According to content marketing statistics compiled by HubSpot, 47% of customers view three to five pieces of content before they engage with a sales rep.
In other words, not everyone who comes to your website is ready to buy. Most are just browsing around, figuring out if what they need is something you can provide. But the fact they’re on your site signals there’s a certain degree of interest in what you offer. The challenge is how to turn that interest into a sale.
So what can marketing and sales teams do to push leads and prospects further down the sales funnel?
The short answer: Implement tried-and-tested nurture marketing tactics.
What is nurture marketing?
Nurture marketing is also known as lead nurturing, which automation software Marketo defines as “the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey.”
Pardot, on the other hand, points to lead nurturing campaigns (also known as drip nurturing programs) as a means to “virtually hand-hold leads from the time they begin to show interest through the purchasing decision.”
The focus of a nurture marketing strategy is to understand what prospects need and then supply them the information, data, and answers they’re looking for throughout the buyer’s journey.
Proven nurture marketing tactics you can implement
Below are five nurturing strategies leading marketers
1. Lead scoring
TechTarget.com explains that lead scoring is a process used by marketing and sales departments to rank leads or prospects against a set of behavioral benchmarks to determine their worthiness - meaning, if “they’re appropriate to sell to.”
HubSpot adds that “the resulting score is used to determine which leads should be followed up with directly by a sales rep or which leads need to be nurtured further down the funnel.”
Lead scoring is generally a point system and varies from business to business. The value assigned to each lead is based on the interest they show in a company’s products or services. A simple way of scoring leads is classifying them as “cold,” “warm,” or “hot.”
2. Targeted content
When using content for lead nurture, one thing to never take for granted is customer intent.
- Why are visitors on your website?
- Are they ready to buy?
- Or just looking for information to help them with decision-making?
- Are they a returning visitor?
- Have they downloaded an
ebookor white paper from your site?
- At which stage are they in the sales funnel?
These are things you should know about your visitors - things marketing automation software can help you with - so you can send them content that addresses their questions or pain points, either via blogs or articles on your website, the messages you put out in email newsletters or posts on social media and other channels.
Remember: The ultimate goal of content for lead nurturing is to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time.
3. Personalized emails
Email automation software Campaign Monitor shares some interesting email personalization stats:
- According to Aberdeen, email messages that are personalized improve CTR (click-through rates) by an average 14% and conversions by 10%.
eConsultancyreports that approximately three in four marketers, 74%, believe that targeted personalization boosts customer engagement.
- Personalizing the email subject line increases the likelihood of your emails being opened by 26%.
- According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 58% of all revenues come from segmented and targeted emails.
- One in two companies feels that personalization can increase interaction within
Everyone has unique needs. As such, treating each lead the same way you would treat the next one won’t work.
4. Multichannel nurturing
Modern-day consumers interact with brands across a variety of channels - on social media, via email, or through your website - often using different devices.
Multichannel nurturing is the use of multiple marketing platforms for lead nurturing. These include social media, direct sales outreach, email, website content, and paid targeting, among others.
A multichannel approach to lead nurturing ensures you're communicating with leads and prospects using the communication mediums they prefer.
5. Timely follow-ups
Website leads go cold fast. Research by Salesforce indicates that 80% of B2B buyers expect real-time response and interaction from companies. Fail on that, and you’re throwing sales opportunities out the window.
Inside Sales’ “The Lead Response Management Study” practically says the same thing:
- Your chance of contacting a lead if called within five minutes versus 30 minutes decreases 100 times.
- Your chance of qualifying a lead when called within five minutes versus 30 minutes decreases 21 times.
- Within the first hour, your chances of contacting a lead decrease over 10 times.
- Within the first hour, your chances of qualifying a lead decrease over six times.
Bottom line, when converting leads to customers, timing is everything.
“It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon” is a cliche that applies to sales and marketing. Customers don’t become customers overnight, especially in B2B in Comparison to B2C . When visitors land on your site for the first time, they’re normally still in the “getting to know you” stage of the sales process - unless they already recognize your brand or have transacted with you in the past.
This is why nurture marketing is crucial for online marketing. Hopefully, the above five tactics can get you started in the right direction.