5 Ways to Improve Your Lead Nurturing Efforts

Posted by Nancy M Ruff

shutterstock_527655124.jpgYou spend a lot of time trying to attract and capture leads. Great content, effective calls to action, free eBooks and guides, and dedicated landing pages? Check. They’re all best inbound marketing practices, but your hard work doesn’t stop there. Leads are great, but they don’t mean much to your bottom line if they don’t turn into customers. Nurturing your leads takes just as much effort as capturing them. If you’re not as happy as you could be with your conversion rates, here are five ways to improve your lead nurturing efforts.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns that Convert

It’s normal to see a dip in your lead nurturing programs as your less-engaged audience members simply churn out of your funnel or find alternate sources for a product or service. Remember, not everyone is your ideal customer. What matters is that your campaigns focus on building relationships with qualified prospects – regardless of when they intend to buy – so they do business with you when decision time arrives.

  1. Create a Content Map

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before you take a lead nurturing campaign live. Whether your strategy is simple or complex, a content map helps determine which message you’ll deliver at each of state of the nurturing campaign. Preparation at this stage is critical. For example, don’t set up your first email to go live until you have at least three to five ready. Don’t throw your emails together a day or two before they’re due to go out. A mapped-out approach ensures your target audience receives a consistent message that leads them to convert.

  1. Target Content

Strategically nurturing your leads using targeted content can dramatically improve the results of your inbound marketing strategy, increasing sales opportunities by 20% or more. Many marketers consider targeted delivery of content to be their biggest lead nurturing challenge. To best deliver the right content to the right people at the right time (the very definition of targeted content), you need to start with well-researched, detailed buyer personas. Once you do, you can use a marketing automation platform to help you identify, segment and target them based on their interests, goals, and objectives.

  1. Automated Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Nothing helps you more effectively target your audience than an automated email delivery system. Create all your emails at once to ensure that over the life of the campaign they accurately convey your message. Then schedule them to go out once per week or every other week. Most experts agree that spreading the messages out avoids making people feel they’re getting spammed. Use digital marketing analytics to help determine, amongst other things, which delivery method works best for you.

  1. Think Outside the Inbox

Email lead nurturing is still the most effective, but typically results in open rates of 20% or less. That means thinking about multi-channel lead nurturing. Instead of relying on simple email drip campaigns alone, look for lead nurturing tactics that take advantage of automation and go beyond the inbox. Effective multi-channel campaigns are made up of email marketing, social media, dynamic website content, and direct outreach. The bottom line: when it comes to lead nurturing, you now can be two – or more – places at once!

  1. Stop Selling and Start Learning

Yes, the goal is to convert leads to loyal customers, but it’s important to get your priorities straight. Instead of focusing on the close, concentrate on learning what your leads need. Pay attention to the questions they ask, as well as the content and messaging they most respond to. When you put potential customer concerns first, it makes your marketing that much better. It’s an effective approach that lets sales take care of themselves.

As you utilize inbound marketing techniques to generate more leads, just how important an effective lead nurturing strategy is becomes clear. These tips should help your lead nurturing campaigns be more relevant and valuable to potential customers. Lead nurturing takes a bit of time and effort to get right, but with the many tools available to help, you can see marked improvement in a relatively short period.