Sometimes, realigning your marketing and sales efforts after losing momentum or motivation takes getting back to basics. Revisiting your original strategies and taking advantage of existing leads through nurturing can be a winning game plan for converting at higher rates and lower costs.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lower cost. If something as simple as reaching out instead of ignoring potential customers can increase profit, without serious investment, companies should be clamoring to use this strategy.
When 80 percent of new leads never become sales, there is a massive amount of untapped potential of guiding prospects to the bottom of the funnel. With a little extra effort in a few different channels, leads can become conversions.
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Email Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing begins with reaching out to prospects, and communication is crucial to starting a relationship and encouraging a connection. Email marketing is still one of the most effectively marketing tools available, making it ideal for the first step in your lead nurturing blueprint.
- 72 percent of adults online prefer email as the method of commercial communication
- Lead nurturing emails generate 8 percent click-through rates, whereas email blasts only generate 3 percent click-through rates.
- 35 – 50 percent of all sales go to the vendor that responds first
Emails created for the purpose of nurturing your leads should be slightly different in style and tone than general marketing e-blasts. If you are lucky enough to reach a customer’s inbox before your competitors, make sure your messaging stands out in a helpful way.
First, understand your prospects. Look at their site activity and behavior. This indicates what type of content you should include to catch their interest and educate them based on their curiosity.
In a marketing landscape where personalization rules all, be sure to personalize the email beyond a name and tailored content.
Especially toward the bottom of the funnel, you should reach out with personal attention. This gives a face to your brand and establishes the human connection that can go a long way in the sales process.
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Social Media Lead Nurturing
Social media is a powerful force in both life and marketing. It’s presence in B2B and B2C marketing has grown exponentially, as companies realize the benefits of reaching customers in places they are already populating.
- 90 percent of marketers saw increase in exposure from social media marketing
- 77 percent of marketers say it increased site traffic
- 69 percent of marketers use it to develop loyal fans
Social media serves as both a place to find leads and study their behavior, so you can nurture them more effectively. In a way that an email list serves as a starting point for reaching out to customers, social media does half the work for you.
Your followers, likes, commenters and those who share your content are your built-in leads.
Use your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts to establish thought leadership, build a following, attract new followers and reinforce credibility. Once your leads have been mined from your social lists, you can track their activity.
This allows you to discover keywords you should be integrating into your content to gain more leads, and brings you closer to understanding their needs and wants from your industry.
Social engagement, Twitter lists and tracking analytics simplifies lead nurturing with a tool your company is already using.
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Direct Lead Nurturing
Experts agree the key to nurturing leads is mutual communication, meaning a balance of reaching out and listening in cultivates effective lead conversions.
The best way to do this comes in the simplest form of instant online chatting. Not as confrontational as a phone call and more personalized than email, an instant message marries the best of technology with the best of human interaction.
There are a few services that provide this personal, yet comfortable form of communication for connecting with prospects.
Intercom.io – This marketing automation company offers many services, but wants to reduce the channels of information overload by giving companies and customers one avenue of chatting.
The live chat feature can be integrated into a website directly. It is always an option for customers to click “Chat Now” to get the conversation going.
Velaro – This company lives by the motto that live chat isn’t a good idea - it’s mission critical. Its solutions also fit all sizes of companies and budgets.
With a variety of features, like mobile chat, social login, multiple sites and fully customizable design and function, chatting with prospects happens on your terms.
Traditional – There is always the option to connect with prospects away from your site and use traditional chatting services, such as Skype. This requires an extra step of reaching out, but it shows you are serious about helping and serving customers.
Through these platforms, companies have the opportunity to instantly reach customers, answer questions, guide them through the funnel, cut costs and increase sales.
Because the interaction costs with instant messaging are so low, you can easily justify the investment. Studies also show that customers are more likely to make a purchase or return to a site with a live chat feature.
Nurture vs. Nature
Don’t leave any of your leads hanging. You need to nurture them to ensure they reach a solid foundation of understanding the market and your offerings.
Lead nurturing, made easier by email, social media and live chat, brings neglected leads closer to a purchase.
Be sure to personalize each interaction and reach out often. If you become a familiar and friendly fixture in a customer’s journey, you’re more likely to be their end decision. It’s all about nurturing prospects through the nature of understanding potential strategies.