It’s no secret that marketing relies heavily on information.
Without the right data, it is impossible to determine which marketing tactics are effective and which are a waste of your marketing budget.
There are multiple metrics that marketers track to help determine the effectiveness of their efforts, with conversion rate being one of the most essential. Since conversion rate tracks the number of leads that do what your company wants them to do, it should be easy to see why so many marketers consider this metric to be one of the most important to optimize.
The problem with conversions
We live in a connected world where consumers are exposed to ads and other similar messages during almost every part of their day.
There are ads on television, on the radio, in your email, on your social media feed and in your search results. Unless ads are well targeted and really get the attention of their target audience, many consumers simply ignore them.
To illustrate this reality, consider Google: As the largest search provider in the world, Google’s advertising platform seems like an ideal way to reach your target audience. The average conversion rate for Google paid ads is 3 percent. That means that 97 percent of the people who see your ad aren’t converting, opting to bypass your product or service because they aren’t in the right stage of the buyer’s journey.
Understanding the buyer's journey
If you want to get the highest conversion rates that you can with your marketing efforts, you have to understand the journey that transforms consumers into customers.
To reach consumers in each stage of the buyer’s journey, you need to create relevant advertising materials for each stage. Then, when consumers encounter your ad on some medium, there is a good chance that they will be ready to engage with whatever message you are trying to present. The purpose of lead nurturing isn’t strictly to make the sale; instead, its primary purpose is to catch enough interest to move consumers into the sales funnel where you can begin nurturing them through that funnel for later conversion.
If there is one thing that’s essential for optimizing your conversion rate, it is lead nurturing.
This is the process that you use to guide your leads further along the sales funnel until they are finally ready to make a commitment. Lead nurturing is much more personal and finely targeted and leads that are properly nurtured are significantly more likely to convert than those that are not.
Around 67 percent of marketers have reported increases in sales opportunities of 10 percent or more when employing lead nurturing, with approximately 15 percent reporting increases greater than 30 percent. In fact, companies that excel at lead marketing tend to report 50 percent more sales leads being generated than those that don’t, and at a cost of around 33 percent less per lead. So not only does nurturing help you to convert more leads, but you’ll also likely ultimately spend less per lead with this approach.
Breaking down the journey
There are three primary components to the buyer’s journey through the sales funnel:
- Awareness: The lead becomes aware of a need, but has not started looking for ways to fill it; this is sometimes referred to as a problem in need of resolution.
- Consideration: The lead has made the decision to fill the need, but is only researching possible solutions.
- Decision: The lead has decided on how to fill the need and now is searching for the place to fulfill this need.
There are different types of advertising and contact that are appropriate for each stage of this journey, and employing the correct type for each stage is a key part of lead nurturing. Measurable increases in generated sales opportunities have been reported by 89 percent of companies that align sales and marketing in this way, with the average increase in sales opportunities being around 20 percent.
Best practices for lead nurturing
There are several ways that you can employ lead nurturing throughout the buyer’s journey:
- Segment: Apply segmentation to your leads and identify them by both persona and their position within the sales funnel to better target relevant content.
- Personalize: Based on where leads are in the sales funnel, provide relevant information to aid them in moving to the next part of their journey.
- Schedule: Create message triggers based on behavior to increase the value and relevance of content that the prospect receives.
- Experiment: Keep testing your lead nurturing strategy to find the best balance among messaging, content format and contact frequency.
- Automate: Employ automation tools to increase the efficiency of your lead-nurturing tactics.
These practices can result in a significant increase in the effectiveness of your sales funnel. Segmentation alone can result in 73 percent higher conversion rates, while personalization brings in approximately six times the revenue of non-personalized contact. Behavior-based scheduling is used by 68 percent of effective marketers, and statistics show that automation can result in a 14.5 percent increase in sales productivity while reducing marketing overhead by 12.2 percent.
Optimizing your lead nurturing
It has been reported that 43 percent of marketers perform little or no structured optimization once they implement email marketing and automation solutions. This number represents a major missed opportunity, as optimization can lead to even greater improvements over time.
Fortunately, we can help. Koeppel Direct will help you to develop, implement and optimize your lead-nurturing strategies to unlock the full potential of automation and behavior-based scheduling as a means of effectively guiding your leads through the sales funnel from first contact to closing the sale.
View the full infographic below.