Lead Nurturing: What it Is and How to Excel at It

What-is-lead-nurturing-

Regardless of industry, all businesses know the drill—you can generate all the leads in the world but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t ultimately turn them into customers. In fact, a whopping 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. And the number one cause? Lack of lead nurturing.

But get this—companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-qualified leads at 33% lower cost. That means more potential business for less money, a win-win!

So what is lead nurturing and how can the process be optimized to drive the results you want? Let’s dive in.

What is Lead Nurturing?

What is lead nurturing exactly? Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential customers through every stage of the buyer’s journey. But it’s not as simple as inundating leads with ads and offers—like the name implies, you also need to nurture them and help them “grow” into your customers. How? By uncovering what it is your leads want and need to know and providing them with the answers or relevant information in a timely manner.

In years past, lead nurturing was almost synonymous with email marketing. Now, however, a multi-channel approach is considered to be most effective. Below, we share 3 tips that will have you on your way to exceling at lead nurturing and closing more customers.

Excel at Lead Nurturing with These 3 Tips

Tip #1: Align the Expectations of Your Marketing and Sales Teams.

Our first tip for successful lead nurturing is to ensure that your Marketing and Sales teams are on the same page. The leads these teams market to are very different, and it’s important that both Marketing and Sales agree on and understand the characteristics that make up each type. While marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are those who have shown some level of interest and are deemed by the marketing team to be qualified for nurturing, sales qualified leads (SQLs) are those who have been deemed qualified for turning over to the sales team.

It’s important that a system is put in place to score and qualify incoming leads so that they are put into the appropriate nurturing campaign. Check out this great article from HubSpot to learn more about the data you should be using to set up an effective lead scoring system.

Tip #2: Amp Up Your Emails.

While strictly using email to nurture leads into customers alienates those who may not check their inboxes regularly, sending marketing emails remains an effective strategy. But it’s not enough to craft and send a compelling email outlining your products and services. With so many emails inundating the inboxes of internet users on a daily basis, it takes powerful email design and copy to stand out.

Personalizing your emails is a great way to catch the eye of recipients and drive clicks. Go beyond using users’ first and last names and include such elements as personalized locations and times, as well as business signatures.

Tip #3: Be at the Right Place at the Right Time.

This tip is obviously much more difficult to execute than implied, but there are certain processes you can put in place to ease your workload. Start by developing buyer personas of your ideal target audience. Buyer personas will help you better understand your potential customers’ motivations, behaviors, wants, and needs so you can then create the content that will convert them. Then, take advantage of marketing automation software to automate otherwise tedious processes—for example: distributing a specific lead nurturing email when a potential customer has downloaded an eBook on a relevant topic.

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