Lead nurturing generates more revenue, reduces marketing costs, and builds customer loyalty.
Just like watering plants is vital to the growth of plants, lead nurturing is essential for your business. Each prospect has the potential to become a long-time loyal customer.
- Content marketing receives 3 times more leads compared to PPC ads.
- Companies that properly nurture their leads attract 50% more ready-to-buy leads at 33% lower cost.
- 79% of top companies fail to convert leads into sales due to a lack of lead nurturing
As a business, it’s your job to attract high-quality leads, build a connection and establish their trust. Once they trust you, you can help them by providing a tailored solution to solve their problem.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of establishing trust with your prospects to get them to buy. The goal is to guide them along the customer journey from a new lead to a paying customer.
However, lead nurturing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the funnel stage, you’ll have to tailor your messaging.
Why every business needs to nurture their leads
The truth is 96% of traffic visitors who enter your site aren’t close to buying yet.
A lead has to realize their problem. Once they’re aware, they must know what solutions are out there in the market. Finally, the prospect must understand that you’re the best solution for them.
Better conversions and customer relationship
Every relationship starts with trust. Lead nurturing allows you to listen to your prospects to see how they respond to your content and marketing approach.
Whether through analytics, survey feedback, direct-message conversations, or social comments, you’ll get feedback on what they think of your brand.
Find segmentation opportunities
As you listen to your prospects, you’ll find ways to segment them based on different criteria.
Audience segmentation allows you to personalize your message and increase the likelihood of conversion of each prospect.
For example, Neil Patel asks users to complete a detailed lead form. A person with a low budget may receive a shorter phone call than a person who has a larger budget.
If you run an SEO agency, you can funnel prospects with low-budget prospects to an SEO audit tool or low-cost SEO masterclass.
However, if the prospect has a medium or high budget, you can segment them into the funnel that leads to your SEO agency services.
Lowers cost and improves revenue
There’s an abundance of ways that lead-nurturing can lower costs. For example, by retargeting leads that clicked on your product page but haven’t purchased, you can capture additional sales. As a result, you’re lowering the cost-per-customer acquisition.
Lead nurturing occurs after the sale as well. If you cross-sell or up-sell after the purchase, you’re likely to increase the customer lifetime value, which increases your revenue.
Businesses with a robust back-end nurturing system can spend more money on advertising or content marketing. Thus, they can capture more leads than competitors, knowing the backend funnel will convert due to their higher-than-average customer lifetime value.
8 lead nurturing strategies that work in 2022
Lead nurturing comes down to planning, execution, and analysis. Implement these eight lead nurturing strategies to convert more customers and gain a competitive advantage in your space.
1. Create a content marketing funnel
A content marketing funnel is a strategy that takes prospects through the customer journey when they are looking to buy. The content must account for the stage of the prospect’s journey.
A comprehensive content marketing strategy should answer the following questions:
- What type of content should I produce?
- Where are the best places to publish my content?
- How will I measure the effectiveness of my content?
Depending on what stage of the tunnel your prospects are in, you want to produce content that fits their customer journey.
Learn more: Aligning Your Content Marketing Efforts with the Customer Journey
Top of Funnel – Awareness (or attraction)
When customers initially enter your content marketing funnel, they are unaware of your company and the product or service you offer.
You have many content types at your disposal to use, such as:
- Blog posts
- YouTube videos
- Social media posts
Just as important as deciding the location and type of content, think about the messaging.
Ask yourself, how do I create awareness for my brand?
If you’re an SEO company based in Seattle, you may produce a blog post titled, “What is SEO?”
You’re looking to bring high-quality traffic into your business in this stage.
Analyze metrics such as the total time of visit, bounce rate, and see what pages your leads click on.
Your content in the “Awareness” stage should have CTA that leads them to the next funnel stage. For instance, if it’s a blog post, you can offer a lead magnet on learning more about SEO, such as “14 Mistakes Beginners Make When Starting With SEO.”
Neil Patel offers a lead form to book a consultation call with their traffic experts on their awareness blog post.
Middle of Funnel – Evaluation
It’s common for prospects not to take action early. Prospects often are uncertain whether they want to invest in fixing their issue. Perhaps, the prospect still believes they can do SEO on their own.
In the evaluation stage, you’re looking to build the relationship and further your trust with the consumers.
If you have their email, it’s an excellent opportunity to begin answering questions that they may already have.
You can opt to create content types such as:
- Useful downloads or infographics
- Case studies
- Events or webinars
Here’s a beautiful case study presented by Bright Edge. They explained how they helped one of their clients, Graco Inco, increase 718% in “People Also Ask” search results and 145% in Quick Answer results.
Now that beginners know the problem and solution, case studies are an excellent way to position your business as the best solution available.
Bottom of Funnel – Conversion (or Close)
Prospects can enter any stage of your funnel at any time. For example, a ready-to-buy prospect may already know they want SEO services for their company but need help deciding which agency is right for them.
That may search on Google for “best SEO agencies in Seattle.”
The conversion aspect of the funnel is about providing more reasons for the customer to buy. A few examples of content types include:
- Side-by-side comparison tables
- Free trial
Norton offers a 60-day free trial or a $50 offer for their yearly subscription. Below their offer, they provide features and benefits and allow you to compare products with their competitors.
A demo or free trial gives users a taste of what they can expect from your product or service. It’s a great way to get your solution in their hands.
Studies show that subscription business free trial models can convert up to 68.8% of users to paying customers.
2. Email marketing
Every business should have a variety of email drip campaigns ready to go when a prospect enters the funnel. An effective drip campaign should be personalized, value-driven, and timely.
Before you send your campaign, you should have a way of pulling information out of your prospect.
For instance, you can build out a Typeform to collect specific responses. If you’re an SEO agency, you may want to capture key information such as company size, revenue/profit, and marketing goals.
Ship 30 for 30 is a brand that teaches writers how to write online by providing a digital writing course. In their first welcome email, they immediately asked if I am a completely brand new writer or have at least 1 year under my belt.
We recommend adding this lead qualifier in your email to allow you to segment your leads. That way, you can determine where your prospects are and personalize the email flows to fit their needs.
Encharge allows you to create email flows and set up automatic lead segmentation and triggers.
Based on the answers, you can separate high-value from low-value leads.
If a lead doesn’t meet your company size requirement, it can be automatically sent to the low-value segment.
Furthermore, Encharge allows you to set conditions and rules to segment your list.
If a lead performs specific actions, you can categorize the lead. Some activities may include opening an email, scheduling a call, or clicking on links.
You’ll know which prospects are hot, warm, or cold by setting conditions for your leads.
3. Interact with leads
Although marketing automation is great for lead nurturing, you can also nurture leads manually through community building.
Your prospects will appreciate giving them some attention and helping them with their problem.
Coaches, consultants, and service providers who thrive on a personal brand can build an online community to better interact with their prospects.
Interacting with your audience allows you to gain feedback and learn more about their situation.
Here are ways you can better interact with your prospects:
- Perform a weekly or monthly live stream
- Send out automated quizzes or surveys
- Offer a private community like a Facebook group, discord chat, etc.
A live stream is an interactive way to connect with your leads by talking about a topic and then providing time for Q&A with the audience.
You can also use quizzes to see which product or service is right for you.
A fitness YouTuber named Jeff Nippard has visitors take a quiz to decide which training program is most optimal based on their current situation.
He asks questions to learn more about the prospects:
- Experience level
- Activity level
Once they have completed the automated quiz, the prospect is given the optimal program designed for their specific needs. We like this strategy because it personalizes the product based on the data that the prospect provides.
Onboarding is the process of getting new customers to experience value with your product or service.
A SaaS company may send automated onboarding emails to teach users how to use their platform and its key features.
Here’s an example of a 14-day onboarding email sequence:
|Day 0||Confirmation email/Welcome email|
|Day 1||Product feature|
|Day 2||Product feature|
|Day 3||Case study|
|Day 5||Check up email|
|Day 7||Halfway through the trial email|
|Day 10||Upgrade email (For those who didn’t upgrade yet)|
|Day 14||Trial expires|
Many users want hands-on experience before they make a purchase.
Providing a demo, key feature explanations, tutorials, and even case studies during the onboarding process are great ways to deliver value to free-trial customers.
Like a sales funnel, a customer will go through their own journey during the onboarding process. Ensure your onboarding stage delivers outcomes and demonstrates the user’s progress with your software.
You can use many email types during the onboarding process to increase conversion.
If possible, we recommend having a salesperson follow up with trial users after a few days to see how well their experience has gone.
Salespeople help convert nearly 4 times more when it comes to free-trial leads.
5. Cross-channel remarketing
Marketing is more sophisticated than ever. Successful cross-channel marketing occurs when you seamlessly move prospects from one platform to another along their customer journey.
Multi-channel marketing is communicating with prospects independently on different channels. Conversely, cross-channel marketing uses multiple channels but passes information seamlessly to provide a smooth customer experience across all touch points.
The idea is to create multiple touchpoints for your prospect so that they feel like you’re omnipresent.
Here’s an example from Mind Valley:
MindValley is a personal growth platform where world-class instructors teach online masterclasses to people worldwide. The ad bypasses the introduction. Instead, they already understand the prospect is near the bottom of the funnel.
They perhaps need a little reminder to get them over the fence and sign up for the master class.
Remarketing isn’t just Facebook retargeting ads, either. Here are some other ways to implement cross-channel remarketing:
- Once you’ve captured leads, send your top-of-funnel prospects to a blog post or YouTube video.
- Ask users to hop on a social media live stream with you for a Q&A session.
- Use other retargeting ads such as social media ads, Google banner ads, etc.
- Ask your social media followers to listen to your new podcast episode.
Find ways to direct your prospects seamlessly to another platform.
6. Create a loyalty and rewards program
Once your prospect is converted into a paying customer, it’s your job to continue nurturing them. This helps turn one-time paying customers into repeat buyers. Happy customers are also more likely to tell their friends and family.
Businesses with a solid loyalty program generate new business 2.5 times faster than competitors without one.
A loyalty or rewards program aims to show customer appreciation while increasing customer lifetime value and retaining customers.
Some programs reward customers with points redeemed into discounts, while others may earn free perks. One of the best examples of rewards programs is airlines. Many airlines award frequent and high-spend flyers with perks.
Travelers who reach the VIP status may receive complimentary lounge access, free food or drinks, free in-flight WiFi, additional checked baggage allowances, and early boarding.
When creating a customer loyalty program, consider what appeals to your customers. In other words, what would make them excited to stay loyal to your brand? Most customers either want to save money or receive a reward.
Here are some ideas to add to your customer loyalty program:
- Contests or giveaways: Perhaps, customers who upload a testimonial or leave reviews on their social media can win a cash prize.
- Milestones: These can demonstrate to your customer that they have made tremendous progress. Milestones could be completing certain lessons in the onboarding process. For example, you might send them a special welcome gift in the mail once your customers complete the onboarding sequence.
- Incentives: Consider providing exclusive access to your new product launch at a discounted price. Customers who have already purchased from you can buy your next product for a steep discount.
Further reading: 30 Product Launch Announcement Emails (Tips, Templates & Examples)
7. Use powerful testimonials
What if you could turn your avid customers into your best sales team? Marketing isn’t always about boasting to everyone how amazing your business is. Word of mouth spreads fast.
Encourage your customers to speak out about their experience with your brand. Give them something for free in exchange for sharing a picture or video about your brand.
If you create an affiliate program, they can even get paid to promote your business.
At Encharge, we’ve helped Landbot save 320 hours per month while onboarding over 80,000 users into their company.
By leveraging the success of our software, we’re able to use this case study and testimonial to market ourselves further.
Even Harvard University has created a separate summer school YouTube channel to help promote their program. There you’ll find dozens of videos about high school students sharing their experience with the pre-college summer program.
Harvard likely uses these videos as part of their funnel process to encourage students to apply for their summer program.
8. Align your sales and marketing team
Unfortunately, most companies have a marketing and sales department that acts independently. By seeing the customer journey as one process, both departments can work together more effectively.
It’s essential to integrate tools so that data is being passed along about the prospect every step of the way.
Encharge allows you to integrate various sales and marketing software tools. Let’s say a prospect has watched a webinar and has gone through the automated series of emails you’ve sent out. The prospect has now booked a demo with your sales rep. Thanks to integrations with webinar tools, CRM platforms like HubSpot, and Calendly, Encharge can help you automate that process by moving the prospect to the right deal stage, sending automated prompts to the sales team, and more.
Last but not least, you can use lead scoring for better sales <> marketing alignment in your organization.
With lead scoring, your marketing team should identify hot leads and inform the sales team to follow up.
For instance, if a lead visits your pricing page, there’s a good chance the customer is ready to buy. In that case, Encharge can automatically notify a sales rep and send an in-app message to book a live demo.
Tips to succeeding with lead nurturing strategies
Lead nurturing doesn’t happen overnight.
In fact, nearly half of marketers believe their lead nurturing strategies and implementation could use some improvement.
Follow our six tips to help you get started on the right foot.
1. Be omnipresent
As Grant Cardone says, “Businesses die in obscurity.”
Just think of Coca-Cola, the brand. They’re one of the world’s most recognized brands. Are they the tastiest drink in the world? Probably not.
Once you’ve become known to your prospect, the key is to become omnipresent. Use pixel tracking to appear on their Google search engine and across their social media feed. Omnipresence provides many benefits that help convert the sale.
You’ll be first to mind when the prospect is ready to buy.
Furthermore, you’ll be positioned as a brand authority so that the customer will perceive you as the go-to expert in the industry.
2. Personalize campaigns with lead scoring
Lead scoring helps you determine how likely a prospect will buy.
The easiest way to score leads is to rank the most important attributes to you and assign numerical values to them. Conversely, a lead may also lose points by performing negative behaviors that are counterproductive to your end goal. This includes:
- Unsubscribing from your email list
- Cancels an appointment for a demo
- Is a competitor
Encharge allows you to set up automatic triggers to increase or decrease the lead score based on their actions.
Your lead scoring system will depend on what matters most to you. For example, you don’t want to add a point for every email open since that isn’t an accurate indicator of whether a prospect will buy.
However, certain qualifiers should account for extra points, such as signing up for a trial, scheduling a call on Calendly, or meeting your company size requirement.
3. Re-engage or follow-up with prospects
Retargeting ads and follow-up are crucial to any lead nurturing campaign. Generally, it takes about 7 to 8 touch points to get a sale.
Two things must be implemented to re-engage with leads: retargeting ads and email follow-up.
Retargeting ads are an excellent strategy to appear omnipresent to your prospects. If they land on your website or visit a landing page, you can send them retargeting ads.
You can either use a retargeting pixel or a retargeting list. A pixel tracks the visitor by placing an anonymous cookie on their browser.
A retargeting list allows you to take the prospect’s email and retarget them on social media. For instance, you can upload your email list to Facebook. Or even better — automatically add people to your Facebook audience with the Facebook native integration. Then, you can position your ads to only target people with matching email accounts.
Your ad should remind them of a specific action such as making a purchase, booking a demo, or joining a webinar.
Follow-up emails should be well-timed. We recommend giving your leads a few days to make a decision, but not too long so that they lose interest in your product or service.
Here are a few tips for sending your follow-up email:
- Review with decision-makers: B2B sales cycles tend to take longer than B2C. Other stakeholders may be involved in the process, so be sure to wait a week after the pitch before sending a follow-up email. It’s beneficial to get a clear deadline for when the prospect expects to make their decision.
- After the pitch: You can send an initial email one or two days after your pitch. This is an excellent opportunity to thank them for their time, reiterate the pain point and solution, and include a call to action.
- Unanswered follow-up: Here, you can send a follow-up email to ask if they’re still interested. Perhaps you can handle common objections or provide them with additional resources.
- The break-up or last call email: If you’re not getting a response from the prospect, you can tell them you’re closing their account. Or perhaps, you can provide a last call email, which elicits a response from an interested lead. That’s because humans have a “fear of missing out!” In the email below, the marketer aims to sell a copywriting program. They hope to use a deadline to create urgency and encourage me to act now.
4. Monitor metrics for lead nurturing emails and flows
An effective lead nurturing strategy must be tracked and evaluated with metrics.
There’s no way to gauge how effective your campaign is without metrics. At Encharge, we provide data and analytics reports to show your email flows’ effectiveness.
Some of the statistics we provide are:
- Delivered emails
- Bounced emails
- Spam reports
Consider A/B testing important email elements to improve your open and click-through rates.
You’d be shocked how much of a difference a 5 or 10% increase in open rate can make if you have the right audience on your list. In this example of a 10,000 email list, a 10% increase in open rate results in 1,000 more email opens! That’s 1,000 more relevant leads that will see your message.
5. Align sales and marketing with CRM integrations in Encharge
Your sales and marketing team should be in lockstep with one another.
At Encharge, you can integrate your favorite CRM tool, such as HubSpot or Salesforce, into your email database.
Here’s how you can utilize the Hubspot integration:
- Add contacts from Hubspot to Encharge and add them into your email drip campaigns
- Once a demo has been booked from your email automation, automatically update the deal stage on Hubspot
- Assign sales tasks such as follow-up with hot leads if prospects have a high lead score
Tools for lead nurturing
Businesses that utilize marketing automation to nurture leads have 451% more qualified leads than businesses without automation.
It’s vital to have the proper tools in place to allow you to implement your lead nurturing strategy.
Here are some categories of marketing automation tools that could help your lead nurturing campaign:
- CRM or Customer relationship management software manages the interactions of your prospects and customers.
- Chatbots are designed to simulate human interaction. It’s used to help prospects get the answer they’re looking for and move them closer to making a purchase.
- Webinars are web classes conducted online to educate and sell them on your product or service. Instead of a phone call where you can only sell to one person at a time, webinars allow you to sell to many people simultaneously.
- Email Marketing is the approach you use email to promote your business products or services. Encharge provides advanced features such as segmenting leads by attributes and actions, prioritizing leads using lead scoring, and creating email flows. Not to mention, it provides data and analytics on the performance of your campaigns.
- Website builders, page-builders, pop-up forms, and landing pages are ways to capture leads. These are placeholders to collect the prospect’s contact information, and in exchange, you’ll provide them something of value.
- App connectors like Zapier can automatically send data from one platform to another, triggering a specific action.
- Meeting apps like Calendly allow you to place a calendar plug-in onto your website. Customers can easily choose an available time that matches their calendar. Once the appointment is made, it’ll appear on your calendar.
- Billing platforms like Stripe and Chargebee are responsible for processing payments and sending invoices to the appropriate party. For example, after a trial period, the billing platform will automatically charge the card of the trial user.
- SMS is an automation tool that sends texts to people who have consented to SMS text messaging. It can be used to send reminders on the day of the demo so prospects don’t forget.
- Analytics tools are used to track and measure progress automatically. Google Analytics will show traffic visits and the quality of traffic. Facebook ads manager will show the cost per lead and ROI of your ad spend.
Encharge has dozens of marketing automation tool integrations so that you can seamlessly send data across platforms. This means all departments can work in unison towards a common goal.
With Encharge, you can nurture leads by collecting leads, segmenting your audience, creating personalized campaigns, and increasing engagement.
Start planning your lead nurturing strategy today!
Building and perfecting your lead nurturing strategy takes time. If used correctly, it can help you attract higher quality leads, convert them into sales and improve customer experience.
We’ve armed you with 8 lead-nurturing strategies to help you generate more happy customers in your business.
Start planning your lead nurturing today!
Sign up for a free 14-day trial with Encharge and create your first email lead nurturing campaign.