Visitors that stop by your website may be ready to buy or may simply be looking for more information about your product or service. It is up to you to build a relationship with these prospects until they are ready to buy. Engaging, educating and building a relationship with the prospect through offering unique and compelling content is referred to as lead nurturing.
The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to convert prospects who are not ready to buy to paying customers, and those buying to repeat customers.
A lead nurturing system has the following core inputs:
a) Lead Nurturing Sources. These are the avenues through which prospects are getting to your offer. You can generate leads from offline and online sources.
b) Lead Nurturing Program. This includes everything you do to engage with your prospects, right from when they come across your brand all the way until after they purchase.
c) Conversion. This involves lead follow-up, defining your sales opportunities and refining lead scoring to improve your business’ sales or goals.
When visitors stop by your website, you now how the opportunity to start lead nurturing. The biggest challenge is crafting a marketing system that will lead to improved conversions or sales.
The 7 Pillars of Lead Nurturing Strategy Success are as follows:
1) Target Audience
Your content and message should be targeted to the person who will benefit from your product. You can segment your audience in terms of job title, company size, industry, role and readiness to buy. Identifying your prospects will give you a clear pathway on how to prioritize them for lead scoring and segmentation.
2) Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is all about understanding the online and offline behavior of your target audience, taking that behavior and ranking how likely they are to convert based on what you know. Is this the 5th time the visitor has been to your site? Have they downloaded a middle of the funnel offer? Have they been spending a lot of time on your pricing page? Proper lead scoring in a lead nurturing program can help you optimize your process and leads to improve conversions.
3) Content Strategy
Content is the value proposition you have for your prospects. Determine whether you will be offering whitepapers, webinars or other types of content to educate and engage the audience. The key here is to send relevant messages at a time that will inspire trust, drive action, and build loyalty. Your content strategy should be aligned with your buyer personas and stage within the lead nurturing process.
4) List Segmentation
List segmentation is crucial especially when you have different offers and different visitors at different stages of the lead nurturing program. Subscribers can be segmented based on the interests, age, sex and so on. There is no one size fits all approach when managing lists. Segmentation helps to improve conversions which are a good measure of how well your lead nurturing program is working.
5) Website & Landing Page Optimization
Your websites and landing pages are crucial to getting leads into your funnel. It will only take an online visitor 3-6 seconds to decide whether your website or landing page is speaking directly to them. You want to get the trust of your visitors the first time they stop by your website. Therefore, make sure you have the design in a good place before you start driving traffic and then optimize, optimize, optimize.
6) Marketing Automation
For your lead nurturing strategy to be successful, you need some automation tools to make your work easier and more systematic. For example, you need a good auto responder to send a series of marketing emails to your prospects. As your campaign expands, you may need to automate your social media content too. If you can integrate this process into your CRM and alert a sales person when leads perform defined actions, even better!
7) Tracking Results
Every lead nurturing strategy should be crafted with a goal or target in mind. Are you looking to increase leads, conversions, brand awareness or other aspect of your company? As you implement your strategy, periodically track the results by measuring metrics such as number of new subscribers, new social media followers, and so on. Wed yourself and your agency to your marketing analytics and allow the data to drive your decisions.
While creating a lead nurturing program may seem like a daunting task, following these 7 pillars for lead nurturing success will help you navigate your way through it. Each lead nurturing program is different, but many best practices like these weave their ways through each successful implementation.