A healthy, loving, and fruitful relationship is hard work. If you don’t work on it, the feelings - no matter how initially positive and strong - eventually die out.

And yes, I am talking business here. Once you generate leads and get them to fall for you using your marvellous lead magnets, it’s still only a job half-done. To win the deal, you need to go through a lot of subtle yet persistent and strategic convincing - lead nurturing!

Lead nurturing is a process of establishing a strong relationship between a brand and its consumers, occurring at each stage of the buyer journey.

For a business, lead nurturing provides valuable data that can be used for further sales, post-sales and marketing activities… not to mention the fact that it increases the chances of leads actually buying something.
For leads, nurturing provides a personal, high-touch experience and enhances their trust in a brand. It works.

Lead nurturing is an irreplaceable process every business needs to master - you simply can’t reach your full potential without it. To prove my point, here are a couple of data-backed benefits of lead nurturing:

  • helps re-engage dormant database leads;
  • shortens the sales cycle;
  • contributes to higher conversion rates at every stage of the sales funnel;
  • improves customer-brand engagement and helps build brand authority;
  • reduces your customer acquisition cost (CAC);
  • improves your average order value (AOV).

“Lead nurture is still primarily centred on email marketing efforts, but the customer experience needs to span all channels to foster engagement and point-of-sale—from in-store to mobile, sales, referral, social, and support.”
– Corinne Sklar, Global CMO, Bluewolf

Step 1. Profile your customers to understand your audience better

To successfully move your leads down the sales funnel, you need to know how who they are and what is important to them. Gather information about your leads and create a buyer persona. Here are some bits of information that you might find useful and important:

  • demographics;
  • firmographics (if you’re in the B2B sector);
  • professional role;
  • values and goals;
  • buying decisions;
  • behavioural patterns.

Step 2. Outline the buyer journey for your leads

Once you know who your leads are, delve even deeper into their minds and predict the purchasing path they’re going to take. When you figure out your leads’ next steps, you can carefully, but actively push them towards purchase.

A generic buyer journey consists of five stages and looks like this:

Sales funnel
Image source: Alexa

Considering you’ve done a good job at the previous step, you should already have a pretty good understanding of who your audience is and what their values and intentions are at every given moment. Based on that knowledge, try to answer the following questions for each stage of the sales funnel:

  • What are the main intentions of the lead?
  • What are the main concerns of the lead?
  • What are the main questions that the lead is asking?
  • What are the objections leads may have?

Step 3. Segment and organise your database

Now that you know who your leads are and what motivates them, it’s important segment them depending on the ways they have engaged with your business. This will help you to personalise your lead nurturing efforts and make them more effective.  For example:

  • How they joined your list
  • What pages they visit on your website
  • What communication they have received from your brand
  • What communication they have engaged with
  • How often they engage with your brand

The best way to segment your leads is to employ a CRM system. That way, you can be sure that you don’t miss anything valuable and have your lead profiles complete and ready to be worked with.

Step 4. Create relevant content for each stage of the sales funnel

The content that is deemed to be the most valuable and relevant varies depending on the lead's proximity to the purchasing decision.

Image source: Demand Gen Report

You need to ensure that you’re creating hyper-targeted content for the leads from each stage of the buying process. Otherwise, you risk your lead nurturing assets being perceived as either useless or overly pushy.
If your content doesn’t match your lead’s current purchasing mindset, it won’t convert.

Step 5. Start reaching out to your leads via multiple channels

The best way to ensure continuity and coherence of your lead nurturing activities is to adopt an multichannel approach. Targeting your leads via just a single channel can quickly get old and prove to be ineffective. Switching it up every now and then, on the other hand, isn’t just a more interesting alternative, but it also opens up more opportunities regarding the content types you can use to nurture leads. Depending on the native capabilities of different lead nurturing channels, you can experiment with the shape and form of your marketing assets and sales enablements.

Set up an automated email marketing campaign to nurture leads

Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.
[DemandGen Report]

To make your email marketing effective and successful, you need to have a reliable tool in place. NetHunt CRM’s newest feature addition ‘Workflows’ is a worthy candidate. It takes the hard work out of working hard, making email marketing extremely straightforward and easy to implement.

Let me show you how easy it is to set up a lead nurturing campaign in NetHunt. For example, if you want your lead nurturing sequence to start when a new lead enters your database and continue until they interact with your emails, you can arrange that in a couple of simple steps.

1. Create a new Workflow.

In the 'Workflows' section of the CRM click on the plus button in the top right corner to start creating a new workflow. Name your Workflow and press on the 'CONTINUE' button to move on to the next step.

2. Create a starting trigger.

Hit the 'Add starting trigger' to start customising your drip campaign. You can select one of the standard triggers to set off the  Workflow. To fulfill the goal of the drip campaign in our case, we chose 'Field value changes'. Then choose the folder and the field.

You can tick off the appropriate box if you want your current Workflow to be executed only once regardless of the number of times your lead changes the stage. On top of that, you can also specify the exact field change that needs to take place for the drip campaign to set off:

For the drip campaign to work correctly, it’s also important we define a specific change in the Status field that triggers our Workflow - when a Contact is moved from New to Lead.

3. Create a condition to stop

In order to finish the Workflow for certain contacts and give them an opportunity to leave it, we need to set a condition to stop. In our example, we’ve got a system of two stop-conditions:

  • 1 - if the Contact has a new, incoming email linked to it;
  • 2 - if the Status has changed once again.

To do this, we'll split our Workflow into 3 branches:

  • First, the main one - Branch A
  • Second, the one that checks for any incoming email - Branch B
  • And third, the one that checks for any changes to the Status field - Branch C

With this in mind, that’s what our workflow should look like at the moment:

So in Branch B, we’ll add an action to 'Wait for email' and click 'SAVE'.

In Branch C, we’ll add an action to 'Wait for update' in the Status field from Lead to Any value.

That’s the sequence we’ve set up with the previous actions:

4. Add actions.

It's time to add the actions that we've created a trigger for. We’ll use Branch A for that. Click the 'Add action' button and choose one of the many Actions from the list:

Within this drip campaign, we want to send emails to the leads that qualify for the conditions of this drip campaign, so we pick 'Send an email'.

  • In the 'From' field, pick who is sending the email.
  • In the 'To' field, pick the email address field to send the email to.
  • Enter the Subject and main Email text. You can use templates and insert macros if you need to.
  • Finally hit 'SAVE'.

Let's add a couple more emails in the same way. Then, it would also make sense to add a waiting time between the emails. You don’t want them to reach your recipient’s inbox all at once.

5. Complete the workflow

Now that we’ve added all the scenarios to the drip campaign tree, it’s time to add the final action, ‘End workflow’, at the end of every branch in order to complete the workflow.

This is the final drip campaign we’ve created:

If you’re happy with what you see, hit the ‘ACTIVATE’ button and sit back.

🔥 NetHunt Pro Tip: Make sure to personalise your lead nurturing emails.

Personalisation is one of the biggest trends of 2021 both in sales and in email marketing. This year, customers no longer want to receive generic messages that aren’t relevant to them particularly. The only way to truly engage them and nudge them towards making a purchasing decision is by providing them with real value and showcasing specific benefits of your products that will help them to achieve success.

41% of consumers switched businesses due to a lack of personalisation.

That’s why your email marketing personalisation must extend beyond a couple of {{First Name}}, {{Last Name}} macros into the subject line and the body of your email. You need to tailor your content to each specific group of leads based on their interests, preferences, pain points and other differentiating criteria.  

Engage with your leads on social media

Another channel that you need to pay close attention to when nurturing your leads is social media. Social media marketing constitutes a large part of any digital marketing strategy as it’s the second most influential communication channel besides email. So, it’s only fair to include social media into your lead nurturing plan.

Social media is great for lead nurturing because it’s a cost-effective way of keeping your leads engaged and increasing your brand visibility at the same time. By being where your leads are and providing them with valuable content, you place your brand in their minds, increasing the chances of them turning to you when ready to make a purchase.

Indulge in content marketing

What is Content Marketing? You’re reading it. Content Marketing is an inbound marketing strategy, involving the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, generate, sell to, and retain high-quality leads. If your content is valuable and your Content Marketing strategy is streamlined and relevant, it gets read, shared, it resonates with your customer community, and you’ll reap the benefits of a successful lead nurturing campaign.

Content Marketing nurtures leads by educating them about a product, making their decision easier. Essentially, by setting up a blog and regularly updating it with high-quality articles and other content, you give your leads a reason to come back to your website and, therefore, learn more about your brand.

Bear in mind that content doesn’t necessarily equate to text format. You can also nurture leads with video content (check out our YouTube channel!), strategic landing pages, and a well-developed help centre.

It’s not just inbound marketing strategies that can help you nurture leads. Lead nurturing should always involve a combination of different channels for it to reach its maximum potential and be effective. That’s why you shouldn’t shy away from pay-per-click marketing strategies to show your website in the search results for specific keywords.

Just remember that the choice of keywords can either make or break your lead nurturing. Based on the leads you want to target, you need to select the most appropriate keywords. Think about the search terms that your target audience uses to find solutions, answers, products, and services related to your business.

Leverage retargeting ads

Finally, why not target the leads that have already shown interest in your product once with a retargeting ad?! Exactly, there’s no reason not to.

You can remind leads about your business by displaying them retargeting ad campaigns based on their activity. By adding pixels from social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and Google Ads, you can start tracking visitors on your site. Whenever you see leads visit certain pages (and not others), notice them spend a certain amount of time on the website or witness the number of page visits increasing (or decreasing), hit them with a retargeting ad.

If you manage to do everything right… Congrats, it’s official - you’ve made your lead commit to your business! Happily ever after!

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