Lead nurturing is one of the most important areas of demand and lead generation. According to HubSpot, 74% of companies consider lead nurturing to be their top priority. And a recent report from Forrester tells us that lead nurturing typically generates 50% more qualified leads at 33% less cost. But with so much hanging in the balance, how do you get this process right?
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Here are our dos and don’ts for effective lead nurture, to help you make your campaigns a success every time.
Do: Utilize email nurture workflows
The use of email workflows is fantastic for nurturing leads and they can provide a timely, automated way of communication. This allows businesses to drip feed relevant information to their audience, ultimately generating long-term value exchanges with the people that are most likely to convert.
Not only can email workflows drive traffic to your website, but they can promote your most important pieces of content and help you deliver more value to your readers. From sending tailored offers and exclusive promotions to simply connecting and keeping your brand at front of mind, there are so many ways this can nurture people through the funnel. Email communications also provide your leads with a point of contact for when they are ready to actively get in touch.
To make sure email workflows create the desired effect for your campaign, make sure any links to your site point to the right content. It’s all about aiding the decision-making process, so having the right information available at the right time is key.
Don’t: Sales-call too early
One of the biggest mistakes often seen with lead nurture is taking the leap too quickly from detecting interest to the sales-call. Timing is everything and contacting leads too early in the process can result in broken ties. A lot of customers may prefer to access your content under the radar and get a feeling of your brand and products before committing to a conversation.
This is why the wider demand generation strategy is so valuable to businesses. It’s all about laying the foundation first, and encouraging people to trust you and come to you organically.
To avoid going in too early, always define the point you want to hand things over to sales when developing your lead nurturing program. A scoring system can be very helpful and a lot of automated nurturing systems enable you to score leads based on interactions. It’s also a good idea to use nurturing programs to simply learn more about prospects, giving you actionable data to improve future communications.
Do: Make sure your sales team are aware of your marketing comms
It’s a common problem in many B2B businesses, and very few organizations collaborate effectively. Sales and marketing often operate in silos, leading to confused company messaging, wasted time and resource, and a lack of streamlining.
To build better rapport with leads and customers, sales must be informed of every single interaction and any marketing comms that go out. Even interactions on your website or email workflows such as content downloads or unsubscribes should be shared with the sales team, so they know who is showing interest and who is not.
The same applies for data gathered from sales calls, face-to-face meetings and messages. Documenting all contact and all feedback is important for feeding back into marketing.
Don’t: Assume a simple sales funnel
A simple sales funnel would be the dream, as it means predictability for lead generation and nurture. Realistically, a lot of prospects don’t move through your content in a conventional manner. The problem is that many lead nurturing programs work on the assumption that the sales funnel is linear, with a clear start and end point. But there aren’t always well-defined stages for prospects to move from and into.
This is because, in reality, there are other factors at play. Purchase processes can be delayed, paused or re-started, or there could be budget issues and unresolved problems to deal with internally. Your lead nurturing needs to be respectful of this and have enough flexibility to accommodate a complex sales path.
To deal with the fluctuating needs of your target audience, cookies and intent data can be used to help you form the right messaging at the right time. Email workflows can help you stay connected without being invasive, while smart display campaigns create immersive multi-touchpoint environments to keep your company at front of mind.
Do: Ensure your lead’s data is captured and processed correctly
Making sure you have the right contact details may seem fairly obvious, but bad data is a reoccurring theme for many businesses. From duplicate data and missing holes in contact information to poor entry (such as misspelling and typos), there’s plenty that can trip you up.
With a high percentage of leads not converting, it’s essential that every capture is accurate. It’s not just about capturing the right information either. You also need to ensure that it is processed in the right way before it gets passed onto the sales team. If sales are working from data sheets with missing or wrong information, it can waste time and resource. It can even be detrimental to your campaign if they get someone’s name or job title wrong.
Some data processing is straight-forward but there can be complications when consolidating data from multiple sources. For instance, if you’re capturing data from homepage downloads as well as sign-ups from a specific landing page designed for a campaign, make sure you use the same format and structure.
If you’re using data that was captured some time ago, it’s important to make sure that contacts are up to date. Without the right data, leads can quickly lose their value. If your data capture and processing is airtight, you’ll be on the right track to success with your lead nurture program.
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