Converting on the first visit, at times, can be quite intimidating for most visitors. And it can often take multiple visits, through several channels, until your leads finally convert. However, if you look closely, your consumer’s relationship with your brand is the same as with any normal relationship. When you meet someone, you will go on a first date, but may not get married right away. You will need to see that person a few times, decide if they are a good fit for you, begin a relationship, and finally get engaged. This is also the process for lead nurturing.
“On average 80% of marketing leads never convert into actual sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. ”
To do great lead nurturing, what should I be looking at?
There are various aspects to keep in mind when undertaking lead nurturing. Your success can depend on them, so let’s examine the areas to concentrate on.
Pay attention to the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey always starts from the first visit (the investigation). It carries through to the last visit (where at this point, with the information needed, a decision is made to buy your product or service). You need to be able to identify which stage your leads are in, in order to communicate what your lead requires. You will then be able to send personalised content to match their needs through each step of the process.
In each buyer’s journey, no matter which product or service you sell, there are always three main stages. The awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.
The awareness stage marks your prospects’ first visit. They usually spend it discovering your product or service, as well as your brand. All of this happens, while they look to solve the initial aspects of their problem.
Think of the consideration stage as the collection of more information, whilst again seeking a solution to their problem. During this stage, your consumers will not yet be ready to buy. They will need more lead nurturing to lean towards a decision.
Finally, the decision stage is when your consumers are ready to make a purchase. This is when they make their choice.
For each stage, you need to serve personalised content to increase online lead generation. The aim is to move the prospect, through the sales funnel, at their own individual pace. This is where marketing automation software comes in handy, it can rank your database list in accordance to their level of activity with your website and email content. You can then set parameters in place to cater the right content or strategy for those prospects who are hot.
Get the right information
The first step is to draw people to your site, through catchy and useful content. Once a visitor is on your website, you can gather a lot of information about your consumers, which can help you refine your content marketing and lead nurturing. Your site analytics will show you information on your site’s users such as their location, pages they’ve visited, and the devices they are using. You can gather all of this, without them even filling out a form.
However, to start your lead nurturing and serve more personalised content, try to get your customers to identify themselves. When filling out a form, for example, it will not only identify them, but it can also encourage them to provide additional information. Some of the methods often used are to give free resources in exchange for information. Examples can include: a few eBooks to download after filling out a form; or a webinar to be apart of, after registering etc.. The strategy is to find something that will be of value to them, and will be worthy of them revealing their information. This will also increase your online lead generation.
Moving your leads across the buyer’s journey
The aim is to help nurture prospects through the buyer’s journey. Moving them through your sales funnel can be a gradual process, as different personas can covert at different speeds, but there are things to watch out for.
Recognising a bad lead
You should recognise the leads who will not convert under any circumstances. For example, you will need to identify a buyer’s particular industry. You should also check students vs professionals, in order not to waste your marketing efforts. The goal is to categorise your good and bad quality leads. This way, you can then focus on the good ones, and try to move them through your sales funnel.
Use smart and personalised content
Using smart and personalised content, to make your consumers’ online experience feel unique, is an excellent lead nurturing technique. Rebel Sport does this well with it’s ‘Rebel Active’ mailing list. I like Under Armour fitness wear and I made some recent purchases at one of their stores. I also subscribed to the mailing list, in order to receive a member discount card. Since then, I get tailored content adapted to match my preferences… Low and behold, I now get emails like this…
I’m actually quite happy to receive this content, as it’s completely relevant to me, and it has personalised engagement points that recognise and acknowledge my brand or product choices. It makes me want to click, engage, read and find out more. This gains and holds my attention. Hell, I might even visit the store and make a purchase if it’s what I want, or I may choose to just grab it online.
Dynamic content goes way further than just displaying your first name on a page (which is pretty much what every marketer does!). You can even populate your home page with products that are similar to what you have already browsed in the past. Amazon is pretty spectacular at this, as it will also often give you suggestions such as “you bought this, you may want to check that out”.
By knowing your consumer’s interest, you can quickly make an assumption that they will be looking for something similar in the future. By using behavioural targeting, you can then use that data to help visitors find what they need fast. The faster you are able to solve your consumers’ problems, the more likely you will be to convert them.
You can use dynamic content for lead nurturing basically everywhere. Try it on your website, the second login “welcome back!”, when you gather more information, specific landing pages, thank you pages, blog/articles, or CTAs (call to actions) etc.. It may seem very overwhelming, when you first start, but take it slow and start small. Focus on email nurturing for example, and set up a few email marketing drip campaigns. This can be done via marketing automation software, which can target specific groups or lists, like outlined in the image below.
Gather and segment your leads by building the right list
Now that you have personalised content ready, you need to understand how to target the right consumers, with the perfect content. You can achieve this by segmenting your leads. There are many ways to divide your leads and put them into different lists. Each can have the purpose to serve different content.
You could create a list depending on your leads’ lifecycle stage, and referral source. Else, a list based on your leads’ demographic information, interest, or site behavior. You could also build a list based on pageviews or email behavior. This way, you can serve different content, based on how your leads interact with you. There are no limits, when it comes to segmenting your leads.
Once your lists are built, it will be easier to then implement smart and personalised content, based on each of those segmentations. It will also make lead nurturing much easier, as it will be done en masse.
Auditing your content
You should always make sure each buyer’s journey stage has different content served. This is to ensure the best lead nurturing results.
For the awareness stage, you can supply: analyst and research reports, eBooks, editorial content, whitepapers, or education content. Remember that at that stage, consumers may not know your brand yet, and are only looking at solving a problem.
For the consideration stage, once your leads are comparing you and your competitors, it is best to give them expert guides, live interactions, webcasts, podcasts, videos, comparisons, or whitepapers. This will help to build trust and get them on your side.
For the decision stage, once your customers are ready to buy, make sure to strike again with the right kind of content. I recommend any of the following: vendor comparison, product comparison, case studies, trial downloads, product literature, or live demos. By serving the content your leads want, you will increase your chances of getting that conversion. And marketing automation software helps track this conversion journey, as illustrated below.
Leveraging marketing automation
With today’s technologies, there are ways where your marketing and funnel nurturing can be automated. Not only does this save you time, and encourage bulk trickle conversions, but it also allows a more personalised approach, whilst creating economies of scale. Let’s analyse how this can be achieved.
What is marketing automation?
Doing all of this now should sound feasible, but how can you serve the right content to thousands of leads? To be able to leverage personalised and dynamic content at a much higher scale, use automation.
Marketing automation software is here to help automate marketing actions. It can involve sending emails, after a consumer fulfills a certain criteria, for example. With each action someone takes, marketing automation can help you gather more information about that person. It records all of the consumers’ visits and actions, and helps understand where your customers’ interests lie.
What kind of automation can I create?
Using a marketing automation software allows you to send specific content to leads, depending on criteria. When leads fill out a specific form, your marketing automation software can automatically send them tailored and dynamic content. This software includes a wide range of options from form fill, to list membership, webinar attendees, page view, and email actions etc..
How to set up an automation workflow?
Before you even start setting workflows up, there are a few things you should be doing beforehand. First, plan your steps and map them out. Once you have a clear objective of what you want to achieve, it will be easier to then implement it. After you establish your objectives, choose the starting and goal list. Then, write your content – the series of emails that will be in the automation.
The marketing automation software will send your email marketing drip campaign automatically, and all you will have to do is relax. Once this is done, you can then set up your workflow. Lastly, do not forget to test, measure, and adjust constantly, in order to get the best results possible.
The world of personalisation and automation may seem scary at first, but you do not need to master everything right away. Take baby steps! Start by focussing in one area, and reach one objective. Then expand, as your lead nurturing begins, to create a special experience for each of your customers.
Many companies end up only using a fraction of the power offered by automation and personalised content. Glide can help make sure you get the most out of your marketing automation software and optimise your lead nurturing techniques! Ask us any questions you have below on Lead Nurturing.