The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit marketers hard, and some lead nurturing strategies that were previously effective have now been rendered obsolete.This has raised companies' need to go back to the drawing board and reconsider their lead nurturing strategy.
Everyone, including your customers, has been affected by the pandemic. How then do you nurture qualified leads during this time? Most importantly, how can you ensure your company thrives during future recessions? Here are six effective lead nurturing strategies to use across all stages of the funnel?
1.Re-Engage the Leads in Your Funnel
Maybe the open rate of your email campaigns isn't as high as it used to be. You are barely getting any replies, and your calls are going answered. What next? Re-engage your leads! This is the best time to replenish your sales pipeline, and you should consider your cold leads as one of your greatest assets.
Before you re-engage your leads, start by categorizing them.
What stage of the funnel are they in? (awareness, interest evaluation, customer)
What kind of relationship do you have with them? (positive, cordial, little communication, no communication)
How much interest had they shown in your products or services?
Once you've categorized your leads, you need to identify the best way to re-engage them without coming off as too aggressive.
Should you call, email, or both? The stage of the funnel should determine the mode of communication they are in. Send lead nurturing emails for those at the top and middle of the funnel and reserve calls for those at the bottom of the funnel.
2. Personalize Your Content
Your customer's needs have changed, and your messaging should be a reflection of the change. A whopping 80% of customers are willing to make purchases from brands that offer a personalized experience.
If you plan on sending lead nurturing emails, tailor each email to reflect your leads' behaviors and interests. This will enable them to resonate with the emails' content more as they can relate to it.
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to lead nurturing, do away with the generic emails. Get to understand the leads' interests, goals, and triggers and then develop targeted content designed to nurture the lead according to their personas and stage of the funnel they are in.
3. Create a Lead Nurturing Content Program
For you to easily keep track and effectively maintain a relationship with your leads during recessions, you need to keep a content timeline that tells you when to send particular content.
The content sent out should be tailored to suit the challenges that they are currently facing, after which you should follow up with them. This helps you follow up with the lead, without being too much of a bother.
Educate your leads according to the stage of the buyer journey they are in. For example, at the top of the funnel, you could use blog posts, webinars, and product demos for those in the consideration phase, and reserved customer testimonials for those that are in the decision making phase.
4. Align Marketing and Sales
If the marketing and sales teams do not share the same goals, expectations, and responsibilities on converting a lead, the lead conversion rate will always be low. The nurturing process can only flow if the two teams work towards the same goal.
Create a Service Level Agreement between the marketing and sales team to hold each other accountable for the nurturing of a lead and convert them to become paying customers.
An aligned setup involves the marketing team dealing with the customers at the top of the funnel then handing the clients to the sales team as they move down the funnel.
5. Adopt a Multichannel Lead Nurturing Approach
Nurturing leads is heavily dependent on email marketing and would involve sending a generic simple email blast occasionally to a list of leads.
With the help of the automation and development of marketing automation platforms, you don't need to be stuck in these old ways anymore.
An effective multi-channel approach should combine email marketing, a direct sales approach, marketing automation, paid retargeting, social media, and dynamic website content. Use various resources to nurture the leads across all stages of the funnel.
6. Use a Lead Scoring Strategy
This process involves the ranking of your leads in a chart based on their perceived value and their likelihood to convert to paying clients. This score is based on the actions the lead makes on an automated marketing platform.
For example, if a lead opens a link on the platform and spends some time on it, they should be ranked higher in the lead scoring chart than one who skims over the content for a second and leaves the page.
Once you come up with the chart, you can then decide on the appropriate lead nurturing action to take for the various scores as per the chart.This enables you to give your leads' proper attention and have personalized content for different chart levels.
Besides, with the recession, you may have had to slash your budget; lead scoring will enable you to nurture the leads that are most likely to convert.
Increase the Effectiveness of Your Lead Nurturing Campaign
Global economies may have momentarily stopped due to the pandemic, but this is not the time to lay low.
Yes, the current recession has made it considerably challenging to nurture leads, but you only have to adapt your lead nurturing strategy to suit the current economic times. Remember, this pandemic affects your customers as much as it affects your business.
It is more expensive to generate new leads than it is to nurture existing ones. Use the above strategies to appeal to your audience and to keep your pipeline fueled.
Originally published September 6, 2020, updated September 6, 2020.
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