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Lead nurturing: What it is & why it’s crucial to your business’ success

Cielo Fernando

You might have done it already — investing so much time and money in capturing leads, yet you still struggle to increase the conversion rates. The problem here is that not all leads turn into closed deals.

While generating many leads is good, it doesn’t mean much if these leads don’t convert. This is where lead nurturing enters the picture.

What is lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing is a strategy for building relationships with potential customers. It focuses on engaging with your leads through different channels and proactively providing valuable information to facilitate conversions. Simply put, the goal of lead nurturing is to move your prospects down your funnel. 

Infographic Lead Nurturing The Buyer's Journey

In this day and age, blasting out various forms of marketing communication to as many prospects as you can is made easier with technology. However, the spray and pray method no longer works especially if your strategy is not data-driven and if your content is not something that people need. Customers don’t just want countless witty emails and clever advertisements. They want helpful information that addresses their concerns. If your product or service does not resonate with them, your leads will not convert.

Why should you pay attention to lead nurturing?

Potential customers don’t become buyers overnight. In fact, you could be losing as much as 80% of sales due to a lack of lead nurturing. Thus, it is essential for your business to nurture your leads in order for them to be motivated to make a purchase.

Infographic Lead Nurturing Statistic

While that’s a terrifying statistic to know, you can still turn the numbers around and have your business boost sales. By including lead nurturing in your marketing plan, your business can benefit in so many ways like:

1. It helps improve conversion rates

Implementing a lead nurturing program allows you to maximize your opportunity to sell to a customer. However, this doesn’t mean that you are to bombard customers with a pitch every so often. These days, it is ideal to guide customers through the buyer’s journey by providing them with relevant content. Aberdeen Strategy & Research said that providing content relevant to specific stages of the buyer’s journey yields 73% higher average conversion rates. By sending and presenting only valuable information to your customers, you enable them to make a favorable decision faster without seeming too pushy.

2. It increases revenue at lower costs

Forrester Research found that companies excelling at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost. Lead nurturing can be a tedious and time-consuming process but some of the manual tasks that go into nurturing leads to a sales-ready state can be automated. You can set up automated follow-up messages or tasks to make sure that no opportunity slips through the cracks. By automating the manual tasks involved in nurturing your leads, one person can do so much more with just a click of a button. This means that you won’t be needing a lot of manpower to accomplish lead nurturing tasks, hence the lower cost. 

3. It identifies your customers’ interests

Lead nurturing communications, like emails, are an excellent way to understand your customers’ interests. By using an analytics tool, you can get performance data like open rates and click-throughs which can suggest the type of content your leads respond to the most. These data can be analyzed to identify your potential customers’ fit and temperament. By applying a data-driven approach, you can improve your decision-making when it comes to creating targeted content and optimizing future campaigns to drive sales. 

4. It increases upsell and cross-sell opportunities

Lead nurturing allows you to increase your product awareness. When communicating with customers, you can inform them about new and additional offers. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. 

5. It helps attract new leads

Providing valuable content to your potential customers is one of the most important steps in executing a successful lead nurturing campaign. If your content is interesting and useful, chances are your leads will share it with others, leading to a new prospect for you to engage with. One of the most effective marketing strategies is word of mouth, and 64% of marketing executives agree to that according to the American Marketing Association.  Therefore, ensuring your leads will have a valuable experience has become more crucial than ever to the long-term profitability of your company.

6. It boosts engagement

If you are leveraging automation in lead nurturing, you can easily develop and maintain engagement with your potential customers. A great example of this is if a lead has stopped interacting with your brand, automated lead nurturing communication ensures that leads are not forgotten and the opportunities are not missed.

7. It builds a stronger brand reputation

Lead nurturing helps you strengthen your brand reputation through the useful content you provide to your prospects. It allows you to show your customer base that you understand their concerns and deliver solutions to their problems. 

What are the best practices for lead nurturing?

As with everything else, good results start with strategic planning. If you want lead nurturing to work for your business, here are some of the lead nurturing best practices to follow:

1. Implement lead scoring

When you implement lead scoring, you will be able to distinguish which leads are cold or hot. Lead scoring is important in the lead nurturing process because it helps you identify which leads to target. It also helps paint a more granular picture into the interests, activities, and intent of your target audience, making it easier to create content that speaks to them. With lead scoring, you will be able to pin down the qualified leads that haven’t quite made it through your sales process and convert them.

2. Identify your buyer persona

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target customer. This persona is always based on data and deep research. It is important to establish your buyer persona so you can identify the right audience to focus on and create the right kind of content they will respond best to. If you know your buyer persona, you can create marketing campaigns targeted specifically to them. 

3. Create targeted content

Not all leads are created equal—you’ve probably heard this before but it’s true. One of the key things to nurture leads effectively is creating targeted content. Relevance is the core of effective lead nurturing. Therefore, you must tailor content for each lead depending on a prospect’s stage in your sales funnel and the results of lead scoring. This way, you will be able to provide useful content for your lead’s specific needs. As your audience goes through your content, their needs change with every stage of the buyer’s journey. Some prospects aren’t even aware of the problems they face until they digest your content.

4. Personalize your SMS and emails

To promote customer retention and encourage engagement, personalization is key. 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. Personalization doesn’t just mean adding their name to the email but also crafting custom content that makes them feel it was written for them. Through this, your leads will feel seen and understood. 

5. Leverage lead nurturing automation

Attracting quality leads is good, but keeping them happy and converting them into paying customers through lead nurturing is even better. However, lead nurturing is labor-intensive and time-consuming if done manually. With automated lead nurturing, you can lead your prospects down the sales funnel smoothly and in a timely manner. Automation doesn’t just eliminate the manual process but also quickly identifies and repairs bottlenecks. Automating lead nurturing also allows you to track lead engagements systematically and determine that lead’s stage in the sales cycle. With this, you can send out appropriate content at the right time, avoiding missed opportunities.

How lead nurturing can help boost sales

Lead nurturing, if done right, can be the game-changer your business needs. Here are some ways lead nurturing can help you boost your sales:

1. Sell without setbacks

Leads conduct lots of research first in order for them to make an informed buying decision and educated leads have higher chances of making a purchase. Lead nurturing takes care of this part with the informative and valuable content you give throughout the buyer’s journey.

2. Persuade repeat customers

By capturing your lead’s interests, you can take this opportunity to upsell or cross-sell your other products or services that are complementary to their previous purchases. 

3. Initiate referral programs

Lead nurturing allows you to acquire new leads even without looking for one. If your existing leads are happy with your content, product, or service, there’s a high possibility that they will share it with others, bringing in new prospects for you to connect with.

4. Increase customer retention

While acquiring new customers is important, loyal customers can make all the difference in your business’ success in the long run. Lead nurturing helps you boost customer loyalty and retention by continuously providing valuable content and personalizing communications. Automated nurturing significantly helps you maintain good relationships with your customers so they will not feel forgotten and expansion opportunities are not missed. These loyal customers will help you build your brand even without trying because they are likely to upgrade or refer new customers to your company, providing you with a steady stream of revenue. 

How lead nurturing boost sales infographic

Tips on how to create an effective lead nurturing campaign

Here are a few tips on how to create an effective nurturing campaign so you can feel more connected with your leads and establish a stronger reputation:

  • Segment your leads
  • Give high-quality and valuable content, not a sales pitch
  • Have a strong CTA
  • Automate marketing communications
  • Evaluate and optimize your lead nurturing campaign

Stay ahead in the game

Many businesses fail to realize that it is time to ditch the conventional spray and pray approach. In the digital age, data matters, and smart content is not purely the king. Customers are more responsive to brands that provide value and help them find what they want and need. If they find value in what you do, they will keep your brand in mind.

Lead nurturing allows you to build and strengthen relationships with your prospects by delivering the right content at the right time. While a customer relationship manager (CRM) software aids in this part, lead nurturing becomes easier and more efficient when it’s integrated with a contact center solution. 

Aloware’s call and texting solutions effectively allow you to nurture leads more efficiently. It lets you manage inbound and outbound customer communications better, connect with your contacts faster, and instantly call prospects as soon as they take action on your website. You can also send automated follow-ups to ensure no opportunities are missed. Learn more about it here.

This process is a promising strategy but can be ineffective if done improperly. If you put the time and effort into building a solid lead nurturing campaign, you could be converting leads more than you ever did.

Written by Cielo Fernando

Content producer at Aloware, creating content that helps businesses turn their leads into closed deals.