Any best practices for lead nurturing

Why High-Quality Lead Nurturing Can Improve the Customer Experience

Why High-Quality Lead Nurturing Can Improve the Customer ExperienceOne of the reasons that marketing automation is so effective at converting leads into customers is high-quality lead nurturing. Every article, blog, ebook, and webpages on a website needs to provide real value to the reader to be considered high-quality lead nurturing content. This higher-caliber of more relevant content will improve the customer experience by educating, inspiring, and engaging them.

Educates & Informs Customers

Leads are visiting various websites in search of answers to their problems. It is rarely in search of a specific item that they want to purchase. Instead, they are looking to fulfill a need. For example, they are not searching for Eucalyptus oil, but they are looking for an all-natural solution to their joint pain. The content in the article should be directed at dealing with joint pain naturally and then subtly mention how applying warm Eucalyptus oil to your sore joints will provide relief. Lead nurturing content can improve the customer experience by educating them on alternative solutions to their problems.

Understands their Needs & Wants

Lead nurturing content will be more effective if it is catered specifically to each person’s wants and needs. By using marketing automation to profile each lead, marketers can group leads with similar interests and behavior together, and then create lead nurturing campaigns to specifically target each segmented group. This will improve the customer experience by giving them the feeling that someone is listening and responding to their needs and wants.

Helps Leads Make Informed Decisions

High-quality lead nurturing is meant to educate a lead, while guiding them towards a specific product or service. The content should help them make a better decision by answering all of their questions or concerns with facts and real-life examples. This will improve the customer buying experience by providing them with all the details they will need to make an informed decision.

Build Trust in a Brand

If lead nurturing content is well-written, informative, and provides the reader with real value, it will help to brand the business or the author as an expert in their respective field. It will demonstrate that the company is knowledgeable and understands what their customers are looking for in a product or service. This will improve the customer experience, by making the buyer feel more confident in the company they have chosen.

High-quality lead nurturing shows customers that someone cares about their needs. It helps them make better decisions and increases their confidence in the brand they choose. Fortunately, it is also not just more beneficial to the customer experience. High-quality lead nurturing will also help increase revenue generation, since quality lead nurturing will result in 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead. Everyone wins with high-quality lead nurturing content. 

Automatically Nurture Leads on Behalf of Sales

Automatically Nurture Leads on Behalf of SalesLead nurturing is the process of advancing leads from suspect status to sales-ready buyers. In the past, lead nurturing was the responsibility of salespeople who received homogenous contact information from the marketing department. There was no process of determining which leads were preparing to buy and which leads were “kicking the tires”.

With our Lead Management Automation™ platform, you can automatically nurture leads on behalf of sales without the man-hours that were typically required using traditional lead nurturing practices. Users can schedule messaging to prospects, create specific digital assets such as email messages, surveys, and landing pages, and move leads to a point where a sales contact can advance the relationship.

Using the Lead Management Automation platform, marketing can develop relationships with prospects without engaging sales agents by:

  • scheduling your marketing campaigns to be delivered sequentially without the need for staff interactions along the way
  • creating and delivering email campaigns with personalized messages
  • distributing surveys for existing customers to uncover up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  • creating customized landing pages that provide specific responses to lead activities such as filling out an online form
  • creating customized web forms that can be added to landing pages to collect information for progressive profiling of engaged leads
  • assigning a lead score calculated by the number of activities a prospect engages in, such as opening an email message or visiting your website
  • nurturing leads through a digital “conversation” by automatically delivering a response email following an activity trigger such as a request for information
  • segmenting prospect lists according to response activities so sales agents can target engagements with leads that have shown interest in specific features or benefits of your products
  • automatically delivering leads that have reached a scoring threshold to an existing CRM program like Salesforce

Our customers find the user interface easy to manage when lead nurturing. Users start by creating a marketing program then adding a campaign for each marketing effort. Once responses occur leads can be targeted for nurturing based upon geographic, demographic, or behavioral criteria. Lead nurturing through our Lead Management Automation platform allows smaller sales and marketing teams to nurture more leads using less man-hours and allows larger sales and marketing departments to become more agile and effective in their lead nurturing practices.

5 Steps to Avoid When You Are Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing StepsThe lead nurturing process is the disciplined process of engagement with prospects through routine messaging in order to develop a relationship that leads to a purchase. Lead nurturing is more than drip marketing; it’s a process of deepening engagement with your prospects. And it can help more of your sales agents meet their quotas.

But there are some pitfalls to avoid in order to make your lead nurturing practices more effective.

Sending a Single Message to Everyone

One size does not fit all in marketing automation. Often this is the first mistake a new marketing automation user makes. Although the delivery process can be homogenized, your messaging should fit specific market segments. For instance, messaging to realtors may include real estate-specific terms like ‘days on market’ while messages sent to finance-related prospects might include ‘return on investment’. Segmenting your database then sending targeted messages improves the likelihood they will get open.

Not Advancing the Relationship

Broad, generalized messages may be somewhat effective in the early stages of the buying cycle but as B2B leads investigate purchase options they crave more meaningful information. Buyers do not regularly purchase after a single review of their solutions. Rarely does a lead purchase in the early engagement phase. Once a lead has advanced beyond the initial review of available options, they are seeking a deeper connection; therefore, messaging should be progressive.

Not Employing Agile Marketing

Lead nurturing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it practice, it is a fluid process based on market response. Marketing automation software, like our Lead Management Automation™ platform, allows both small and large marketers to adjust strategies as they receive information from digital marketing campaigns. Marketing analytics are provided so that marketers can modify messaging, reorganize campaigns, and customize digital marketing tools for quick response to market conditions.

Scheduling Improperly

Leads do not want to hear from you every day. They probably don’t want to hear from you every other day. Fact is , B2B buying takes time in most industries so immediate repetition will likely harm your chances of landing a sale more than help. Though there is no magic formula for setting message scheduling, and scheduling intervals likely vary from industry to industry, the use of marketing automation (with its reporting capabilities) can help determine the optimal delivery schedule for your digital marketing assets.

Using Stale Messaging

This is similar to ‘not advancing the relationship’. Old school marketing would tell you to repeat your message over and over to gain mindspace. That practice no longer works in the consumer-driven marketing world. Leads receive messages dozens of times each day so filtering becomes commonplace. Once a lead has engaged with your brand initially, the next step is to move her along so messaging should change as engagements are increased.

Don’t forget that most prospects are often aware they have been contacted previously. Sending the same message with the expectation that the prior message may have been missed is risky. Your content should be fresh and provide value in order to be effective.

Lead nurturing has been shown to improve close rates in several categories. According to a recent DemandGen report, nurtured leads lead to a 20% increase in sales opportunities across multiple industries. That might be reason enough for you to drive more revenue through our marketing automation process.

Got questions? Call Lead Liaison at 888 895 3237 or info[at]leadliaison.com and we’ll give you answers.

Why Smart Consumers Insist on High Quality Lead Nurturing Content

Why Smart Consumers Insist on High-quality Lead Nurturing ContentConsumers now have all the power. They have the ability to quickly research and choose products from anywhere in the world. The internet has inspired global competition and consumers are fully aware that they do not need to remain loyal strictly to businesses that are located in the same city, state, or even country. They have an abundance of choices online, so businesses need to do more to demonstrate that they are the right choice. Because of these reasons, consumers demand high quality lead nurturing content.

Forget about Strong Sales Pitches

Businesses that want to stay competitive will need to sway these smart consumers using high quality lead nurturing content. Every blog, eBook  or buying guide needs to be helpful and honest. Smart consumers are tired of strong sales pitches and gimmicks that don’t provide them with any real value. If an article sounds like ad copy, it won’t be taken seriously.

Focus on how it Benefits the Consumer

Smart consumers are looking for a business that is willing to go the extra mile to prove they are worthy. They want real life examples of how a product or service has enhanced another person’s life and specific details on how it can improve their own life. High quality lead nurturing content is focused on how a product or service benefits the consumer, not on the product itself.

Claims Made in Content Must Be Verified

Smart consumers are also insisting on demonstration videos that clearly illustrate every claim made on the website. It is not enough just to say that a product or service is better than the rest, savvy consumers want proof. If they don’t find the proof they need on your website, it only takes a minute to search for another provider who can offer them evidence to back up their claims.

Businesses that make the Buying Process Easier

Since smart consumers can easily choose any online provider that impresses them for whatever reason, every detail of the transaction should be convenient and helpful. The website needs to be easily navigated, online purchasing forms should be simple and automated, and there should be instant access to live customer service when requested. There should also be straight forward answers to all of their frequently asked questions readily available online.

High-quality Lead Nurturing Brands a Business as an Expert

Well-written and informative content will establish a business as being an expert in their field. It will help the consumer trust that their hard earned money is being spent in the right place. High quality lead nurturing content will build a solid relationship prior to the consumer making the purchase, which should result in greater trust and loyalty.

Smart consumers would prefer to find one source for all their needs, so they are not constantly shopping and comparing new businesses. If they encounter an easy to use website that is focused on verifiable facts about how a product or service benefits the consumer instead of merely strong sales-pitches, it will build trust and brand loyalty. High quality lead nurturing content is the most essential component for converting today’s smart consumers.

How Lead Nurturing Content Fuels the Marketing Automation Engine

How Lead Nurturing Content Fuels the Marketing Automation EngineAn effective marketing automation program will be able to draw in an endless supply of quality leads. Almost every lead has the potential for conversion, but it takes strategic and informative lead nurturing content to earn their trust and eventually their business.

Most people visit a specific website in search of information. They want to learn more about a product or service to determine whether or not it is something they are truly interested in buying. Static webpages are a start, but they don’t have the same impact as lead nurturing content. Leads have a harder time trusting the material displayed on the website, since it is obviously designed to be boastful promotional ad copy geared at landing new business.

Subtle Sales Tool

Lead nurturing content is more subtle. From the reader’s perspective, it should sound like an educational guide designed to help the lead make an informed decision. It should brand a company as being an expert and offer the potential customers reliable answers to their most commonly asked questions. It should never sound like a sales pitch.

Customized Lead Nurturing Content

It also should be customized to cater to each lead based on their online profile. The marketing automation process starts with generating leads and then defines each lead’s individual potential using a ranking method referred to as lead scoring. The lead scoring process gathers their demographic and behavioral characteristics and creates a profile.

The next aspect of marketing automation is breaking these leads into more manageable segments (groups), so content can be developed for lead’s that share similar needs. Although each lead has a different profile, many will be searching for the same information.

Take for example a business that specializes in acupuncture. Some leads may be looking to treat back pain, others may be interested in trying acupuncture to quit smoking, and some many want to use it to lose weight. Depending on the website pages these leads choose to read (click on), marketers can determine what need they are looking to satisfy with acupuncture.

Answer the Lead’s Needs

Once these leads are grouped based on information that they are currently reviewing, content can be generated that answers their needs. Using the above example, if someone has spent considerable time on webpages that address how acupuncture can help you quit smoking, the marketing automation program can be setup to send them an article on the benefits of quitting smoking.

The article itself does not need to promote how acupuncture can help you quit smoking. A lead will trust the information more if it is solely focused on educating the lead on why they should quit. This shows concern for the lead’s health and ultimately builds trust.

Use Registrations to Gain Information  

A company can also attach featured content to visitor registries to gain further insight into a lead’s demographic characteristics. If a person is truly interested in reading more about why they should quit smoking, they will be willing to fill in their basic information to secure access to the article or tutorial. This information is they added to their profile and used for lead scoring.

Lead nurturing content fuels the marketing automation engine by developing trust as it guides leads through the buying process. It is an opportunity for a business to speak directly to the potential buyer and convince them a product or service is necessary for their well-being. It can be powerful fuel for the marketing automation engine when it is used as a customized, subtle sales tool.

Using Lead Nurturing to Build Trust and Establish Long-Term Clients

Lead Nurturing Builds TrustUse lead nurturing to build trust and establish long-term clients. It’s always interesting to hear business owners talk about how they don’t have time to “court” leads. The purpose of lead nurturing isn’t to create an extra, unnecessary step in your closing process – it’s about making more money and increasing your bottom line.

It’s also about establishing trust. Customers who are more reluctant to part with their money will require lead nurturing but will also come to you further engaged in the trust process. It might not seem like developing a lead nurturing system will save you time in the long run, but you’d be surprised to learn how much more hands-off clients will be when you develop trust before starting work.

Lead Nurturing to Build Trust: The Financial Adviser

To prove this point, we talked with a financial advisory for a major bank who prefers to remain anonymous. He has a robust, multi-step lead nurturing process that takes place before he counts a lead as lost. There’s not room to discuss his funnel in this article, but his process is so tight he actually didn’t want to disclose much of it – or reveal his name.

“It’s not like you’re bugging leads,” the adviser tells us. “When I say 12-step process for lead nurturing I’m not talking about sending them 12 emails, or even making 6 calls and sending 4 emails and 2 mailers. It’s about assessment and lead quality. What do these people need, and what can I give to them?”

He continues, “It’s not just about a solution to their pain, it’s about connecting on a personal level. Sending out cards for birthdays can be a lead nurturing step. Throwing a mixer, inviting a select group of potential clients who would have a great time together or putting on a relevant class is a lead nurturing step.”

So we get it – the lead nurturing process isn’t just about figuring out what to say to get someone to buy from you, or to reach out to them using their preferred method of communication. It’s about what works – not just on a business level, on a personal level that deepens trust and highlights the connection.

Lead Nurturing Systems: The Advertising Agency Owner

To get a second opinion, we talked with an advertising agency owner. While her lead nurturing system requires far fewer steps, she mentions that a longer hiring process tends to lead to a longer working relationship over all. We asked how lead nurturing processes affect client retention level over the long term.

She says, “Building trust is the best thing you can do to keep long term clients. The lead nurturing process is a good way to build trust before you’re even hired. You’re showing you’re reliable because you want this sale – and the longer you invest and the more you nurture, the more of a stake you have in the client’s future. They pick up on this and hold you accountable.”

Lead nurturing systems are as different as the personalities of clients they bring on. By developing a lead nurturing system that addresses your potential client’s particular needs – both on a business and personal level if applicable – you’re giving clients that extra level of service that could get you the sale.

Lead Liaison has a sophisticated lead nurturing suite that will take the legwork out of lead nurturing and tracking for businesses of any size. Try us out today!

How Lead Nurturing Can Optimize the Marketing Funnel

Lead Nurturing Optimize FunnelThe marketing funnel can be a powerful tool for converting leads into sales, but it cannot create meaningful and lasting relationships with new customers without lead nurturing as the backbone of the funnel. Modern customers have more choices and higher expectations.

The marketing funnels main purpose is to capture a lead’s interest by providing them with valuable offers and useful information that inspires them to become customers. Lead nurturing by nature is intended to do just that in a subtle and personalized way. It allows marketers to deliver the right content to the right person on the right channel at the right time in order to optimize the marketing funnel.

Most website visitors are searching for helpful, insightful, or entertaining content that benefits them in some way. The information they choose to read needs to answer their questions, provide them with real value and gently nudge them in the direction of making a purchase. It cannot be an over-hyped sales piece that resembles the numerous advertisements they are subjected to each day.

You can improve your chances of gaining further information on a lead by placing barriers on access to content. If you place lead nurturing content behind a form or registration on a website then marketers can collect the name, email address, contact information and IP address of the visitor who wishes to access their content. This means that the visitor knows they are giving up their anonymity to read the information, which is a significant sign that they are truly interested in the product or service.

Today’s consumer has access to an abundance of information and they are not willing to waste their time on inferior content. If they visit a site, take the time to enter all of their personal information, download a tutorial, and then take the time to read it – it better be worth all of their effort. By providing leads with free educational or thought-provoking content, you are building their trust in your business, product, or service. That is the very purpose of the marketing funnel.

Capturing leads in the marketing funnel is necessary but it must be accompanied with solid and personalized (when possible) lead nurturing content. Every lead has access to hundreds,thousands or even millions of potential sources. Businesses that want to stay competitive need to prove themselves before a sale is made. Always providing leads with reliable and relevant content is how lead nurturing can optimize the marketing funnel.

How Lead Nurturing can help a Business in a Bad Economy

How Lead Nurturing can help a Business in a Bad Economy?When the economy is rough, it becomes increasingly important to nurture your contacts and connections to improve the chances of converting more leads into revenue. Focus has shifted from the top of the marketing funnel, where new leads are added, and it is now more focused on the bottom of the marketing funnel, where quality leads are being converted using effective lead nurturing. This is an effective strategy during a bad economy. In summary, lead nurturing can help a business in a bad economy.

Lead Nurturing Cuts Costs

In these lean economic times, every company should be trying to cut costs anyway that they can. Using lead nurturing has been proven to cut marketing costs significantly and companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% reduction in cost. Being able to bring in additional business at a fraction of the cost is the best strategy any company can have in a tough economy.

Nurture Savvy Consumers

Consumers are also looking to save money without the risk of bad service or future problems, which is why they are spending more time researching their options online. These savvy customers spend a significant amount of time online looking to be educated about their future purchases and that is where lead nurturing becomes essential. Quality content needs to be readily available to help point them in the right direction.

Lead Nurturing Builds Trust

Lead nurturing provides the consumer with free helpful content that gives them a better understanding of a product or service. It is not a promotional piece or a sales pitch, but something that establishes value or expertise. The essence of lead nurturing is to build trust prior to the sale and it is important the message is well received. Consumers are more likely to make multiple purchases with a company that has already earned their trust.

Lead Nurturing Takes Time

Consumers are not rushing to make purchase decisions since they are being more selective with how they spend their money. The first article or blog that is sent to a lead is most likely not enough to persuade them into making a decision. It takes a strategically planned marketing campaign that builds a relationship slowly over time. Once a consumer finds a company that they can rely on, they will be more likely to stick with that company for as long as they need the product or service. The time invested in converting the lead will be worth it for their future loyalty.

A bad economy needs to be taken seriously. Companies that actively look for ways to cut expenses, pursue new business opportunities, and strengthen their reputation are more likely to survive in tough times.  Lead nurturing helps in a bad economy because it reduces marketing costs, increases the conversion rate of qualified leads, and builds lasting relationship with long-term customers and prospects that will be there when the good times come around.

Should You Invest in Lead Nurturing?

Even in today’s competitive B2B environment, there are still some executives wondering if they should invest in lead nurturing. Let’s take a look at why lead nurturing should be incorporated into your lead management strategy.

Research done in 2012 reveals that nurturing leads increases sales opportunities 20% over non-nurtured leads. Another 2012 study shows that an effective lead nurturing strategy can:

  • Increase sales-ready leads by at least 50%
  • Reduce cost per lead by an average of 33%
  • Lower ignored or discarded leads from 80% to as low as 25%
  • Increase sales quota achievement by 9%
  • Reduce “no decisions” by 6%

So operational returns can be improved significantly, but what about financial returns?

Calculating ROI

There are several options when calculating a return on your lead nurturing investment. As an example, let’s use the number of leads converting from a prospect status to sales-ready lead in the sales funnel, with and without nurturing. Using a database of 1,000 existing leads, let’s assume a non-nurtured conversion rate of 5% – or 50 sales-ready leads. Next, estimate a reasonable increase in conversion from lead nurturing activities of 2.5x the existing conversion rate (Industry analysts suggest using an average increase of 2.0-3.0 times non-nurtured leads). Then multiply the non-nurtured conversions (50) by the nurturing conversion rate (2.5), which results in 125. This is an increase of 75 sales-ready leads.

Now, if you’re monthly marketing budget is $10,000, with 10% devoted to lead nurturing, you’ll spend $1,000 for lead nurturing activities. Divide that amount by the total new sales-ready leads (1000/125); this will give you an average cost per lead of $8.

If your average sales amount is $50 per close then your cost per lead is 16% of sales. Not a bad return.

Compare that result to the cost per lead without nurturing. If your budget is $10,000 to convert 50 sales-ready leads, then the cost per lead would be $20.00. By nurturing leads toward a sales engagement, your total cost per lead decreases by 60%!

By incorporating Lead Liaison’s proven lead nurturing strategies, you can boost your marketing results and decrease your cost per lead. Find out how – contact a Lead Liaison representative today!

How B2B Lead Nurturing can Convert Even Seasoned Buyers

How B2B Lead Nurturing can Convert Even Seasoned BuyersSeasoned buyers have higher standards and are typically harder to convert without an effective lead nurturing strategy. It makes you wonder, how B2B lead nurturing can convert even seasoned buyers? The longer someone has been purchasing for a company, the less susceptible they are to sales pitches and traditional closing tools. The only thing that is going to convince them to buy is hard facts and solid proof that it is a worthwhile or cost effective investment. Buyers will ask themselves whether or not your solution will help them make money or save money.

The foundation of B2B lead nurturing is building trusting relationships with potential buyers, so they want to willingly give a company their business out of respect and appreciation. Nurturing leads means creating a lasting connection with a potential buyer using worthwhile content and then allowing them to come to their own conclusion once they are ready to commit. It is not a series of forceful or obvious promotional pieces that are used to rush them into a decision.

Seasoned buyers are the toughest customers which is why B2B lead nurturing has to first brand the business as being an expert in their field. By regularly providing a purchaser with free and useful information, they will experience the benefit of the relationship prior to making a purchase. It will make the lead view the business as a valuable resource instead of a vendor who is only trying to score a new deal.

B2B lead nurturing has to be cleverly disguised as an attempt to inform and educate the buyer rather than as a sales promotion sent to everyone in hopes that someone will bite. Always focus on how a product or service can make their job easier or their business more efficient. Don’t try to directly sell the product or service. The emphasis should be on how it will benefit the purchaser without actually suggesting they buy. It is a delicate balance that takes time to perfect.

A company loses credibility if every article or blog ends with some catchy sales phrase trying to convince the reader to “act now, before it’s too late.” Someone who purchases for a living will find this offensive, since they know the same offer (or a similar enticing offer) will be made whenever they are ready. If B2B lead nurturing is done right, the buyer will decide on their own when they are ready to move forward with a purchase.

Seasoned buyers are not easily persuaded, but that is what makes lead nurturing so effective on them. They are looking for established and helpful companies that are focused on creating mutually beneficial relationships. The foundation of lead nurturing is developing mutually beneficial relationships which is why nurturing leads can convert even the toughest customer.

So, if you are interested in Lead Liaison to help increase your company’s revenue act now, before it’s too late! Just kidding!