The ongoing consumer preference shift from brick and mortar retailers to online shopping has forced digital marketers to restructure many of their strategies. Consumer behavior is much different on the Internet. Geographical boundaries are no longer limits: one search query puts you in front of hundreds of similar products regardless of the items’ physical locations. Since the pool of potential customers has expanded, companies now must work to develop relationships with buyers at every step of the buyer’s journey. This process is known as lead nurturing.
Not all leads are equal. Some begin the process motivated to buy, some require much more information and patience throughout their search. Marketers that effectively nurture leads develop relationships with these leads at every step of the buyer’s journey. Maturing these leads to become eventual customers requires specialized content and consistent messaging. The majority of leads are not ready to buy, so establishing trust along the path to a conversion is essential. Lead nurturing is similar to web design; if the information you present is not applicable or relevant, then customers will spend their time searching elsewhere.
According to Marketo, companies that effectively run lead nurturing initiatives generate 50% more sales-level leads at a 33% lower cost. However, the appealing dividends of lead nurturing will not be met without a comprehensive strategy. Out of all the methods to reach an audience nowadays, there are two approaches that stand out: email marketing and marketing automation. These two techniques allow you to personalize content and messages on a highly granular level. Not only is email marketing the most precise and straightforward way to send specific content to buyers, but the return on investment compared to other routes of communication is off the charts. Marketing automation, on the other hand, is the best way to monitor leads in the pipeline and maintain organization throughout the entire process. The power of the technology doesn’t end there: automation optimizes leads and can categorize leads by most likely to purchase
Now is not the time to be passive with lead nurturing. Although the practice is not as appealing as many of its lead-generating counterparts, it is as, if not more, crucial than others. Yes, the primary reason to adopt lead nurturing is to drive more sales and curate a segment of the market that follows your work, but the other side of the equation applies to your competition. Simply put, if your company does not nurture leads, it is more than plausible (and very likely) that your competition is. The average consumer is more adept at finding information on the Internet and more aware about all the options available with just a few clicks than ever before. If your content team is not producing relevant content to buyers on every stage of the purchase funnel, you’re digital marketing strategy is outdated.