Do You Use the Most Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics?

August 11, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

Don’t Let those Precious Leads Drift Away

Where does lead nurturing fall on your list of marketing priorities? If it’s not right up at the top, an adjustment or two is in order. Think of how many of your current leads are hanging around the top of your sales funnel: They’re not quite ready to buy, but they’ve expressed interest. Many B2B marketers would say that those leads represent the majority – or even more – of their entire list of prospects.

Forrester reports that you can increase your sales opportunities by 20% by engaging in effective lead nurturing tactics. And you stand to boost actual sales by 50%– while spending up to 33% less on your efforts. If you’re not focusing on strategies to nurture these leads and keep them engaged, you’re leaving money on the table.

B2B Toolkit

So why are only 36% of marketers actively nurturing leads at all points along the buyer’s journey? It could be because they don’t know the following strategies.

Engage Them Via Multiple Channels: Your leads are receiving information from multiple sources so you need to push your content through various channels. A few ideas include:

  • Personalized Email: Email messages don’t get opened unless they establish a personal connection. Up front, that means a compelling subject line; in the body, it means speaking to their business pain and demonstrating how you can solve it. Create urgency with your call to action to boost click-throughs.
  • Targeted Blogs: Remember that leads don’t necessarily care about your company. They care about their problems and finding ways to make their lives easier through your blog content. Don’t tell them what you want them to hear; tell them what they need to hear.
  • Social Media: Your leads are hanging out on a combination of social media platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and others. Find out where they’re interacting (which you should know, because you’ve invested time in learning about them). Get involved in the conversations and present useful information to establish yourself as an industry expert.
  • Direct Mail: Don’t forget about Direct Mail. According to a USPS study, over 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website. You have better odds competing against a handful of direct mail pieces than 140 emails a day (which is the average number of emails a person receives).

Implement Multiple Touches: One and done won’t cut it. You need to reach out multiple times, using different strategies to vary your repertoire. In fact, on average it takes 12 marketing interactions/touches before a web visitor becomes engaged enough to want to do business with you, so you need to cover all your bases.

  • Timely Follow Ups: A lead just embarked on the buyer’s journey by filling out a form or sending an email request. How long do you wait before reaching out? You don’t. You’ve got about 5-30 minutes after the conversion to get in touch with the lead and provide more information that’s relevant to their interests and where they stand in the sales funnel. After the initial contact, you need to engage them repeatedly to stay top of mind.
  • Offers: Another effective touchpoint for leads is making offers they can’t refuse. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean a free product, but it does mean providing something of value in the form of information. Invite them to download exclusive content, like an eBook or whitepaper, and have them fill out a form to access that content.

A marketing automation system can help ease the burden by automating some of these touches. You can set up automated thank you messages, assign users to email drip campaigns based on interest and also assign lead scores to your site visitors based on their behaviors. Recent research has shown that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects can experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

Don’t leave your leads wallowing around the top of your sales funnel, without valuable content to draw them further along the sales journey. Use effective lead nurturing tactics through multiple channels and multiple touches to engage with them, interact and personalize your messaging. They represent your revenue – it’s a mistake to let them drift away.

Want to learn more about effective lead nurturing tactics, and how we can help your business drive traffic, generate leads and increase sales? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.