Lead nurturing answers

Your Most Common Lead Nurturing Questions Answered

Marketing

Chances are, you’ve heard of lead nurturing before and you know that it’s important for converting prospects into customers.

You understand the main idea (sorta), but the problem comes when you attempt to develop a lead nurturing strategy for your own business. It doesn’t take long before lead nurturing feels overwhelming. It’s almost like you’re being asked to solve a 1,000-piece puzzle.

How does everything fit? Where do you start? What does the final picture look like? How long will it take?

If you have a ton of questions about lead nurturing, but haven’t been able to find straight-forward answers, you’re in the right place. This is a safe place where no question is too simple. By the end of this post, you should have a healthy grasp of what lead nurturing is and how to implement it into your marketing strategy. Let’s get started.

What is lead nurturing?

The term “lead nurturing” has become a marketing buzzword. It’s one of those phrases that loses meaning the longer you stare at it.

Fortunately, the concept is quite simple. Lead nurturing means educating a prospect with the hopes of eventually getting them to buy from you. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of leads aren’t ready to buy when they first encounter your brand. No matter how amazing your website, no matter how slick your marketing, nine of out of 10 first-time visitors to your website will not buy.

But hope is not lost! The good news is that quite a few of those first-time visitors can become new subscribers to your email list. And, for reasons we’ll discuss a little later on, email is crucial for lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing allows you to slowly but steadily build a relationship with your prospect. You can provide valuable and educational resources that help the prospect learn more about your product so that they can make a well-informed decision.

How do I start nurturing leads?

The first step in nurturing leads is understanding and defining your target customers. You’ll start off by answering the following questions:

  • Who are your customers? (What are the basic demographics of your target customers? What are you customer personas?)
  • What are their pain points? (Why are they seeking out your solution?)
  • What words do they use to describe their pain points? (Hint: They probably don’t use the same industry jargon that’s often used in marketing.)
  • How does your product solve their dilemma? (Focus on the benefits you offer, and don’t just make a list of features.)

After you answer these questions, you should have a basic understanding of who your ideal customer is and what they need.

Now, the fun part begins of creating content that speaks directly to prospective customers. Here’s an example of what you can do:

You already know their pain points; so you can create a webinar on this very topic where you provide actionable solutions. Next, you’ll create a landing page on your website that invites visitors to sign up for your webinar.

LinkedIn landing page

Then, you create a Facebook ad, targeting your ideal customers.

Screen Shot 2017 08 03 at 3.15.57 PM

These are people who you know will benefit the most from your webinar.

They click your ad, are taken to your landing page, sign up for your webinar (and your email list), and get placed in the sales funnel. Now that you have their email address, you send them a steady stream of educational resources that help them become familiar with your brand.

Here are five steps to create your first lead nurturing journey with Autopilot.

How do I personalize my lead nurturing?

To be successful, lead nurturing needs to be as individualized as possible. Every one of your prospects should feel as if they’re having a personal experience with your brand. This is where marketing personalization comes in.

Marketing personalization goes beyond inserting a prospect’s first name into your emails. It’s about:

  • Segmenting your prospects by demographics or persona so that you always deliver relevant content
  • Recognizing and responding to your prospect’s behavior on your website
  • Knowing which emails your prospects open so that you can produce similar emails in the future

chart

The goal of marketing personalization is to connect individually with each prospect. Don’t make prospects feel like just a faceless, nameless number out of the crowd. Use marketing personalization to improve your lead nurture. Learn more about marketing personalization here.

Can I sell while nurturing leads?

Lead nurturing is a delicate balance of educating the prospect and pushing them towards buying. While it’s important that you don’t come across like a rabid salesperson, you don’t have to ignore the pink elephant in the room either. Both you and the prospect know that your goal is to get them to buy. It’s not a secret.

However, your main goal when nurturing leads isn’t to close the deal. Your goal is to provide the prospect with enough information and resources to build trust with the prospect so that they eventually purchase from you.

You’ll see the payoff in the long run. According to Aberdeen, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Additionally, internal testing by Autopilot’s marketing team has found that nurtured leads spend 1.4 times more than baseline ASPs.

What role does email play in lead nurturing?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The money’s in the list”? It’s not just a catchy saying, it’s everything you need to know about email marketing in a nutshell.

No lead nurturing strategy would be complete without email marketing. The two work hand in hand. Together, they allow you to reach your prospects on a consistent basis.

Here’s why email marketing is brilliant:

When a prospect signs up for your emails, they’ve actually given you permission to market to them directly in their inbox. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope that they remember to return to your website. You can actively ask them to when the time is right.

And because you’re a smart and patient brand, you won’t just constantly bombard your subscribers with hard sells. You’ll deliver valuable content to their inbox on the regular, like Ladder

Screen Shot 2017 08 03 at 3.36.49 PM

When the time is right, you’ll promote your product or service with a dedicated email. This is the premise of the lifecycle lead nurturing journey. Or you could include a subtle call to action in each email like Ladder’s “Talk to a strategist” button.

One of the most important things to remember about your email marketing strategy is to be consistent. The Marketing Automation Performance Report found that companies that send communications every 2-4 weeks generate 2x the leads. Your prospects should get accustomed to seeing your email on a regular cadence. Why?

Your emails become an anticipated part of the prospect’s routine. They know that every Wednesday, they’ll receive a valuable email from you. This also builds trust with your brand.

Finally, email allows you to re-engage prospects that have drifted away. You can’t wait for them to come to your website because what if they never remember to come? You have to remind them to come, and you can do that through a series of lead nurturing emails.

When should I start nurturing leads?

I would say yesterday, but that’s kind of cheesy.

The truth is that it’s never too early to start nurturing leads. You can start off quite simply. Invite site visitors to join your email list and then send out emails in a ratio of 3:1 (three educational emails to one promotional email).

The most important thing to do is start right away. We can help you capture and nurture leads.

Over to you

Do you have any lead nurturing questions that we haven’t answered above? Ask away in the comments.

About the author: Jacqueline Kyo Thomas is a writer and content strategist for B2B companies. She’s written for AudienceOps, Canva, USA Today, Elegant Themes, and TutsPlus.

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