5 tips for effective lead nurturing

Effective lead nurturing, which facilitates the process of converting potential buyers into sales-ready ones, requires various tactics. Good nurturing campaigns establish the company as a source of authority. There are a number of strategies to ensure buyers are ready to make a purchase. However, B2B marketers should always start by considering their current relationships. 

Lead nurturing may seem overwhelming, so here are six tips for B2B marketers pursuing this strategy:

  1. Define the target audience
    It's hard to develop a concrete lead-nurturing strategy without a target audience. B2B marketers should find out what makes for a strong sales lead (1). Buyers have a variety of concerns, pain points and levels of decision-making authority. B2B marketing professionals should consider all of these characteristics. With a thorough understanding for the prospective buyer, markers will be able to execute a strong lead-nurturing program.
  2. Empathize with the buyer
    B2B marketers should place themselves in prospective buyer's shoes. They will gain insight into individuals' concerns and needs. Marketing professionals may consider how the product or service will benefit the potential buyers, whether it will solve a company's problem and if it is an affordable option. B2B marketers should also size up their competition to explain why their services are better than others.
  3. Add a fresh spin on existing content
    Buyers would prefer to read shorter pieces than longer articles. B2B marketers can skim through their white papers and consider breaking down the information into several articles (2). That way, prospective buyers can pull facts from the pieces quickly and can easily glean main facts from content. 
  4. Employ various communications outlets to lure in buyers
    After determining the content, B2B marketers should employ many channels. Some communication outlets are more effective than others. In fact, 57 percent of B2B marketers said email newsletters are the best for nurturing leads (3). B2B marketers rely on this tactic to nurture leads because they are able to collect data and pinpoint a target audience.

    Additionally, 35 percent recalled white​ papers as being the most effective channel for nurturing leads. Thought leadership articles, webinars and blog posts were also powerful mediums in converting prospective clients into buyers. These are effective channels because they are more informative-based, and buyers take longer to purchase a business's offerings as they make informed decisions.

  5. Measure success of the lead nurturing program
    After executing the program, it's vital to analyze the initiative. The first step is to find out whether passive prospects, who are qualified to buy products but don't necessarily have a need, turn to active prospects. Active  leads have a defined need, but are not sales-ready. The movement rate from "passive" to "active" and "sales-ready" should be about 20 to 30 percent of potential buyer conversations with prospects (4). 

    With thorough analysis, B2B marketers will know what is working and what needs improvement. Some questions to consider include whether the program is achieving a good number of sales-ready leads and if prospects are converting to sales. An analysis helps collect ROI statistics and makes sure the initiative has the necessary funding. 

    If marketers are not reaching their objectives, they may consider making adjustments.

Lead nurturing has the ability to improve conversion rates, enhance the relationship between the sales and marketing departments and generate more revenue for the business. 

Sources:
1. An Effective Lead-Nurturing Program in 3 Steps
2. B2B How-To: 5 lead nurturing tactics to get from lead gen to sales-qualified
3. Marketing Research Chart: Messaging tactics for effective lead nurturing
4. Five Key Steps to Measuring Your Lead-Nurturing Initiative

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.