There's a dangerous misconception flying around that inbound marketing stops once you generate leads. Let's squash that rumor like a bug right now since, well, it doesn't. Effective implementation of inbound marketing follows leads throughout the sales cycle, especially considering the fact that only 50% of qualified leads are ready to buy immediately, according to Gleanster Research. This means that your leads are definitely in need of a little TLC, and that's why lead nurturing is such a valuable asset in your inbound marketing toolbox.
A great lead nurturing campaign takes someone who isn't ready to buy, and nurtures that lead with content and offers tailored to that lead's interests and stage in the sales process, pushing them closer to sales-readiness. Effective lead nurturing is personalized, targeted, timely, and appropriate. While there are a few methods for nurturing leads, one of the most commonly utilized methods for implementing a lead nurturing campaign is email. And there's no question that this more targeted approach works. HubSpot's own research indicates that lead nurturing emails generate an 8% click-through rate (CTR), compared to the measly 3% CTR that untargeted email blasts yield.
So how do you create a lead nurturing campaign that makes use of all of those critical lead nurturing best practices we just mentioned? It's all about the intelligence. Lead intelligence enables you to craft personalized, targeted lead nurturing campaigns that suit the needs of your leads. Convinced that you might benefit from implementing lead nurturing? Here are 9 pieces of must-have lead intelligence you need for effective lead nurturing segmentation and optimization.
10 Must-Have Pieces of Lead Intelligence You Need for Effective Lead Nurturing
1. Name: This sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how few marketers personalize their communications with something as simple as the lead's name. This is one of the simplest pieces of intelligence to gather from your leads, so why not use it? Addressing your leads with their names in lead nurturing emails is a great first step to a more personalized experience.
2. Demographic Information: Gathering and analyzing demographic information such as age, gender, and location can give you a lot of insight into your leads' wants and needs and can help you better qualify them up front. Do you sell products tailored to a more senior demographic? Then you probably don't want to bother adding a rogue teeny-bopper lead to your lead nurturing campaign for those products.
3. Industry: If you're a B2B company and you sell products and services to people in various industries, industry information can be extraordinarily helpful in determining the best nurture path. Do leads from that particular industry have specific needs and care about only certain products and services you offer? Plop these leads into lead nurturing campaigns that offer vertical content and information related only to the industry in which they work.
4. Company Size: A small business has much different needs and goals than does an enterprise-sized business, so shouldn't leads falling in these two different categories -- and in between, for that matter -- be nurtured differently, too?
5. Job Title: A lead's job title can tell you a lot about them. In which deparment do they work? What is their level of seniority within the company? After all, you'd likely market to a company's CEO much differently than you would a junior manager at the company.
6. Persona: Has your business crafted well-defined marketing personas that describe your ideal customer group(s) to a tee? Using the above information, where does your lead fit? Do you find that one marketing persona prefers one content format or topic over another? Focus your lead nurturing communication on providing information about that topic or content type.
7. Pages Viewed: Which pages has the lead visited on your website? This information can be a great way to determine the stage of the sales cycle your lead is in. For example, if a lead has visited your product or case study pages, this is a good indication that the lead might be closer to a sale and thus ready to be nurtured with content and information that is more product-focused.
8. Social Media Intel: Is this lead present on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? What kind of information can you gather from their interactions on these sites? Based on their discussions and questions, do they seem to be interested in a particular problem your business solves? Nurture them with content that addresses those problems.
9. Conversion Forms Completed, and When: How much has the lead already interacted with your business' lead gen content? How many forms has he/she completed, what type of content (ebooks, webinars, product demos, etc.) were they for, and which topics did the content cover? If the lead has converted on a few forms for content on a specific topic, nurture them with more of that type of content. When did the lead first convert on your site? How long has he/she been around? A lead who has converted more is likely more educated about your company and what you offer than a new lead who has only converted once.
10. Email Communications History: How much have you emailed the lead already? Are they already a part of one email list or lead nurturing campaign? Historically, how engaged have they been with your email communcations. Did they click any links? What links did they click on? Use your intelligence wisely, and be sure not to bombard leads with multiple campaigns and various types of email sends. It's called lead nurturing, not lead pummeling.
The pieces of lead intelligence data you use to inform your lead nurturing segmentation and the types of content, information, and offers you use within your communication will depend a lot on your specific business, industry, target audience, and the products/services you offer. Much of the intelligence we mentioned above can easily be obtained through lead-capture forms on your website's landing pages, and you can use other marketing analytics and closed-loop data to glean many of the other insights. Using this valuable lead intelligence to better segment your leads and personlize your communication with them will result in more sales-ready leads for your sales team and a more efficient inbound marketing strategy.
Have you leveraged lead nurturing campaigns in your marketing? What results have they produced?
Image Credit: Jim Bahn