Companies that excel in lead nurturing earn 50% more qualified leads at a 33% lower rate. Why? Lead nurturing methods directly impact a prospect’s decision to convert; this makes it exciting but also pretty daunting at the same time. 

How do you consistently create valuable connections with prospects that win results? 

Lead Nurturing—What Does It Take?

Nurturing your leads goes beyond sales calls—it requires multi-channel marketing to bolster your visibility and communication. Specifically, lead nurturing takes:  

  • SEO: Using well-researched keywords and topics to create content that fully aligns with your audience’s pain points throughout the buying process. 
  • Content marketing: Creating valuable content (blog posts, infographics, videos, tutorials, etc.) that cater to each stage in your funnel. 
  • Email marketing: Sending leads personalized and automated emails over a set period of time. These emails should be built with segmentation and lead-scoring models. That way, you can rest easy knowing you’re providing the right experience based on their actions/interests. 
  • Social media marketing: Using both paid and organic social methods (Facebook ads, retargeting, content distribution, etc.) to increase brand awareness, engagement, and sales. 
  • Reputation management: Monitoring online reviews and improving your online reputation to establish credibility and trust. 

8 Ways to Nurture Your Leads through the Funnel

The reality is, people aren’t ready to buy after their initial contact with your business; you need to woo them. 

Though the sales cycle can vary across companies, marketers generally need five or more touchpoints in their lead-nurturing campaigns. So here are eight ways to effectively execute those points and nurture your leads. 

1. Stay Grounded in SEO

SEO leads are eight times more likely to convert into customers than outbound leads. Simply put, SEO helps you gain high-quality leads. Why? 

SEO dives into keyword research—a vital strategy that unveils unique buyer personas and pain points. More importantly, you can see:  

  • How these pain points might change over time, as buying and digital trends shift
  • How they might vary based on what stage in the sales funnel someone is in 

Here are a few good keyword research tools to get you started: 

Once you’ve gathered relevant keywords and topics:  

  • Continuously optimize your site pages in a way that speaks the “same language” as your audience, no matter what stage they’re in.  
  • Produce content that strategically targets prospects, which brings us to our next point.

2. Create Unique Content for Each Stage of the Funnel

Good content targets the right keywords and drives your lead-nurturing efforts. It also educates and simmers down pain points. 

The best of all—it fosters trust. Content gives you the chance to assert your business as a thought leader in the industry. And the more you produce high-quality content, the more you can easily convert leads into sales. 

Pain points and concerns differ across funnel stages (people might be more knowledgeable in a product/service more than others, or they might be looking for something different), so create content that caters to each. 

Awareness

These are people who are new to your business. Using your SEO and keyword research above, you can create: 

  • Blog posts: Blog posts are great opportunities to educate people about best practices. You can also link to other valuable blog posts or site pages your readers can benefit from. A good internal linking strategy will not only benefit SEO, but also the user experience.
  • Infographics: Break down complicated information into a digestible and attractive infographic. 
  • Videos: How-to or explanatory videos are great ways to help people accomplish a goal. Sixty-four percent of people are more likely to make a purchase after viewing a video about a product. 
  • Quizzes: Fun, interactive quizzes are great ways to capture lead information. 

Consideration

  • Webinars: Host events that focus on your products to help close gaps in the customer journey and initiate insightful discussions. Three-fourths of B2B and sales leads believe webinars are the best way to generate high-quality leads. 
  • Case studies: Show your leads real examples of how people and businesses are using your product to address pain points. 
  • FAQ: A simple FAQ page can help people get answers quickly and expedite their decision-making process.

Decision

  • Free trials: Offer access to your products/services for a limited time so they can experience the advantages before purchasing. 
  • Demos: Provide demo videos to help your leads use your products/services to their advantage.
  • Pricing: Share your pricing on a nice infographic that has a clear breakdown of the benefits of each payment option. 

Note: You don’t have to produce new content every time. If you have good content pieces in your archive, repurpose them; this can save your team time. As we mentioned earlier, trends and demands change, so be sure to actively update them accordingly to stay on top of your nurturing efforts.

3. Personalize Your Emails with Marketing Automation

Share and promote your content through email. If done right, email marketing can bring an ROI of 3,800%. The key? Personalization. 

Personalize your emails based on their interests, goals, and where they stand in the buying journey. You can do this by creating automated workflow campaigns. A good marketing automation platform can help you achieve this without stress or sweat.

Here are three key lead-nurturing emails to start trying today: 

Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are a series of pre-written, linear emails that help your leads move towards a conversion or sale. It’s a great nurturing strategy that provides ongoing value by “dripping” useful information over time. Businesses that excel in drip campaigns garner 80% more sales

Drip campaigns use timing and types of leads to send automated emails. For example, if a group of folks in your “consideration” group has been visiting your free trial page for a few weeks but hasn’t signed up yet, a drip email can explain the benefits of registering. You can also send over a handy tutorial video in the next week to show them the ease in the registration process.

Triggered Emails

While drip campaigns focus on users and timing, triggered emails are based on action. For example, if someone downloaded an eBook off of your site, a follow-up email saying thanks with links to other related content assets would be a triggered email. 

Triggered emails are a great way to send out automated welcome/onboarding emails, customer support follow-ups, and bolster your content marketing efforts. 

Nurture Campaigns

Nurture emails are more complex in that they’re based on both action and time. Your contacts receive one email and then the subsequent emails are customized based on their interactions with the first email and/or on your site. 

You can map out different paths in your automation platform with logic like: 

  • “If a user clicks on [specific link], send a follow-up with [a specific piece of content] in three days.” 
  • “If a user searches for [specific product], send a follow-up with [content about that product] in one day.” 

Nurture campaigns are all about educating and enlightening. Lead-nurturing emails have four to 10 times better response rates than stand-alone blast emails.

4. Segment Your Contacts

Creating customized emails is one thing. But how exactly do you organize your contacts without wanting to pull your hair out? Segmentation.

With marketing automation, you can automatically group your contacts based on their buying stage and also characteristics like: 

  • Demographics (do you offer specific products/services that might benefit those of a certain age, gender, etc.?)
  • Interests (if you’re a clothing business, are some customers more interested in blouses than others?)
  • Industry (if you’re a B2B business, do you have contacts from various industries that might need to be organized?)

Segmented campaigns can generate up to a 760% boost in revenue. And it makes sense—the more you narrow down your campaigns, the better you can talk to your leads. Segmented drip emails can generate 18 times more revenue for your business. 

5. Expedite the Sales Process with Lead Scoring

With your marketing automation platform, you can build a lead-scoring model that prioritizes your contacts. The system assigns each lead a score that reflects their potential to make a purchase from your business. 

Assigning people a score might sound a bit cold, but it works—68% of highly effective and efficient marketers specify lead-scoring as a top revenue contributor. This strategy can help your marketing team swiftly identify and hand off highly-qualified leads to your sales team.

You can build out different scoring models based on: 

  • Information from opt-in forms (a lead’s budget, location, industry, etc.)
  • User behavior (what they click on, what they downloaded/signed up for, how many times they visited your site page, etc.)
  • Email engagement (how many times they’ve opened and clicked on the links you’ve shared)
  • Social engagement (how many times have they retweeted or reshared your posts)

6. Improve Your Response Time

Seventy-percent of leads are lost due to poor follow-up. Not to mention, your chances of qualifying a lead are 100 times lower if you wait to connect in 30 minutes versus five minutes. 

The speed at which you respond to incoming leads is crucial, which is another reason why you need a marketing automation platform. You can improve your lead response time with automated and timely messages. 

7. Extend Your Reach with Retargeting

Ninety-seven percent of online users who visit your site for the first time leave without making a purchase. A way to court them back? Retargeting. 

Retargeting is a pay-per-click (PPC) technique that reminds your past visitors of your brand—no matter what site they’re on. It’s a great way to build visibility and reach people who’ve already expressed interest in your products/services. 

Here are a few good retargeting methods: 

Display Retargeting

By coupling your CRM with an ad platform like AdRoll, you can create unique display ads for each stage of the buying journey. You can base this on the specific types of site pages a visitor has viewed. 

For example, if someone has checked out a few of your product pages (at the consideration level), you can run retargeting ads that drive them to relevant offers or testimonials that can move them closer to a conversion. 

Email Retargeting

Email retargeting is a great way to bolster your email campaigns. It involves adding an HTML code into one of your drip campaigns. That way, anyone who opens your emails will see your retargeting ads across the web. 

Social Media Retargeting

With social media tools like Facebook Custom Audiences, you can upload a list of your leads’ email addresses or phone numbers. When they log onto Facebook, the system will display your ads to them. 

8. Keep All Channels Aligned

You don’t want someone to read one thing on your site but then find different information on your social media page. Consistency is important. 

So carve out time to review all of your channels—are there any gaps in your messaging? 

Work with your sales team to discover more insightful ways to make the customer journey aligned on all channels. Since they talk to folks who are ready to buy, they’ll likely know which marketing materials are the most effective and any miscommunication that needs to be solved.  

Nurture Well with Big Leap

At Big Leap, we understand that one size certainly does not fit all. We thrive in getting to know businesses like yours and crafting customized campaigns that win more conversions. 

If you’d like a sounding board for your nurturing strategies, reach out to us. 2021 is all about bouncing back in full force, so let’s get you started on the right foot this year. Feel free to check out our case studies in the meantime to get a glimpse at what we can achieve for you.

Janet Lee