Do you collect email addresses, but struggle to turn your leads into sales through your email marketing campaign?
If so, you need a solid lead nurturing strategy.
Most leads won’t convert right away.
In fact, at least half of your leads won’t be ready to buy from you right away and will need to be nurtured to become a customer.
Your ability to convert leads into customers depends on your lead generation and lead nurturing strategies and your ability to close the sale.
This article will help you understand and apply the most important lead nurturing strategies.
Table of Contents
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the art of generating relationships with your leads and taking them from being just another email address to a paying customer. When a lead becomes a customer, it’s considered a conversion. The more conversions you generate, the more money you’ll make. However, converting leads into paying customers isn’t as simple as it sounds.
The lead nurturing process involves more than just emailing your list with product announcements and special deals.
You’ll need an effective lead nurturing strategy from wherever they are (an interested person) all the way to where you want them to go (making a purchase).
This process requires time and serious mental input as you consider their individual journey down the sales funnel and through your marketing automation software.
Lead Nurturing Along the Buyer Journey
In order to convert your leads, you’ll need to guide them through a specific journey called the buying journey. There are multiple stages to this journey that can be envisioned as a funnel:
Stage 1: A lead is curious
This is the top of your funnel and is the widest part. In this stage of lead nurturing, a lead is just starting to look at their options for what you’re selling. They may not even be familiar with your brand but stumbled upon your website while performing a search.
At this stage, a lead will have plenty of questions and may not even know what they need.
Stage 2: A lead knows they want a product
This is referred to as lead nurturing in the middle of your funnel. In this stage, a lead knows they want to buy a certain kind of product, but they’re not sure who to buy from just yet.
This is also referred to as the “research stage” where leads take their time to gather as much information as possible about the brands offering what they want to buy. A lead’s goal in this stage is to make the best decision regarding which company has the best solution.
Stage 3: A lead is ready to buy
This is the bottom of your funnel and is the narrow part. In this stage, a lead has completed their research to their satisfaction and has a good idea about which companies they’d buy from and what specific details matter regarding their purchase.
5 tips to nurture your leads until you get the sale
Here are some tips for nurturing your leads until they turn into customers.
1. Lead segmentation supports lead nurturing
To convert your leads, you’ll need to reach them at each stage in their buying journey. This requires delivering stage-specific marketing messages throughout their journey. This is accomplished best with lead segmentation.
If you’ve never segmented leads before, it’s a critical marketing strategy, yet easy to implement. Once you apply tags to your leads inside of your email marketing program, you can send emails only to leads with specific tags.
The purpose of segmenting your leads is to be able to send different emails to different leads based on their interests and where they are in their buying journey.
Segmenting based on interest
To reach leads based on their interests, you’ll need to segment them as they come in according to certain qualities that only you can define. For example, if you run PPC ads for different products, you’ll want to tag each new lead according to the product they expressed interest in when clicking the ad.
Another example would be if you own a pet store. You’d want to segment your leads according to the type of pets they shop for. Someone who owns lizards will have very different needs than someone who owns dogs.
Segmenting based on their point in the buying journey
With regard to emailing leads based on where they are in the buying journey, you want to send different emails to leads who are ready to buy vs. leads who are just entering your funnel. Your language will be different and so will your marketing tactics.
Not every lead who enters your funnel will be at the top, so while you can certainly segment new leads as ‘new,’ you’ll also want to send regular emails asking your leads to click on links that will tell you more about where they are in the buying journey. With a powerful CRM, you can automatically apply and remove segment tags from leads based on the links they click.
When you segment your leads, you can deliver targeted marking messages to generate better results. For instance, when you know a lead is ready to buy, they’ll be easier to convert. For this reason, you might use language that assumes the sale when sending an email to a lead at the bottom of your funnel. However, assuming the purchase would most likely be a turn-off for leads at the top of your funnel. For leads at the top of your funnel, you’ll want to send them emails to help them understand your products, brand, or your industry.
Nurturing leads guides them gently down your funnel
All leads are important, as you can convert leads at any stage, including leads at the top of your funnel. Although leads that are ready to buy are much easier to turn into customers, they were once at the top of your funnel and had to work their way down.
The good news is, each new lead that lands at the top of your funnel can be nurtured further down until they buy from you. Although, to do it smoothly you’ll need to segment your leads.
2. Create content for all buying stages
Creating content that meets leads where they are is an important part of lead nurturing. All leads can be reached, you just need to create different content for each segment.
For instance, instead of only focusing on leads that are ready to buy, create content for your website that caters to leads across all buying stages. You can reach people in all different buying stages by producing content that addresses their specific questions, concerns, and provides the information they seek.
To reach and nurture leads at the top of your funnel, you’ll want to publish educational content regarding your business, your products or services, and your industry. Think of this content as an educational introduction to your business rather than a sales conversation.
To reach leads in the middle of your funnel, you’ll want to publish content assuming people are already familiar with what you sell. However, your focus should be on convincing people why your particular product is the best. Why should they buy from you when there are ten other companies, some with lower prices?
For lead nurturing at the bottom of your funnel, you’ll want to publish content that reinforces their belief in your brand and encourages or even asks them to make a purchase.
3. Utilize PPC ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a fantastic way to generate targeted leads on a regular basis. PPC ads are an ideal lead source because if someone clicks on your ad to find your website, you know they’re interested in your company or product. When your leads are targeted, your emails will be more effective.
PPC ads will drive immediate traffic to your site, as opposed to other methods that take time. For instance, blogging, social media, and organic search results all require extensive time and effort to create a flow of leads from.
On the other hand, you can start generating leads with PPC ads as soon as your ads go live.
Where to run PPC ads
There are many popular and fruitful PPC platforms to choose from, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google. Although the ads work in a similar fashion, each platform has a different type of audience, so some may be better suited for you than others.
Try all the platforms and choose the ones that bring you the best leads.
4. Follow up fast and send frequent emails
Email marketing studies suggest that leads are more likely to convert when you reach out to them within five minutes. You’ll need an automated email marketing strategy to follow up this quickly. However, don’t just send your first email and stop. It’s equally important to continue making frequent contact after your first email.
The longer you wait to send more emails, the more likely your leads are to forget you exist.
In short, email is table stakes 101 in your efforts to do more lead nurturing for your prospects.
If you wait too long and your leads go “cold,” they may feel annoyed the next time you email them. Emailing cold leads is risky. Many people will report your emails as spam, which can compromise your email marketing account.
By setting up an automated lead nurturing email sequence, you won’t have to worry about sending out emails manually. Once you program your emails to go out, all new leads will be nurtured from start to finish.
You should be performing your lead nurturing with an optimized CRM (customer relationship management) software environment where you can implement sales cycle best practices like lead scoring. A CRM will also help you better track your lead nurturing efforts as your sales prospects advance down the pipeline.
5. Use retargeting/remarketing in your lead nurturing efforts
Remarketing, also called retargeting, is when you use PPC ads to display advertisements only to people who have already interacted with your brand.
Remarketing is the quintessential form of lead nurturing.
For instance, you might run ads that only show up for people who have visited a specific URL from your website, or someone who has previously clicked on one of your ads.
This strategy gives you an even more narrow target that you can speak to even more specifically with your copy. For instance, in your copy, you can assume they’ve already interacted with your brand (because they have).
Remarketing leads will already be familiar with your company or product, and you’ll have an advantage in persuading them to convert. Maybe they’ve already signed up for your email list, but they haven’t bought from you yet. Or, perhaps they haven’t signed up for your email list yet and remarketing will get them on your list.
Optimize your lead nurturing campaigns with SEO.co!
If you’re ready to generate massive leads, then reach out to us and let’s talk about setting up a customized lead nurturing program.
At SEO.co, we can help you generate leads from a variety of sources, including PPC ads, search engine optimization, and content marketing. The best way to generate leads is to utilize multiple channels, and that’s exactly what we offer.
When you work with our marketing and sales teams, they will create a personalized lead nurturing process and plan to help you generate the leads you deserve from a variety of platforms and nuture them through your sales funnel.
Reach out and tell us what you need so we can start creating your winning lead generation strategy as soon as possible.