Without tested and effective lead nurturing tactics, you are simply throwing darts when it comes to conversions, thus leaving opportunities and money on the table. After you do manage to convert a website visitor into a marketing qualified lead, converting those leads into dollars is rarely as simple enrolling the lead into an automated funnel with a handful of touch points to make a sale.
This article will give you 6 actionable inbound lead nurturing tactics you can implement in HubSpot to help refine your sales ready messaging, increase your lead to conversion rates and streamline your approach to lead nurturing to reduce your sales cycles.
Particularly with inbound marketing, it is about building and nurturing relationships and drawing people through your sales funnel. Nurturing is an excellent term for this process in the context of inbound marketing because you ar actually serving-up persona-driven content across the buyers journey to help your ideal prospects find pertinent content to help move them for instance from the middle of your funnel, down into the bottom of your funnel.
Just like you would nurture a plant or animal with everything it needs to grow and thrive, lead nurturing is about understanding potential customers and offering them precisely what they need at their position in the sales funnel and moment in the buyer journey. Effective lead nurturing campaigns should make use of the best lead nurturing tactics as part of a lead nurturing strategy that is closely linked to the overall digital marketing and inbound plan. When developing a plan to nurture relationships with potential customers, here are some of the most effective lead nurturing tactics.
1. Make a Great First Impression
When a potential customer opens a dialogue with you via newsletter signup, white paper download, free trial, or other first steps, your initial response will set the tone for the remainder of the customer journey. An automated, yet personal response should be sent quickly and should refrain from making a sales pitch.
Your first message should be brief and begin the narrative that will demonstrate value to the potential customer. This is your chance to establish your brand voice and start a relationship. Pay close attention to the smallest details. Even the online confirmation response or download page can speak volumes about a business.
2. Track Leads as They Flow Through the Funnel
Treating all leads the same makes it impossible to customize appropriate nurturing opportunities specific to the customer’s place in the sales funnel. Tracking leads as they progress through the buyer journey not only helps you deliver the right contact at the right time, it also helps you to analyze how well your tactics are working in keeping people moving forward.
As you collect more data, you may be able to notice trends within the funnel and take steps to improve conversion rates from one phase to the next.
3. Track Lead Scores
Not all leads are created equal. Unfortunately, it is tempting to treat them all the same. Lead scoring enables you to rank potential customers on a numerical scale based on information they have submitted, their history of engagement, and other factors. Leads that rank higher can be prioritized to receive extra attention.
It may not be worth it for the sales team to reach out personally to leads that score low and may only be doing initial research. But, for high scoring leads, a phone call may be time well invested.
4. Personalize Emails
There are no longer any excuses to send general emails that don’t include multiple layers of personalization. Most inbound marketers simply slap in a personalization token for the persons name and company name and wonder why heir sales email templates and/or marketing automation templates fail to improve conversion ratios.
We have seen great results with including challenges and the discussions around the associated consequences of not implementing what is being sold, which will address their specific pain points and ultimately solve their business problems. Integrated email automation strategy can customize email content to match a lead’s particular pain points, in their specific deal stage in the sales funnel.
5. Don’t Stop Too Soon
Many workflows for lead nurturing campaigns stop too soon. Step back and look at this as an opportunity run run an experiment to collect conversion data. In the event a lead had opened, but not responded to your first 5 or so emails, there is no harm in sending a few more over 3-8 weeks.
The average total number of touches varies based on factors such as purchase price, industry, and complexity of the product. However, it is not unusual for it to take 10 or more touches from the time a lead enters a sales funnel until they complete a purchase. When it comes to account based marketing for instance, there is a delicate balance between maintaining a relationship with personable, yet automated soft touches and conversely overwhelming a potential customer with redundant follow-up messages.
On average you should expect at least a dozen touches for longer sales cycle, plus their may be 4-7 decisions makers that could easily double your touch points across the buyer’s journey.
6. Use Multiple Channels
If your lead nurturing campaigns are limited to email only, you may be missing out on the potential available through reaching out via multiple channels. Email is an integral part of your strategy, but it can no longer be the only piece.
Look at your open and click rates to see how many people are not even reading your message. Multi-channel lead nurturing tactics combine email contact with social media, paid retargeting, and even direct mail.
Don’t Waste Potential
Qualified B2B Leads are a valuable commodity, not just opportunity to run conversion experiments. As such, all of your lead nurturing tactics must be in support of your lead generation strategies int order to measure your effectiveness at moving the needle with improving your lead to conversion ratios. A well developed digital strategy will keep a pipeline of high-quality leads flowing.
However, the impact of your marketing will be more effective in terms of purchase conversions with well thought out lead nurturing campaigns. Make that first impression count, follow and score your leads as they move through the sales funnel and keep it personal.
Finally, don’t give up too soon. Stay in touch with those higher quality leads and give them relevant reasons to become customers by helping persona-driven content layered across the buyers journey.