Lead Nurturing is a new marketing concept associated with marketing lead campaigns aiming to prepare prospective customer to make a purchasing decision. Such programs can be run on Marketing Automation systems – like SALESmanago. ‚Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead’ Forrester Research
Possibilities of using Marketing Automation systems to develop a wide variety of informative and educational programs for your customers are virtually unlimited. Below we present the most common simple applications of Lead Nurturing programs:
Automated greetings – Marketing Automation system will send dedicated messages to identified leads following their visit to your website. A well constructed greeting message may instantly identify the area of interest of your prospective customers and equip them with the knowledge about your business or your product range.
Cycles (Drip programs) – the essence of Marketing Automation, understood as creating predefined information sets sent at specified intervals to particular customer groups. You can create fine-tuned cycles to reach individual customers, different cycles designed for small and medium firms and still others for corporate customers. Targeting all these groups with the same message would negatively impact the effectiveness of sales and marketing performance. Approaching prospective customers with cycles and analyzing their reactions will in the next step facilitate lead segmentation and single out the most promising leads to be taken care of by your sales force.
To give you an example: a lead who fills out a contact form declaring interest in a product or service for small and medium firms is automatically classified into a relevant segment of leads covered by the cycle program. The program will send the first message immediately on completing the form, the next one after 3 days and one more a week after. User of marketing automation systems can predefine messages for a particular type of cycle.
Major aims behind Lead Nurturing
Lead Nurturing in its basic form means involving your leads in an automated marketing program targeting them with a series of automated, customized and predefined sales, marketing or informative messages aiming at:
- Maintaining contact with your prospective customer – sounds cliche, yet when there is no contact between you and your potential customers, any sale of your products or services to them will not be possible. If your leads are not interested in maintaining relations with your company, they will most likely unsubscribe or, at least, show disinterest by ignoring your emails or links. This, in turn, may exclude them from the group of prospects identified by Marketing Automation as prospects to be contacted by the sales team.
- Communicating key concepts to prospective customers – Lead Nurturing programs offer you the chance to unobtrusively communicate key facts, comparisons and reviews to your prospective customer. They may orientate your prospects towards the purchasing decision, which will play a key role in the entire sales process.
- Indicating the optimum selling time – by analyzing your lead’s behaviour in response to the Lead Nurturing program you can define trigger points, which are optimum moments for contacting your prospective customers. This could be the overall rating of their engagement in any informative material delivered to them, level of interaction with your web page or explicit interest in specific items from your range of products. The rating determines the prospect’s position in the scoring module of the Marketing Automation system.
Why is Lead Generation no longer sufficient?
Lead Generation is the process of acquiring prospective customers, which is normally accomplished by placing a contact form on your website or, alternatively, via telemarketing or affiliation programs. A problem with Lead Generation is the falling quality of leads, which results in higher costs of sales as traders and sales departments receive prospects who are not properly informed or others, who show zero interest in your service. Hence the need to face new challenges, including:
how to equip your prospects with necessary knowledge so that the sales team can dynamically proceed with the sale of services and progress to more advanced stages of the sales process.
how to eliminate poor leads not interested in your products or services, who have filled out your contact form motivated by other factors (including ‚Fill-in-our-loan-application-and-win-a-car” contests or similar ones) – the increasingly aggressive lead acquisition strategies generate a number of weak leads, who show no real interest in your products or services.
According to 2011 B2B Benchmark Survey, carried out by Marketing Sherpa, one of the top priorities of businesses today is to rationalize lead acquisition costs as well as to stimulate the efficiency of selling activities. One of the common ways to achieve this aim is the use of Lead Nurturing programs from the level of Marketing Automation systems. Such programs facilitate automated education of prospective customers while at the same time classifying prospects into groups of specific selling potential, which enables the sales team to focus in the first place on the strongest leads.
Why should you use Lead Nurturing?
Lead Nurturing programs have numerous advantages and it is important to know the essentials.
While caring about your current customers make sure you attend to those who are not yet ready to purchase.
Save your sales team’s time and effort. Let them contact the strongest leads in the first place.
Give each lead a chance. The fact they haven’t bought any of your products yet does not mean they will not do it in the future.
Learn your lead’s Digital Body Language – the knowledge and understanding of the leads’ behaviour on your website and their responses to your Lead Nurturing campaign matters as much as the proper understanding of your potential customer’s body language during a face-to-face sales visit.
Sales funnels supported by Lead Nurturing achieve up to 27% conversion rate.