One of the top priorities for any lead nurturing program is a high conversion rate, but not every company is seeing success in this area. A recent report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners looks at what strategic elements contribute to a successful lead nurturing program.
Improving conversion rates isn’t the only priority marketers have for implementing a lead nurturing program. The more than 300 B2B and B2C marketers surveyed also cite other top priorities, including improving customer retention (43%), increasing engagement (43%), increasing brand awareness (42%), improving customer experience (41%) and improving lead quality (36%).
Survey respondents rely on certain elements for lead nurturing programs to be successful and fulfill these priorities. Targeted content is considered one of the most essential elements for more than half (56%) of respondents. Personalization (49%) and timely follow-up (49%) are also considered instrumental to the success of a lead nurturing program.
Although prior research shows that customer journey mapping is considered important to the success of an organization, and one of the things that set customer experience leaders apart from the laggards, only 1 in 5 (21% of) marketers consider it to be essential to lead nurturing success. Further down the list of essential elements are lead scoring and list segmentation, cited by only 16% and 10% of respondents, respectively.
Digital Channels and Automation
About one-quarter (26%) of marketers cite multi-channel nurturing as one of the most essential elements to a successful lead nurturing program. Of the digital channels used for this purpose, email (69%) and social media (67%) are the most used channels by far. By comparison, fewer report frequently using website personalization (38%), paid advertising and retargeting (34%) and mobile automation (14%).
When it comes to using automation, while only 1 in 5 consider automation critical to the success of their lead nurturing program, 8 in 10 say that automation software is either very important (39%) or somewhat important (41%) to improving lead nurturing performance.
Another technology that marketers are finding beneficial to lead nurturing is the customer data platform (CDP). London Research and BlueVenn found that companies using a CDP were more likely to be employing an integrated cross-channel approach to lead nurturing.
Challenges to Lead Nurturing Programs
While targeted content is considered one of the most essential elements to a successful nurturing program, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to create. In fact, 43% of respondents say that creating targeted and engaging content is one of the most challenging aspects of a lead nurturing program.
Aligning marketing and sales efforts (36%) also stands out as a challenge to lead nurturing. Resources also pose a problem, with about one-third (32%) saying allocating adequate resources is a challenge they face. Indeed, more than 8 in 10 respondents strongly (37%) or somewhat agree (47%) that allocating more time and resources to lead nurturing efforts would improve their conversion rates.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on an April 2021 survey of 325 B2B and B2C marketers, 42% of whom work at companies with more than 50 employees.