Lead Nurturing has been called different names. Some of you may have already heard these terms before: marketing automation, drip marketing, auto-responders. In a nutshell, lead nurturing is a system that allows you to send an automated series of emails to a captured lead in the early stages, in order to filter out the best prospects before handing them over to your sales team.
In the highly competitive world of online marketing, it is no longer enough to set up lead capture campaigns and forget about them hoping that captured leads will turn to paying customers. It still holds true that building a relationship with your leads will yield far better results than it would if one were to simply cross their fingers and hope that a lead will make the decision to pay for a product or service.
A recent study shows just how important it is to take the extra time to nurture your leads. Take a look at these figures:
- Of all leads captured, only 25% of are legitimate. The trick is in filtering out which leads are legitimate and which ones aren’t.
- 50% of legitimate leads are qualified but may not be ready to make a purchase. It’s important to provide more reasons for these leads to take that next step to becoming a paying client/customer.
- The response rate of lead nurturing emails is 4-10 times higher than that of standalone email blasts.
- 25-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. In other words, if you’re not following up on your leads, there’s a big chance that potential clients may be snapped up by a competitor who takes the time to respond to queries and inquiries.
It is definitely important to capture as much lead information for as many people as you can on your site or your clients’ sites. The thing to realize, however is, that not everyone is ready to talk to sales. There are different studies out there that document the numbers, but based on the figures, it’s safe to say that a mere 5% – 25% of the traffic on your site are prepared to talk business; the rest are still doing their research and comparing your service to similar ones they have found online.
If you call these leads up and push them into making a decision right away, chances are high that you will end up losing your leads instead of turning them into paying customers. Consider your existing sales funnel. How long after initial inquiries does it typically take a lead to make a decision to purchase? Do different types of purchases affect the sales cycle you employ? Answering these questions will help you to structure effective lead nurturing campaigns. For instance, if the turnaround time is usually a month for a lead to make a purchasing decision, then you have to ensure that you keep your leads engaged throughout the month.
What Are the Benefits of Lead Nurturing?
You Can Set Up a Campaign to be Well-Timed
One of the difficulties with email marketing is that it is often hard to connect with leads as soon as they subscribe. Numerous studies have shown that email response rates decline over the age of the lead. Start thinking about how you can utilize your lead nurturing campaigns to exploit this to your advantage.
Automation Saves Time
Assuming you’ve set up your lead nurturing campaign to take advantage of the timing appropriate for your campaign, you can automate the emails to be sent out over a predetermined period of time. This will save you a lot of time in the long run, and is a good way to get a high return for a low investment.
Targeting is More Precise
Studies have shown that targeted and segmented emails perform better than mass email communications. Careful crafting of your lead nurturing communications to coincide with actions that users take on your site will help to further personalize the user experience, and help to pinpoint what these users may or may not be interested in.
Tracking Click-through and Unsubscribe Rates
Studies have also documented that lead nurturing emails have a significantly higher CTR (click-through rate) than more generic email blasts. Interestingly enough, lead nurturing emails have a slightly higher unsubscribe rate than individual emails. At first glance, this may seem like an indicator of negative performance however, this is actually a sign that a lead nurturing campaign is working well to filter out qualified leads by eliminating people who will probably not make a purchase. Only the most engaged leads will move down the sales funnel, and this is where great customers come from.