More than 4 in 10 B2B executives rate their current lead nurturing initiatives as excellent (8%) or average (36%). However, an equal share (44%) say these initiatives need improvement, while another 12% say they are poor or inadequate. So, what new approaches are marketers taking with their nurture programs? Here’s what a report [download page] from Demand Gen Report and RollWorks has to say.
In the past 12-18 months, most of the B2B marketing, sales and IT executives surveyed have not had an easy time with their lead nurturing programs. A full 60% say it’s been somewhat challenging to generate responses with their nurture programs, with another quarter (24%) saying it’s been very challenging to generate responses.
In fact, declining response rates represent one of the challenges faced by more than one-third (35%) of respondents. However, considerably more respondents say that one of the biggest challenges with their lead nurture programs is developing targeted content by buyer stage and interest (55%). This is critical considering that a recent Ascend2 study shows that more than half (56%) of marketers consider targeted content to be one of the most essential elements of lead nurturing programs.
Despite the challenges, there are definite benefits to lead nurture programs. Three-quarters of respondents say that these programs generate warmer, sales-friendly leads, while about half report they have seen a better response to campaigns or offers due to targeting and relevance (52%) as well as the ability to segment prospects based on interests and behaviors (51%).
And, with purchase timelines increasing, another benefit seen by 42% of respondents is leads moving faster through the funnel. Added to that, close to 6 in 10 say that they have seen a 10% (30% share of respondents), 20% (17%) or 30% (10%) increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads compared to non-nurtured leads.
New Approaches to Lead Nurturing
In an effort to improve their lead nurturing programs, respondents are trying new approaches and tactics. About half (49%) say they are using engagement data. This is about the same percentage of respondents who said they were using content engagement data in a similar survey back in 2019.
More than two-fifths (44%) say one of the new tactics they are trying is account-based nurtures. Along those lines, only 37% of lead nurture program databases are segmented by account, with most organizations segmenting them by industry (51%) or title/role (43%).
With both B2B and B2C marketers using intent data in order to prioritize accounts for prospecting, 37% of the executives surveyed for this report say they, too, are using intent data. Others are incorporating video messaging (31%) and using enhanced personalized strategies (29%), while fewer say they use signal data (17%) and predictive and AI (12%).
In order to measure the success these and other tactics have had on lead nurturing success, B2B organizations are using metrics such as email click-through rates (45%), revenue (39%), lead volume in the sales pipeline (39%), email open rates (35%) and cost-per-lead (22%).
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a July-August survey of 161 B2B marketing, sales and IT executives.