Lead nurturing: how can you use this resource to make sales?
Do you know what lead nurturing is? Learn about this strategy that can get you great results in sales.
But relax, all is not lost: a research carried out by Forrester, an American company that specializes in market research, has shown that companies who create a better long-term relationship with their leads make 50% more sales, at a reduced cost of 33% than the ones that don’t.
Relating to your leads until they feel safe to make a purchase is known as lead nurturing, and this is our topic for today’s post!
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing means having an active relationship with potential clients and people who are interested in your products until the users feel safe to make a sale.
The technique consists of sending a series of emails with content that is relatable to the sales funnel stage that the lead is in, aiming to establish your authority in that segment and show that your solution is ideal for the problem your audience is facing.
Do you know that email you get as soon as you register on a website? That is the beginning of the lead nurturing process. It’s like the company is introducing itself and telling you: “Welcome, we’re at your disposal to help you with anything you need.”
The point to this strategy is keeping your lead engaged and when she is ready to make a purchase, she will remember that company that kept in touch. If you don’t believe it, do the following test: do you feel more comfortable buying from a company that sends you valuable content from time to time or the one that fills up your email inbox with sales pitches?
Answering this question honestly is the first step to understanding the role lead nurturing has in your content strategy.
Why can lead nurturing bring results to your Company?
Most people who access our blog are looking for solutions to sell more. And, in this case, it isn’t any different. But before telling you how you can create a killer lead nurturing strategy, here’s an interesting data: according to a research from Hubspot, leads that are stimulated have a sales cycle 23% shorter. This means that they spend almost a quarter of time less to go from the discovery stage to the decision stage, at a lower course.
But why does this happen?
When you “spend time” getting to know your client and the pains she faces every day, it gets easier to personalize your communication and be more assertive on your offer, whichever your business model is.
Another advantage of lead nurturing is that basically any contact you make with your lead is considered a stimulus to move forward on the purchase journey: it can be a welcome email, as we’ve just mentioned, or even a complete one that answers the main questions and handles objections she might have about your product.
As a result of this strategy, you save up your sales pitches because the user is more prepared to make a well-informed purchase. To check out other tips on how to handle your buyer’s objections, we recommend this post.
How to create an efficient lead nurture strategy?
A successful lead nurture strategy is about the following items:
Choice of the tool
One of the principles of lead nurturing is that it’s a process 100% automated. Therefore, before starting a dialogue with your leads, you’ll need to choose the email marketing tool that will do the “hard work” for you, which includes choosing the recipients and sending.
Before you choose from the several tools available in the market, ask yourself these three questions:
- “Is the tool easy to setup and manage?”: Email nurturing is no rocket science, therefore the tool you choose needs to be intuitive and optimized so there are no mistakes when you setup the blasts.
- “Is the software reliable?”: Look for reviews that other users have written about this service.
- “Does the software integrate easily with your website or blog?”: People subscribe to your page and not to your list. That’s why your email marketing tool needs to be completely integrated with your website or blog to import your contacts from there.
First, identify the kind of content your company already has that can be used in this process. Your email doesn’t always need to have an ebook. You can recommend a blog post or even a video you’ve made, as long as it is compatible with the problem that lead is facing.
Avoid sending messages that can lead to the understanding that you are boasting and bragging about your product. Try to send useful information, which is interesting and stimulate the curiosity of the recipient about the topic. If you deliver quality content, in time the user will move forward towards the other stages of the funnel.
Choose the objective of the campaign
Are you trying to reactivate forgotten leads? Increase the quality of your leads? Generate new leads? Choosing the objectives of your campaign is essential to send the right email to the right person.
Who is the persona?
Whichever your objective is, the persona of your campaign will always be different from the one you’ve established for your product. Does it seem confusing? Take it easy, we’ll explain!
When you create a digital product, you map one or more buyer personas to whom you want to direct your communication, right? But as soon as these people subscribe to your page, they must go through a new segmentation, considering that they find themselves in different stages of the funnel.
In these cases, you can segment users from the type of content they downloaded on your website and create a campaign that is specific to the topic they’ve shown more interest in, for example.
Set the content of each stage
Top of the sales funnel
Discovery and knowledge: At this stage, most leads have yet to identify they have a problem. This is the moment to spike the interest of your lead about the topic and keep her engaged. But instead of talking about the characteristics of your product, try to add value to your client’s journey and help her understand her own needs. Trust us, you’ll have plenty of time to talk about yourself later on.
Examples of offers in this stage include: videos, webinars, ebooks, blog posts, and articles.
Awareness: Still in the top of the funnel, awareness is a consequence of the discovery we’ve previously mentioned. At this stage, the lead has already detected a problem, however, she still doesn’t know how to solve it.
Suggested materials for this stage: surveys, fluxograms, infographics, evaluation tools.
Middle of the funnel
Consideration: At the consideration stage, the user has already identified she has a problem and is looking for alternatives the market offers to solve it. This is the ideal moment for you to introduce your product as an option for her.
Examples of content: case studies and free diagnosis.
Bottom of the funnel
Conversion: It’s finally time to show why your company is better than the competition.
Content used to promote engagement at this stage: budgets, tracing a parallel to the competitors, free trial.
When creating your content, remember the statistics we’ve presented at the beginning of the text: 79% of the people who subscribe to your website don’t move further to the next stages. That’s why it’s natural that you put more effort into the top of the funnel, where most of your leads are.
It’s ideal that your content production is 80% to the top of the funnel and 20% distributed between the middle and bottom of the funnel. This happens because users on these last two stages are more qualified to make the purchase and need fewer arguments.
Tips for a good lead nurturing strategy
1. Use a friendly language
Nobody wants to feel they’re talking to a robot, right? Calling people by their names, using a light language, and talk openly about the pains of your persona are a few tips that make your leads more receptive to your email marketing campaigns.
2. Create support content
Before you start your nurture strategy, it’s essential that you have rich material to offer. If you don’t have in-depth content yet, you should consider creating ebooks, videos, and you need to keep your website always updated.
3. Keep a base that is rich with information
By creating a landing page, think of all the questions you need to ask to get to know your leads better and classify them. Then, it’s easier to make a more personalized campaign and, therefore, more powerful too.
4. Add a CTA in your emails
By clicking your call to action, the lead is telling you the subject she would like to know more about, which helps you identify the content that brings more engagement among your base and the strongest arguments to make the sale.
6. Pay attention to the frequency
Still, according to the Hubspot we’ve previously mentioned, 75% of the leads make a purchase from 18 to 24 months after they’ve first met a company. Therefore, you don’t need to rush your lead nurturing strategy, unless it’s connected to a specific goal, such as launching a product.
Usually, it’s advisable sending your clients 2 or 3 emails per week. Sending daily emails or never sending anything aren’t good strategies! These practices can take leads to flag your emails as spam or cancel their subscription to your page altogether.
7. Come up with alluring titles
The subject line is the first thing the lead reads, therefore it needs to be sufficiently intriguing so the recipient will open the email. Make sure to use the most interesting part of your message in the heading and, if possible, use terms that establish an immediate connexion with your product. By doing so the user has no questions if that message is reliable.
Metrics to watch out for on your nurturing strategy
The click-through rate represents the number of people who clicked on a specific link in your message. If you’re trying to sell your product, your click-through rate measures the number of people who clicked on the link and were redirected to your sales page.
Following the click-through rate is essential to determine if the content you’re offering on your campaigns is appropriate for the persona you’ve segmented.
The conversion rate is the percentage of recipients who clicked your link and completed the action you expected from them, which can be downloading a content, buying a product, subscribing to a course, etc. Like click-through rates, conversion rates are useful to identify the quality of your offer.
The unsubscribe rate represents the leads who unsubscribed from your email list. (This is another precaution you should take when sending emails. By law the opt-out link must be visible!)
For an email marketing campaign to be considered a good one, its unsubscribe rate must be less than 1%.
Although the unsubscribe rate is a negative data, it is also an indication that your lead nurturing campaign is reaching its purpose, which is qualifying users to make the purchase and remove the ones who aren’t interested in your company.
Think this way: is it better to keep 20 really interested people in your base or 200 users who never interact? I bet you chose the first option.
Optimization of your campaign
The last stage of a lead nurturing campaign is following the performance of your emails to make sure of what works for your audience and then keep improving it.
In the book “Digital Marketing for Dummies”, professionals at Digital Marketers, an American company specialized in digital marketing, introduced the strategy they use when sending emails to its base:
- First, they select two titles for the email and shoot them to a part of their base;
- An hour later, they send the email with the best open rate, this time varying the body of the email for other recipients;
- At the end of the day, they send the email with the best title and the copy with the highest click-through rate, only they send it to their entire list.
Of course, you don’t need to use such a complex strategy. You just need to monitor your email rates from time to time to identify where you could improve. Some tips of elements that can be improved on your emails are: more assertive copy, design, call to action, sender, the time the email is sent, etc.
It may seem stupid, but did you know that emails that have a female sender have a higher open rate than emails with male senders? This is a small change in your email settings that can prove to have a high impact on your sales ahead.
Starting the conversation over again
If your lead gets all your email but doesn’t move forward to the next stage, you should add her to the list of people who didn’t interact with your campaign. Then, you can concentrate your efforts on people who are really interested in your offer, learn the more persuasive claims, and the content that engaged your users.
Moving forward, the leads who didn’t interact with your campaign should be included on another nurture funnel, until you can activate them in your base. Just be careful when you get in touch with these users, so they don’t opt out your list. Your communication needs to be clear and has the right timing!
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