Lead Nurturing: How to Close More Sales
If your marketing efforts are delivering a surplus of leads, but few are turning into sales, you may have a lead nurture problem. Many businesses succeed at driving website visits with keyword-rich content and capturing new leads via conversion rate optimization, but ultimately struggle to close sales because they have overlooked the importance of a lead nurture program.
What Is Lead Nurture?
Lead nurture is the process of staying engaged with your leads throughout the buying cycle and providing them with the information necessary to guide them toward a purchase decision. A lead nurture program can be executed in several ways. Historically, most businesses would approach lead nurture by simply following up on their leads via phone call or email. However, the world has changed, and with the evolution of digital marketing, lead nurture has become a much more strategic process.
With marketing automation tools like Hubspot and Pardot, among many others, businesses can now automate their lead nurture process. Marketing automation helps organize and nurture leads throughout the buying journey. This includes the ability to assign different scores to each lead and to set up workflows that push specific content to your leads depending on where they are in the buying cycle, typically through email marketing. With marketing automation, you can create a process for strategically following up with your leads on an ongoing basis, which saves time and keeps prospective customers engaged with your brand.
The first step to a successful lead nurture strategy is to organize your leads based on their quality. Lead scoring is the process of assigning a value to each lead. In an effective lead nurture program, lead scores will be updated as prospects move through the buying cycle of awareness, consideration, intent, and purchase.
If a lead who is merely aware of your business decides to download a brochure about your product or services, they are moving from the “awareness phase” to the “consideration phase” of the buying cycle, and their lead score should reflect that. Lead scores can be updated manually based on the actions taken, or automatically if a marketing automation platform is in use. Once the score of a lead improves, they should be served new messaging and offers to help move them further along in the cycle. For example, the “consideration phase” lead who downloaded a brochure may then be sent an offer to try a free demo, moving them into the “intent to buy phase”. This could be followed by a “buy now” offer to ultimately drive them to the “purchase phase”. Lead scoring is one way to organize your leads so that you can nurture them properly.
Another way to organize leads is to group them by buyer personas. Each business likely has different buyer personas that are defined by characteristics of the buyer and their needs. Personas may be defined by the buyer’s demographics, decision-making status, industry, or more. By grouping your leads into specific personas, you can more easily craft customized messaging that speaks directly to their needs, rather than serving all potential leads the same with general messaging.
Once leads are organized, the next step to create an effective lead nurture program is to organize content corresponding to your lead segments. Start by grouping existing content into similar themes that match your defined buyer personas. Fill in the gaps by developing new content that not only matches the buyer personas but that addresses leads who are both in the early and later stages of the buying cycle. This content can include blog posts, brochures, whitepapers, eBooks, videos, and beyond. Develop tailored emails with customized subject lines and body copy to push certain content to specific leads based on their buyer persona and lead score.
In addition to email follow-ups, you can nurture leads through digital advertising. If leads have interacted with your website online, cookie-based remarketing campaigns can be used to serve ads to your prospective buyers after they leave your website. These ads will follow users as they browse the web, reminding them of your brand and encouraging them to re-engage. Digital advertising platforms like Google Ads allow you to remarket to users via search or display ads, and even offer the capability to show specific ads based on which pages the user visited on your website. Nurturing your prospects with customized remarketing ads can be an exceptionally effective method to turn more leads into sales, especially when combined with an optimized email nurture program.
Nurture Raw Leads to Closed Sales
Implementing a lead nurture program built around lead scoring, buyer personas, and customized content is an efficient and effective method that leads to closing more sales. Following up with a vast pool of leads can be challenging. Improve that process by putting a lead nurture program in place, ideally through marketing automation technology, and stop chasing down leads the traditional way.
Learn more about Nowspeed’s marketing automation and lead nurture services.