How often have you overheard the following exchange in a retail setting?
“Can I help you find anything today?”
“No thanks, I’m just browsing.”
The customer has made the effort to enter the store, so clearly they’re interested in something, yet they decline to engage with the sales clerk.
In the digital B2B world, “just browsing” is an apt description of behaviour many leads exhibit – the activity of researching potential purchases before wanting to engage with the vendor. Any online marketing effort must take into account that even if a prospect is genuinely interested in a particular product or service, they may not be ready to interact with your sales team. Studies show that up to 85
So, what can you do to nurture a lead that isn’t ready to speak to sales?
Well, you have a few options. You could use emails, invest in PPC remarketing, use a tailored account-based marketing approach or a combination of all three. Want to make the nurturing more effective? Invest in conversion software that can track the results of your nurture campaign and signal when leads are ready for a more aggressive sales approach.
Email is the most common tool marketers use to nurture leads. That being said, it’s important to remember that on a standard day your lead is going to be inundated with emails from countless people and companies. Your email will need to fight through all that noise and get the reader’s attention if it’s going to have any chance at impacting a sale.
So, how are you going to get the email reader’s attention? By sending them something they actually want, for example, valuable advice and content. Unfortunately, even with a well-tailored valuable e-mail, the lead isn’t going to reach out to you. So how do you know if the email is working?
You could include a link in the email that sends the lead to a form that gives them access to a piece of content, but that can become annoying and will reduce the number of leads that actually download the content. However, if you have no other option, gating is a feasible way to determine which leads are actually continuing to interact with you.
A better option is to invest in a software tool that tells you when you’re email is being opened, when links are being clicked and when collateral is downloaded. There are countless tools on the market that can do this (E.g. Yesware or Mailtrack), but they only give you visibility into a small portion of the lead’s activity. What happens if the lead reads your email, continues with their day, and then decides to check out your website later by searching you in Google. It shows the email helped keep your brand top of mind, but with simple email tracking tools, you’ll never know about it.
That’s where conversion software comes in.
Conversion software lets you see every interaction a lead has with your site; whether they’re clicking a link in an email, reading your blog, or visiting your website directly. Depending on the software you have, it may also give you insight into when a lead reads a piece of native content you shared on a media publication’s website or when they click on an advertisement you’re paying for.
By seeing exactly what the lead is doing, you’re able to shift your marketing accordingly and identify your most effective email campaigns.
Nurturing option 2 is pay-per-click remarketing or put simply, pushing targeted advertisements out to people who have already visited your website.
One of the easiest ways to do remarketing is using Google Ads. Google uses a piece of tracking code (added onto your website) to tag all the people who visit your website. Once they’ve been tagged, Google will start showing them your ads across the Google display network – which includes thousands of websites.
Have you ever been looking at a product or service and then suddenly you start seeing ads for it everywhere? That’s remarketing. It’s a brand’s way to stay top of mind until (hopefully) the lead returns to their website. Of course, it’s again useful to have that handy conversion software to notify you when a lead returns to your website so that you can follow up with them accordingly.
Account-based marketing involves creating a tailored campaign that targets key decision makers within a company. It’s a more time-intensive approach but can drive higher response and conversion rates.
When implementing an account-based marketing approach, don’t use it on every lead you have. Choose your most desirable accounts and focus on them, that way you’ll have the time to create a truly bespoke campaign.
Research your lead and the company intensively. Check social media profiles, company websites, press releases, news, and so on. The more you know, the more focused your approach will be.
Once you have a good understanding of the account, you can begin your campaign. Whether it’s an email, a phone call, mail or something else; remember that your goal right now is to nurture NOT to sell. You could send them personalized content, make specific suggestions relevant to their problems, or send them something that helps keep your brand top of mind.
Once they show some more interest (which you can track with the conversion software we mentioned earlier), you can go in for a harder sell.
Without nurturing, it’s easy for a lead to forget about your company and fall out of the sales pipeline. Not every lead you nurture will turn into a sale, but far more will than if you’d done nothing. By implementing one or a combination of the approaches mentioned in this blog, you’ll be keeping your brand in front of the lead and positioning yourself as an industry leader.
About Gail Moch
Gail has a background in marketing and technology that she puts to use as ActiveConversion's marketing manager. She has a passion for innovation and creativity that she applies to all aspects of her life. When she isn't at the office, Gail can be found relaxing with her husband and two dogs.
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