Leads are your future customers - they just haven’t realised it yet! That means your job as a business is to get those that show initial interest in your brand to make that final leap into being your (hopefully regular) customer. One proven way to do this is a lead nurture campaign to keep your solution top of mind.
Lead nurturing involves providing relevant information throughout the different stages of the customer buying cycle. When planning how you’re going to reach your leads at every point in the buying cycle, you need to start by deciding on your goals and what your ideal outcome looks like in terms of sales, sign ups or whatever you deem to be your target. Once that has been determined, you need to make sure your strategy is going to get your there and your team is aligned and equipped to execute it.
With that in mind, here are 12 tips to help you convert more leads into paying customers.
1. Listen to your customers. You need to know what prospective customers are thinking during the sales process. This way you can understand their pain points, your differentiators and what may be causing you to lose prospects. Monitor reviews, talk to your sales team or send follow up emails to get your information.
2. Classify your audience. Employ behavioral lead-scoring to determine the value of each lead. Organize these into groups respectively and work with your sales team to determine the type (and frequency) of messaging needed for each group.
3. Create a schedule. Leads need to be touched at least 7 times in most industries before becoming engaged, so having the right materials ready at every point of the process will put your sales team in a position of strength. Compose an editorial calendar to plan out the delivery of nurture messages to keep you on track.
4. Leverage key events. If there are any specific events tied to your offer, don’t be afraid to leverage these when you’re sending out your lead-nurturing campaigns. As the target date approaches, you can more aggressive - but don’t go overboard!
5. Personalize your content. If you’ve determined your audience (through scoring, personas and behavioural analysis), cater your content so that it resonates with each segment at each stage of the buying cycle. Use a tone that will speak best to them and focus on their concerns and pain points instead of being product-centric.
Beauty retailer Birchbox demonstrates a perfect example of how a personalized message can be applied to an abandoned purchase.
6. Prove your value. Show off your value without asking for an obligation from your leads. For products, this means having all the information needed to make a buying decision readily available and accessible. Demo videos can be especially effective.
Subscription services can take a different approach. Depending on the specifics of the product, many use free trails of freemiums to initially hook customers. An example is the customer management software industry where 32% of companies are offering some kind of freemium version.
7. Use retargeting. Brand recall is imperative. Therefore, be everywhere, be repetitive and be very clear in your message. Using an ad platform like Adroll or Google Adwords is a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind for a relatively low cost.
8. Become an influencer marketer. Boost your perceived authority by getting involved in co-marketing (in-person and online events) and guest blog on industry-related websites.
9. Offer further learning materials. White papers, webinars and infographics are great, often-engaging forms of content that provide value to your prospects. By offering these materials (in exchange for them providing their name and e-mail via an opt-in), you’re not only providing them value, but also refreshing the relationship.
10. Keep your sales conversion forms short. Only include fields that are absolutely necessary to capture your lead’s information. Too long of a conversion process poses the risk of overwhelming prospects, causing them bounce. Having three fields or less can produce as much as a 5% increase in conversions.
11. Express gratitude. Wherever possible, thank your leads. A simple “Thank You” email can go a long way when it comes to building brand trust & loyalty.
12. Test and optimize. Whether it’s a subject line or a call-to-action, your marketing automation process should always be tested and adjusted based on the results.
Lead nurturing is about building relationships through relevant conversation points, not campaigns. There is a saying that speaks simply and eloquently to what we should expect based on the effort we put in: “a relationship properly sown, tended to, and helped along should reap a long and bountiful harvest.” You may be more familiar with this version: “As you sow, so shall you reap.”