5 Fails That Kill Your Lead Nurturing Efforts
You’re out with your future significant other – your soul mate. It’s your first date and already you know they’re your perfect match. Sure, it’s only been 30 minutes since you first introduced each other, but you say, “Forget it. I’m going for it.” You get down on a knee and reach into your pocket. But by the time you look back up to ask the question, they’re nowhere to be found.
Huh. I guess they weren’t willing to commit based on 30 minutes of first impressions? Perhaps you’d be better served weighing your options too. And I’m sure they’d need a little more reassurance before making a lifelong commitment.
Your prospects may not need lifetime-commitment-level trust, but they too are uncomfortable with hard sells right off the bat. In a sense, lead nurturing is part art and part science. But there’s nothing artful or scientific about selling a lead you have hardly gotten to know.
Gaining the right customers takes time, but far too many sales and marketing teams are short-sighted. Heck, entire businesses fail to take the longer, strategic and more effective approach to lead nurturing.
But companies that do nurture leads strategically – with relevant, targeted content – produce approximately 20% more sales opportunities.
Learn how hyper-personalized direct mail converts offline prospects to online customers:
This post will detail five of the most common fails that businesses make trying to “nurture” their leads. But don’t worry. We’ll also give you advice on how to slide the proverbial ring on the finger and help you get the answer you’re hoping for.
1.Your Marketing and Sales Teams Aren’t Aligned
Many companies put great emphasis on lead generation, which is unquestionably important. However, they neglect to implement proper lead nurturing processes to follow up with those prospects.
The problem almost always stems from a disconnect between sales and marketing – the biggest discrepancy being how these teams define what a lead actually is. If you’re not on the same page on who it is you’re targeting, how will you be able to effectively attract and close new clients?
Work together to separate prospects into multiple categories, defining who these leads are and what determines when marketing passes top-of-the-funnel leads to your sales team to nurture to the bottom of the funnel. With a strategic plan in place, qualified leads won’t slip through the cracks.
2. You’re Only Appealing to One Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Speaking of addressing your marketing and sales funnel, one of the most crucial elements of closing the sales cycle is providing prospects with information relevant to their state within their buyer's journey. If a prospect is simply looking to educate themselves about a topic, the hard sell will easily fail.
Here’s one email tip for each of the three stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness Stage – Include blog articles relevant to your leads’ interests, including the latest industry trends and statistics
- Consideration Stage – Invite prospects to a webinar about your product, perhaps a demo
- Decision Stage – Share customer success stories and product reviews
3. Your Campaigns are Impersonal
Consumers are smart. We can tell when you’re broadcasting a general message to hundreds or millions of people. But we people are all unique, and your lead nurturing emails need to be as unique and personal as we are. Your emails should never appear to be automated or a mass "blast."
The more you can tailor each email to the interests and behavior of your prospects, the greater chance your message has of resonating. Personalized emails are especially helpful toward the end of a leads sales cycle, too.
Segment your contact list to target specific behaviors or groups in order to build content around these important details. This may revolve around the pages prospects have visited or offers they’ve downloaded. Of course, you can also group contacts by variables such as:
- Job title
You might have to get creative to add a more personal touch. For instance, you could (should) send your prospects emails from members in your organization, rather than a general company email address. An email from Rick, the VP of Sales or Jenna, the owner and president, is far more personal and effective than an email from email@example.com, after all.
4. You’re Sending Every Email to Every Lead
Want to know the fastest way to get your leads to unsubscribe from your emails? Throw everything you’ve got as frequently as possible. It’s true: “When you say everything, you say nothing.” There’s also nothing strategic about this “strategy.”
Instead, create an optimal lead nurturing email schedule that will keep your company in the mind of your prospects, but not drive them away. A staggered approach will also give your leads time to digest the information you’ve provided them.
You shouldn’t send any prospect every email you have, either – even if you space out when you send them. Remember, you need to cater to the stage of the buyer’s journey each lead is in, as well as their unique needs and interest. There’s simply no way to effectively nurture every lead with the same email.
5. You’re Relying On Email Alone
No campaign – lead nurturing or otherwise – is as effective as it could be with the support of one, lone medium. You don’t want show every website visitor the same, static message every time. It’s important that you personalize your messages across channels.
Leverage smart CTA’s to present relevant educational offers to your site visitors. Guides, eBooks, infographics, videos, webinars, and product demos are all great offers to have.
Direct mail is another great medium to incorporate into your lead nurturing campaigns. Just look at the how much more engaging direct mail is compared to email: The average response rate of email is just 0.62%, compared to 1% for direct mail, or even higher with hyper-personalized direct mail at 4% which we’ve seen with our customers campaigns with Enthusem. In fact, direct mail response rates are on the rise. If you use solutions that integrate with marketing automation and CRM platforms, you can leverage direct mail data and analytics to improve your future lead nurturing campaigns, too.
Start Nurturing Leads with Maximum Effectiveness
Without strategic lead nurturing campaigns, all of your marketing efforts are for naught. And these fails often ruin your chances of adding many new customers. You can improve the effectiveness of your lead nurturing efforts, however.
Use the advice detailed in this article to maximize your conversion rates and identify your most qualified leads. You can also learn more about segmentation and personalization by reading our whitepaper, Human to Human Personalization.