Lead nurturing is all about ensuring two things: That early leads are successfully picked up via marketing efforts, and that sales and marketing are aligned to deal with those leads in an efficient manner, so they are guided through the sales funnel.
If your business is looking for more reliable sales, or wants to improve lead collection heading into 2021, it’s probably time to create a lead nurturing plan to target specific parts of marketing and sales. These tips will help your brand get started.
If You Aren’t Scoring Your Leads, Start Now
Lead scoring began as an automated method of scoring particularly high numbers of leads for large enterprises, so they could be easily sorted and assigned to real reps based on how likely they were to lead to a sale.
Scoring leads has advanced significantly in recent years and is now a viable technique for nearly any business that gathers leads online. Good scoring software will not only score leads based on which have the most possibility, but will also assign leads specific steps (emails, phone calls, deals) based on where they have landed in the sales funnel. That way, your sales team knows what to do and when to do it for every lead.
Not sure where to begin? Take a look at marketing automation platforms. Most of today’s robust platforms allow for effective lead scoring (the software you’re currently using may even be capable of it). If you’re bringing in a significant amount of online leads, it may be time for an automation upgrade so they can get the right amount of attention. ActiveCampaign and VanillaSoft are two popular choices: ActiveCampaign is a great low-cost option, while VanillaSoft is a more in-depth system with great compatibility.
Plan a CRO (Conversion-Rate Optimization) Strategy
CRO focuses specifically on converting visitors to your website into manageable leads. A lot of the techniques we discuss below are part of CRO strategies, but we wanted to mention this first, because a cohesive CRO strategy can really bring them all together.
The conversion rate itself is a simple formula that divides the number of conversions (moving a lead to a sale) by the number of visitors to your website and multiplying that by 100 to get a percentage. That allows brands to look at how visitors interact with their site (and where they come from) to get a better idea of how to make the journey to a sale easier, and chart that progress over time.
Pay More Attention to Unused Channels
If you check out this interesting study on lead sources at Hubspot, you’ll see that next to all the traditional sources like social media, PPC ads, and emails, the source with the highest leads is simply, “Other.” That’s right – leads come from all sorts of places, and they aren’t always easily quantifiable. Some of it is word of mouth, some of it is inbound marketing, some is just people running across a brand by chance.
Bottom line: If you have channels or platforms that you aren’t marketing on at all, or types of marketing content you aren’t using – anything from flyers to QR codes – 2021 is the year to give them a shot. They may produce unexpected results!
Start Using a Chatbot and Messaging Alerts
Chatbots are automated chat systems that pop up on websites or social media to interact with visitors. They’re easier to make than ever (platforms like Facebook make it especially easy), and can be as simple or complex as the business needs. They can ping a real service rep when a visitor has a question, or even find products and make sales, 24/7. They’re one of the most popular conversion tools available these days, and most brands with a website should have one.
Take a New Look at Your Email Marketing
Check to make sure you are using the latest best practices for email and HTML so your emails really pop and don’t get left behind by the colorful, interactive emails other brands are using in 2021. Always differentiate emails sent at different places along the sales funnel so that leads don’t feel like they’re getting the same template email over and over again.
Create a Powerful Roster of Long-Term, Inbound Content
If your organization hasn’t tried this yet, make 2021 the year to create powerful evergreen content that can be used repeatedly to generate leads. This content should be authoritative and easy to share – downloaded whitepapers, infographics, video guides to your products, and similar things. You can use this content for years, and it will help bring customers to you.
Run Some Usability Tests on Your Website
It can be difficult for a brand to understand how outside visitors see and respond to its website. Make it a goal in 2021 to run usability tests or get a third-party audit of your site to help spot any weak points. If something about your navigation, web forms, information, or general appearance is throwing off visitors from becoming leads, it’s important to understand and address it!
We know we’ve brought up many things to consider with these tips. If you have a question about any specific technique or want help forming a broad CRO strategy, Blue Atlas Marketing can help you create a plan that’s exactly right for your business. Let us know how we can help!