“Strong customer relationships drive sales, sustainability, and growth.” – Tom Cates
From generating more leads to shifting the focus on nurturing leads, marketing tactics have evolved over the years. The rise in social media usage has shrunk the distance between a consumer and a company. Now, they’re not just making a purchase; customers are interacting with sales executives and following their updates on various social media platforms.
Customers are now more aware of their needs, and they’ll convey it clearly too! With so many competitors in the market, customers have got a lot of options. So, how can you retain the customers?
Now, this is where lead nurturing comes into the picture.
To create an engaging and beneficial space for your customers, it’s imperative to have an intuitive lead nurturing program. Before we step into the lead nurturing topic, let’s first understand what exactly lead nurturing is.
What is lead nurturing and why is it important?
If your aim is to convert more prospects into customers, you need to implement a lead nurturing strategy. Now, your work isn’t done after the deal is closed; you need to nurture the relationship to have a long-lasting relationship.
By providing helpful information, understanding your subscribers’ needs, and putting consistent efforts into engaging will certainly result in long-lasting relationships.
The customer’s perception is your reality. ~ Kate Zabriskie
When you think the way your customer does, you’re already halfway through your process of closing the deal. Put your customer in the spotlight; each one of them and nurture them to gain their loyalty.
With an intuitive lead nurturing campaign, you can understand buyers’ interest when you engage with them and guide them through the sales funnel to turn them into loyal customers.
You’ll be surprised to know that 80% of new leads don’t convert into sales. On the other hand, companies with an effective lead nurturing strategy generate 50% more sales at 33% lower cost! Moreover, nurtured leads experience a 23% shorter sales cycle (source – Market2Lead )
Therefore, if you want to stay on top of your game and build a loyal customer base, it’s crucial to nurture them the right way. So, let’s get an insight into lead nurturing to find out how it can help you build a strong customer relationship.
Lead nurturing through various stages
Though the main focus of lead nurturing is to engage with customers, the endgame is to close every lead that comes your way.
Not all inbound leads will be ready to make a purchase; you need to add lead nurturing to have a double impact on the existing leads. So, when you’re planning a lead nurturing campaign, pay heed to the below stages to have a streamlined process of closing leads.
This step is of utmost importance as this is where your prospect will become aware of your brand. A customer can come across your company website or page through any medium; a blog, advertisement, referral, or a marketing email. Therefore, it’s vital to develop content that reflects your true values.
Customers will only be interested when they find something that could prove beneficial to them. Therefore, build a powerful brand image, know your strength, and use it effectively to attract potential buyers.
Awareness of the brand starts with developing effective content among various platforms. So, here’s your chance to provide meaningful information to your prospects.
Social media takes you one step closer to your prospects. The information and posts you share on various platforms create a higher impact on the viewers. When a prospect is interested in your content, they’re more likely to click on that link and head over to your website or blog. Therefore, it’s vital to create value-driven content.
Now that you’ve made the customer aware of your brand, it’s time to pique their interest. Understand your demographic and provide relevant content that they find useful. When you know what interests your customer, creating content according to that is a piece of cake!
When your viewers and potential customers are relying on you for valuable information, they’ll easily provide their contact information. You can offer free webinars, eBooks, whitepapers, and various other useful content. Thereafter, you can add in your CTAs to quickly convert them into leads.
Your prospect is interested in your content, so what next? Well, this is where the main work comes into play. When your prospect viewed a file or downloaded an eBook, they must’ve shared their information. Now, utilize the information of all your prospects and evaluate which leads you need to prioritize.
To get straight to high-priority leads, you need to implement a lead score. The basic way to implement this is by qualifying leads in terms of Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline. This is a crucial process as it will help you determine which lead is ready to go so you can directly assign it to your sales team.
Your team collaboration will be required at this stage where both the sales and marketing team needs to work on converting the leads into customers. There are various factors you need to consider before you can hear your prospect say these magical words –
From the very first prospecting call, you need to closely track activity of your sales team member. Understand the requirements of your prospect and work out a solution that is beneficial to both parties.
Moreover, you also need to take timely follow-ups, schedule meetings, and provide solutions in order to convert that prospect into a customer.
When a customer gets associated with your company, it becomes your responsibility to nurture them through the process. Provide them with certain tutorials and demos for a seamless onboarding experience.
Welcome your new customer with personalized onboarding emails; make them aware of the customer service you provide so they can reach out to you for any help. Moreover, you can delight your customer by providing some exclusive offers and services to get them started.
How to create a powerful lead nurturing campaign?
Now that you’re acquainted with the main stages of lead nurturing, you need a strategy that will give you an edge over your competitors. A well-developed campaign is bound to generate more traffic to the website and eventually close more business. So, read on to find out ways you can build an impactful campaign.
Offer value and build trust
As soon as your prospect lands on your website, they must come across content that adds value. When you’re guiding the prospects through the sales funnel, you must nurture them first with valuable content. When the prospect is able to rely on the information you provide, then only they’ll consider purchasing from you.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis
You can experiment and analyze the content you are sharing to check which one brings more customers. Utilize the content that drives more traffic to nurture the prospects and improve the possibility of converting them into long-term loyal customers.
Lead segmentation to reach the right prospects
Let’s be honest; you can’t send the same email to all your customers. Every company has customers from different industries and possess distinctive interests. Therefore, it’s critical to segment your leads according to the demographic and interests so you can reach the right prospect with your personalized emails.
Moreover, with lead segmentation, you can also get insights into what works and what doesn’t work for your customers. Is there anything that your competitor is doing to attract the leads? Well, compare, analyze, and find out where you can improve!
With lead segmentation, you provide relevant information to your customers. Now, you don’t have to wonder whether you’re going the right way or not; segment your leads and create content accordingly.
Email marketing is the most effective tool for lead nurturing
Emails are here to stay. It doesn’t matter how much the reach of social media has scaled; the email will always remain a versatile tool for marketing businesses. And the majority of lead nurturing campaigns go through email as it offers a personalized reach and a better way of communication with customers.
In fact, lead nurturing emails get 4-10 more responses than standalone email blasts.
Smart use of email features can help you in closing more leads. Connect email with intuitive automation software, and you’ve got yourself the best email marketing strategy!
With smart automation, you can get notifications when your prospect opens the email and clicks on any given link. This helps you to create a planned follow-up for your prospect. Moreover, email tracking enables you to measure the trend and send personalized emails to nurture the relationships. Therefore, it’s vital to have a smart email marketing strategy to nurture your customers.
Personalized content to engage customers in a better way
Well, you can’t read your customers’ minds, but you can surely understand their behavior. You know how you mention a certain product anywhere on the web and next thing you know, you’ll get similar recommendations everywhere?
Now, use the same trick with your customer to leave them spellbound by the accuracy of your email as per their requirement.
Personalize the content of the marketing emails you send out, try different CTAs, and figure out which one works best with your prospect.
Implement multi-channel lead nurturing tactics
We are well aware of how effective email marketing is, so how about experimenting with various other channels as well? Most companies restrict their marketing campaigns to emails, so take that leap and explore other options as well.
Inculcate social media, marketing automation, direct sales, and paid retargeting in your lead nurturing strategy. Create a collaborative space with the team inbox to go beyond the traditional approach and use multi-channel tactics.
Analyze and optimize
You need to utilize the existing information and optimize it at every stage of nurturing. We all need to adjust to the market change, so you must analyze your content time and again. If it’s outdated, you need to optimize it to reach more audiences.
Optimized content is sure to derive better results and also provide value to your customers. Therefore, stay updated with the changes and statistics so you can utilize them in your content.
Delight your customers and gain loyalty
“It is no longer enough to satisfy your customers. You must delight them.” – Philip Kotler
A satisfied customer will stay loyal to your company, but a delighted customer will become your brand advocate. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, so in order to keep your customers delighted, you need to consistently engage with them via frequent emails, CTAs, offering exclusive deals, and keep providing valuable content.
A personalized outreach will leave a greater impact on the customer, so always ensure you go the extra mile so you can improve customer retention.
Lead nurturing is not just for gaining customers; it’s much more than that. You are building a special relationship with your customers through the process of lead nurturing.
Don’t get distracted by targets and goals of more lead generation; instead, focus on providing value-driven information that your customers can relate with. Think like a customer; understand their problems, goals, and needs and then provide a meaningful solution.
We know it’s a slow process, but the result is certainly worth it. You don’t have to worry about deals slipping through your fingers anymore. Lead nurturing is one of the best practices in marketing, and we’re sure it’ll help you as well. This way, you’re closing more business as well as building a brand that people can rely on for useful information. So, delight the customers, and they will speak for you!