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The process of lead generation — attracting a prospect to your website and triggering them to take action — remains critically important in digital marketing. However, lead generation is only the beginning. Once your lead is generated, it has to be nurtured in order to complete the transition from prospect to paying customer. By mastering the art of lead nurturing, you can multiply your sales by 10 in the year to come.
Lead Generation vs. Lead Nurturing
While lead generation helps you create new leads, lead nurturing helps you get more customers from the database you already have. Companies that are good at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead (source: Marketo).
Lead nurturing is the process of moving marketing leads through the funnel until they become qualified sales leads. That process is made up of steps that maintain and increase the interest a lead has in your product or service. When the prospect is interested enough in your offer to be receptive to a call from your sales team, that’s the apex of lead nurturing. Here’s what else you need to practice along the way.
The 3 Musts of Lead Nurturing
Like all good marketing techniques, lead nurturing requires a focused campaign in order to be successful. The three musts of your campaign are:
- Obtain permission to communicate. If a lead decides to opt out of your emails, they’re gone for good. To avoid this, optimize every message before hitting send. The goal is to maintain communication with your prospect.
- Inform and educate. Your lead nurturing campaign may go on for months, even years. In every message sent, you want to inform and educate the recipient on your value proposition. That way, your company will be top of mind when the person is ready to invest in security technology.
- Watch for progress. As you see your prospect interact with your content via clicks and downloads, you’ll know when they’ve crossed the threshold into becoming a pre-qualified lead you can hand to the sales team.
3 Steps to a Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign
- Define your audience(s). Ask yourself: Who are your ideal customers, what are your different buyer personas, and what pain points do you solve for each one? Categorize these into different audiences and consider targeting each one with a different lead nurturing campaign.
- Personalize your messaging. The more you customize your emails to appeal to each recipient on a personal level, the better results you’ll achieve. Tips: Use the recipient’s name, address each message from a real person’s name on your marketing team, and enable replies so they can get in touch with you right away.
- Take timing seriously. The timing of your message matters. Is your prospect in the awareness phase (top of funnel), the consideration phase (mid funnel) or the decision phase? That will determine whether your message content is a blog post, a webinar/demo, or a case study/success story.
- Continue offering gated content. This means requiring your prospect to fill out a short form before they can consume the content in your email. Each time they provide new info in a form, you are moving them further down the funnel until they are a qualified sales lead. By syncing your CRM and other tools, you can automatically add their updated information to your database.
- Always be tracking. The only way to know how interested your prospect is in your offer is to track the prospect’s behavior. If the content they’re consuming is associated with the decision phase (i.e. cost info or free trials), then it’s probably an indicator they’re ready to talk to a sales rep. Time to hand that lead over and let your team members do their magic.
Following these steps as part of a lead nurturing campaign — and repeating these steps with each generated lead in your sales funnel — can help alarm companies like yours multiply sales 10X in 2021.