Lead nurturing allows brands to drive interaction and get additional customer insight through the use of personalized campaigns. The goal is to build the relationship, gain trust and earn their business.
All strategies that fall under lead nurturing let brand marketers build relationships with future clients. You keep leads engaged with the brand until they are ready to make a purchase. And that is important, research by MarketingSherpa suggests that at the time of original lead capture, only an average of 27% of those leads will be qualified to the point where they are ready and willing to engage with Sales. The remaining 73% aren’t there yet. This explains why more companies are willing to invest in (email based) lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing getting is more common
In the report, “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing” 35% of B2B companies say they can’t live without lead nurturing and only 6% say it is not very important to them. Traditionally lead nurturing is much more commonplace in B2B companies that have limited sales capacity and high value products.
But the sophistication of email marketing software is giving Lead nurturing a boost also in B2C and with lower value products. These days everybody can go and start with simple lead nurturing programs like a welcome email series even if your budget and other requirements are limited.
Lead nurturing tip to remember: disqualify quickly
Not everybody that knocks on your door is actually an interesting prospect. In B2B lead nurturing, leads are classified using BANT attributes. A big part of lead nurturing is actually about scoring leads and (dis)qualifying them. It is an acronym for Budget, Authority (to purchase), Need, and Timeframe.
Does the new lead have enough budget to buy your product or service and is this available for the purchase at this moment? Without budget, they won’t be buying soon.
Authority (to buy)
Is the prospect a (the) decision-maker, influencer or end user? What is their function title? This will influence if they have the authority to sign on the dotted line. Remember that in B2B email marketing, but also in B2C, there are often multiple people making a decision together. Think about how you plan your vacation and how carefully you undertake each point of the trip. Use that careful planning in making sure that each component (each person influencing the businesses decision) is taken into account.
Need or product fit
Is there an actual need for your product or service? What are the problems or motivations that drive that need? In addition, it is valuable to gain insight into the type / version of your product and services people are looking for and the level of natural fit.
Timeframe (to buy)
How urgent is the need for your product or service? Is there a hard deadline? When will the prospect be ready to buy? For example the budget allocation cycle of a company can drive the necessity for a quick choice as well as need for problem recognition or internal structure can delay it.
The following table by DWS Associates shows a version of the Bant and how it is used to determine lead information. The specifics of how you frame the questions and what your follow up actions are might be different, but enough to learn from.
Example version of the BANT process:
You can understand that offering a demo or price quote is an absolute winner in the last stages of consideration, but a big fail (low conversion rates) if it comes too soon. You can map your content to be in line with what you know of them. If a marketer is able to uncover these pieces of information, they can pinpoint the position of a lead in the buying cycle and take the right actions.
The chance of approaching that subscriber with the right tactic and winning a new customer increases dramatically. How do you approach lead nurturing? Let us know!