Getting the most out of your lead nurturing process with the right marketing automation setup

Gowri Sankari • January 03, 2020
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Companies are spending millions of dollars on marketing automation for their inbound marketing and lead nurturing processes. However, the big question is whether they have optimized the lead nurturing process and making the most of automation tools. Of course, the even bigger question is if the conversion rates are high enough.

Your marketing team might be doing great in driving more inquiries, SQLs, and even converting them into a business. However, typically there will be about 50% to 60% leads that neither die nor move to the SQL stage. These are the leads that need more nurturing and are waiting to be converted with some coaxing. Here’s where an effectively set up marketing automation tool can help.

Here are three questions you must ask your marketing team to discover whether,

  1. You are utilizing well your marketing automation tool
  2. You have completely optimized the lead nurturing process

Q#1: Show me the lead nurturing process and workflows at each level

“65% of marketers are not nurturing leads.”

– Marketing Sherpa

Setting up a calendar and sending emails to prospects does not qualify as lead nurturing. You need to have a clear strategy behind moving an opportunity from one stage to the next. One needs to understand the customer persona and their needs at each lifecycle stage and convert that understanding into a set of offers (content or business) that will move the needle. The workflows in the automation tool ensure that the offers are served periodically, and the lifecycle stages change based on the pre-defined lead scoring.

Pro Tip: Ask your team for specific use cases of the nurturing process based on the customer persona.

Q#2: Show me the insights from lead nurturing

“48% of businesses say most of their leads require ‘long cycle’ nurturing with MANY influencers.”

– Ascend2

Marketing automation tools throw a lot of metrics – some vanity and some important. However, when put in perspective and based on the industry, each parameter has some value. Here are some key metrics that can help you get a better hold of the process:

  • Where are the leads coming in from?
    • Sources and channels of leads. Good to start from the basics to understand the effectiveness of your campaigns
  • What is the conversion rate for each channel?
    • The lead nurturing approach needs to change based on the channel. E.g., there is a high probability of conversion when someone calls you rather than filling a form on a social campaign
  • How do the leads compare with the average conversion time?
    • This will help you know if a set of leads are taking unusually more extended time than usual and the reasons. This way you can either have a more aggressive strategy or drop them from the funnel
  • What is the cost per customer conversion?
    • Every lead conversion will have a cost attached to it – from the time to offers to campaign expenses. The goal is to bring down the costs over time. However, keeping a tab on it on a fortnightly basis will help you drive down the costs and also eliminate the leads whose cost of acquisition is more than the revenue
  • What are the primary metrics saying?
    • While it is basic, these metrics still give a lot of insights – email opens, bounce, unsubscribe, landing page conversion, etc.

Pro Tip: Configure one of your dashboard elements for lead nurturing. It can be one of the top four, if not the first.

Q#3: Show me if we are fully leveraging the marketing automation tool for nurturing

“Marketing automation in the lead nurturing brings a 451% increase in qualified leads.”

– Business2Community

Email campaigns are the most utilized feature for any marketing automation tool across the world. I am sure there are over 40% of companies who do not move from this stage. See if you are using the following features in your marketing automation tool (not in any order of priority):

  • Integration
    • Integrate with your website, social channels, emails, and calendars. The teams should virtually live out of the marketing automation tool. You don’t need to open any other application
  • Workflows
    • Here is where the entire game is. It is useful to whiteboard all the cool ways to nurture your leads and then set them up as workflows. I will try and write a separate blog on workflows later. But, do check if you have basic workflows of sending a thank you note, periodic follow-up, asking specific questions if it is a known visitor on a pricing page, etc
  • Lead scoring
    • Qualified lead generation through behavior and demographic scoring
  • Visitor intent analysis
    • You can track the visitor’s company, repeat visitor alerts, visitor intent analysis based on the pages they are browsing
  • Landing pages and forms
    • You can build personalized and progressive landing pages and forms that will help the prospect to take action without being intimidated
  • Chatbots
    • No, they are not intrusive. I’ve started noticing that many prospects are comfortable talking on chat than calling or taking the pains to fill a form. However, be aware that any delay in responding might be counterproductive
  • Align the revenue cycle
    • Revenue cycle model align with lead life cycle workflow to understand the cost per conversion and other related metrics
  • Dashboards
    • The insights from all of the above can be viewed in a single snapshot which is your dashboard

Are you fully leveraging your marketing automation tool for efficiently nurturing leads? Answering the above questions is a great starting point to show where you stand. For a detailed assessment and personalized recommendations, write to and our experts will work with you to crack the code.

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