What is lead nurturing?
Definition of lead nurturing
To understand the concept of lead nurturing, you cannot miss the 4 stages of inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is; Attract, Convert, Conclude and Retain :
thanks to the creation of quality content, you will be able to attract visitors. This content must meet their needs in order to be effective.
by helping you with call-to-action, landing pages, or any other elements that would lead to premium content and which would convert your visitors into qualified leads. You will be able to capture certain information such as name, email address, telephone number, etc.
finally, you have a wealth of information on your qualified leads. The question is: how do you get them to buy? This is where the lead nurturing campaigns comes in!
The goal of lead nurturing is to push a prospect to move forward in your marketing funnel. This strategy allows you to create a relationship with your prospects so that they become customers and then ambassadors of your company.
To do this, you must feed your prospects with tailor-made content to maintain or strengthen your relationship, and thus convert them into customers. You can use personalized emails, which will invite your prospects to discover premium content (example: white paper) adapted to their profiles according to their needs, reactions, degree of maturity, etc.
Lead nurturing strategies have two main goals: to advance a prospect in a marketing funnel and to acquire information about them. This will allow you to individualize each of your relationships with your prospects. There are also several things to consider:
your objectives :
It is essential to define your objectives upstream. Otherwise, you won't know if your strategy worked or what needs to be improved.
your personas :
These fictitious representations of your customers will allow you to offer the appropriate content according to the profile.
their degree of maturity :
Each stage corresponds to a degree of maturity; formalization of the need, evaluation of solutions, and choice between these different solutions.
The benefits of lead nurturing
Lead nurturing allows you not to be passive in your marketing strategy with “lukewarm” prospects. You will be able to help your visitors to progress in solving their problem and thus:
- Generate more qualified leads : Passing qualified leads on to the sales and marketing team increases the company's chances of closing a sale with thesenurtured leads.
But what is a qualified lead you ask? A qualified lead is a lead that has expressed interest in your company and/or product, is ready to buy now or within a defined timeframe.
Lead nurturing will allow you to verify these elements. If your lead isn't ready yet, keep them warm until you can engage with them.
- managing your database : Lead nurturing allows you to set up a conversion strategy. So you'll be assisting them in the marketing funnel until they're ready for a commercial launch.
As your relationships evolve, you will enrich your database. To help you better assess how mature your leads are, you can give them a score based on their interaction. This is the lead scoring system. It will also help you better predict your sales over the coming months.
Example of lead scoring:
When the lead has carried out an action that you have defined or is mature enough, you can transmit it to the sales representatives, with all the information necessary for the smooth running of the sales process.
- reducing your customer acquisition cost : this is the average amount spent to generate a customer. Nurturing leads will be able to help you increase your sales, thanks to better-qualified leads.By amortizing the costs of lead creation and reducing marketing funnel losses, you can also lower your marketing and sales expenses. Do not hesitate to use a marketing automation tool to increase the effectiveness of your lead nurturing efforts.
Staying active on these points will lead to more sales. Indeed, on average 50% of prospects are not ready to make a purchase (source: Marketo).
Challenges of a Lead Nurturing Strategy
The key to a good lead nurturing strategy lies in finding a balance between providing enough content for a lead to progress but without appearing invasive. To help you develop your lead nurturing program, you will therefore need:
- Webmecanik : Webmecanik is a very efficient marketing automation toolbased on Mautic's OpenSource solution. In addition to being a 100% made-in-France tool (in terms of hosting and development), it is also very complete with customizable campaigns and very easy to connect with any type of CRM and CMS thanks to these numerous partnerships.
- Hubspot : Hubspot is an inbound marketing giant, if not to say that he invented it. It offers three main features; complete CRM software, marketing automation software, and sales software (CMS and customer support). However, it is still rather costly and its software isn't always the greatest when used individually.
- Plezi : Plezi is another French alternative to Webmecanik, with one difference: its servers and hosting are foreign (i.e. Google cloud). It is also a less complete solution but its interface is very sophisticated for the management of your landing page. We also enjoy the idea of being able to set up lead nurturing situations simply and quickly.
Lead nurturing cannot work without a content strategy , because it is your content, which you have created, that will nourish your prospects.
In other words, lead nurturing is the instrument you need to use to increase your sales, and the content is the symphony you have written. It is necessary to “ educate ” your prospects.
The content you offer should vary depending on how mature your prospects are. We must distinguish 3 steps that will help you in the distribution of your content:
- Discovery phase : you must offer rather generic content.
- Evaluation phase : you need to offer more in-depth content.
- Decision phase : you have to convince with your content.
In addition, your content will help your leads to build an opinion on your company and to push them to communicate with you.
Here is an example of content for your lead nurturing strategy:
- a welcome email, with a link to a blog post
- a call-to-action inserted in an email to download a lead magnet
- an email to register for a webinar
Be careful because timing is very important.
How to set up a lead nurturing strategy?
First and foremost, you need to establish the goals of your lead nurturing campaign. If you don't know what your goals are, you will not be able to assess the effectiveness of your process and therefore you will not be able to improve it. You can use the SMART method .
Your marketing and sales goals should also be aligned. Indeed, for you to have an effective lead nurturing, you will have to work on a collaboration between marketers and sales people.
Marketers generally (and in short) aim to increase traffic and also to increase the number of leads and MQLs to give to sales reps. Salespeople want to increase the conversion rate from MQL to SQL as well as the number of new customers. Conclusion, one will not go without the other.
Contact management and segmentation
You have collected data on your leads (example: contact details via call-to-action), you will now have to organize the management of your contacts (or lead management ) in order to set up your lead nurture campaigns.
To do this setup, you need to know who you are talking to. What are the profiles you want to push in your marketing funnel? To help you in this process, you can use the persona method.
If your persona is poorly defined , the content you deliver to it may become less effective. Otherwise, your personas will progress in your conversion tunnel and mature until they are ready for the prospecting phase.
Also, you need to segment your prospects according to their position in the 'buyer's journey'. Once again, use lead scoring to assess the progress of your leads. This score, based on multiple interactions such as visiting your website or reading a blog post, will allow you to segment and send your content at the right time and to the right lead. The objective is to transform him into a customer.
Analyze the customer journey
To make your lead nurturing strategy even more effective, you need to be able to analyze the journey of your visitors. This will allow you to observe their behavior during the different phases of the process and to know where and when to offer what types of content.
Here again, use the lead scoring method to gauge the degree of qualification of your leads. As a reminder, lead scoring helps you assign a score to your leads. Depending on the interactions they have with your business, they will earn points and trigger different scenarios depending on their rating. It's up to you to set up your own pointing system .
Once your personas have been defined and after analyzing the customer journey, it's time to plan your lead nurturing campaign!
When we talk about lead nurturing strategy, we immediately think of sending e-mailing. It is indeed the easiest, the most efficient, and the cheapest method. You must therefore plan the sending of your messages, their quantity and how frequent you will be sending them.
Other solutions exist: SMS or messages via social networks. But they often require adapting and using other tools.
Then, you absolutely have to help yourself with marketing automation. Indeed, to send your messages, nothing like marketing automation software like Webmecanik to make your life easier! The advantage is that it is multi-channel (e-mail, sms, notification center, etc.). It also makes it possible to precisely define rules so as not to over-solicit a contact who would enter several conversion tunnels.
Finally, you will have to adapt your campaigns to your sales cycle : for a short cycle, with relatively quick decision-making, you will have to reduce the time between your sendings. For a long cycle , you can establish a much longer schedule.
Avoid being too invasive . Limit your mailings to a certain number (example: 2 emails with a blog article then a webinar and finally a customer case). And remember that what may interest a lead may not necessarily interest another lead. Closing a sale takes time, so be patient.
Measure and optimize
Last step but not the least: measure your results and optimize your campaign if necessary.
The results will depend on the objective of your campaign. I advise you to test different content , vary your time between sending emails and change the form of the latter in order to see what works best.
To gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns, you must select the right KPIs according to your initial objectives. Do you want to improve your conversion rate? You can look at the number of unique visitors that come to your website, for example. Above all, check them regularly!
And always keep in mind that your main goal is to CONVERT your hot leads into customers, and then to retain them as ambassadors for your business. Measuring and optimizing your lead nurturing campaign will help you improve and personalize your relationships with your leads.
As noted earlier, lead nurturing is often associated with e-mailing. And because we are nice, here is an infographic that will help you write your emails well and thus optimize your lead nurturing campaign!
Example of lead nurturing
Now that we have covered the notion of Lead Nurturing at length, wide and across, we thought that an example would not be too many to guide you on the subject. And as we are working today on creating a training course to help freelancers, why not use this theme to do it!
Here is how we could proceed to set up our lead nurturing campaign around this training:
Creation of content around this theme
- Create blog posts on getting started as a freelancer, the pitfalls to avoid, and the best way to build your offer.
- Offer a downloadable template related to the subjects of these articles in exchange for contact details.
Promote the article and the associated template
- Send emails to freelancers in our database (<3 thank you all for reading us so diligently) and insert a call-to-action to the article.
- Deliver the article template on Twitter and Linkedin by relying on the freelancers who gave us the idea (thank you, you know who you are)
Prepare three emailing scenarios
- For leads already registered who have read the article and / or downloaded the associated template, it will be necessary to send an email to communicate about the training.
- For prospects who have read the article, prepare to send an email to deliver the template. Plan a second email, a few days later, to promote the training.
- For prospects who have downloaded the template linked to the article via Twitter, prepare an email that redirects to the article (call-to-action). Then a second, some time later, which promotes training.
Call back prospects who seem interested
Finally, to improve our approach and understand what is lacking in our offer, we will have to recontact the freelancers who interacted but didn't invest in the training. We have to identify why they didn't push through the act of purchase.
Thanks to this very simplified nurturing loop, we ensure:
- Let our target know that we created an offer just for them.
- To obtain as much information as possible on what interests or not on our target in this training.
- and therefore to know how we can improve it to please them.
Here, we hope that this article has enlightened you on the subject of lead nurturing. If you are, like most of our readers, are in the marketing and sales teams of your company, you have to brainstorm on this subject and set it up very quickly. (you have grasped the issue).
If you read this article and you are a freelancer, we can happily discuss what you would like to find in this training ( contact email@example.com ).We develop it especially for you; despite the fact that many of you read us and contact us, we dislike not being able to respond to your support requests due to a dearth of qualified assistance.
Coming soon, as the other would say.