July 28, 2022
Lead generation is a grind.
Depending on how you approach it, the acquisition funnel can include up to five steps before the conversion point. So it's fair to say getting customers through each level is hard work! But given how much investment goes into gaining their initial awareness and interest, it's surprising that those 'harder to convert' prospects who may have gone cold at some point in the customer journey aren't nurtured the rest of the way.
Brands seem to give up.
It's easy for businesses to seek out more leads to maintain short-term sales. But if you're looking to grow and you've got a finite population, you will need to find a way to revive those potential customers that were lost along the way. Not only could this be the secret to future success, but it's also a strategic competitive advantage. Simple SEO analysis of search terms shows "lead generation" generated about 1600 searches in January 2022, while "lead nurturing" returned no results. None!
Most businesses aren't willing to do the hard work of continuing to engage their warm and cold leads, but for those that are - there is long-term growth potential to be unlocked.
A lead that has taken more time to consider and decide on a purchase often becomes a more valuable and loyal customer with whom you can drive ongoing revenue. For those willing to invest wisely in nurturing customer relationships at every point of the journey, there are more sales, more customers and inevitably more growth available.
For the businesses willing to tend to these not-yet-customer relationships, there is a reward for your patience. On average, organisations that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost1.
According to a report by the Annuitas Group, lead nurturing efforts are more likely to motivate larger purchases. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads1. That's a pretty significant pay-off.
Lead nurturing motivates leads to buy. Without the right nudge, there is a good chance that your leads will end up in sales purgatory. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of poor performance, mainly when the reality is that 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales1.
It's easy to get discouraged by a statistic like that. But just because the prospect is a cold or warm lead now doesn't mean you won't convert them tomorrow. According to Marketo, 50% of the leads in any system aren't yet ready to buy 1. Lead nurturing can help ensure that when the time comes, you are there.
Lead nurturing is not only a missed sales opportunity but also a missed customer experience opportunity. How you engage prospects can be a substantial competitive lever and foreshadow the experience that differentiates you and strengthens your brand.
Convinced but don't know where to start? Here are some things you can consider to help you develop your relationship with prospectives.
Easier said than done, but developing a clear picture of your audience at each stage of the customer journey is key to establishing who they are and what they need from you to progress to the next stage of the customer journey. Ask questions.
The answers to these questions will give you the direction you need to start sifting through the available data.
Armed with your questions, it's time to start sifting through your customer data and implement ways to capture the information you need. This data may be explicit (i.e. abandoned cart data) or implicit (i.e. browsing data).
While you're hunting for customer insights, it may be helpful to overlay customer research to help you distinguish between current and future customers. Qualitative and quantitative customer research can be a valuable exercise to get rich and substantiated consumer insights from which to make decisions and prioritise efforts.
Mapping the typical customer journey for your key segments is a great way to understand and optimise their experience. Once you've identified the critical decision points, content can be crafted to help encourage customers' next best action. Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the sales funnel yields 73% higher conversion rates2.
You'll likely need a test-and-learn-based approach to find the right messages and channels to secure consistent cut-through. Test and learn is a quick and straightforward way to understand what works and doesn't, giving you incremental improvement - quickly.
After you've developed a proven method and approach, automation is critical to driving efficiency and real-time response. This will help take some of the pressure on time and resources over the long term and cement a consistent brand experience with every customer. Organisations that use marketing automation with prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads2.
In 2020, roughly 29% of companies and brands didn't bother with lead nurturing once the lead made their initial purchase?3 It's easy to think that nurturing customer leads ends after the point of conversion.
If anything, the real work is only just beginning! A customer's ongoing value to your business correlates directly to how well you can continue to educate and engage them with your brand and products through their lifecycle. It's a marathon effort that requires dedication for the long-term, but for those that can last, there is real potential for growth.
Ready to start consistently building long-term growth today? We’re here to help you stay on track.
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