Lead generation doesn’t stop with lead acquisition. Once you get new leads into your database, what are you doing to keep them engaged? It’s great that you generated leads in the first place, but in order for them to turn into customers, you need to employ a variety of techniques to move them through your funnel. If you don’t, your leads end up in the dreaded black hole of leads, and they will surely forget about you and your company.
A lead is just a name until he is actually engaged with your company! Generating the right leads is a start, but most likely a new lead isn’t ready to buy right away–so you have to work on that relationship over-time.
What should you do to keep that lead engaged and accelerate him through your funnel? Here are our top 7 lead acceleration strategies so your best leads become your best customers!
1. Nurture Your Leads with Email
OK, we know (well, we hope) you know this one. Lead nurturing is a must-have and although it has become table-stakes for most marketers, it begs to be repeated time and time again. Lead nurturing is the concept of leveraging your marketing automation system to create automated email paths that move your leads through your sales funnel. Essentially, lead nurturing enables you to develop and maintain relationships with your buyers regardless of their timing to buy. You can create nurture paths based on demographics attributes, behavior, topics of interest, and more. And these paths are automated, so you once you set them up, you are good-to-go with only a few tweaks over time.
2. Stay Engaged with Leads Through a Constant Stream of Content
Most likely, new leads still need to be educated. You can keep them interested in your company by constantly offering new, educational, and entertaining content on multiple channels. Whether it is a new ebook, infographic, video, or slidedeck, make sure you are creating enough content to keep your leads engaged. And make sure you are telling them about your new content! Depending on your content cadence, you can send emails to your database, promote on social, add to your nurture program, and more—just make sure your thought leadership is getting out there! Additionally, make sure you map your content to your sales funnel—create content that works for early, middle, and late stage leads. By mapping to your sales funnel you can ensure that there is something for everyone.
3. Keep in Touch with Leads on Social Channels
Make sure to keep in touch with your leads on social channels. You can easily segment and create lists of key prospects on Twitter and you can use Facebook and LinkedIn’s ad functionality to load target lists—so you can focus your digital ads on these channels to specific leads. Once you know who you want to engage with and listen to on social, you can start sending targeted content. For instance, using your list of key accounts and leads on Twitter, you can craft tweets that are directed to specific people.
4. Leverage Mobile to Be Where Your Leads Are
Your buyers are connected, and they spend a ton of time on their mobile phones. Whether it is in an app or in a browser, you can bet that your customers are there. And it doesn’t matter if your customers are B2B or B2C—mobile matters. If your leads opt-in, you can communicate with them via SMS text messages, push notifications, and more. But remember, if you are nurturing leads through mobile, make sure that you are providing compelling offers—like a new and exclusive content download or a discount code.
5. Target Key Accounts and Leads with Digital Ads
Advertising is a great way to keep top-of-mind with key leads in your database. You can leverage retargeting and social ads to make sure that you are front and center on sites that they frequent. With retargeting, you can place your ads in front of leads on various sites once they leave your website, and you can also load lists of leads into social channels–which helps you target more effectively. When it comes to your ads, make sure they include compelling imagery, have a clear call-to-action, and illustrate your brand.
6. Use Website Personalization for Customized Experiences
Wouldn’t it be great if you provided a custom, relevant experience for the key accounts and leads that come to your website? Using website personalization you can provide that experience to the people in your database. Let’s say that you are targeting a key account in the healthcare space. Using website personalization tools, you can show them personalized healthcare content, provide healthcare-related imagery, and even offer testimonials from customers that are similar to their brand.
7. Score Your Accounts and Leads
If you are engaging in all of these fantastic activities to nurture your accounts and leads through your sales funnel, you need to make sure that you have scoring set up so you know when to send leads to sales! Predictive scoring is fantastic way to be even more targeted and precise with your sales and marketing processes. Predictive marketing platforms use the data you have on your best customers and combine that with external data to create a customer model that represents your best customers. This model takes into account demographic attributes and behavior. Once you have this model, you can apply predictive scores to your database to determine which accounts and leads your sales reps should spend their time on.
Remember, a lead isn’t a lead until she has actually engaged with your company. So although you might have a database filled with great leads , you still have to nurture and create relationships with them overtime. There are many great strategies that can help you nurture leads through your sales funnel. Make sure that you have a well built-out strategy to stay-in-touch, so you don’t have a leaky funnel!
What other strategies do you use to nurture leads to become customers?