Any best practices for lead nurturing

Infographic: Post-Event Lead Nurturing Strategy

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Marketing events can be a very costly effort. There’s the booth rental, the booth design/display, travel and expenses for your employees working the booth. Service costs like electricity, cleaning, or wifi can sneak up on you. Badge scanners are expensive (have you looked into other options?).

I think you get my drift: marketing events cost a lot of money. Return on investment (ROI) is paramount. Once your team has captured hot leads at an event, you should be prepared to follow up with those leads quickly and effectively. There’s no time to waste – don’t let your competitors beat you to the punch.

We are often asked for examples of how a business can (and should) nurture leads post-event. Below is an infographic that examines a tried-and-true post-event lead nurturing strategy. 

Technology to Support Lead Nurturing Strategy

The first step in determining your post-event lead nurturing strategy is to make sure you have the technology in place to automate it. Don’t count on these things being done manually – it’s just not realistic. Companies are busier than ever these days, usually with multiple people wearing multiple hats – stretched thin. There’s also tons of room for distraction at (and after) marketing events. The more administrative tasks you can automate, the better. Let your employees spend their time building relationships and making connections.

There are lots of options out there, but we recommend a wholistic approach. Look for technology that works together, so you don’t have to spend time exporting and importing. For example, our event lead management solution allows businesses to create and customize lead capture forms, prepare intelligent post-event workflows, quickly capture leads onsite, instantly sync with a CRM, and then place them into those previously mentioned workflows. No additional technology is needed.

Of course, we love our solutions. But, there are lots of options out there! Just make sure you have something in place to be able to effectively execute your plan.

Lead Management Strategy – Instant Tasks

Create a list of all the actions you want to take once you’ve captured the lead’s information, and separate them into groups based on the time of the outreach. Here are a few examples of what you might want to do instantly:

  • Tag the Prospect with the Event Name
  • Add the Prospect to the Event Leads list
  • Assign a grade or score to the Prospect based on your ideal buyer criteria
  • Distribute the lead (Prospect) – based on round-robin, geography, or product interest
  • Sync the Prospect Record with your CRM

Side Note – Lead Scoring vs. Lead Grading

Let’s talk more about lead score versus lead grade. You may want your reps to call a Prospect if their score is high and their grade is high. Or maybe just one or the other. To make that determiniation, you should know the differences. 

Lead scoring is a way to measure engagement, and it happens over time. Even before your event, a Prospect may have already been to your website, scanning a few of your webpages, which would increase their score. It will continue to increase as they continue to interact with your website or your content.

On the other hand, grading is a way to measure how well a Prospect matches your ideal buyer criteria. Your reps can qualify and assign a grade onsite at the event. With our event lead management solution, reps can collect lead data quickly and either grade them in the moment, or they can go back later and grade them when they have a lull in booth traffic.

Lead Management Strategy – Starting Your Nuture

Once those organizational actions have been completed (usually within seconds), what do you want to do next? Let me answer that for you…you want to follow up. Insidesales.com conducted a study that found 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. That means that the timing of your follow up matters.

If at all possible, reach out to your leads within an hour of them visiting your booth. A great example of this kind of outreach is with a text message. If you’re capturing a lead’s mobile phone number, use your marketing automation platform to send a text message saying, “Hi Jane, it’s Bob. Thanks for stopping by our booth! We’ll be in touch soon – but in the meantime, here’s my number if you have any questions…” That is sure to make your company stand out.

24 Hours Later

Send an email. Even though you already sent a text message, send an email 24 hours later. Give your Prospect time to filter through messages from other booths, but not enough time that they forget who you are. Remind them of a product feature that sets you apart from other exhibitors at the trade show.

Pivot

At this point in the game, you may want to consider customizing your lead nurturing strategy based on the previously mentioned lead score and/or grade (depending on what matter most to your business) and how the Prospect interacts with your outreach or content. Your marketing automation platform should have the capability of customizing the workflow using this kind of criteria. If the lead score is high, assign a task to a rep to make a call. If it’s low, continue to nurture via email.

Don’t disqualify leads with a lower score or grade. They may be hesitant because they are taking this decision more seriously. Offer a piece of educational content, like an infographic or a case study. Try to be their source of education in the industry, so they begin to see your company as a thought leader.

If they download the content, you may want to pivot further based on that. If they downloaded it, offer another link to an informative blog post with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). Make the decision to reach out to you easy.

If they didn’t download the content, perhaps they need the same information as the lead above, but rather they need it summarized within the email itself to reduce effort. Include your CTA within the email itself, to make it even easier.

In Summary

Continue nurturing your Prospects for several weeks until they are ready to buy, or place them into your newsletter list so that you can continue your educational content without being too pushy.

It’s all about creating a sense of authority and innovation within your industry. Those that actively attend trade shows, conferences, or other marketing events are not passive. They are engaged, and their presence at an event will make them hyper-aware of you and your competitors.

If you decide to exhibit at an event, be prepared to make it count. Here’s an infographic that you can save for when the time comes. And, good luck!  

Lead Nurturing Using Email

Lead Nurturing is dying quickly, and marketers are to blame. People are overwhelmed by massive amounts of email; and even your biggest fans are starting to see “educational” materials as being spam.

If I want to learn, I tend to go to a podcast, blog, or specific website for information. Information has lost its value in today’s “Google world,”  in most cases with evergreen content. However, automated messaging has one very important purpose: drawing attention to timely content.

If you are not sending content that is directly tied to the point in time that you are sending it, you are wasting your time and the time of your audience. And, your lead nurturing efforts are going out the window.

Instead, send timely/relevant information to nurture your leads. Examples include:

  • Special time sensitive offers (Your $50 coupon is going to expire tomorrow!)
  • Seasonal information  (Christmas is 1 month away and if you don’t buy your tree right now, you’re going to pay twice as much and get a brown tree!)
  • Date specific information (Your check-up is coming up in 3 weeks!)
  • Contact your representative and let them know to vote a certain way for our organization
  • Your contract is up for renewal
  • You are offering a webinar or attending a trade show and would like to include them

If there isn’t a time sensitive reason to open and act upon your message, 92% of all people that read the first line in your email will delete it/push it off with the intention of reading late – or worse, unsubscribe! Of the 8% that do read your entire email, 96% of those readers will not act upon your email.

A few tips to get a higher response rate:

  • Reference why you are writing to them at this time. Do so in the first sentence.
  • Let them know a consequence of not acting in the next 48 hours.
  • If information is not time sensitive, don’t send it, or wait until that information has a time sensitive meaning.
  • If your information is “education-only” consider sending a one sentence email letting them know that based on what you knew about that person, that you thought they would find a way to immediately benefit from the information…and send it as a link to a landing page. No proThis will build some level of curiosity, and the brevity of the email isn’t as likely to get 1,000 of your contacts to roll their eyes in unison when they open your email.   Also it will give you a much more organic “content garden” which could help SEO and future marketing efforts.

In the case of lead nurturing campaigns, less is best. Your messages should build excitement to the recipient. In doing so, you will be adding to your brand’s emotional value; and increasing response rates by 100% or more.

Want to learn how to automate time-sensitive messages as a part of your lead nurturing? Let us show you how!

Evaluate and Focus your Lead Nurturing Strategies using Lead Liaison

Evaluate and Focus your Lead Nurturing Strategies using Lead LiaisonHaving a diverse and complete lead nurturing strategy in place is a very important part of any overall marketing automation strategy. We’re excited to share some ideas on how you can focus your lead nurturing strategies. Lead Liaison’s built in lead nurturing tools can be extremely helpful in implementing a successful lead nurturing strategy; however, you need to be sure you are implementing the most complete and effective plan for regularly contacting your leads. Take some time to evaluate your current lead nurturing system by thinking about some of these common mistakes. Make sure you’re up to speed by reading over these best lead nurturing practices.

Common Lead Nurturing Mistakes

There are some very basic mistakes that, even though they are easy to fix, can derail any lead nurturing strategy. The most basic one is ignoring your leads. Focus your lead nurturing strategies by making sure unqualified leads are entered into a lead nurturing program to ensure every potential lead is contacted and engaged. On the other side of this is the issue of spamming leads. Excessive emails and social messaging contact is sure to eventually annoy and deter a lead, driving them to a competitor. Make sure that all the content that makes up your lead nurturing program is well put together and engaging – people notice when content is sloppy or off topic.

Another common mistake is not engaging in split testing your lead nurturing programs. Obviously, you should have different lead nurturing paths for different demographics of leads, but you shouldn’t be afraid to try different things within different groups. Different approaches yield different results, and you’ll quickly be able to see which approach gives you better results.

Best Practices for Lead Nurturing

One great way to focus your lead nurturing strategies is to engage a lead with your lead nurturing program’s content is by educating the customer. Inform the customer how your product can solve their various problems, or simply deliver informative content that is relevant to your business or industry. Add a personal touch, and be careful not to skew all of the information you deliver into a pitch for your product, if content is too biased it can turn a customer off. Do your best to add a personal touch to as much of your content as possible to help your lead nurturing communication connect with a lead.

Remember to integrate all of the various data that Lead Liaison’s marketing automation tools can deliver to your marketing team, and use that data to place the lead into the most effective lead nurturing program. On a higher level, make sure your sales team and your marketing team are communicating with one another and are generally in sync – both departments will be able to interpret different things about different leads and lead behavior.

Learn more about Lead Liaison’s other great marketing automation tools by visiting our website. Check out our marketing automation resource blog to learn more about how marketing automation can streamline your business.

Do You Know Which Leads Are More Likely To Become Customers?

Do you know which leads are  more likely to become customers?Do you know which leads are more likely to become customers? There’s nothing more exciting than a fresh new group of leads, all contacted through a successful marketing strategy and ready to be turned over to an eager sales staff. But as we all know an unfortunately small percentage of those leads, no how well they were acquired, will be ready to buy when they are contacted. So how do you know which leads are likely to become customers, and how do you help your staff contact those leads at the right time? Using a combination of tools available through Lead Liaison’s software and solutions you can help your marketing and sales staff capitalize on every opportunity.

Lead Liaison is able to offer these sorts of results by employing a variety of different approaches to information collection, analysis, and automated marketing solutions to keep leads engaged and accessible for the right moment for your team to make the sale. How does this work? It begins with the analysis of data gleaned from your website and other materials, which feeds into a sophisticated algorithm of lead grading and scoring to tell you’re sales team when a lead can be converted into a customer.

Analytics

One of the basic principles of creating an automated marketing solution for your company is gathering and examining the data that customers bring to your marketing team through their activity on your website and with other materials. Actions like web form conversion, email opens and social media activity inform your marketing team of what is working with customers and helps sales better understand the interest of their leads.

Buy signals are a real-time system of alerts that will communicate with your sales team when a potential lead performs an activity that exhibits a good chance to make a sale, such as a time-sensitive email click through or web form submission.

Lead Grading

Lead grading is a vital technique in helping your marketing team identify ideal buyers. Lead Liaison’s lead grading algorithms take a variety of factors into account, including job title, industry, geography and revenue to determine whether or not they are a good match for your product or service and thus would make a likely sale. These qualifications are fully customizable, letting your team develop the ideal customer for your company.

Using the data compiled by the lead grading algorithms, Lead Liaison’s software scores individual leads, and passes this data on to your sales team. Using the hot lead dashboard, Briefcase, your sales team will have all the information they need to know when a lead is ready to buy and have the information they need to make the sale. Information such as buy signals, overall activity and lead grade is delivered into the engine to create a complete picture of your potential customers.

Lead Liaison’s tools for helping your team know which leads are more likely to be converted to customers don’t end there. Visit our marketing automation blog to learn more about practices such as lead nurturing, which helps you turn cold leads into warm one.

 

Marketing Automation: Why Does Lead Nurturing Make Sense?

Why does lead nurturing make sense?Lead nurturing, the marketing process of developing relationships with leads regardless of their current timing to purchase, is a straightforward concept. But many don’t realize the importance of lead nurturing or how it can help. Let’s look at lead nurturing and how it relates to marketing automation.

Why Lead Nurturing Makes Sense

One of the biggest pros for lead nurturing is the ability to market personalized messages to prospects. These messages can be generic in nature but personalized to an audience that’s only in Lead Stage 1 of marketing automation. These leads have only just entered the market and do not have a current timeline for purchasing.

It’s important if you’re looking into automation not to just send leads cold emails. Your first objective for beginning lead nurturing is to establish permission to stay in contact with the lead. If your audience loses interest in your messages, they’ll unsubscribe from your mailing list or mark emails as spam.

Target Your Leads

Make sure you’re creating content that your visitors want to see. The more you can find out about a lead who’s visited your website, the better. By creating high quality content that is relevant to your leads, you’re increasing the possibility of converting leads to customers significantly. Make sure that when sending out your messages, you’re not overdoing it. Ask yourself: when’s the best time to send messages so you can ensure your prospects will see them? Answer that and then tailor your messages to be sent out at the best possible time.

Another best practice for lead nurturing that might seem like it’s coming from the stone age, is using plain text emails instead of HTML. A few lines of content and a personalized signature go a long way toward establishing an individualized message, which is targeted to your audience. HTML based emails are fine when sending out training tips or when the emails are clearly coming from the marketing department and not the sales department.

When Lead Nurturing Works

Lead nurturing is a powerful way to use marketing automation to stay in touch with prospects. When it works, you’re able to establish purchaser preference while also gaining useful knowledge about your prospects timing. If you’re ready to take the next best step with lead nurturing and marketing automation, contact us today! Lead Liaison staff would love to chat with you about your company’s individual marketing needs.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices and Your Organization

Lead Nurturing Best PracticesIt’s true that lead nurturing best practices are important to establishing good relationships with prospects, though many small businesses don’t really have the time or the resources to think about it. The act of adopting marketing automation into company processes is about giving your organization the ability to start nurturing leads and developing a deeper, more intensive and effective funnel over time. For many businesses, understanding the best ways to nurture leads aren’t a part of this process from the get-go.

When considering how to nurture leads for your business, it’s best to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Here are some ideas on how you can get the type of familiarity that will help you best turn your prospects into completed conversions.

Lead Nurturing Best Practices

At minimum, nurturing leads is about developing a relationship of trust with your customers. Because many modern business relationships start and continue over the internet, the in-person, ‘human touch’ component of interaction and communication is sometimes lost.

To give you a good example, many of us would never buy a car over the internet without test driving it, feeling the steering wheel under our hands and being able to experience being in the car and seeing the exterior first-hand. With recent economic issues these past few years reducing the income of many, customers want to “feel out” your product or service and feel they’re getting the best bang for their buck before making a deeper commitment.

Take a step back and ask yourself how your website, self-presentation and various sales materials stand up to the test of time with regard to how much customers trust you. If your offering was a car, do customers get a good feel for the product and develop trust before making a big commitment?

Making it Personal

The more personality and trustworthiness you put across in your marketing materials, the more it’ll be likely that clients trust you over time. It’s important to give your marketing materials that personal touch – for example, if your business happens to be family owned, this is a great way to tell your clients more about you and establish that trust. Try writing a company blog or recording a video where you showcase members of your staff or a specific team.

Lead nurturing best practices are all about getting to know the client better and putting personalization into practice. Marketing automation can help you track data, and the right marketing automation team can help you figure out what your clients want to see from you before you even start tracking, as well as how to better nurture leads. Find out more by consulting with Lead Liaison’s friendly staff today!

Create Content That Nurtures Your Leads

Create Content That Nurtures Your LeadsUse your inbound marketing strategies beyond lead generation—learn how to create content that nurtures your leads too. Once leads have been generated and placed into the appropriate sales funnel, it’s crucial to qualify leads accordingly and determine as quickly as possible if a lead is not interested in you.

There are several things to keep in mind when determining best practices for nurturing qualified leads. Segmenting your streams of prospects into nurture tracks that meet their needs, ensuring a personal touch on all communications, maintaining a two-way communication channel, and integrating sales teams with marketing teams are all productive steps to nurture leads. Another way to help nurture your leads closer to the buying stage is to provide them with interesting and relevant content. Here are a few ways to integrate this into your lead nurturing system already in place:

Educate your leads

Help them to make a smart buying choice by thoroughly letting them know their options. Provide original market research stats (or find a reliable source) that show them how others in the industry make buying decisions. Be sure not to skew it too much in favor of your brand, though, to assure them it is legitimate data.

Use analytics from marketing automation

Determine how your leads prefer to receive information—via email, blog content, white papers, etc. Your marketing automation software allows you to accurately monitor the activity on your site, record when leads are available to communicate with you, and enable you to nurture targeted segments of leads. With all of this data, you are informed to create content that nurtures your leads and provides what they’re already looking for.

Repurpose content

Get the most out of each piece of content you publish. Create an informative white paper and split it up into sections to publish as individual blog posts. Then create a slide deck out of these different sections, and finally voice over the slide deck to create a video. This provides four separate types of content you can use to nurture your leads. You might find that leads that have been qualified into a particular stream prefer video over white paper, so this makes a more personalized attempt to reach out to them.

In order to create content that nurtures your leads in the most effective way, you need to utilize your marketing automation process to get the best understanding of what it is that your leads want to know. This will give you the best odds in turning leads into customers through nurturing your leads with content marketing. When considering your lead nurturing campaigns, be sure that no lead goes unnoticed and that you contact them when you say you will. Here are five additional tips to make sure you don’t lose your leads before have the opportunity to nurture them.

Drip Marketing 101

Not familiar with drip marketing? Now might be the time to get acquainted. Drip marketing is exactly what you’re probably thinking – it’s a process where you create marketing materials that go out to your customers slowly over time, hopefully converting them to your offering and building a dynamic relationship of trust.

Drip Marketing 101All good drip marketing starts with a concept. Since you are slowly converting customers to your products or services, it’s important to first determine what specific item you want to sell. In most cases, you’re not doing direct marketing – throwing the product in your customers’ faces and hoping they will bite. You are presenting them with a concept that you build up as the right choice to solve their individual problems.

So now that you’ve decided to drip, how do you decide what your concept should be, and where do you start?

Drip Marketing for Newbies

Drip marketing happens via email. Before you do anything else, it’s most important to identify a way that you can collect email addresses from your clients. If you only have email addresses from existing customers, your drip campaign will have to focus on getting further sales or increasing profitability with your current customer base.

We strongly recommend considering how you can collect email addresses for potential clients as well as current ones. You may want to ensure you have a newsletter sign-up on your website. You may consider offering premium content in exchange for an email address.

Nailing Down Your Content

For example, if you are selling camping equipment, you might make your content offering something like, “10 Tips to Make it in the Wild.” You could then start an auto responder on your current email service provider that goes out to your subscribing customers for a certain period of days. Regardless of what your industry is, you should be able to think of something you can offer your customers as premium content.

Many businesses start a drip campaign or auto responder and then never think about their drip marketing again- giving old and new customers the same information over and over again. The best way to approach running a drip marketing campaign is to analyze the results you get from your first campaign, and make adjustments accordingly. Many successful business owners run multiple drip campaigns with premium content going out to segmented users.

Segmenting your users can be tricky – but with Lead Liaison’s marketing automation dashboard, segmenting your audience and setting up your drip marketing campaigns is easier than ever before. To find out more information, contact us and let us connect you with a solution that works for your business!

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.