved with compelling and informative digital marketing campaigns.

If everyone is utilizing digital marketing campaigns, there has to be something distinct that sets your business apart from the competition. Businesses need to give potential prospects a reason to choose their product or service over the countless competitors who are reaching them through the same online channels.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

The quality and consistency of lead nurturing content is one factor that can have a huge and personal impact on potential leads. Lead nurturing campaigns must grab the reader’s attention, provide them with real value, and then inspire them to react. According to Forrester Research, businesses that excel at lead nurturing will generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% reduction in the cost per lead obtained.

Original and insightful content will continue to be the main focus of digital marketing campaigns in 2014, although there will be a greater emphasis on customizing the content based on relevant lead segments. For more information on how you can using lead nurturing to grow your share of the market, please read Using lead nurturing to build trust and establish long-term clients.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation software is a business’ best bet for tapping into the leads’ needs and behavior. It profiles their online activity and uses online registration to gather demographic characteristics. All of the information obtain during the website visitor tracking aspect of marketing automation can be used to formulate lead nurturing campaigns that speak directly to distinct groups of leads.

Businesses that succeed in generating and distributing relevant content that offers leads real value will maintain or gain market share in 2014. Any online entities that fail to take the most of resources like marketing automation and social media will quickly discover that they are losing out to those that do.

Six Essential Elements in Every Successful Lead Nurturing Email

6 Elements for Successful Lead NurturingLead nurturing emails can be a powerful and efficient marketing tool when they are well-written. The trick is making sure every email has all of the essential elements to turn a prospective buyer into a loyal consumer.

Emails should be catered to their specific needs and interests rather than strictly promoting a product. It also needs to provide the reader with valuable information while casually guiding them towards the optimal outcome for the business. Lead nurturing emails are a company’s greatest opportunity to connect and entice potential consumers.

These are six essential elements that are in every successful lead nurturing email:

Catchy Headline and Intro

A lead nurturing email won’t be successful if it doesn’t capture their attention within the first few words. It is important to make sure the headline and first sentence clearly identify the topic and how the lead nurturing email will benefit the reader.

Solutions to Their Problems

Every lead nurturing email should come across as unbiased advice to a good friend. It doesn’t need to discuss every beneficial attributes of your business. It should only be focused on how your product or service can benefit their lives. Always remember that they are interested in solving their problems, not in supporting your business.

Offers Real Value

There has to be something in the lead nurturing email that immediately benefits the reader. It should provide them with useful information or make them a worthwhile offer. If you give someone valuable guidance, they will return to you the next time they are seeking answers to their problems.

Establishes Your Expertise

Every lead nurturing campaign should demonstrate your industry knowledge and authority on the subject matter. It should be well-research, grammatically correct, and professional written. It should also be relevant to your readers and to your brand.

Teaches Something New

Every lead nurturing email should contain a new tidbit of information that hasn’t been previously shared. Potential leads will stop reading your emails if you just regurgitate the same advice using different words.

An Irresistible Offer

The last thing every successful lead nurturing email should contain is an offer that is too good to pass up. It is always a good idea to conclude each email with a unique, special offer that they must act on immediately. Make sure the final offer highlights how your product or service will benefit the reader.

Every successful lead nurturing email campaign needs a catchy headline and intro to grab their attention and provide them with a solution to their problems. It should also offer real value, establish your expertise, teach the reader something new, and then finally present them with an offer they can’t refuse. If you still need more worthwhile lead nurturing campaign ideas, please read Lead Liaison’s earlier blog, three campaign ideas for lead nurturing success.

How Can I Effectively Nurture a Lead?

How Can I Effectively Nurture a Lead?Lead nurturing is one of the most fundamental components to a successful marketing strategy. Today’s consumers are more educated and willing to take the time to thoroughly research their purchases. They will spend hours searching online for customer reviews, testimonials, and helpful articles before making any decision.

Lead nurturing content helps potential consumers make informed decisions by answering their questions and concerns. Your web content, articles, and newsletters should all be designed as clever and discreet sales pitches that offer information that would be beneficial to your typical consumer.

Here are a few tips on how to effectively nurture a lead:

1.       Understand Your Leads

The first step to effectively nurturing a lead is establishing a comprehensive lead profile. Marketing automation uses website visitor tracking software to monitor a lead’s online behavior. It also promotes online registries and questionnaires to extract and track a lead’s demographic details. All of this valuable information should then be used to create more personalized lead nurturing content geared at their personal interests and behavior.

2.       Understand Their Needs

Consumers are not looking for a specific product; they are looking for a solution to a specific problem. Focus the lead nurturing content on the obstacles they face and offer sincere advice on how to resolve their issue. Take for example a website that promotes an all-natural herbal dietary supplement. The lead nurturing content should discuss the difficulties associated with being overweight and then offer many different solutions like dieting, exercising, and of course, taking your dietary supplement.

3.       Do Not Over Sell

Instead of approaching your lead nurturing content as a marketing piece, focus on it being a helpful consumer guide. A web page can go on and on about the benefits of your product but your lead nurturing content has to have more depth. Using the example above, I would not recommend sending out an article that only discusses why they should take your herbal supplement to lose weight.  Consumers will view it as a sales piece and not take the advice seriously.

4.       Do Not Under Sell

Your lead nurturing content still need to highlight the attributes of your product or service otherwise it is not doing its job. To effectively nurture a lead there should be 20% to 25% of the entire copy that directly references benefits of your product or service.

You can discover more lead nurturing tips that are specific to B2B customers in my earlier post on How to use lead nurturing content to convert more B2B customers. Lead nurturing can be a powerful revenue generating tool if it is done right.

Three Campaign Ideas For Lead Nurturing Success

Three Campaign Ideas For Lead Nurturing SuccessAre you stuck for lead nurturing ideas? Here are a few suggestions for lead nurturing success.

Introduce a sales agent

If your company has a round-robin lead distribution policy, introduce the next sales agent in line through a series of introductory messages. Connecting a brand to a human being is a consistent theme in today’s digital marketing space and you can be effective when a person is introduced early in the nurturing process.

When a lead comes into your marketing automation system, send a message that describes the sales rep – include a picture, a few personal details, and, of course, contact information (don’t forget to include a reason for the email response – i.e. the lead’s webinar registration).

The first message should ask permission to contact the lead in the future. Then each subsequent message can deepen the engagement cycle by sharing stories about some of the sales rep’s previous positive client experiences or, depending on your enterprise policies, a personal story not related to your solutions.

Bringing a sales rep in early in the marketing cycle develops trust while the lead is moving through his buying process. Early engagement also provides opportunities to respond to questions or provide unique information.

Offer a free trial

What works especially well for SaaS and software providers is the free trial. For whatever length of time you offer for a trial period, use that time to provide support. Offer helpful hints about using the product or tips about the process a lead is using your solution for (like lead nurturing!). The level of engagement may depend on how complex your solution is to learn. For more complex solutions, engage frequently. Your trial leads will thank you.

Make sure to enhance the user experience during the trial period. Clearly explain features and functions, hold the lead’s hands throughout the trial experience. As the trial period comes to a close, ask if there are questions or specific features he would like to explore. In the final message before the period expires, make sure to indicate that the trial period will be ending and provide a valuable opportunity to buy now.

After the trial ends, send out a hard-sell email with a one-time, limited offer. Review all the features that were used during the trial, refresh his memory about the experience. Make sure to send this message within at most a week from the trial expiration.

Launch a community or forum

Gathering people under a common theme is a tried-and-true method of engaging with your market. Although this type of campaign requires some set up and management to execute properly, it can pay dividends down the road.

Invite leads to join a forum or social community that discusses relevant issues in their industries or professions. This is a great way to connect, nurture, develop trust, and deepen your understanding of your market(s). Use email messaging to introduce a recent topic, announce notable forum attendees/industry leaders, or update on a past topic. Ask leads to contribute an issue as a forum “presenter”.

While there will be times that your community/forum will require your marketing team to facilitate discussions and introduce topics, the community will often engage leads on its own. One tricky situation arises when participants are discussing competitors’ solutions. Make sure the moderator handles comments about competitive advantages (and disadvantages) quickly and professionally.

Through the use of lead nurturing assets, you can inform, educate, and remind leads about the community while mixing in relevant messages about your solutions and how they can solve issues being discussed in the forum.

Have you got a winning lead nurturing tactic? Share your knowledge and receive 10% off your first year of using our robust Lead Management Automation™ platform.