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What is lead nurturing
in marketing strategy?

If you own a website or any other web platform, you are certainly no stranger to the different concepts of web marketing strategy, especially if you are into dropshipping.

This is mainly to promote your online business to your visitors. Lead nurturing is a concept that comes into play in your quest for potential leads. It is a whole system of conversion which establishes between you and the Net surfer, a stable confidence and a certain development of loyalty.

Find out in detail in this suite what it is in concrete terms, why and how to set it up to get the maximum number of qualified leads.

Summary of the article

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Lead nurturing: an inbound marketing method

Since the advent of web marketing, several tactics have been tested by companies to establish a reliable contact with Internet users. Staying in the classical way of things, the main idea would be to go to the potential customer through the traditional channels of diffusion (television, radio, press…). Unfortunately, the message quickly becomes irrelevant to the audience.

This is where inbound marketing comes in, a method that implements a completely different principle: bringing the customer to you. It will be a matter of providing visitors with messages containing the necessary information to gradually become qualified leads. By opting for the distribution of relevant and quality content. And this through new communication and analysis tools such as social networks, email newsletters, webinar, SEO technologies … It is in this mashup of inbound strategy that lead nurturing comes in.

When does lead nurturing take place?

Without question, lead nurturing takes an important position in your inbound marketing training. After attracting the user to your platform, he quickly becomes a regular visitor thanks to the originality of your content. Conquered, certainly finding a solution to a need, subscribes and is converted into a lead. This is when the lead nurturing machine starts working. The lead is on the verge of a purchase decision. For a well-calibrated lead nurturing, the nurturing process must be initiated by marketing automation: sending the right messages at the right time. You will be able to remove the barriers to purchase without any intrusive maneuvers. This is achieved through the few advantages that inbound marketing brings.

What does inbound marketing offer you?

As previously stated, inbound marketing allows you as a company a wide range of maneuvers to convert prospects and retain your customers. In particular

  • Be able to exchange messages in real time with the lead or customer to better understand their needs and interests. You can then analyze at any time during a discussion, the impact of your actions and the relevance of your content;
  • Get a better visibility on the web: putting original content online allows you to have a greater presence on the web. The different SEO techniques also allow you to get a better placement in the search engines;
  • Win more contacts: this marketing action favors accompanying the lead through the various phases of the buying process. You get his interest and access to his contact information (with his consent) when he comes to you and passes the stage of contact forms, call-to-actions … ;
  • Build customer loyalty: after their conversion, inbound marketing naturally leads you to use loyalty tools such as social networks. All they would have to do is subscribe to your accounts to receive your content directly in their news feed. More convenient and without forced intrusion into the customer’s privacy.
  • Save on marketing costs: the resources required to set up an inbound marketing course are much lower than usual. Although they might require some technical skills and profiles, most marketing tools are simply free.

By opting for inbound marketing, you benefit from a complete nurturing strategy, accompanying each lead to become a qualified lead.

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Lead nurturing as marketing automation

Lead nurturing is therefore the process of establishing a stable company-customer relationship throughout the purchasing phase. It is a training that responds to the problem that most of the prospects (50% on average) are not yet decided to pass the purchase phase. When you go further up the conversion funnel, you realize that almost 98% of the registered leads do not enter the sales cycle. Therefore, the nurturing solution would be to encourage these potential customers to make a purchase.

Imagine sophisticated marketing that automates communication with the lead to ensure a consistent engagement relationship: this is marketing automation. This type of marketing is a technology that makes lead nurturing modern, customizable and above all adaptive. So beyond simple automatic communication, modern lead nurturing allows you to be more attentive and respond intelligently to leads based on their behaviors and in real time on multiple media, not just email.

Why do you need lead nurturing?

As you may have noticed, companies are now subject to a deeply digitalized world. The market is becoming more and more connected, the very existence of online commerce such as dropshipping is proof of this. Potential customers expect a highly personalized and scalable marketing solution. They want the attention of companies, not the other way around. And companies are doing everything they can to create real relationships with prospects, to build trust and loyalty. How can this be done effectively?

Lead nurturing allows the prospect to become familiar with the company. Through this action, you benefit from the time and resources necessary to establish a trusting relationship with the lead. Therefore, instead of being intrusive, your communication would be welcome.

Talking to your customers or potential customers might seem awkward, even full of doubt and hesitation. Lead nurturing with marketing automation then helps you to manage your leads efficiently and above all to ideally shorten the sales cycle.

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How to set up your lead nurturing strategy?

To better support your maturing leads, your lead nurturing training must be properly implemented. Since your inbound marketing strategy takes into account the entire conversion funnel, your lead nurturing in addition to marketing automation must be effective. It will essentially take into account the customer’s buying process as well as the prospect’s needs to ultimately become a qualified lead. To do this, take the time to define your goals, choose the right lead nurturing technology and implement your nurturing strategy into the rest of your marketing.

Define your goals

Certainly your goal as a company would be for example to make as many sales as possible and to have a sure hand on the market, away from your competitors. This is why you develop a whole sales mechanism, including lead nurturing. However, it is your responsibility to dismantle this main objective, to formulate clear and precise objectives so that they can be achieved very quickly. Especially since nurturing with marketing automation allows you to measure your results at every stage.

It is necessary that your lead nurturing campaign includes qualitative objectives in order to concretely assess your marketing methods. Ask yourself what results you hope to get from your inbound marketing strategy. For example:

  • Encourage the lead to gradually become a qualified lead
  • Generously push the lead to make a purchase decision as soon as possible
  • Engage in conversations with prospects
  • Learn more about the needs of new leads
  • Refining and strengthening trust with existing customers…

The idea is to define quality objectives in order to establish a decision guideline. Your marketing teams, and especially your nurturing trainer, will need to be able to meet on your calendar at a stable and regular pace.

In addition to defining qualitative objectives with your trainer and others, you will need to link them to quantitative objectives, those that can be measured. Even if you don’t yet have a clear vision of what your statistics should be, making estimates will be more than enough for a start of a marketing campaign. Thanks to the quantitative and business metrics, you will be able to see the result of your lead nurturing training. Without it, your nurturing marketing could suffer relatively and it will be difficult to follow the progress towards your goals even with the help of a trainer. You may want to consider:

  • Improve the conversion rate of potential customers into qualified leads;
  • Optimize the conversion rate of raw leads into customers;
  • Increase the number of ready-to-buy leads per month;
  • Minimize the number of leads lost during the sales cycle;
  • Achieve better success rates…

When defining your goals for nurturing, it is imperative that you go step by step. A progressive commitment will allow you to launch your lead nurturing training in a much more systematic way, to reduce the risks linked to your actions and to see in real time what works or not.

Select the right marketing automation solution for you

In addition to the time-saving and efficient benefits of implementing marketing automation, it also allows you to develop essential business processes. Whether it’s lead nurturing, lead scoring, sales cycle management or even the analysis and personalization of your marketing nurturing strategy. It’s up to you to choose the best solution for your business. There are several, including Hubspot to meet all your needs, mainly your business goals. Here is a sample process to help you select the right marketing automation solution for your business:

  • Step 1 – Define a timeline: are you changing tools or just starting to think about it? Is it related to a product launch? Or is it related to something else entirely?
  • Step 2 – Illustrate your requirements: how many leads do you expect to generate? Will you need to contact third-party suppliers or have a strong nurturing capability? What are your concrete objectives?
  • Step 3 – Define your users, your team and why not a trainer: are you mobilizing a competent team for the whole job? Will other agencies need access to your system? What will be the rights for each type of user?
  • Step 4 – Consistently adjust your suppliers according to your criteria: which product does one have over the others? What is the price in relation to the quality of the product sold? and so on…
  • Step 5 – Inspect references and make a few other checks: if possible, you can approach other companies in the area. Reorganize your team in relation to all this and then make your choice.

However, again, make sure that this marketing automation technology you choose is a good fit for your lead nurturing campaign. Especially since this is the key. If we take the example of Hubspot’s nurturing software, you will notice among others these few important points:

  • Hubspot allows the activation of communication triggers based on the behavior of the lead or customer;
  • Hubspot offers you a dynamic experience based on the preferences of each of your leads or customers;
  • Hubspot also gives you the ability to continue your nurturing campaign on most channels, both online and offline;
  • Limiting interactions with the customer according to certain criteria or before too much contact is made;
  • Advanced marketing automation technology such as hubspot to control communication around interactions, criteria, timing…
  • Be able to initiate communication at the right time, i.e. at the perfect stage of the sales cycle;
  • A total grip easy enough as with hubspot;
  • Ideally, a simpler management of the content to be distributed…

Now that you have decided on your marketing automation solution, you will have to think about how to implement it in your entire web marketing strategy.

Integrate your solution into your overall lead nurturing strategy

When developing your lead nurturing, you should absolutely avoid thinking about lead nurturing in isolation from the rest of your strategy. You must consider your entire chronological list of marketing processes. There must be a real harmony between your nurturing campaign and the other types of communications (email newsletters, product updates…) that the prospect intercepts.

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Who to direct your lead nurturing towards?

To build a real nurturing course, you have to start with the basics. We’ve been talking about it ever since, but it’s time to really ask the question. You set up a whole lead nurturing system, but who do you direct it to? Potential customers you will say. However, any Internet user could be considered as such. However, there is still a catch: how do you know if they meet your qualified lead profile? Ideally, you should think about this with your marketers first.

Build your lead profile (Personae)

Similar to the notion of “persona”, each company certainly has its own definition of a qualified lead. In the context of nurturing, this is what we call a prospect who is starting to behave like a customer, i.e. ready to buy. In order to define the perfect lead for your business, it is essential that you take into account the opinions of your company’s sales and marketing teams. Here is an example of the steps to follow:

  • Take the time to invite your sales and marketing team in order to determine the target, know how to design your database, recognize the existing leads likely to buy and the characteristics of those to come;
  • Decide how to evaluate the value of each of your leads, whether one or the other represents a weak source or on the contrary, a strong attribute;
  • Set up the agreements that revolve around the transfer of leads between the sales and marketing departments;
  • Call both departments regularly to exchange information and review or refine the above points.

Set up a lead scoring

Lead scoring is literally defined as “lead scoring”. This is a fairly general sales and marketing method that allows you to rank prospects. Obviously, you will have to rate potential customers based on their interest in your company, their current place in the sales cycle and their suitability. You’ll be able to bring them to maturity better.

Noting a lead’s interest in you is what we call implicit scoring in nurturing marketing. If you are wondering how, it is done by taking into account the lead’s behavior towards your company. You will then be able to know whether or not your company seems attractive to this or that prospect.

For lead matching, this is based on information about demographics, firmographics and BANT (for budget, authority, need and time). This information is most often obtained through online forms. If your prospect is a natural person, you will only be able to have demographic parameters such as their title, vocation or location. In the case of a legal entity (company), you will have the right to a lot of information about its constitution: the name of the company, its size, its location, its turnover…

With all this information to note and classify, you can set up a nurturing campaign for each type of lead to help your sales representatives.

Create mailing lists

To succeed in your lead nurturing campaign, you will need to increase your list of subscribers and thus collect even more information for your information bank. According to a study by Moon Marketing, companies lose nearly 25% of their subscribers and in other cases, leads that never made it to the purchase stage. To avoid this, you need to feed the top of your conversion funnel through the mailing list creation method. How to proceed?

If you have good marketers on your team, they will probably think about creating mailing lists on the following channels for example:

  • Website (registration page, white paper…)
  • Social networks
  • Webinar
  • Blog
  • Events

Organize your database

Having a healthy and well-maintained information bank is also essential to the success of your inbound marketing strategy. Several marketing automation experts attest to this, including Robert Pease, the CMO at Heinz Marketing.

The following measures are all the more recommended if you want to take advantage of a well-conditioned database:

  • Frequently inspect each lead in its entirety
  • Identify and eliminate duplicates as soon as they occur
  • Continually check the consistency of your information bank
  • Consider eradicating your unwanted contact database

But beware, competitors may subscribe and join your information bank to learn about your lead nurturing training. Discuss this with your marketing team.

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Another component of lead nurturing: content

As you will certainly have understood, your content strategy is also a variable not to be neglected. When well planned, it propels the effectiveness of your lead nurturing by providing engaging content to everyone at the right time. SEO technologies help you to optimize your content. Thanks to the automation solution integrated to your marketing action, you should be able to determine for each lead, the type of content he finds relevant according to his need.

Create targeted content for each phase of the sales cycle

As for developing each lead, you should think about a specific content format for each stage of the sales cycle. You will then be able to easily build up a certain amount of trust from the prospect towards your company. Therefore, getting them to make the purchase decision should no longer be a concern.

Identify the types of nurturing content

The most likely content to help you develop each lead should be a mix between what they want to do and what you want them to do. A reason to learn more about the different types of content you can issue.

  • Original content: this is content that you create yourself, either by in-house writers or by efficient freelancers who excel in the marketing professions. For example a white paper, a blog article…
  • Curated content: content that you didn’t necessarily write yourself. Above all, it is highly relevant content tailored to the theme of your business goal. They are to be preferred for emails and social networks. Especially since the goal is to stay in touch with the lead, as long as you offer him interesting content, he will stick with it.

Define a basic structure for mail

The email is one of the essential elements for the nurturing of your leads, you will use it very often. It must therefore contain the right elements. Apart from the fact that they send the prospect information at the right time, this information must be consistent with the type of email you want to send at that moment. So you need to set up a default structure to get the message across to the recipient right away. For example, a promotion email is supposed to push to a commercial action while an alert email is most often informative, triggered by a particular event.

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