How to Use Lead Nurturing to Increase Conversions, Sales and Customer Retention

June 15, 2012

National Positions has launched a new Lead Nurturing program designed to help companies “close the marketing loop” in the following ways:
• Generate and capture more leads
• Increase conversions, upsells and customer retention
• Strengthen customer relationships
• Make the most out of every visitor to a company website

In this blog post we wanted to talk about why lead nurturing is such a powerful online marketing tool and how you can use it to increase conversions, sales and customer retention.

Why Lead Nurturing Matters

One of the biggest challenges facing small and medium size businesses is generating revenue from website visitors who may not yet be ready to purchase services immediately. In fact, studies have shown that 50% of visitors are not ready to buy when they first come to a merchant’s website, and that 80% of leads never convert into sales due to poor communication. That’s why an effective lead nurturing program can increase sales by 20%.

Lead Generation

Before you can effectively market to your existing leads, you must find innovative ways to drive meaningful traffic to your website. This means you create value offers that will help you drive traffic and build up your database of leads. This includes daily deals, coupons, incentivized reviews, webinars, white papers, videos, product demos, infographics and other social media campaigns.

Capturing Leads

Now that you’re driving targeted traffic, you must capture qualified leads that aren’t ready to buy the first time they land on your site. So you must convert web visitors into leads. This means you need to optimize your landing page for conversion and implement a high-performing subscription form that will capture leads for further sales opportunities. A key tip: incorporate a legit value exchange in your conversion process. Give your site visitors a reason to give you their contact information. This could be a free consultation or 10% off their next purchase. (If a discount sees unproductive, remember that 90% of a sale is better than 100% of nothing.)

Lead Management

What separates lead nurturing from generic email blasts is that you are sending more personalized messages to prospects based on their profiles. Thus, you should segment your lead list into campaigns so that you can neatly target the right prospects for the right products or services.

Creative Email Marketing

We live in an age of email saturation. Let’s face it; most of us are living in total email hell. We’re getting bombarded by emails constantly. And this is just from the lists we’ve sign up for! So to keep prospects on your email list and to get them to open the emails and maybe even click through and convert, you need to get creative. Make sure that your emails are written and designed for conversion best practices. Try to keep the email content short and witty, with subject lines that are to the point and easily defined calls to action that give your prospects a sales funnel. And keep it fun and interesting! Don’t worry about coming across to casual. It’s much better to err on the side of casual and fun than boring and stiff. The kinds of emails that nurture leads include welcome emails, auto-responders, recurring campaigns and RSS/blog subscription.

Tracking and Testing

Building an effective lead nurturing campaign takes ongoing reporting and testing. You must be tracking your traffic generation, deliverability, open rates, subscription rates, click throughs and conversions. Use Google Analytics or another analytics platform (such as Kissmetrics or Mixpanel) to effectively traffic your emails.

And last but not least, you should utilize A/B testing to validate specific conversion factors, such as subject line, design, calls to action and unique value proposition.

Email Marketing Platforms

To efficiently execute all these different tactics, you should leverage an email marketing platform that has lead nurturing capabilities. There are plenty of good options, but the key is to know which platform offers the integration that fits your currently technology and business model. At National Positions, we combine proprietary software with creative services and consulting for a holistic approach. But there are plenty of great options out there…

So what do you think? Are you ready to start converting more leads into sales?

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