E-commerce, Marketing, Trends, User Experience

10 Lead Nurturing Tips for Small Business Owners

Did you know that 91% of B2B clients simply ignore unsolicited inquiries?

It’s true. In a hectic world of business, people just don’t have the time to worry about unintelligible pitches that lack focus. In general, business owners are individuals that will research all of their options thoroughly, test every software and service that could help them in running their business, and make a purchasing decision based on their systematic research.

In short – you cannot trick a B2B consumer into paying for your service or product. Not when 94% of them are exploring the web constantly to find the best solution for their business. On the contrary, you will have to provide them a unique sales proposal and exceptional customer service.

But what about B2C commerce? While regular consumers are somewhat more relaxed about their purchases, more than 61% of them will still look for reviews when they are considering whether to buy your product or not. As far as basic googling goes, e.g. looking for discounts and better offers online, 81% of consumers will conduct research of that sort before they make their decision.

The question of how many of them will end up doing business with your competitors once again depends on how much your offer is attractive to your target audience as well as on the experience of your customer service. Be aware that 78% of your potential customers will back out from a deal if they aren’t happy with your customer service.

It is evident that this is the era of smart consumerism. This is why your sales representatives will have to go that extra mile to drive revenue to your business. If you don’t have any experience with lead nurturing, know that this is the right time to start implementing intelligent lead generation strategies in order to keep your company growing. That is what your competition is doing, and 68% of them agree that lead nurturing is very effective for driving more conversions and overall sales.

With the following ten tips, you will learn how to build a relationship with your customers from their very first click-through to your website and turn them into your brand advocates eventually.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

1. What is your end goal?

Far too many businesses fail because they don’t have a clearly defined business strategy. In fact, 70% of businesses don’t have any plan whatsoever when they are launching! So don’t feel too bad if you find your company lacking in this department, but know that in order to establish a sustainable business model – you need to have your plan in writing. Once you create your company’s individual goals, you will have to set milestones and define what are you expecting from your visitors, users, and from your returning customers. Each step of your sales funnel should have a separate strategy, and all of those strategies have to be intertwined, with the focus on the end action. Always keep your focus.

2. Develop a content map

Each step of your funnel should have a separate piece of content, or an email template, waiting for your visitors, prospects, and returning clients. The main reason why a content map is so important is – you have to be consistent. When a visitor enters your website, they expect a certain tone of voice, a specific style of design, and if they are happy with the type of content that you are providing, they will stick around. However, once you break that pattern, they will quickly navigate away from your website and turn to your competitors. This is why every action should have a prepared response and every email a transparent record of previous and future correspondence in order to keep your prospects engaged.

3. Strategize your customer’s life cycle

Be aware that your customer’s needs and interests will vary throughout your communication. Initially, you want your prospect to become aware of your product or service. After you’ve managed to arouse interest in your potential buyer, you have to start worrying about representing your product in the best possible manner. That part of the cycle should be focused on your unique sales proposal. Furthermore, you should never treat your returning customers as new leads. Since they are already actively engaged with your brand and company, a more personal yet professional approach is in order. This applies to your content mapping strategy as well.

4. The 80/20 Rule

While lead nurturing, in general, seems like a somewhat complicated process, the truth is – marketers tend to get overwhelmed when they are faced with all the possibilities that marketing automation provides. In reality, 80% of your gains from lead nurturing will come from the initial 20% of the effort that you put into strategizing your lead management. Although you might think that it is best to be prepared for every possible scenario and tailor custom content for each demographic group individually, your basic templates and your first customizations will show the best return. So stop overthinking and take action.

5. Implement a lead scoring system

No matter which CRM tool you use, you probably have the option to label your leads. Utilize this option, since it will enable you to assign point values and provide direct insight into the level of interest of your potential customers. For example, if a lead schedules a session to try out a demo of software that you are selling, that lead will probably have a high score and you will need to focus on making a sale. If a lead simply visits your website and sticks around for a while – that lead will have a low score and you will have to keep them going through different stages of your sales cycle before you try to actually sell them your product. By dragging that lead through different steps of your sales funnel, they will receive a higher lead score, and you should continue to do so until they decide to purchase your product or give you a definite negative response.

6. Focus your CTA’s

If your business provides more services than one, or if you are selling a great variety of products, it is best for the customer to grasp them all at once, right? Wrong. If you are offering to sell more products or services by making them all accessible on one page or via one email only – all chances are that you are overwhelming your prospects and they will soon navigate away from your website. The reason why this action occurs is an actual paradox, called – the paradox of too many choices. When faced with too many options, people will rather choose not to take any instead of selecting just one. This is why you will have to focus your Call To Actions on a single choice.  Barry Schwartz, the renowned psychologist, claims that by narrowing down the list of choices you are actually helping consumers to overcome their anxieties and indirectly making them make the right choice – to buy your product.

7. Onboarding new clients

Once you’ve managed to sell your product or service to a new client, don’t forget that you can always count on their returning business. This is why it is extremely important that you honor your lead nurturing system with an appropriate onboarding campaign. Always provide them with practical resources they can use to educate themselves about your company and your product. Furthermore, you should record frequently asked questions that your new customers are asking and provide answers to these questions to your new customers before they even ask. This step is extremely important because you definitely want referral business from your existing clients, and you also want to upsell your services if possible.

8. Upsell politely

This bit may be tricky because you most certainly don’t want to drive your existing customers away with an aggressive approach. However, not offering them a chance to enhance their experience of your service shouldn’t be an option as well. So be subtle, but still emphasize the possible benefits of an upsell. Focus your message and don’t try your usual sales pitches because that will make your clients feel unappreciated. Instead, personalize your messages and simply point out the possibilities.

9. Don’t forget to say thanks

A thank you page (or an email) is one of the cornerstones of marketing automation and one of the vital elements of a lead nurturing campaign. When your lead enters your sales funnel, it is a mandatory step to send them a thank you email as a form of a confirmation that you’ve received their inquiry or recorded their details. If you have a lead magnet and you are planning an email campaign, this is almost a mandatory step since it can help you gather actual email addresses instead of false information that internet users tend to give out. Furthermore, a thank you page can also increase your ROI if used properly.

10. Test, Rinse, Repeat

At the very end, the magic formula of digital marketing repeats itself in the lead nurturing process as well. You can never optimize your sales funnel 100%, so always make sure that you are testing all elements within your sales cycle, and try different strategies in order to generate more leads and gain more closed deals.