Finding leads is easy. Anyone can do it.
Getting quality leads, however, is a little trickier. That requires more effort.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already invested a lot of time into your marketing campaigns. You’ve carefully designed and refined them, optimizing both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
But something’s still not right. Even after all that, you’re still not seeing the results you expected. People are interested, but they’re not converting to customers.
Generating leads isn’t enough to succeed. You have to nurture them, guiding them through the process from lead to customer. And if you really want to see returns, you have to stop treating all your leads the same.
Here are a few tips that can help you nurture your leads effectively and get the results you deserve.
Spot the Difference
It’s important you’re clear on the difference between inbound and outbound leads.
Inbound marketing is defined by Hubspot as ‘focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful.’
For example, this might take the form of a blog post guide, a how-to video on YouTube.
Outbound marketing refers to more traditional methods. Banner ads, cold calls and direct mail are all examples of this. While outbound is often viewed as old fashioned and less effective than its counterpart, it’s still a valid and important method of generating leads.
Smart Outbound Marketing
Nurturing your outbound leads starts with how you market to them. Many marketers think that the only way to do outbound marketing is ‘spray and pray.’ Just broadcast your marketing loud enough to anyone who’ll listen.
That way of thinking belongs firmly in the past.
You need to be much savvier to succeed. Rather than shouting at everyone, you just need to whisper your message in the right ear. How?
- Research suitable leads, based on your ideal client personas
- Customize your marketing based on available context/signals from those leads
- Make contact in the way that suits them best, whether that’s a phone call or keyword ads.
A service like Leadsift can be a massive help here, providing you with a list of target accounts and contacts to pursue based on buying signals that it picked up in the previous 24 hours.
This tailored approach to outbound marketing will greatly increase your ROI.
Qualify your Inbound Leads
Nurturing inbound leads isn’t just a matter of putting up some useful content and waiting for the money to roll in. Once you have an inbound lead, you need to properly qualify them.
Not all leads are created equal. Qualifying inbound leads is very important – scoring them and acting on them differently is key. For irrelevant leads letting them know it’s not a fit and explaining why is important. You don’t want to be wasting your or the prospect’s time.
On the other hand, is the prospect a good match for your services? Do they match your identified customer personas?
If so, follow up. Quickly.
One study showed the average response times to a lead were 42 hours, and 23% of companies never responded at all. That means a quick response will give you a huge advantage over the competition.
To make the most of your inbound leads though, you’ll also want to spend some time researching them, and then personalize your responses.
Both need persistence
You can’t publish one blog post or make one cold call and expect a flood of customers. Both need regular, scheduled followups.
Statistics have shown that 45% of salespeople give up after just one follow up, but that it takes an average of 8 call attempts to reach a prospect.
This doesn’t mean bombarding them constantly with emails. For best results you should vary the methods to include social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn, along with calls and email. Just know that whatever form of marketing you’re doing, you’re missing out on customers if you don’t follow up. If it helps, use some kind of planning software to keep track of everything.
Inbound and outbound marketing are both key elements of a high performing marketing campaign. Both need planning and persistence.
But you need to be aware of the key differences in nurturing to get the best returns. Tailor your outbound marketing and qualify your inbound leads, and you’ll see the best results.
Want to streamline your outbound marketing to reach potential customers? Then you’ll definitely want to try out Reply.io. Take it for a test run today
Co-Founder @ LeadSift