What is Lead Nurturing: definition and tactics

Marketing is replete with strategies and models, one of which is the sales funnel. Lead nurturing is responsible for each stage of the sales funnel conversion, aiming to develop mutually beneficial relationships between the company and purchasers, centering around the main needs of the audience.

The core task of lead nurturing is to provide future customers with a range of solutions and answers they require to start making purchases.

Lead nurturing helps to increase the efficiency of sellers’ marketing efforts and to make the lead generation process more rewarding. That’s why this focused activity is often multi-channel – marketers work out different lead nurturing tactics for each funnel stage.

Sales funnel stages and lead nurturing

A marketing funnel is often explained as a journey of a buyer. This process has the main purpose – to turn a cold lead into a paying purchaser. It promotes the progress on each stage of the conversion funnel, starting from the top and to the bottom.

marketing funnel graph
The Funnel Stages (Source)

To turn your leads into a hot audience, it is necessary to take them through the following stages:

  • TOF (top of the funnel) – at this stage lead nurturing concerns the call-to-action content that is created for brand awareness and effective traffic generation. Marketers must develop lead magnets for this stage to attract more targeted visitors with the help of valuable content.

  • MOF (middle of the funnel) – here lead nurturing concerns the purchasing decisions. The main purpose of lead nurturing at this stage is to achieve customer engagement: it is possible to do that with credibility-oriented data (tripwires, communication with the warm audience in confidential tone using newsletter, mail-out actions, etc.).

  • BOF (bottom of the funnel) – lead nurturing sequences form brand loyalty while creating qualified prospects. Here, the main task is to go into an issue of hot audience requirements. This last stage should bring paying clients to the company, so the BOF lead nurturing is focused on the conversion of potential buyers into real purchasers.

Why nurtured leads are better than non-nurtured ones

According to the comprehensive analysis performed by Marketo, nurtured leads bring about 47% larger sales than non-nurtured ones. It means that lead nurturing strategies can convert nearly 50% not-ready-to-buy customers into willing clients who order services and purchase goods without any issues. When marketers put effective lead nurturing tactics into work, the total quantity of paying clients increases

The main lead nurturing tactics  

There are 4 main strategies to nurture leads efficiently.

1. Targeted content creation – all your offers are based on your unique buyer personas. So, the first step for targeted content formation is to develop all possible purchaser personas (taking into consideration all the interests, aims, requirements of the audience). Email campaigns can help deliver this targeted content to potential clients.

2. Multi-channel lead nurturing strategies – this tactic includes not only email marketing, but also takes into account other efficient strategies like paid retargeting, social media campaigns, direct sales outreach, etc.

3. Timely follow-ups – lead nurturing is impossible without timely email responses and calls to potential buyers. All follow-ups should be done as soon as possible, and can be automated without losing personalization. In fact, marketers often prefer using automated lead nurturing to make sure every lead is accounted for and contacted exactly at the right time.

4. Personalization – efficient lead nurturing strategies are focused on personalized email letters. According to statistics, personalization in email marketing campaigns helps convert leads into real buyers faster.

As it was mentioned before, many successful lead nurturing tactics rely on email marketing. Personalized email newsletters and targeted content mail-outs are the key actions in any lead nurturing strategy; this is why email marketing is very important in getting nurtured leads.

And 65% of marketers agree.

How to nurture leads
Source: CoSchedule

Email marketing and lead nurturing – how to engage leads to sales   

There is a range of effective tips on how to organize lead nurturing more productively via email campaigns. Besides personalized email letters and targeted content sending, marketers can implement other hot-topic ideas, test them, and create their own strategy to nurture leads:

✔️ To-the-point letters – it is possible to help visitors to come back to the company’s website with the help of a special command line. This way, marketers can add a “Return to the cart” button to their newsletter or “Revisit the website” to make potential buyers check out the site one more time and continue their journey along the funnel.

✔️ Visual email letters – visitors pay more attention to bright content full of colorful pictures, helpful articles, visual content like videos, GIFs, promo-videos, etc., and information about discounts. Carefully done visualization can bring more warm leads that will be easier converted to the next stage.

✔️ Triggered email messages – these letters are aimed at showing potential buyers special offers just at the right moment for maximum conversions. It can be a limited range of goods, short-run discounts or free meeting invitations. Leads also enjoy free downloadable content. These letters are sent once a certain trigger has been activated – for example, visiting the pricing page, a landing page, or clicking an ad. All in all, triggered email letters push the audience towards an action.

✔️ User-centered content – some messages can contain a little bit of everything that your customers might be interested in. For example, one newsletter may consist of a hot promotion, a meme, and some news.

✔️ Acquaintance-letters – the company has an opportunity to introduce its audience to a brand in a variety of lights, depending on the audience (and their needs) and the purpose. It is another way to nurture leads and increase brand awareness among potential buyers.

✔️ Trial promotions – most visitors may not know about a free trial a company offers. Newsletters can help all target purchasers to stay on board using free-of-charge services. The message can be designed as personal (i.e. crafted specifically for that lead) – one more way to make visitors feel special.

✔️ Timely announcements – it is important to send promotions beforehand. Potential buyers need time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a purchase. This also concerns training invitations, webinars, and other events. Give people time to ruminate over decisions if you don’t want them to regret compulsive purchases.

Note that lead nurturing is one of the most crucial marketing processes. By running a lead nurturing email campaign (paired with other multi-channel techniques), any e-commerce project or retailer can significantly increase sales.

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