Nurturing your leads

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I once remember entering a store to buy a paper bag and coming out with a paper bag full of lilies. I don’t even like lilies, I’m allergic to flowers!

And no, the shopkeeper didn’t shove it on my face, in fact, it was the very reason why I had them. He nurtured my tendencies.

Nurturing your leads is as direct as it sounds, you nurture your leads at every step of the sales funnel to finally convert them into your customers.

You gauge their interest, you interact with them directly, and you provide answers to questions they didn’t ask but wanted to.

Traditional marketing is compelled to choose the automated route of clustering all leads together and sending them the information they might not be ready to receive. (That is shoving lilies on one’s face! And it doesn’t end well.) However, a study by Invespcro found out, Companies that excel at lead-nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

This finding should be motivation enough to chalk out your lead nurturing strategy, but we will still give you 5 reasons why you should be nurturing your leads instead of being stuck on those cold calling methods-

1. A buyer has their own pace: If the shopkeeper had directly told me this, “Here are fresh lilies we have for sale, you might want to buy it, they are in great demand, you might have this as an only chance at this price!” he’d have lost me there. My pace would not have allowed me to process all that information.

And that is why he didn’t. He was a smart seller and he guessed my pace. He saw me staring at those flowers for minutes and immediately associated with it an emotional value. It was like he almost knew lilies remind me of my Grandfather.

“Flowers bring back memories, don’t they?” he said. 

“Sorry?”

“Here, buy them. They might make somebody’s day.”

And here I was, nurtured so efficiently, that I didn’t even realize. It might not sound like a marketing technique, and it wasn’t, I’m sure, but that is exactly how you nudge people into doing something they are not sure they would.

Likewise, in the digital space, each buyer has their own pace and we as marketers should be efficient enough to gauge the same. Personal nurturing is required at every stage for a lead to be nudged into another stage into finally buying the product.

The Annuitas Group’s study found out that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. And we don’t want to lose out on a close call.

2. Build confidence in your customer: Lead nurturing has the potential to convert a short-term lead/customer into a long-term customer just because a little effort from your side has instilled confidence in him for your company, building on brand loyalty.

So, not only does it help convert a lead into a sale but also a short-term customer into a long-term loyal customer.

3. Lead nurturing boosts networking: Nurturing involves segmented email marketing, most of which, is aimed at calling for action ie. Sending a free e-book, or a free course. If your lead ends up liking your products, there is a fair chance they will forward it to more people, boosting your network and connectivity. 

Not only is your lead interested in your product, but you also have new leads, with no extra effort!

4. A study by HubSpot found out, outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads:

Outbound leads are the ones we get through a sales rep contacting them, before which they had no interest in our company.

Inbound leads, whereas, are the ones who engage with our website or service somehow after which we attract them to engage more with our product by giving out relevant information.

Naturally, our priority as a marketing strategist should be to pursue our inbound leads since they already have an interest in mind. And lead nurturing is a fine way to do that.

And, 96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy. It is by segmentation, targeting, and nurturing that we build trust.

5. Invespcro found that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

This takes us to our second point where we talked about building trust with our customers. A customer who trusts your company will make a larger purchase than the one who is only testing. And trust comes with transparency and exposure. And both of them originate from one golden solution- Nurturing.

Fewer costs, more value! Nothing more important to a business- big or small.

Now that we have navigated through the reasons why we should focus more and more on lead nurturing, we divert our attention to-

How to nurture your leads?

1. Segmenting your audience: As a corollary to buyers being on different segments of sales funnel, follows steps like-

·         The strategist identifying the stage. (By analyzing the behavior of the lead on your website, type of e-books downloaded, time spent on a particular page, etc.)

·         Segmenting his audience according to the respective stages. (By lead scoring-explained later)

·         Setting automated e-mails according to the action required.

·         And executing it timely.

Segmenting your audience improves personalization and targeting. And customers, today, in the social media age are in habit of personalized interaction. Anything that provides them with that attracts them.

2. Lead scoring: Lead scoring is giving your leads a score according to various factors like the number of videos watched, type of videos watched, whether they subscribed to your newsletter or not, time spent on your website, etc. It will help you quantify the stage where your potential customer is, which is the second stage of segmenting your audience.

Marketing Sherpa found that companies using lead scoring mechanisms increased their ROI for lead generation activities by 77%.

There remains no doubt to how essential a part lead scoring forms of lead nurturing.

3. Marketing automation: To keep up with nurturing manually is going to be a mammoth task, which is why most companies prefer automation. But, once you have put in the effort of segmenting and lead scoring, the automation becomes personalized.

The most direct form of nurturing via automation is e-mail marketing. Once you identify your leads, you send out free samples of your offering, like a free demo or a discount offer, making them more informed about your work and business, ultimately building upon that trust to finally make them a customer.

4. Multi-channel lead nurturing: As effective as e-mail marketing is, it is still not enough. With increasing competition, marketers are diversifying their resources. And so is advised.

Social media today is the most powerful of the resources out there for marketing. With people voluntarily spending hours on it, it becomes a natural answer to our question to “Where to find leads?”

Not only does social media help improve our brand loyalty, but it also exposes us to our competitors helping us up to our game.

Answering queries of people, generating FAQs, integrating visual graphics for better engagement come under using social media to nurture leads.

5. Contacting immediately after website conversion: HubSpot study found that response rates decline as the age of a lead increases. So, timing plays an essential role in determining whether your lead will convert or not. Nurturing a lead immediately after they visited your website or interacted with your company in some way is the best way to ensure they are nudged into the next step of the sales funnel.

Wrapping it up!

After the why’s and how’s of lead nurturing, it is clear to us why it has become an essential part of marketing strategy. 

We have long passed the stage where the customers were just a figure in the category of leads, today, we must move past our automated mindsets chasing numbers and realize the importance and need of considering them as a human with human questions and needs, let us address them and humanize the process of selling.

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