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Lead nurturing: How to regain control of leads

Autor: Agnieszka Włodarczyk, Wioleta Szybowska | Opuplikowano: 22.09.2022 | Czas czytania: 5 m

Generating leads is important, but appropriate lead nurturing increases the chances that cold leads will become hot leads that make purchases. In this article, we’ll explain in practical terms what lead nurturing is and how it can help your business achieve better results. 

Summary:

  1. What is lead nurturing?
  2. Lead nurturing examples 
  3. What is the cost of generating a single lead?
  4. Classification of leads (cold, warm, hot)
  5. Lead nurturing methods
  6. How to check if a lead is ready?
  7. Summary

What is lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing is a marketing process that focuses on engaging prospects and providing them with interesting content and information that is ultimately intended to convert the prospect into a customer. Lead nurturing is often a long-term process that may require some patience. According to Demand Gen Report, companies that nurture leads report an average 20% increase in sales. 

That’s why it’s so important to create and deliver content that will result in active engagement with your audience. 

Begin by considering what leads know about your company and your offer and what keeps them from buying your product or offer. Before we can prepare a lead nurturing strategy, we need to take a step back and think about where leads even come from in your database.

Lead nurturing examples

You can grow your lead base using several different methods. The most common methods involve ads that drive leads to your advertising page, encouraging them to contact you or otherwise learn about your offer. However, this method only works with the narrowest audience: leads who are already ready to buy. This is why the use of educational content has become so popular in acquiring leads. Consider who you want to reach with your offer, what elements of your business your audience may not understand, and what information they may be looking for. 

Two great ways to generate leads are to organize webinars and to prepare ebooks. 

Webinars

A webinar should facilitate communication so the audience can comment on the content and ask questions. This will dispel doubts right away. 

Ebooks 

A well-prepared ebook requires considerable effort from the company, but it will generate leads for a considerable period of time, especially if it addresses a universal and important topic for your prospects.  

By offering valuable and interesting content, you can persuade leads to provide their contact information and sign up for the webinar or download the ebook. With these methods, you can generate leads at relatively low costs. 

For more on lead generation methods, see our blog posts: 6 great on-page lead generation tools you should test in 2022

What is the cost of generating a single lead?

If the leads you want to nurture have been generated through specific methods or lead generation campaigns, it is important to take into account the cost per lead ratio and calculate how much it costs to acquire one lead. 

Conducting a lead nurturing campaign involves additional effort and cost, so determining the cost per lead will make it easier to budget for future marketing activities. 

The cost of a lead is calculated as follows: 

Total amount spent / Toal attributed leads = Cost per lead

Determining the cost per lead using the above formula gives us information about the cost incurred for the chance to make a sale. 

However, this figure should be put into context to calculate whether a particular campaign or method to acquire leads is profitable. 

For example, say you ran a paid social media campaign where the ads cost $4,000 and 40 new leads were generated. The cost per lead for this particular campaign would be $100: 

4000 / 40 = 100

The result of $100 alone, without context, does not tell us much about the profitability of the campaign. To fully analyze this result, account for elements such as return on investment (i.e., how much return you can get from one acquired lead) and lead-to-customer conversion (i.e., how ready to buy the acquired leads are). 

Here, then, ratios such as customer lifetime value and customer acquisition cost are also useful. 

By running several campaigns and marketing activities simultaneously in the cost per lead formula, we can substitute the sum of total marketing expenses over the total number of leads acquired. 

Whether the cost per lead is profitable for your business will also depend on the following factors: your competition, your target audience, the size of your company, your annual revenue, your marketing budget, and the mentioned price of your product or service.

Also check out these posts from our blog to learn more about: 9 Key Performance Indicators in Internet Marketing That You Should Know About

Classification of leads (cold, warm, hot)

A lead nurturing campaign most often targets so-called cold leads and warm leads. Lead nurturing activities aim to warm them up so that after the campaign they become hot leads who are fully ready to make purchases. According to this classification, leads are distinguished based on their readiness to complete a purchase. 

Cold Lead

A cold lead is a contact who has not shown interest in buying your services or product(s). Cold leads may have been acquired through cold emailing or may have initially expressed interest but gradually stopped engaging with the salesperson. 

Warm Lead

This is a person who expresses interest in your offer but is undecided at a certain point in time about finalizing a purchase.

Hot Lead

This lead shows a high level of interest and openness to being contacted to make a purchase. This contact can be passed on to the sales department.

Cold and warm leads are often acquired precisely through educational activities. The prospect is interested in a topic but is not yet ready to buy. This is where lead nurturing comes into play. 

Lead nurturing methods

Lead nurturing should be implemented according to the specifics of your industry. You can enhance lead nurturing through email campaigns, content marketing, and social media. You can automate all activities, making your lead nurturing campaign more effective. All methods of lead nurturing complement each other very well, and multi-channel activities work best. 

The main channels for conducting lead nurturing are:

Drip email marketing

Email marketing is an excellent process for delivering valuable information. At the same time, you can keep in touch at every level of the prospect’s interaction with your website. When a visitor leaves contact information, such as signing up for a webinar or downloading an ebook, you can include that contact in an email lead nurturing campaign. If someone indicates interest in a certain topic, you can share further valuable educational content. For this, we can use already available content marketing. Sending personalized newsletters is also a great strategy for developing relations with prospects.

Promotional campaigns

Giving potential customers a discount on services offered is a common strategy. The discounted offer is meant to encourage them to complete the purchase. 

Social media

It’s also worth encouraging leads to follow you on social media. By communicating via social media, you will shorten the distance with your audience and keep in touch with them. 

Content marketing

This means creating and sharing valuable content in the form of articles, videos, and podcasts. Shared content attracts new audiences while increasing the engagement of existing ones. Content marketing offers specialized knowledge and improves awareness of your brand and products. Content marketing can be used in email campaigns, and content can be distributed through social media. 

How to check if a lead is ready?

We now know what a lead nurturing campaign is and how we categorize leads according to their willingness to make a purchase. In light of this, how can we identify whether a lead can be submitted to our company’s sales department? 

In this case, lead scoring, which is a rule-based system for classifying leads, will work great. Numerical values representing how engaged your lead is will be assigned to your lead’s activities. As a result, a numerical ranking of your leads will be created, indicating their engagement levels. 

Using scoring, we can quickly distinguish between cold, warm, and hot leads. The more desired interactions from a lead, the warmer that lead becomes. What kind of actions can these be? For example, you can assign points for visiting your website, signing up for your next webinar, or following your brand on social media.

Lead nurturing also has another advantage—your sales department will already have information on what items a particular customer might be interested in. All you need to do is check what pages they browsed or what content materials sparked their interest. Using this information, your sales department will be able to personalize the offer at the very beginning of the contact with the potential customer. 

Lead scoring in practice 

Before you start ranking using lead scoring, think about and list what interactions can occur with your products and services, then determine a numerical value for each interaction. Example interactions include: 

Clicking on a call to action in an email 2 points
Visiting a subpage on a website5 points
Signing up for a webinar 25 points
Participation in a webinar 40 points
Arranging a phone call55 points

You can implement lead scoring with most marketing automation tools. Lead nurturing and automated processes are two activities that complement each other very well. Automation tools help you streamline and automate tedious marketing activities. There are many marketing automation systems available in a range of prices, making them attainable for smaller companies. When lead scoring, relevant user actions are noted by the system, which assigns certain scores to the actions. These scores can be used to curate appropriate communications with individual recipients. Elements of communication are planned with the help of automation paths, which indicate appropriate messages depending on previous responses and the level of recipient engagement. 

Marketing automation systems work great not only when convincing a customer to complete a purchase using lead nurturing but also when we want to generate new potential customers (lead generation) or when a lead has become our customer and we want to maintain their engagement. 

Summary

Lead nurturing is a process that should not be missing from any modern marketing strategy, especially for companies that offer virtual products or services. Lead nurturing is all about meeting the expectations of prospects and customers and giving them answers to questions they haven’t had time to think about yet. When creating a lead nurturing campaign, you should understand the needs of leads at every level of interaction with your product. Then, start sharing educational and informative content that proves your company can meet their needs. 

Autor: Agnieszka Włodarczyk, Wioleta Szybowska
22.09.2022

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