What I’ll Learn
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What lead nurturing is and why it’s important
- Audience segmentation
- Sales funnels and drip campaigns
- What conversion rates are and how to start optimizing them
What Is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship and staying engaged with your customers as they move down the marketing funnel. Marketing doesn’t end when someone submits a form on a lead magnet, you have to move them from a lead to a customer. Nurturing leads is critical to your business growth because it can help your prospects and customers decide in your favor when it’s time for them to buy.
According to a study from Invesp, companies that run effective lead nurturing programs generate 50% more warm leads at a lower cost.
There are many ways to nurture leads, such as creating targeted content, following up, educating users on your service, and personalized email campaigns, among many others.
In this article, we will look at the standard leads, how to nurture them, and how to effectively close your deal when those leads turn into sales.
If your website and marketing content are any good, chances are that people interact with them on a daily basis. However, not every person is a potential lead, just like not every lead turns into a customer.
When visitors land on your content, they decide to engage with it or leave depending on how they like what they see. Some people go on to make a purchase, while others just prefer to read and browse.
That is precisely why marketers should understand their audiences and segment them into different categories based on factors that affect their buying abilities. This includes industry, company size, and revenue. This makes it easier to devise marketing strategies that target each segment for maximum impact.
Lead segmentation takes segmentation one step further. It’s important because it helps address your customer’s needs, helping your leads move further down the funnel, bringing them closer to the purchasing decision. You can target each segment with personalized messages that make it easier for them to respond and take the next step.
When your lead becomes interested enough to request a free trial, demo, or a call with a salesperson, it means you now have a “warm lead”. Rest assured that they are almost convinced and ready to buy. One final nudge can make the decision final.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
Marketers use sales funnels to visualize where their leads lie in the buying process. The funnel is wider at the top, which is the initial stage of brand awareness and engagement. Eventually, engaged leads trickle down to the end of the funnel, where they turn into a paid customer.
There are two essential things to keep a note of when visualizing your market funnel:
The Marketing Persona
Marketing personas define customer profiles that enable you to make targeted content for each customer according to their needs. Creating the right kind of content can attract leads faster, driving them quickly down the funnel.
The Funnel Behavior
A funnel behavior can help you track your customer’s footsteps to conversion. You can assess which content is liked by your prospects, how they came across your website, and what offers compelled them to convert.
These steps can help businesses analyze where customers are dropping off and where they are more convinced to purchase.
There are four crucial stages of a funnel:
Awareness: You will have all kinds of prospects in your first stage, so make sure that you educate your leads and tell them why they would need your product or service. Remember, the awareness stage is just the first stage; you don’t want to sound too salesy here.
Engagement: This is the stage where you create personalized campaigns for your customers according to what they would like. Submitting lead forms, social media engagement, commenting, and sharing feedback are all different ways customers actively engage with your brand. If you can get their email, send them educational content about your company and services they might be interested in.
Decision: Once your customers have engaged with you, they’ll decide whether to go forward with you. This is the step where you begin highlighting the benefits of your products and services over your competitors’ in sales calls or drip campaigns. Moreover, you can offer them detailed insights on your pricing options or provide solutions that are customized according to their requirements.
Conversion: If the lead decides to buy from you, they become your customer. If not, they abandon the purchase without moving further down the sales cycle. The customers who are satisfied with your products or services are more likely to keep coming back.
Let’s explore ways to effectively engage your customers.
What Are Drip Campaigns?
You can’t personally make sure your customer has discovered everything there is to know about your product. And that’s precisely where drip emails come in.
Drip campaigns are automated emails that are sent out to customers based on specific timelines and actions. For example, the first email may be sent out as soon as someone signs up for your newsletter, the second email is scheduled to go out three days later, and so on.
Build Drip Campaigns For Each Segment
You can have different drip emails for every stage of your funnel. The first step to creating a successful drip campaign is to define your goals and what exactly do you want to accomplish with it. B2B campaigns usually take longer to get to a purchasing decision. Therefore, it’s important to create a drip campaign that fosters meaningful relationships while highlighting the value of your products or services.
While your leads make their decision, you can keep them engaged with interesting emails that pitches the benefits of your services or other information relevant to your leads. Moreover, while your leads weigh their options and calculate the cost-benefit ratio, you can highlight the value of your pricing plans regardless of the price range.
Leverage the power of sharable infographics, engaging videos and interactive demos to help the leads understand your product. Or you can offer actionable tips and insights that your B2B leads can incorporate to make the most of your product or services.
Build Automation with Your CRM
Another useful way of engaging with different lead segments is to use a Customer Relationship Management platform (or any other sales software) to create a personalized customer profile. Update it with customer information along the buying process and change your marketing and sales strategy according to the evolving data.
Automation in your CRM platform can further help you to create customized emails that you can deliver to the right lead at the right time. In fact, this is a great way to manage your engagement efforts with new and existing customers.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who do what you asked them to do on your website. For example, if your site is for a marketing agency and your primary goal is sales, booking a call with a salesperson would be the conversion criteria, turning them into a warm lead.
You can optimize your conversion rate in various ways:
Using Behavioral Data
This requires a quantitative analysis of the way users interact with your website. Using data analytics and tools, marketers can see the “why” behind a particular behavior and act accordingly. Look at how people move around on your site – where do they start? Do people engage with content you send in your drip campaigns? Where do they drop off? And where do they spend a lot of time?
Sending personalized emails to your leads at each stage of the funnel gives the impression that you are eager to engage with them. Your personalized emails can also contain discount vouchers and exclusive rewards that can further motivate leads to make a purchase. Look for ways to improve open rates and click through rates, like good subject lines, offers, or email copy.
Lead Magnet Engagement
Lead magnets are marketing tools used to collect contact details. These can be in the form of free content, newsletters, or a free trial offer. Look for signs that people are dropping off your lead magnet without converting like low session duration or high drop-off rate.
While some marketers may choose to follow one methodology, others may choose to follow several other sales and marketing strategies to nurture and boost leads.
Hopefully, this guide can help you create a process specifically tailored to your business so you can convert your website visitors into customers.
Take a few minutes to apply what you’ve learned here.
- Think about the lead magnets and content you currently have on your website.
- Make sure that when someone submits a lead form, they’re put into a specific audience or tagged in your CRM to indicate their segment.
- Use an email sequence to send your email list more relevant content based on their audience segment or tag. “Drip” content by sending an email every 2 – 3 days a week or two if possible. Drip campaigns can be as long or as short as you want, so start with one or two emails.
- Go into Google Analytics and select “Audience,” then “Users Flow”. Change the date range to the last 30 days and change the dimension to Landing Page if necessary (this is usually in a green dropdown menu just above the flow chart). Look at something you would consider “middle of the funnel” content.
- How often are visitors converting? Checking traffic from here to a more “bottom of the funnel” page or checking your form submission data can confirm this.
- How many visitors are dropping off from this page?
- How many visitors go to another page, and where are they going? If they aren’t converting, you at least want them engaging with other related content.
- Write these numbers down so you can monitor improvement.
- Set a reminder to check these numbers again 30 days from now, then compare.