The Definitive Guide to

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Tracking Leads

What is lead nurturing?

The American Marketing Association defines lead generation as “the process of collecting contact information and extracting potential sales leads.” As its name suggests, lead nurturing takes those leads, and puts in time and resources to grow them or move them forward at each stage of the buyer’s journey by providing relevant, valuable information.

In a world of (all the) options, buyers have a lot of power. A CSO Insights study found that the inability to generate enough qualified leads accounted for 53 percent of sales execution challenges. Leads (especially ones with legs) don’t just happen; they are earned through strategic allocation of resources. Industry research by Forrester found that nurtured leads see an average 20 percent increase in sales compared to non-nurtured leads.

Here are some considerations as you develop your lead-nurturing process:

  • Personalization: Tailor your content for your audience. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often the ‘ol firehose is pulled out. It’s much better to take the time to craft a targeted message that a small audience will care about, than a generic blanket of a message pushed out to (and ignored by) the masses.
  • CRM integration: If you’re leveraging a CRM platform, use it to its full extent, and bring your marketing automation tools along for the ride. Put in the work to determine what data is most important to track and analyze, and tie action to them. For example, if a prospect has opened and clicked through three of your last four newsletter communications, reach out to them personally with a value add such as a whitepaper or free template.
  • Buyer personas: Can you tell we’re big fans of all things strategic and goal-oriented? Buyer personas provide a foundation of intention for every communication.

To effectively speak someone’s language and truly address the needs of a prospect (and not just push your product), you have to understand who you are talking to. What makes them tick? What are their pain points and priorities? For efficiency and ultimate impact, detailed persona creation is a must.

  • Content creation: According to research from Ascend2, 45 percent of marketers say content marketing is among the most effective tactics for lead nurturing. You know your business and you have something to say. Leverage that insight by creating a content marketing campaign that provides valuable fodder for qualified leads. Quality content gives you an actionable reason to reach out and deepen the relationship. 

How do I track digital marketing leads?

Once you unleash your brilliant digital strategy into the wild, you’re going to need a plan for tracking and nurturing those leads that come pouring in. Depending on your business size, the solution could vary from an expertly-formulated Excel spreadsheet, to an investment in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution. And investment is the right word; they can be pricey, but many offer scalable options that fit your needs and grow with you. There are also CRM offerings that are compatible with other marketing function offerings, to provide an aggregate dashboard for your company.

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