If you look closely, a lot of the content that’s supposed to be about lead nurturing is actually talking about generating new, often cold, leads. Don’t get us wrong—B2B lead generation is a key part of the marketing and sales process—but if you’re only focused on getting leads in the door, you aren’t converting as many potential customers as you could be.
Lead nurturing discussions, on the other hand, typically involve listing a few well-worn tactics every marketer knows: start with qualified leads, send promotional emails with discounts, advertise in search engines, etc.
But which of those tactics will work for your use case? To make our guide more useful, we packaged the tactics into a framework, so you can more easily see what makes sense for your B2B marketing and sales team. In our framework, we think of best practices in two categories (both of which we cover in Part 1):
In Part 2, we dive into three of the most effective nurturing tactics for B2B marketers to turn more leads into customers, as well as how visitor identification software (like Leadfeeder) can help supercharge each of those tactics:
Note: If you want to see how your lead nurturing tactics affect company behavior on your website, you can sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days here.
B2B Lead Nurturing Best Practices
If you spend enough time looking around, you can put together a huge list of best practices for lead generation and lead nurturing—but most of those will point back to two broader themes:
- Personalizing your nurturing content to the interests and needs of each lead.
- Testing, tweaking, and improving your nurture campaigns to move more companies through the funnel to conversion.
You can bring those best practices to every lead nurturing tactic you deploy and campaign you run—to convert more new customers along the way.
Personalizing Your Lead Nurturing Tactics
When nurture campaigns are personalized based on the data you have about each company (like what they look at on your website and how they interact with your campaigns), you don’t have to make any guesses. Your nurture campaigns start out with all the information they need to be as successful as possible at converting the target audience you’re looking for.
You can use that data to decide, among other things:
- The type and subject of content you send to email subscribers
- When (time of day and day of the week) to send emails
- Which features to highlight in your sales conversations
- The content of your landing pages
- The kinds of case studies worth developing
- The language you should use as part of the communication strategies of your company
Testing and Improving Your B2B Lead Nurturing Strategy
Testing your lead nurturing strategy starts with having a developed hypothesis about your website and other marketing collateral. When you send a particular email, five days after someone subscribes to your list, what do you want to happen? How do you expectthatemail to movethatlead through the funnel?
Then, you can use a visitor identification tool (like Leadfeeder) to monitor how lead behavior lines up with your hypothesis, and find spots in your funnel that need some work. When looking at the data, ask questions like:
- Do leads follow the content path we planned?
- Where do leads fall off? Why there?
- Are any of our content pieces, landing pages, social media posts, or emails showing a lower conversion rate than we expected?
Tweaking and improving your lead nurturing and marketing tactics is all about being inquisitive and working to understand why leads behave the way they do, how your marketing affects that, and how you can create more of the behavior you’re looking for.
Tactic #1: Account-Based Marketing for Lead Nurturing
Account-based marketing and B2B marketing are fundamentally different from the traditional marketing funnel. ABM efforts target a few, strategic accounts (instead of generating as many leads as possible)—and that difference puts even more pressure on nurture campaigns.
Since you’re only targeting a small set of accounts, you can’t afford to throw a bunch of tactics at the wall and hope for the best.
That’s why understanding the journey companies take from brand-new-lead to conversion is all the more important. When you see and understand how that journey works, you can tweak your approach to speed it up and identify behavior that typically leads to conversion.
That means you need to know as much as possible about your customer, including:
- Buyer personas, including the job titles and roles who make the buying decision
- Where companies come from before they find you
- How they interact with your content and how long they spend on it
- Where it leads them
That’s actually one of the reasons we created Leadfeeder—it’s hard to know all that information about your customer.
How do you find out how much time people from a particular company spent on your site and what did they read?
So we set out to build a tool that works on top of your Google Analytics account to help you find that data, including:
- Inform and personalize ABM efforts (with info like the bullet-points above)
- Identify how accounts interact with your content, emails, and other marketing communications
- Visualize how each of those touchpoints translates into interest and buying intent
To keep track of all that information about your key accounts, you can follow those companies inside Leadfeeder and check in to see their behavior in real-time.
Open an account and click “Follow” to get updates on their behavior
If you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can mark a company as a lead on LinkedIn to get notifications about any news regarding that company (including press releases, hiring announcements, and funding rounds).
All that information supercharges your ABM efforts because you can better tailor and position your value proposition to each account’s needs and interests.
Tactic #2: B2B Content Marketing and Email Marketing
Marketers are accustomed to using email marketing to nurture existing leads through the funnel. After all, email subscribers have already shown interest in your business, by subscribing. Content marketing is more often used to generate new leads or grow brand awareness.
But when the content itself is designed to nurture leads toward conversion and power your email nurture sequence, both tactics become even more effective—boosting email click-throughs and conversion rates from content.
To get a better idea of how your content and emails nurture leads into customers, you need to know how they respond to your emails.
- Are email recipients taking the actions you want them to?
- Are they staying long enough to actually read the content or bouncing away?
- Are they visiting other content after that?
- Are they following the path you expected?
- Do email subscribers come back to your website or content later?
That’s where Leadfeeder can inform your email and content nurture campaigns—by helping you see the behavior of email subscribers once they click-through to your website. Our integration with Mailchimp makes it easy to identify website visitors who came from one of your Mailchimp campaigns.
Note: If you don’t use Mailchimp for email marketing, our Zapier integration makes it easy to see the same info from other email services (like ActiveCampaign).
You get a more informed view of how your emails and content move leads toward conversion. You can attribute visits to the email campaign that sent them to the site and keep multiple, separate sessions together. If an email subscriber leaves your site and returns later, you can still identify them as a Mailchimp subscriber.
Those details tell you the products and features your leads are interested in—so you can tailor the content and emails you send to each subscriber or email segment based on those interests.
To integrate Leadfeeder with Mailchimp, follow these steps. Once you connect the accounts, you’ll see Mailchimp visitors on your Leadfeeder dashboard.
On your dashboard, click on “Mailchimp visitors” to view website visitors from your email nurture campaigns.
To dig deeper into the behavior of email subscribers, click on the company, scroll down to “Visits”, and click the blue plus sign. You’ll see expanded details on which pages they visited and how long they spent there.
Click the blue + on the left to expand visit details.
Tactic #3: Lead Nurturing Targeted and Retargeted Ads
In short, retargeted ads use website visitor identification data to show your ads to leads that have already interacted with your business in some way. That includes (among others) leads who:
- Subscribe to your email list
- Click-through to your content from social media, email, or Google search results
- Visit your website or any specific page of it
Targeting your B2B ads to these leads only means more of your ad budget is spent nurturing companies who have already shown some interest in your product, instead of shouting into the void of companies who might, maybe, be interested in what you have to offer.
And retargeted advertising is one of the top ways to ensure B2B leads continue moving through your funnel—instead of leaving the website and forgetting all about your business.
With Leadfeeder, you can create a custom feed that serves as your lead scoring model, filtering for the most engaged leads to spend your ad budget on. Your custom feed can filter companies by:
- How long they’ve been in business
- Annual revenue
- Website content and pages they’ve viewed
- Content, white papers, and web pages they engage with
- How often they engage with your website and content
If they’ve viewed certain pages of your website or interacted with certain social media posts, you know there’s some level of interest there. That means the resulting feed of companies are highly-engaged. They’re the leads you want to spend budget and effort nurturing—because they’re most likely to ultimately convert.
You can then use that feed of high potential leads to target ads on LinkedIn. By downloading a CSV of your custom feed and uploading it to LinkedIn Ads, you can target anyone at those companies, or get even more granular by targeting your ads to specific buyer personas (via job title) at those companies.
Open your custom feed, click to expand the menu, and select “Download feed as CSV”.
When leads you want to nurture see your LinkedIn ads, that means you have another opportunity to get them to keep engaging and moving forward through your funnel. You can even use their individual visit data to further tailor the ads based on the content you already know they’re interested in.
Nurture More B2B Leads into Customers
Generating new leads is a core part of your marketing strategy. You need leads to nurture. But the three B2B lead nurturing tactics in this article are indispensable to B2B marketers and sales teams.
Using personalized, data-informed nurture campaigns and monitoring how those lead generation tactics move leads toward conversion means you’re constantly refining your B2B marketing efforts and, ultimately, turning more leads into customers.
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