Most businesses are able to run marketing campaigns that result in micro and macro lead generation. But let’s get to the final part of it, just how many of these leads are they able to effectively convert into customers? Yes, paying customers?
This is where lead nurturing plays a huge role.
As defined by Marketo, lead nurturing is the process of establishing relationships with your target market at every stage of the sales funnel, leading their path up to a conversion. It focuses on using marketing and communication tactics to understand the needs of the prospects, educate them, answer their concerns and then turn them into customers who have complete faith in what the business does.
Since 75% of the leads generated by the marketing campaigns are not ready to make a purchase, lead nurturing plays an important role in business growth.
Now you could be offering the best of products in the industry at the most competitive prices, but if your prospects aren’t sure what they need to do with it, you’re not going to get any customers.
Having worked hours on a product so good and getting no customers is definitely something no business wants!
“Effective lead nurturing can result in 79% increase in conversions.”
– Marketing Sherpa
So here’s taking a look at some of the lead nurturing mistakes that leads to businesses losing customers and how you can avoid them:
1. Not understanding your prospects well
You’ve done your fair bit of market research, but what about researching on your prospects as well?
When it comes to lead generation and nurturing, understanding who your ideal customer is, what he is looking for and how you can offer the same to him in a contextual manner, is extremely important.
If I didn’t know what kind of shoe you’re looking for, how can I just randomly sell a running shoe to you? Maybe you’re looking for something to go with your casual attire instead!
This means you will need to go beyond just market research and create smart segments of your ideal customers – look into their needs, how they’re changing, how you can suffice them and their previous purchase triggers to strategize your campaigns for higher conversions.
A few ways of understanding your customers is to:
- Conduct a market survey to get an understanding of how your customers are looking for products/services, which of their needs are being addressed and which of them are left uncatered.
- Incorporate social listening to your strategy because social media and online communities are the channels that your target market is most active on. They ask and address queries of each other there as a person and not a business, so that’s the best place to get insights.
- Dig deeper into Quora and other Q&A platforms. There are a number of people dropping their questions or opening discussions around market needs. For all you know, you might just spot a prospect that you could nurture into a customer in one of the threads!
2. Not having an enticing offer
Let’s face it, if you don’t have something valuable to offer, all your website or landing page visitors are going to abandon you without a single interaction. The reason being, they see no reason behind sharing their email address with this business trying to sell them something.
After all, no one likes to put themselves at the risk of being spammed. Right?
So think like your customer when creating a lead magnet. Don’t just create a campaign that you think is relevant to your website or a blog post you just wrote. Based on your research above, create a lead magnet around a common concern, popular demand or something that helps the visitor understand your value proposition better.
For instance, there are a lot of people who turn to us and ask what an exit intent technology does. While we love answering their questions, they turn to Google for answers. Now what if we offered a demo to them as soon as they were done reading an article on exit intent?
It saves them the trouble of having to Google anything or seek out the latest article, explanation, video on the topic. In this case, a demo worked as a great lead magnet that addresses the questions of the target market.
Another example could be of a content upgrade. You’re reading an article on exit intent campaign optimization. The very next question that is likely to come to your mind is how and where to get started. This is where a checklist or an ebook on ‘how to get started with exit intent optimization – a step by step’ can come handy!
Your queries are resolved and we have a lead magnet that kills two birds with one stone – one, we generate a lead and two, we nurture the lead with this upgrade by offering knowledge and relevant information.
3. Not setting up an email drip campaign
Email marketing is the most effective tactic for businesses to communicate or interact with their customers. It gives them a platform to directly reach out with a message that is more personalized and definitely more likely to convert them.
But knowing the fact, there are still a lot of marketers who don’t do anything with the leads they generate from a marketing campaign. Be it the people who downloaded an ebook or a report, those who requested for a demo or simply those who subscribed to your newsletter.
Creating a drip campaign is like mapping out the path for a lead, up until he converts. This includes welcoming him to your email list, letting him know what he is going to gain, sharing knowledge sources and other types of emails.
These emails are sent out in a sequence from the time a lead is generated. The drip campaign should ideally lead up to a macro conversion that your business is aiming at.
4. Not following up with leads
Continuing on our point above, it is important that you stay in touch with your leads or they’ll lose interest in your business. Even though you have a drip campaign in place, it is important that you incorporate following up with those who make any kind of interaction on any channel – the above sent emails, social media, etc.
Having a robust CRM software – irrespective of the size of your business, comes handy here. This way you can track the progress of your leads up to conversion. Also make it a point to record all the interactions and conversations made with a lead so far – this helps other members of your team follow up timely if you’re not around or have missed on doing so.
5. Not using customer data to trigger campaigns
You’ve generated a lead – yes, a prospect has shared his contact details with your business. But that doesn’t mean you end up spamming him with irrelevant marketing campaigns or bombarding him with messages that don’t add any value to him or his needs.
It is important that while nurturing, you keep the customer in mind first. You need to understand how they are interacting with your business, what kind of information they have already processed and what more are they looking for.
The sad truth is that only 20% of marketers make use of behavioural triggers in their email and other marketing campaigns.
Not having a proper lead nurturing campaign or process in place, will only result in you losing all those people from your target market that had the potential of being your customers. These are people who are hesitant to make the first interaction with you and while waiting for you to do so, will look for other options that the market has to offer to them!
So don’t make these lead nurturing mistakes if you want your business’s customer base to grow effectively.