Lead Nurturing

ServicesImageThe average marketing campaign now requires 28 touches before a customer takes action.

Couple this with prospects not talking to sales until much later in the buying process. The process of building “tension” through conversations when a customer is not yet ready to speak with your sales staff, until the final handoff of high interest and a sales accepted lead. This is also known as priming the funnel. By building campaign triggers that automatically execute based on prospect’s behavior and demographic characteristics, lead nurturing can dramatically improve your pipeline velocity and surface leads that would otherwise be in the no-decision category.

 

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead Nurturing is a stage in Marketing Automation focused primarily on the time between initial lead contact and conversion of the lead into a sale. It is a process of building a relationship with a prospect regardless of their timing to buy. The eventual goal is to earn their business when they are ready.

In general, it is used as a Business to Business (B2B) tactic that allows for conversion between a company and its prospect during the buying process. Lead Nurturing is primarily accomplished through email communication, but email is simply one form of communication between the buyer and seller.

 

What are the Different Types of Lead Nurturing?

Incoming Lead Processing Campaign:

An Incoming Lead Processing Campaign is a first impression campaign. It is what you do and how you act when you first come in contact with the prospect and how they will perceive you from there on out.

Educational Campaign:

An educational campaign can be used throughout the buying process to increase your prospects movement through the demand funnel. By informing them about the market and educating them about the challenges and benefits of the services and products that they are interested in, you can improve and develop your relationship with the prospect.

Stay in Touch Campaigns:

Stay in Touch Campaigns gives the marketing department to communicate with those prospects that are not yet ready to be in communication with sales. It is essential to your nurture campaign and by slowly providing content and relevant resources to the prospects; you can help build the trust and credibility of your company and brand. By “Staying In Touch, “you can keep your brand on the prospects mind during the buying process so when he or she is ready, the prospect can be put in contact with sales.

Accelerator Campaigns:

Accelerator Campaigns are designed to move prospects through the buying process faster by nudging them along at the correct times. These are generally triggered by certain buying behaviors or updates. By observing prospects requests, where and how often they go to your website, the marketing teams can change the campaign accordingly pushing them toward a conversation with sales and putting less effort on the less interested prospects.

Lead Lifecycle Campaign:

Lifecycle campaigns are designed so that no lead is lost or stagnant. In general, no lead should ever get “stuck” in a section of the buying process where they wait for the next communication to happen. These campaigns ensure that prospects move and interact with the marketing teams whether they are ready to buy or not. It’s important to recycle leads from time to time, where they are either automatically set back on a campaign when stagnant or manually moved by sales.

Cross Sell Campaign:

Sometimes when a prospect goes stagnant, it can be useful to offer them alternative products or services to put them on a new campaign. This can be a form of recycling the prospect and ensure they do not sit still in the buying process.

Upsell Campaign:

Another technique employed during the nurture phase can be to upsell the prospect. By offering them a more expensive and extensive option to their product or service, the company help drive greater revenues and profits. This is another method of recycling to the prospect and ensuring they are being nurtured as part of a lifecycle campaign.

 

Why is Lead Nurturing Important?

Most of the individuals that land on your site are looking for content, but nearly 75% will eventually buy some product or service in the market you are selling in. White Papers, Webinars, Case Studies, and Analytical Reports are all effective means of bringing people to your website early in the business cycle. Although, these prospects are not sales ready and often choose to avoid talking to sales until they are in the final stages of the buying process. It is important for marketing and sales to collaborate in each stage of the buying process so the customer has the best possible information for his or her current situation.

It often takes multiple communication touches with a lead before they are really ready to have conversation with a sales rep. Because of this, the role and importance of marketers in the buying process has increased dramatically. And a key piece in the marketers tool-kit to engage with prospects until (and after) they are ready to talk to sales is Lead Nurturing.

By building campaigns that automatically execute based on prospect’s behavior and demographic characteristics, lead nurturing can dramatically improve your pipeline velocity and surface leads that would otherwise be in the no-decision category.

Lead Nurturing accomplishes:

  • Lowering your cost per lead (CPL)
  • Create consistent, constant, and relevant communication with potential customers throughout the various buying stages
  • Created Drip campaigns – multi-step marketing programs that build relationships with qualified leads over time
  • The advantage of A/B testing to see what is working
  • Trigger targeted messages to leads based on specific behaviors or profile updates

Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation today are critical pieces of the revenue puzzle for organizations, both large and small. Robust systems need to be in place that allows for lead nurturing programs to work effectively. This is critical for sales teams to hit their quotas as well as for marketing to demonstrate success with their Demand Generation efforts. But according to Marketo, one of the Marketing Automation leaders, less than 2% of all B2B demand generation marketing professionals use Marketing Automation.

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