What does ‘lead nurturing’ mean?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - lead nurturing

The term ‘lead nurturing’ refers to the process of growing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. Through the process of lead nurturing, relationships are developed with buyers at every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses digital marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects as well as providing the information and answers that they need.

As companies take on inbound marketing as a means to generate increased numbers of leads, the significance of having an effective lead-nurturing strategy becomes very clear. In most instances, only a fairly small percentage of your inbound leads will be likely to make an immediate purchase. This leaves upwards of 90% of your inbound leads that still need to be converted into paying customers.

Putting into effect an operational lead-nurturing strategy can have a massive impact on the results obtained from your inbound marketing strategy. Research conducted by Forrester, in 2014, has shown that digital marketers see an average 20% rise in sales opportunities from nurtured leads as opposed to non-nurtured leads. In addition, this research also reveals that organisations which excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost.

When does the process of lead-nurturing start?

Lead nurturing begins once a company has the contact information of a potential client. Using this data, they can personalise the communication that they engage in with them. Lead nurturing may take the form of:

  • Simply an occasional email letting the client know about updates to a product or service, changes in price and so on.
  • More complex lead-nurturing campaigns involving educating the client about the advantages of a particular product or service.
  • Designing personalised pitches to encourage the client to buy sooner rather than later.

Lead nurturing is a traditional marketing practice, but it has taken on new meaning now that companies can create communities around their products using social media and other digital marketing practices.

What is a lead-nurturing strategy?

The process of developing a lead-nurturing strategy is the method of creating relationships with your buyers through giving them relevant information at all stages of the buyer’s journey. This information will pertain particularly to them, with the idea of converting them into becoming paying customers. The point of it is to make your potential customer want your product or brand by directing your marketing materials to their exact needs and wants.

Lead-nurturing tactics that work best

There are a number of techniques that digital marketers make use of in order to generate high-quality leads that convert into paying customers. Here are some of them.

  1. Targeted content

Leads nurtured with targeted content are responsible for producing an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%.

  1. Multi-channel lead nurturing

Four out of five digital marketers say their email open rates don’t go above 20%. It’s time to think beyond the inbox and develop ways of engaging prospects in other ways.

  1. Multiple touches

Prospects have an average of 10 touches from brand from the moment that they enter the top of the funnel until the time that they’re a closed-won customer.

  1. Timely follow-ups

The possibilities of a lead getting into the sales process, or developing into a qualified lead, are 21 times greater when they are contacted within five minutes as opposed to 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your site.

  1. Personalised emails

Emails which are personalised can generate up to six times higher revenue, per email, as opposed to non-personalised emails do.

  1. Lead scoring

A total of 68% of successful digital marketers cite lead scoring based on content, as well as engagement, as the most effective tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing.

  1. Sales and digital marketing alignment

A total of 89% of companies that align their sales and marketing lead nurturing efforts report measurable increases in the number of sales opportunities generated.

Prospects, customers, digital marketers as well as salespeople all profit from the relationships that are created through lead-nurturing campaigns. At the time when a new lead signs up for digital marketing communications, it’s your chance to show these people what you’re all about as well as explain how your products can meet their needs. Every step in a lead-nurturing campaign should be an invitation for audiences to engage more with your brand.

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