A solid pipeline of leads is the lifeblood of many businesses. This is why lead generation is one of the top lines on many B2B marketing budgets. A close second is converting those leads into customers.
In recent years we’ve seen a lot of focus on lead generation, especially within SMEs. This is fantastic but here is the scary fact, 98% of leads don’t result in closed business according to research from SiriusDecisions.
Therefore, while lead generation is certainly important, investing in generating more leads without building an effective lead management process can undo all of your hard work.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects throughout different stages of the buyer’s journey by providing relevant content at each stage.
An effective lead nurturing process will actively move prospects further along each stage to the point where they become a paying customer.
It should be noted, that lead nurturing is not simply blasting your prospects with emails or weekly/monthly newsletters. Nurturing is more purposeful with content being strategically created with a clearly defined goal.
Typically you should be aiming to create content that educates, informs and eventually converts your prospect – depending on where they in the buyer journey.
How to create an effective campaign?
Below we set out the things to consider when creating an effective lead nurturing campaign.
Define your buyer personas
You need to know who you are producing content for. Buyer personas go beyond demographics. They are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. Even if you operate within a particular niche, you will most likely have several different people within a business that could make the decision about buying your product or service.
Creating buyer personas takes time, but once complete they focus and leverage your efforts. You simply cannot have consistently effective nurturing programs without clearly defined personas.
Understand your buyer’s journey
Simply put the buyer journey consists of a three-stage process:
1. Awareness Stage: The buyer realises they have a problem.
2. Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
3. Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.
Different types of content work better at different stages. You need to have an intimate understanding of your buyers so that you can produce content that will move them through the stages.
Segment your list
You’re likely to already have an email list. It’s a good very good idea to segment your list into customers and then tag the remaining prospects according to where they are in the buyer journey. This way you can ensure you’re providing your prospects with relevant content.
Establish clear goals
Before you begin any lead nurturing campaign you need to clearly define goals so you know what success will look like. Without clear objectives of what you are trying to accomplish with your lead nurturing campaigns, you will never know if you’re seeing success are not.
Produce killer content
Emails at the top of the funnel should target the prospects pain point. They should answer the most common questions about the problem that arises during your sales process.
In the middle of the funnel, you should be producing brand-specific content. Rapport building stories are very effective here. It is your opportunity to tell your story and sell your “why”. You can also share case studies or other success stories from people who have gone through the process with your company. The idea is to build trust and credibility.
Bottom of the funnel emails should contain an irresistible offer. By the time the prospect has reached this stage of the funnel, they are qualified, ready to buy and the lead should be passed to your sales team for direct outreach and close.
Introduce marketing automation
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
Marketing automation allows you to create powerful content in advance and send it to your prospect at the right time to move them along the buyer journey allowing you to focus on your business.
Personalisation does not need to be complicated but can be effective if used correctly within email campaigns.
The simplest way to personalise your email content is by name. Using a prospects name in your communication immediately engages them.
Another effective use of personalisation is location. This is particularly useful if your business has more than one location or is operating nationally/internationally.
Test, measure, refine, remeasure.
If you need help with any of the elements mentioned in this article – from implementing marketing automation to creating a lead nurturing strategy for your business – contact Creative Tweed today.