Lead nurturing is the purposeful process of engaging a defined target group by providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer's journey. It focuses on marketing and communication efforts to listen to prospects, and provide valuable information and answers.
Effectively you’re guiding prospects to eventually purchase from you, but in a way that is helpful and not sales driven. The more a lead is nurtured, the more knowledgeable they become about your specific product.
This ultimately creates a more qualified lead, ensuring the sales team only get involved when the lead is ready to purchase.
What Is Lead Nurturing?
This inbound method represents being helpful and guides prospects through the buyer's journey with information, allowing them to make their own decisions, rather than being sold to.
An example of bad lead nurturing would be if someone filled in a form on your website and it got handed over to the sales team immediately. The lead might not be educated about your product enough to be sold too.
The sales team will be spending a lot of time attempting nurturing which just comes across as sales talk, ultimately putting people off.
When it comes to your prospects, one size doesn’t fit all with the content they’ll find useful. This is why targeting your content is so important to ensure you’re being helpful rather than annoying.
By providing content ready to download on your website, you gain insight into the specific product or service they’re interested in.
Consider this, you're a window and specialist and your prospect downloads a door brochure only. This would then indicate that they're only interested in information on doors at this awareness stage.
The one issue with this, is many building product companies hold back information that would be valuable to prospects as they don’t want their competitors knowing their technical information.
Chances are, your competitors already know this information. As you’re probably aware of their technical data too.
Although you might have information readily available on your website, your prospects might not have found it all. This is why a CRM system is essential to lead nurturing, it tells you everything you need to know including the pages prospects have viewed.
This then gives you the structure to target and communicate the relevant information to them, without selling.
Targeted content can have an even bigger effect on prospects if you understand each of your unique buyer personas.
Your buyer persona research should reflect specific goals, objectives, interests and triggers. You can then create an assortment of targeted content designed to nurture personas.
Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value of each lead to your organisation.
It can be implemented into most marketing automation platforms by assigning numeric values to certain behaviours.
For example, visiting a product page might score 1, interacting on social 1, reading a blog might score 2 and downloading an E-Book 3.
Trial and error with your own leads will determine these numbers so they work for your specific business. Each sector has different lead times depending on the service they provide.
Architects might be looking for information for a project that is 2 years away, whereas an installer might be looking to buy for a project in a month’s time.
You will then try and find the sweet spot total number for when leads are ready to be handed over to sales. This way each individual prospect is treated separately as some may take longer to make a decision than others.
This segmentation allows you to target people at the right time. As opposed to targeting all leads as soon as they submit a form as a sales lead.
68% of successful marketers cite lead scoring based on content and engagement as the most effective tactic for revenue contribution from lead nurturing.
Automation In Lead Nurturing
Automation can make the nurturing process even slicker, allowing your marketers to do what they do best, market.
Emails are the most effective way to automate your nurturing as its personalised to each individual. Personalised emails generate up to 6 times higher revenue per email compared to non-personalised.
To give you an idea of how automation can be used, we created an automated email for a client exhibiting at a trade show earlier this month.
We created a landing page with an integrated form specifically designed for the show. The sales team filled in prospects information and within 5 minutes they were sent a thank you email for visiting them at the show. On the email was also an E-Book that reflected the specific focus of the trade show.
From this, the sales team can see who is the most nurtured out of their submissions by who has opened and read the E-book.
This now gives the sales team the structure to prioritise whom they target from the show in their follow up, as the most engaged people will be most likely to buy.
Automated emails can be used throughout your whole website. Many people don’t want to un-gate E-books, data sheets and content as they want some information in return. If this is the case then use as few fields as possible.
A name and an email would give you enough information to be able to target prospects effectively.
Especially if you have a CRM system as when an email is submitted through your website it retrieves all information about that prospect and their behaviour on your site. It also shows which pages they’ve visited, how many times they’ve viewed them, how many months they’ve been coming onto the website and so much more.
Consider you have data sheets that a prospect has submitted their email to get, you could create an automated email just to say thanks and that you’re there to help.
To be even more helpful you could include some more information about that specific product, a recent case study or even a blog that discusses it in detail.
Timely Follow Ups In Automation
The beauty of your follow up being automated is it keeps the prospect engaged. Consider someone submitting a form on a Friday evening, the chances are you’re not going to reply or get back to them till Monday at the earliest.
If it were automated you could start the nurturing process whilst you’re not even there.
This could be the difference between getting a lead and losing one to your competitor. As if they’re continuously being sent targeted content they’ll stay engaged.
The odds of a lead entering the sales process are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.
Insynth’s building products report revealed that 80% of building product companies didn’t even reply to a customer enquiry. With 31% of companies not even having a contact form on their website.
Lead nurturing saves time so ultimately saves money. Your sales team shouldn’t be spending time on prospects that might not even buy. The lead nurturing process would have flushed the time wasters out as you would see they aren’t engaging.
By having an automated lead nurturing process and good quality to support it, your leads will nurture themselves. You can then call up with confidence knowing what specific product they’re interested in.
Sales tools give you the data, so you can target the right people at the right time with the right content. Check out what other tools could be making life easier for your marketing and sales team here.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.