The concept of lead nurturing has been kicking around for a while. It’s an incredible, low-cost strategy for engaging and converting customers, but only when it’s done right. If you’re new to lead nurturing, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in the below article to help you get started.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the automated process of sending relevant and tailored content to your prospects at every stage of the customer journey with the intention of cultivating and converting leads. Lead nurturing uses tools and technology to source and engage unqualified leads. It applies marketing automation to send highly targeted and personalised content to customers, based on their online behaviour and engagement. Ultimately, automation enables you to mimic the prospective client’s journey, send targeted content to them and then measure their engagement with your content in order to choose how to best nurture them. This allows businesses to deliver meaningful content at every stage of the journey, builds trust, increases sales conversions and frees sales teams to focus on later-stage prospects that are more likely to make a purchase.
Let’s use a Facebook digital marketing campaign as a practical example. The cost per lead (CPL) for Facebook campaigns is typically lower than Google, but leads are also much less progressed in their sales journey. This is because Facebook targets leads based on their interests and demographics, as opposed to search advertising which targets based on a lead’s intentions.
Lead nurturing can be used in this instance to ensure you stay at the customers’ front of mind as they move through the sales journey, without requiring your sales team to engage with a bunch of uninterested customers.
You may think of lead nurturing as email marketing, but it’s evolved beyond that. Lead nurturing now extends to SMS, digital advertising and offers. In fact, all of these channels are now considered table stakes when it comes to lead nurturing practices.
Benefits of lead nurturing
There are multiple benefits of implementing lead nurturing and automation to your sales and marketing practices. Below are some of the top reasons why you should consider lead nurturing:
- Automate repetitive and low-value tasks to reduce the total cost of acquisition and cost per lead
- Deliver a consistent experience by defining the information that is critical to share with leads and using technology to guide prospects through the same experience
- Measure results and track and test conversions and engagement rates at every stage of the customer journey, while continuing to refine your approach based on outcomes
- Speed up the sales cycles by eliminating the need for direct engagement from the sales team until late in the process
- Support conversion from unqualified leads by delivering targeted content tailored to each stage of the journey and the customer behaviour
- Develop and strengthen relationships with customers throughout the sales journey
Who should use lead nurturing?
Any company can benefit from lead nurturing, but the approach needs to be tailored to each industry’s unique customer journey. This means understanding where your customers come from and what actions they take in the lead up to making a purchase. It’s also important to identify the optimal timing in the customer journey to introduce lead nurturing. If you use nurturing too early, customers might choose to tune you out; but if you use it too late, you risk missing your window to convert a lead.
Before you implement lead nurturing, you must ensure that your customer journey is mapped and also that your sales processes are defined and documented. These two steps are critical to the success of your lead nurturing program as they will allow you to personalise your content to be relevant to your customers’ specific journey and to reflect your sales processes to achieve consensus between sales and marketing teams.
Contact us for more information on kickstarting your lead nurturing journey.
Our next article in this two-part series shares an eight-step guide to help you create your own lead nurturing campaign.