Nurturing Your Paid Leads Down the Funnel
Even if you’re the world’s best B2B or lead gen marketer, you probably only close a small percentage of your incoming leads. Another somewhat larger percentage of leads, you discard for giving bad information or not meeting your target customer profile. So what about the 50 to 80 percent of leads that meet your target customer criteria but don’t purchase immediately? You probably already know that the answer is to place them into a nurture program.
Nurturing your leads is vital for a number of reasons:
-It keeps your brand top of mind while your lead compares you to competitors
-It offers a drip of information, increasing the chances that you’ll provide something of value -to the lead
-It helps you cull your leads so that your sales team spends its time on the leads most likely to close
-It allows you to remain engaged with all participants in the sales process
-It presents you as an alternative to leads who ultimately go with a competitor
A simple nurture campaign could involve just a small amount of remarketing and emails, but savvy marketers know there is much more they can do to engage their leads.
Bucketing Leads from Different Channels
Different channels are designed to drive different results, which means that high-funnel display and social channels are often going to drive leads with general interest but who are not yet ready for a sales demo or a price quote. This can create tension if the sales team feels like marketing is sending poor quality leads, and at scale it can even result in SDRs spending too little time contacting lower-funnel leads because they’re inundated with leads from prospecting campaigns.
This scenario also commonly results in a poor customer experience. Your prospects may be less likely to work with you if they download one white paper and then receive five emails and three phone calls begging them to complete an hour-long demo. So instead of treating all of your leads the same, place your leads from a prospecting campaign into a separate “bucket” for nurturing in the following ways:
-Show remarketing ads to these leads, calling out some of the most positive business impacts they can expect from buying your product
-Send emails containing content that complements, or builds upon, what the prospect has already viewed
-Send emails with company and industry news; you can establish yourself as a trusted brand by demonstrating that you’re making key hires, raising funding, etc.
-Once in a while, consider a seasonal promo or some sort of discount as an attempt to move otherwise stuck leads
The content you choose at this stage should focus on continuing to educate the prospect, who probably has little context about your company. White papers, videos, client testimonials and case studies are all good options, and you can test different assets to see which ones drive the best response. Since you, too, have little context on what your prospect is looking for, don’t be afraid to share more diverse information about what makes you unique — like new technology, key founders, social impact, etc. in addition to the ways your product can directly help the prospect. Hold off on any sales contact with these leads until they complete another targeted on-site event. Once a lead has engaged with your website for the second time, have your sales team begin to reach out.
Low Funnel, Non-Responsive Leads
Leads coming in from high-quality channels like direct website visits, SEM searches, or remarketing campaigns typically have much more intent to purchase a software than leads coming from higher-funnel channels. When these leads complete an on-site action but then are non-responsive to sales outreach, you should make a serious effort to get them back. In addition to your sales outreach, try the following:
-Heavy emails (1 to 2 per week with fresh content)
-Retargeting about your product’s direct benefits (money saved, time saved) across as many channels as possible
-If possible, consider a time-sensitive promo
-For example, when I was searching for a new apartment, I reached out to about 6 different buildings. I was on the fence after narrowing it down to three, when one of them sent me an email offering a free month of rent if I signed a lease by the end of the month. It wasn’t the only factor, but it helped tip the scales to that building!
Messaging and offers for this audience should be much more directly focused on the benefits your product will provide. Case studies, independent reports (Gartner, Forrester, etc.), and stats on product effectiveness will go a long way toward making prospects feel that it’s worth doing that sales demo after all.
Let’s say you’re implementing the two programs above and seeing success, as a certain percentage of leads resurface to join the sales process. Still, you have some leads that after several months are still not interested. While you shouldn’t give up on them, you should consider the following scaled-back initiatives:
-Regular email updates to include the following:
-Biweekly or monthly update on new assets, top blog posts, etc.
-Company news around funding, acquisitions, key hires, etc
-Occasional alerts about seasonal promos if applicable
-Occasional sales outreach to old leads to check back in
Remember that making a product purchase decision, especially for a company, can often take months or years. Don’t give up on a lead just because they’re not ready to hear your entire pitch today. Implement a nurture campaign and use persistence to bring these leads back into the fold, we’re also happy to help.
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