Lead nurturing, or slowly coaxing prospective buyers to become paying customers, is essential between the brand awareness and purchasing stages of the sales funnel. An estimated 93 percent of B2B buying processes begin with an online search. Yet, 50 percent of the leads currently in the system are not yet ready to buy. Despite the importance of lead nurturing, many brands find themselves making fundamental mistakes that hamper their success.
Not personalizing your messages
There are over 205 billion emails sent and received every day. Your customers are inundated with emails and brands trying to capture their attention. If you want to reach your customers through marketing automation, you need to be able to personalize your communication with them. It should reflect their unique needs, what they have told you in the past, and the information you have sent them. The better you are able to personalize your lead-nurturing techniques, the easier it will be to encourage them to move through the sales funnel.
Waiting for your prospects to reach out to you
Although 44 percent of people will give up after one follow-up for a lead, an estimated 80 percent of sales require 5 follow-ups. This means numerous sales professionals are missing out on revenue and growth opportunities.
Brands cannot wait for customers to come to them. Cultivating leads in this highly-competitive market requires hands-on lead generation. Brands should be:
- Actively producing content targeted toward ideal customers, guiding people toward landing pages
- Remaining in regular contact with leads through email and phone calls
Sending conflicting lead-nurturing messages
Your nurturing messages should be designed to work together to bring people through the sales funnel to conversion. If your messages are disjointed or send conflicting messages, it will become confusing for customers. They will not know what exactly you want them to do and how precisely you can help them. Instead, focus on creating a clear funnel of content and assets for each prospect and make sure your marketing automation system, like Experiture, will handle the segment clearly.
Sending the same information multiple times
Customers will quickly become bored with your brand if you continually send them the same information repeatedly. It will make you look as though you do not have anything new to add to the conversation, or that you are not organized enough to know what you have already sent your prospects. Customers want to know that you care about their needs individually. If you show signs of them just being another number, where they are just being sent random items instead of the assets that would genuinely interest them, you will lose them.
Over dripping your prospects
Customers also do not want to be bombarded relentlessly with content from your organizations. If you are sending multiple emails out to your list each day, you are going to quickly oversaturate your prospects. Regardless of how helpful your content appears, when you send too many emails, you will cross the line into spam. Once you cross that line, it can be hard to win back people’s trust. It will damage their relationship with you and create a negative association for you and your brand.
Continuing to drip prospects who are already sales-ready
It is important to recognize when a lead is sales-ready. If you continue to send them lead generation material designed for people earlier in the sales funnel, you will appear disengaged and inattentive to the needs of your prospects. To see when a sales lead is ready you need to consider the following criteria:
- Where the lead is in the sales cycle. Look at the pages they interact with on your website, the emails they open to gain a better idea of where they are in the journey.
- How well they fit with your brand. In particular, look at BANT: budget, authority, need, time.
- How much interest the lead has in your brand. You can look at email-open rates, if they engage with you on social media, and what they do on your website to gain a better picture of their interest level.
Lead nurturing must carefully move prospects from the earliest stages of the sales funnel to conversion. Mistakes during this process, however, can result in lost leads and therefore lost revenue. Avoiding these six key errors can help ensure that your efforts are more productive and efficient.