How to Nurture Your Leads Effectively?
How to generate more sales-ready leads? A question that plagues every business, and which brings about many sleepless nights for their sales and marketing departments. There is, however, a simple answer to this question: Implement a lead nurturing strategy!
Industrial buyers have been bombarded with advertisements in their everyday life, and it has resulted in a very jaded response towards such actions. They have become more independent, starting to research about the products themselves before they commit to a purchase.
To secure such potential customers, lead nurturing (as well as inbound marketing) has become crucial because research has shown that, on average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy.
So, what is a lead? What is lead nurturing? And how can you nurture your leads more effectively to ensure better results? We’re here to answer these questions for you.
What is a lead?
Individuals or companies that have shown interest in your business is what we call a lead. They are your potential customers because their actions have shown that your business or products are something they are looking for. They have been categorized as a lead when they voluntarily give their information, such as their name, contact details, and more to you.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of using different marketing efforts to develop a relationship with the prospects to transform them into an actual paying customer.
According to a study done by MarketingSherpa, 61% of B2B marketers make the mistake of sending all the leads directly to sales, even though only 27% of those leads will be qualified. Don’t make the same mistake!
The prospects might not be ready to buy your products or services at that exact moment, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t buy them in the future.
Before they decide to take that next step, businesses need to patiently nurture those leads to improve their chance of achieving a successful sale later on.
We will mention a couple of effective strategies to nurture
leads for part suppliers, CAD software vendors, computer hardware vendors, and
3D printing, prototyping, and 3D scanner specialists.
1. Present relevant content to Engineers and Designers
Presenting relevant content to the targeted audience is one of the essential things to do in a good lead nurturing strategy. Our goal is to deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time.
In this strategy, it is vital to have a variety of content prepared, which is designed to move our prospects further down the sales funnel. We need to provide engaging and relevant information for our targeted audiences at every stage of the buyers’ journey to raise our chances of selling our products and services.
Besides the usual content that is used, such as blog posts, eBooks, videos, and so on, there is also content that you can use depending on what business your company does.
For example, numerous part suppliers publish the datasheets and other data related to their products (description, images, part numbers, …) on their website to make it easier for customers to decide if the products fit the needs of their design projects. However, not all part suppliers provide additional information and content, such as the option to download/view 3D models for their products.
A similar situation occurs with CAD software vendors, as many of them (but not all) usually allow their customers access to tutorial videos, webinars, customer cases, and other informative content.
In the table below, we can see the favorite content for engineers and designers according to our survey:
The more content you can offer your customers, the more you can WOW! them, and the easier it will be to win them over. After all, if two companies offer similar products which fit the needs of the customers, then the customers will likely go to the company that made the best impression. With such content prepared, the transition from a potential buyer to an actual customer could be done seamlessly.
Content marketing can help you win the trust of your prospects while helping you establish yourself as a leader in your industry at the same time. Not to mention that you can also use gated content to find out more information about your prospects.
2. Use multi-channel lead nurturing and personalized content
An effective tactic to nurture your leads will usually involve multiple channels, like using gated and non-gated content on your website, sending emails and newsletters, social media marketing, third-party advertising, and more.
Using only one channel, like setting up a simple email drip campaign with generic emails, would have been enough to nurture leads in the past. These days, however, businesses have started to use more personalized emails to connect with their prospects better.
Businesses can keep track of the actions that their prospects take on their website and the specific industries or newsletters they opted-in. Using this information, they can prepare personalized emails with content and product offers relevant to the customer.
Part suppliers, CAD software vendors, computer hardware vendors, and 3D printing, prototyping, and 3D scanner specialists have the same target group in mind: engineers and designers.
Engineers and industry professionals are hungry for information. They want to be informed, trained and kept up-to-date on the very latest developments in industry. And, as we can see in the following graph, digital technologies score very highly in the rankings for their favorite source of content.
Although emails are still playing a large role, as we can see in the graph below, it’s also important to make sure that your campaign involves other channels in order to make the most out of your lead nurturing campaigns.
One of the other channels for lead nurturing that we need to mention is social media. Social media offers an easy way to connect with your leads and to nurture your relationship with them as you continue interacting with each other. Social media websites, along with browsers, also provide services in which we can use retargeting ads to convert the prospects into customers.
Retargeting will only show ads to the people that are already interested in your company. They have already visited your website, bought your products, or downloaded some of your gated content before.
Those leads are very likely to convert. In fact, consumers are 70% more likely to convert with retargeting.
Which brings us to our next lead nurturing channel, third-party advertising. Third-party advertising, which also includes the previously mentioned social media advertising, ensures that you will reach the people that are interested in your products or services, either for free (with certain limits imposed), or with fixed/variable fees. When using third-party advertising, not only is it crucial to find the right partner who caters to your targeted audience, but it’s also essential to prepare appropriate and engaging content for them.
Third-partywebsites (such as TraceParts) can help part suppliers, CAD software vendors, computer hardware vendors, and 3D printing, prototyping, and 3D scanner specialists to get in touch with their targeted audience, as they have multiple ways to generate and nurture leads using banners, email campaigns, contests, and more.
3. Quick Follow-Up
It takes a long time for many businesses to get back to their leads, and some of them don’t even reply to their prospects! This lack of speed in communication can be fatal as studies have shown that following up on a lead quickly will achieve better results.
With 75% of prospects wanting to be contacted in less than 48 hours after they complete a contact form, it is necessary to get in contact with them sooner rather than later, as they will simply go to your competitors.
Be warned, however, you have to keep in mind at which stage of the buyers’ journey your prospects are currently in. Please don’t make the same mistake we mentioned at the beginning of the article about sending your leads to your sales before they are ready.
Calling leads just because they downloaded content from you (like a whitepaper or eBook) can easily backfire, lowering the chances of making a sale or even turning them away from your business.
4. Start Right Away!
You can start nurturing your leads as soon as they engage with your business in any way or form, even if they only downloaded your 3D models or software demo, read your blog post, or subscribed to your newsletter. You don’t have to wait until they show their intent to purchase something from you.