Lead nurturing is a great strategy for positioning your Brand as a thought leader with potential patients and customers. Bit-by-bit you methodically give prospective customers and patients tidbits about what makes your Brand different than your competitors. Notice I said “different,” not necessarily better. Great Brands are built on true distinction, not chest-beating. Inbound Marketing and lead nurturing is a perfect vehicle to drive that distinction home.
Let’s say you’re a “Medium Sized Insurance Company (MSIC)” and you have a new Cyber Fraud Insurance product for businesses—called “BUSTED.” You do your homework and examine the Google search data and see all the terms people are searching for. You choose the most relevant keywords, write your posts and publish a “thought leadership content asset” (like a whitepaper) that educates (not sells) businesses on the risks, challenges and the potential protections available to them. Visitors find your website and download your content in exchange for their email address. Bam, conversion #1: a visitor becomes a lead.
Enter lead nurturing. At it’s most basic level, lead nurturing is the process of moving a lead through an automated workflow (Marketing Automation) that provides more content related to what the lead has “raised their hand” for and expressed their interest in. The nurture workflow can have things like checklists, calculators, inventory plans and other things to help the lead assess their risk. You’re providing valuable content – not selling content. As the reader interacts with more of your content, the content provides more facts related to your solution, in this example, the BUSTED coverage.
So, there you have it – lead nurturing 101. Now, before I jump further into the ROI of lead nurturing let’s quickly review four main metrics worth looking at when trying to improve your lead nurturing ROI:
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rates
- Time to customer/patient conversion
- Cost per customer
To improve lead nurturing, you’ll need to make sure all of the other parts of your Inbound Marketing efforts are working well, as lead nurturing is something that plays a part in each aspect of your marketing. By “all other parts,” I mean your landing pages, your blogs, your social media, everything. Inbound marketing is a very intertwined methodology. If you are trying to use your blog to generate leads and it hasn’t been updated since Thanksgiving of last year, people are going to lose interest in you pretty quickly. And, don’t forget, Google won’t take you seriously from the get go.
When improving your lead nurturing ROI, time to customer/patient conversion is a good metric to review. It’s a measure of just how effective your Brand is at converting Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) with your content and then moving them through the sales funnel toward being a customer. By MQL, I mean someone who has shown interest in your Brand, whether it be by downloading a piece of Thought Leadership from your site or by subscribing to a newsletter.
To find your customer/patient time to conversion, look at how long it takes for someone to actually “buy” your product or service from the time they first engaged with you online. Tracking a visitor’s activities on your website gives you a good idea of just how interested they are in your products and services, and gives you a bit of an indication of how long it takes them to move through the sales funnel. If you can cut down on the time it takes for someone to move to the bottom of the funnel, you’re effectively increasing your ROI.
Effective lead nurturing means more MQLs, and more MQLs means more chances of generating more revenue. Analyze your list of MQLs for each of your marketing campaigns to see what content you sent to them, and what the end result was. If your lead nurturing content didn’t result in anything successful, think of how to improve your content. Lead nurturing is all about making sure you constantly change and improve to appeal to your leads, not just sending them content because you think its what they want.
That was a quick look at how to improve your lead nurturing and how to more effectively measure your ROI. Our free eBook, Better ROI Using Inbound Marketing Analytics: email, Lead Generation and Nurturing, has more tips and content to help you strengthen your lead nurturing – download it today and start nurturing those leads.
Are you reminding your leads that you’re the right Brand for them? Let's touch base and I will put the Hult Team's experience to work for you. We can connect at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can create a better focus on your Brand.