When You Should Start Building an Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign
Effective lead nurturing campaigns are crucial components of a brand’s strategy for staying in touch with leads and customers. These campaigns improve the understanding of your services by giving interesting and relevant information to leads who aren’t quite ready to buy.
When correctly performed, marketing methods like lead nurturing can allow you to boost engagement and conversions.
Every marketer uses lead nurturing at every stage of the sales cycle but knows that planning and execution are vital. For example, if your prospect has just entered the sales funnel, you should share educational content to pique their interest.
If you start marketing your services to top-of-funnel leads right away, there’s a good possibility they’ll place you on their spam list.
To avoid such things, you have to focus on your buyer’s persona journey, by communicating with compelling content that delivers to consumer needs at different funnel stages.
We should start by understanding what type of leads are qualified for your lead nurturing program.
When Your Leads Are Ready
By breaking down the stages of your buyer’s journey, you can easily understand which type of prospects lead nurturing should be focused on. An effective nurturing tactic will segment your leads according to their awareness level, making your marketing strategies execution more personalised and compelling.
Let’s discuss what type of prospective leads as a marketer, you should focus on:
Information Qualified Leads (IQL)
An Information Qualified Lead shares their contact information in exchange for a lead magnet. This prospect is just starting their research about problems they might have and are unfamiliar with your company or your solutions. You can find an IQL at the top of the sales funnel.
Lead nurturing processes dealing with IQLs mostly revolve around collecting data about leads while making them aware of your brand. Nurturing a top-of-the-funnel lead is done with the help of informative content that shows them how your company can take care of their pain points.
At the buyer’s awareness stage, the key goal of lead nurturing is to gather the information needed to create more personalised content for the prospects, which can drive them to convert into an MQL.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
An MQL is a lead with a higher possibility of becoming a sale than other leads but isn’t ready to buy yet. You can find such leads primarily in the middle of your sales funnel that can be identified by their online behaviour.
Some common MQL actions are:
- Signing up for a software demo
- Filling out online forms
- Sharing an email address
- Repeating site visits
- Clicking on an ad to visit your site
Marketing qualified leads require special marketing assistance before converting into a sale.
The best way to understand a marketing-qualified lead for your business depends on lead scores, intent, demographics, etc. You can easily identify your MQL and slide them into an effective lead nurturing campaign by analysing and monitoring such metrics.
An existing customer is always more likely to buy from you than any fresh leads. Effective lead nurturing allows you to focus on your current customers so that when the right time comes, you can efficiently cross-sell or upsell them any of your new services or upgrades.
Lead nurturing improves client retention by making it easier to convert one-time purchases into recurring customers and keep them from switching to a competitor. It also helps in building customer loyalty and improving customer lifetime value.
Most of the consumer retention-related lead nurturing processes revolve around:
- Highly personalised content delivery
- Prompt customer support
- Gathering buyer’s feedback
- Incentivising loyalty with discounts and other offers
Suggested Read: 5 Steps To Win Back Lost Leads With Lead Nurturing
How To Utilise Your Content
Content marketing aims to attract and retain potential clients– and, ultimately, to induce good consumer behaviour – by providing engaging, consistent, and relevant information.
Lead nurturing strategies benefit significantly from content because it allows you to warm up your target audience to your brand. It’s critical to target the right customers with reasonable offers and solutions in the form of content.
Let’s look at the many types of material you can share with various lead-nurturing audiences.
You will find most of your IQLs at the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. At this stage, you must share educational content related to your services and company with your target audience to increase their sales potential.
Below is a list of things you can share with your IQLs:
A whitepaper is an informational document highlighting your product or service and introducing how your company works to solve a consumer problem. It is one of the best ways to disseminate educational content about your services to a target audience.
b. Detailed E-book
E-books help establish you as an expert as it comprehensively discusses common customer problems and possible solutions for them. Most leads are searching for information that can help them make better decisions, and e-books are an excellent source for providing that data.
c. Practical Checklist
A checklist allows the lead to review their work process and identify any essential factor they are missing out on in their workflow. By going through a list of demands, immediate action from the prospect’s side allows marketers to push them further down the sales funnel.
d. Expert Articles
Articles are a great way of communicating with those leads who do not have time to go through the whitepapers and e-books. By writing your blogs in a “how-to” format, you can increase your traction and brand awareness.
As MQLs are leads who have already shown interest in your product and also know a little about your brand, the type of content you should be delivering must be personalised according to the prospect’s pain point.
You can attract an MQL’s attention by focusing on sharing more interactive content and talking in-depth about their pain points and possible solutions to them.
Type of content that you can deliver to MQLs includes:
a. Free Webinars
Webinars are one of the best ways to start an open interaction with potential customers. By making your webinars half promotional and half informational, you can help your MQLs shift from the consideration to the buying stage.
b. Case Studies
Case studies are the best demonstration of how well your services can take care of a prospect problem. Sharing how your service or product has solved an issue with your leads can increase their confidence in doing business with you.
c. Specification Sheets
If you aim to sell any specific product or service to your lead, a specification sheet can help you get your message across. In these sheets, you can extensively talk about your services, features, and benefits. But remember to keep the language simple.
To ensure that your MQL knows that you have a solution for all their problems, design a catalogue that briefly talks about your services and helps make the lead aware of what your brand can offer.
For Existing Customers
Existing customers have already employed some service or product from you. Therefore, the content you share with your IQLs and MQLs becomes irrelevant here. Below is a list of things that you can offer as content to your existing clients:
a. Discounts Offers
Discounts can influence customer lifetime value and also impact customer behaviour patterns. Identifying optimal discount levels will allow you to address both aspects and get a higher customer retention rate.
b. Feedback Forms
Feedback forms are the best way to initiate a conversation with your existing clients and understand what problems they might be facing with your services or product. This proactive approach can help you establish yourself as a reliable brand that cares about its customers and is always ready to help.
Whether it is a minor or major update, always be ready to share with your established client base. With the help of such updates, you can remind the customer of your services and brand, making them feel like they are still a part of your company.
Sectors Where You Can Utilise Lead Nurturing
Most e-commerce businesses ensure that you don’t forget the items in your wishlist or the products left in your cart by emailing you now and then. It is a form of lead nurturing performed in B2C (business-to-customer) sectors.
Even though the framework for creating an effective lead nurturing campaign follows the same steps as B2B, in B2C organisations, sales cycles are shorter, products are less complicated, and marketers cater to a single decision-maker.
The B2B (business-to-business) sector deals with catering to companies that can use their services to enhance their customer user experience. In B2B, the lead nurturing process is mended in such a way that it attracts leading organisations, CEOs, and marketers. As the decision-maker is not a single person but an enterprise, the sales cycle is longer.
Two of the most prominent fields where B2B lead nurturing is used are:
(i) SaaS (software as a service)
By leveraging free software demos and trials, SaaS companies attract and nurture leads into sales.
Take this example from Semrush, when a visitor arrives on their site; they offer a free e-book as a lead magnet in exchange for prospect’s information.
After filling out the form, the visitor-turned-lead is ready for their drip emailing campaign.
The first email sent by Semrush has an interesting copy. It starts by establishing that many professionals use their digital marketing platform. Then they pitch a short demo call to educate the lead more about the platform, followed by a rightly put calendly link. In the end, they talk about their limited discount offers to generate urgency.
Semrush has also provided an option to easily unsubscribe from their mailing list at the end of the email. It is a good way of boosting brand reliability.
(ii) Tech Consulting
Tech consulting is a service-based business where an expert can help enterprises identify problems and those issues with technology. Technology consulting can include designing or developing technology to install and manage systems or processes on behalf of a customer.
Now you have the in-depth understanding and strategy for creating content that can effectively nurture your leads towards a sale and enhance your relations with current clients. An effective lead nurturing process depends on how well your content resonates with the lead.
With the points and information present in this blog, you will surely achieve a better customer retention rate and higher conversions.
Before you go, download this sales funnel mind map which shows various examples of content you can use at each stage.
If you want to know about the basics of lead nurturing, don’t forget to check our blog What Is A Lead Nurturing Program and What Are Its Benefits?
Optimizing Lead Nurturing for Higher Qualified Leads
Create An Automated Lead Nurturing Workflow With 5 Steps
Types of Lead Nurturing Campaigns to Drive Growth
Content Marketing Best Practices
B2B Startup Marketing Guide: Key Elements and Strategies