As the adoption rates of inbound marketing rise, the importance of a viable lead nurturing campaign becomes more apparent. The majority of leads take a considerable amount of time before they are prepared to make a purchase. This means marketers have to nurture up to 90 percent of leads through an elaborate process.

Proper implementation of a well-planned lead nurturing strategy can make a huge difference on the outcome of the process. According to Forrester, marketers achieve an increase of up to 20 percent in sales due to the nurturing. This is in comparison to non-nurtured leads. In addition, companies that employ effective nurturing strategies boost sales at a lower cost. Yet, research has shown that only 36 percent of marketers implement lead nurturing campaigns.

Understanding the impact of key components of a successful campaign is vital to getting it right.

Targeted content

Targeted content has the capacity to boost sales opportunities by over 20 percent. The approach is useful in lead nurturing because of the difference in content needs. However, many marketers struggle when it comes to creating and delivering effective targeted content. This compromises the viability of nurturing campaigns.

It is vital to ensure that content is delivered to the right audience at the right time. The first step to correctly implementing the campaign involves identifying the needs of all potential buyers. For this reason, you need to gain useful insights on each unique buyer persona. This makes it easy to compose engaging and informative content that satisfies the needs of specific leads.

The content ideas should be based on the leads’ interests, objectives, goals and marketing triggers. To fully understand these unique needs and personas, it is best to leverage the power of marketing automation tools. These platforms provide a practical solution for identifying, segmenting and targeting the prospects. In turn, you will be in a position to refine and scale your inbound marketing strategy.

Multi-channel lead nurturing

Employing a multi-channel lead nurturing strategy is a sure-fire way to address the needs of leads at various stages in the sales process. The approach involves the use of multiple channels that are relevant to the potential buyers. One of the major reasons for adopting this multi-channel approach is that leads respond differently to particular channels. For instance, research has shown that email open rates for marketing campaigns do not exceed 20 percent.

Marketers must abandon the practice of implementing basic email drip campaigns that deliver generic messages to multiple prospects. It comes as no surprise that such an approach fails to deliver the required results. Looking beyond the limits of a single channel like email solves this problem.

A viable multi-channel approach takes advantage of social media, marketing automation, direct sales, paid re-targeting, email marketing, and engaging website content. For the strategy to work, sales and marketing teams need to work in a cohesive fashion.

Social media can provide a viable alternative when prospects ignore email. Many people are active on social sites regularly. The platforms help you cultivate relationships by engaging in lively chats and liking their pages. On the other hand, dynamic website content plays an important role by providing informative and relevant content that answers key questions. The content should help prospects make an informed as regards your products or services.

Retargeting advertisements are based on the prospect’s active interests. For this reason, they increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. These types of campaigns can be carried out on a wide variety of platforms, including LinkedIn, Google Display Network, Twitter and Facebook.

Multiple touches

An ever-increasing number of marketers are switching from single media campaigns to multi-touch ones. This route allows marketers to utilize multiple contact points with the aim of generating incremental sales. However, the campaigns require targeted and consistent messages that appeal to potential customers.

The success of these efforts is also dependent upon the accuracy of prospects’ information in the database. The data can be used to create individual personas needed to implement custom campaigns. It is common for potential customers to access up to 23 touch points prior to engaging with salespeople.

Interaction with the customer on various platforms is vital. In the end, marketing teams must glean insights from the process to identify the exact touch points that helped the prospect the make the final purchasing decision.

Multi-touch marketing allows you to:

  • Accelerate the velocity of sales cycles,
  • Streamline marketing strategy, and
  • Improve overall performance.

In addition, multi-touch marketing provides a practical way to plan and forecast expenditures associated with the marketing campaigns.

Timely follow ups

A report published in the Harvard Business Review showed that many US firms are not acting in timely manner in regards to following up with prospective customers. On average, B2B sales leads are contacted after 42 hours, which is unacceptably long. Fewer organizations were reaching out to potential B2B marketing customers within one hour. Even worse, some companies fail to follow up completely.

The odds of turning a prospect into a paying customer a dramatically increase when the response time is within the hour. The follow up email or phone call needs to be well researched to ensure a favorable outcome. This is in contrast to cold calling, which lacks insights about the prospect’s interests.

As mentioned, sales automation tools should be considered in any campaign intended to facilitate a successful lead nurturing initiative.  You can learn more about automating prospect follow up here.

Personalized emails

Personalized emails have the capacity to boost conversion rates when compared to non-personalized messages. Generic email strategies are usually ignored because they lack direct appeal to most recipients. Personalizing emails based on specific actions by the prospects improves the effectiveness of lead nurturing campaigns.  If your data does not contain a complete profile, services such as email append can be used to enhance and enrich these profiles in order to create a more personalized message.

The prospects can trigger email responses when they click on links, visit website pages or download content. These actions enable you to deliver the ideal content at the right time to the right leads.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring allows you to rank potential customers based on their perceived value. This strategy requires the use of sales automation tools that score the leads by assigning numerical values to a number of relative actions. These include social media interactions, demonstrating high levels of interest, conversion events or browsing actions on the company website.

Sales and marketing teams can use the scores to make decisions about which leads should be followed up with. It also enables the team to identify prospects that need to be included in the lead nurturing process. It is imperative that marketers must leverage the power of sales automation and lead scoring tools to boost sales revenue at significantly lower cost.

Sales and marketing alignment

To boost sales opportunities, companies need to align both sales and marketing campaigns in the lead nurturing process. This has proven to be a highly effective approach that delivers significantly better results. The alignment works better by enabling sales and marketing teams to identify with precision when a prospect must be channeled through the nurturing funnel.

When a potential customer transitions from one team to the other, they will be exposed to a more personalized experience. Teams can share key insights about the prospect’s interests and needs. Marketing triggers like conversion events, pageviews, sales contact or workflow enrollment help shape the nurturing efforts.

Marketing service level agreement (SLA) should be used to outline responsibilities and expectations of the inter-department collaboration. This allows the teams to understand their roles clearly. As a result, they hold each other accountable for the ultimate success of the campaigns.

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