While generating leads is an important first step in marketing, the real goal is to turn those leads into paying customers. Fortunately, there are proven marketing tactics that can help you nurture leads along the buyer's journey so they ultimately make a purchase. In this article, we will explore ten of the most effective tactics for converting leads into customers.
Marketing Tactic #1: Create a Strong Value Proposition
Your value proposition is the core statement communicating the specific benefits customers receive from your product or service. It should convince potential customers that you offer something desirable that competitors don’t. An effective value proposition focuses on the tangible outcomes and improvements that customers can expect with your product.
For example, a SaaS company shouldn’t just list a boring feature such as, “Our software has an intuitive dashboard.” Instead, the value prop could state a desirable benefit (of said feature) such as, “Our intuitive dashboard allows you to save 10 hours a week on manual reporting.”
When crafting a customer-focused value proposition, avoid generic claims like “best quality” or “best service”. Dig deeper into why your product stands out by highlighting unique benefits that leads would care about and would desire. What pain points does it address? How does it improve upon the competition? What positive outcomes can a customer expect and look forward to?
Research your customers to identify their primary challenges and needs. Then tailor your value proposition around how your product delivers outcomes that directly help them overcome those pain points. The messaging should resonate with your ideal buyer persona and get them excited about the possibilities your product represents.
An effective value proposition is clear, concise, and benefit-driven. Place it prominently on your website, product packaging, email signatures, and other marketing materials. A compelling statement of value helps convince prospects to learn more while helping customers understand your product’s advantage.
Tips for Writing Engaging Value Propositions
- Highlight your unique selling point - What's your "special sauce"?
- Communicate concrete benefits - Don't just describe features, emphasize meaningful benefits.
- Add social proof - Integrate ratings, reviews, testimonials that build credibility.
- Keep it concise - Get the core message across in a few short sentences.
- Speak to the target customer - Use language that resonates with your ideal buyer.
Marketing Tactic #2: Build Trust with Free, Valuable Content
Giving away informative resources instead of immediately selling to leads may seem counterintuitive. However, research shows that creating and sharing free educational content is an excellent marketing tactic for nurturing leads. Helpful blog posts, videos, whitepapers and other media demonstrate your subject matter expertise and establish credibility.
The type of informational content you create depends on your industry and ideal customer. For example, B2B companies may find long-form reports and ebooks useful. On the other hand, B2C brands can engage leads with “how-to” videos and blog posts. Regardless of format, address the questions and issues your target customer cares about most. Avoid overly promotional language and focus on providing maximum value upfront. The more problems your free content helps solve, the more leads will see you as a trusted advisor rather than a sales rep.
Building a robust library of free educational materials allows leads to access value at any stage of their buyer's journey. Nurture leads by solving their problems rather than pitching products. The goodwill and expertise you build can play a major role in converting prospects into customers.
Ideas for High-Value Informational Content
- Step-by-step guides
- Case studies
- Statistics reports
- Product/service comparisons
- Industry trend reports
Marketing Tactic #3: Use Email Marketing and Autoresponders
Email marketing and autoresponder campaigns are essential for successfully nurturing leads into customers. According to Hubspot's 2023 report, email marketing yields an average return of $36 for every $1 spent which is a significantly high ROI.
Savvy marketers make email a cornerstone of their lead nurturing strategy. When someone signs up on your website, use autoresponder emails to provide helpful information tailored to their stage in the buyer's journey. For example, you may send a series of 3-5 emails over 2-4 weeks. The first email could provide an overview of your company and product. Subsequent emails share blog posts, how-to guides, or other content to educate leads.
You can also use email to deliver promotional offers at strategic points. For instance, include a special discount code or trial in later emails to incentivize conversions after you’ve provided value upfront.
Monitoring metrics like open rates, clickthrough rates, and unsubscribe rates allow you to continually optimize your nurturing email campaigns for maximum effectiveness. Testing different subject lines, content formats, and calls-to-action will reveal the best practices for your audience.
The data shows that without email marketing at the core of your toolbox, you’ll miss out on the highest ROI opportunity to turn leads into customers. Treat it as a must-have rather than a nice-to-have for unlocking business growth.
Best Practices for Lead Nurturing Emails:
- Provide valuable info or special offers based on lead’s interests
- Segment your list and personalize content
- Schedule a pre-set series of emails to automate nurturing
- Monitor open and click-through rates to refine campaigns
- Use catchy subject lines to improve open rates
- Send emails through a user-friendly email service provider
Marketing Tactic #4: Retarget Website Visitors with Ads
Here’s a sobering statistic - on average, less than 3% of website visitors will convert on their first visit. The reality is most leads aren’t ready to become customers right away. They need multiple touchpoints over time before making a purchase decision. That’s why retargeting website visitors with customized ads is a critical tactic for nudging leads towards conversion. Retargeting places tracking pixels on your site to monitor visitor activity and lets ad platforms dynamically serve relevant ads across the web to bring visitors back.
For example, if a prospect visited your pricing page but didn’t sign up, you can serve an ad specifically highlighting one of your pricing tiers. The tailored messaging and familiarity of seeing your brand again increase the likelihood of conversion.Following up with relevant ads provides the extra reminders people need these days.
How to Get Started with Retargeting Ads
- Install the appropriate retargeting pixels or tags on your website
- Create different audiences and ad sets based on pages visited and/or actions taken
- Design ads that are relevant to each audience’s interests
- Test the performance of each audience segment
- Provide an incentive or special offer in ads to encourage conversion
Marketing Tactic #5: Follow Up with High-Touch Outreach
While digital marketing tactics are crucial, taking a personalized high-touch approach can also help nurture leads. Following up with promising leads via phone or email allows you to address concerns and get an advantage over competitors who rely solely on automated digital campaigns. During outreach, focus on being helpful rather than pushy. Ask smart questions to understand pain points. Then provide suggestions on how your product can help address their challenges. This consultative approach establishes trust.
According to SuperOffice research, 37% of customers consider speaking with a person the most important aspect of the customer experience. So while automation scales your efforts, high-value leads still appreciate the human touch. Prioritize one-to-one outreach for promising leads that have shown deeper interest or have higher lifetime value potential. The personal connection forges trust and turns cold outreach into a warm conversation.
Tips for Effective Personalized Follow-Up
- Segment and prioritize leads so you know who to contact first
- Train sales teams on consultative selling and lead nurturing skills
- Set reminders to follow up if a lead goes “cold” after initial contact
- Establish the value you can provide before pitching specific products
- Ask discovery questions to understand needs and challenges
- Note interactions in CRM so teams have context before reaching out
Marketing Tactic #6: Leverage Social Media to Nurture Leads
Social media platforms like Facebook/Meta, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a godsend for lead nurturing. These channels give you the opportunity to start conversations and engage directly with prospects. When someone follows you or interacts with your content, check out their profile to gauge interests and needs, then provide helpful information tailored to them through social posts or direct messaging. For example, if a lead follows you on Twitter and often tweets about a relevant topic, share one of your blog posts about that same topic.
Posting valuable content on social media allows you to organically demonstrate your expertise. Leads will begin to view you as a trusted resource rather than a faceless company account. According to Sprout Social, 97% of consumers say they've purchased something based on social media or influencer commerce. That's why consistently posting quality content on social platforms is so important.
Social Media Lead Nurturing Strategy
- Identify topics and interests of your ideal customers
- Engage with followers by commenting and sharing your content
- Join and participate in relevant social groups and discussions
- Provide social proof with customer testimonials and success stories
- Monitor social conversations to identify promising leads
- Follow up on social media messages with helpful responses
Marketing Tactic #7: Offer Free Trials, Demos, and Samples
Providing free trials, product demos, or samples gives leads first-hand experience that skyrockets conversion rates. According to Recurly, 66% of B2B trials convert into paid memberships. The quality experience builds trust and gives leads the confidence to become paying customers. Make signing up frictionless by not requiring a credit card upfront for trials.
For physical products, send free samples to qualified leads upon request. This marketing tactic is popular in direct mail marketing. The key is providing enough of the product experience to get prospects excited and invested. Be sure your sales team follows up during and after the trial period. Ask for feedback, emphasize product value, and motivate leads to commit. The first-hand product experience gets prospects invested so they are much more likely to purchase.
Rather than guarding your products, putting them directly into the hands of leads pre-purchase can be a game changer. Free trials showcase value and start building customer loyalty from day one.
Maximizing Free Trials:
- Offer a trial period long enough for the user to experience key benefits
- Remind users of remaining trial time and steps to purchase
- Provide outstanding support and resources during the trial
- Follow up to get feedback and answer any questions
- Highlight ideal customer success stories
- Make purchasing seamless by saving payment details
Marketing Tactic #8: Launch Customer Loyalty and Referral Programs
Referrals and word-of-mouth from existing customers can become a significant driver of lead generation and business growth. In fact, 71% of B2B companies say customer referrals strongly impact revenue growth. That’s why launching a customer loyalty or referral program to incentivize recommendations is so powerful. These programs reward your biggest fans for actively sharing and recommending your brand within their networks.
For example, your referral program could offer a discount, gift card, or cash payment for each new customer successfully referred. This incentivizes customers to proactively mention your company to friends, family, and social media followers. To track referrals, provide a unique promo code or affiliate link for customers to share. When their referral makes a purchase using that code, the customer who made the referral earns their reward. This allows you to scale word-of-mouth marketing.
Ideas to Incentivize Referrals:
- Discount on next purchase for each successful referral
- Cash payment for referrals that convert to customers
- Loyalty reward points
- Entry into a contest or giveaway based on number of referrals
- Public recognition on a social wall of top referrers
Marketing Tactic #9: Use Retention Messaging in Marketing Flows
Sometimes customers fail to renew subscriptions simply due to forgetfulness rather than unhappiness. Sending periodic retention reminders addresses this. Schedule a retention-focused email a few days before each customer's renewal date. The email copy should highlight the ongoing value derived from your product or service, satisfied customer testimonials, and an incentive or discount to renew.
Avoid assuming they will renew automatically. Use messaging that gently reminds them of the benefits they would lose by canceling. For customers that still don't renew, follow up with special win-back offers. For example, provide temporary access to premium features they would lose upon canceling. Reminding customers of the original value proposition can get retention back on track.
Eventually all customers churn, but the goal is to maximize the lifetime value of each customer. Small improvements in retention rates and renewal amounts compound over time into major revenue gains. Neglecting retention messaging means leaving money on the table. The most successful brands constantly nurture existing customers to maximize long-term loyalty and value.
Retention Messaging Best Practices
- Track renewal dates so you know when to send reminders
- Create a dedicated email series focused on retention
- Highlight key features the customer would lose access to if they cancel
- Share testimonials from loyal long-term customers
- Provide incentives for renewal like discounts or bonus product features
- Offer win-back deals for customers who still don't renew
Marketing Tactic #10: Gather Feedback for Continual Optimization
The most successful brands continually optimize their lead nurturing strategy based on feedback data. They send surveys to both current customers and leads that did not convert to uncover areas for improvement.
Ask specific questions to identify any pain points or confusion during the sales process. Find out which marketing tactics like email sequences or free trials made the biggest impact on their purchase decision. Analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager also provide data to refine your funnel. Analyze metrics around lead quality, conversion rates, ROI by channel and more. These insights shed light on what's working well and what needs refinement.
Document all feedback and insights in a centralized location. Hold quarterly reviews to inform future lead nurturing campaigns. Testing and optimizing based on real customer experiences will reveal the best nurturing journeys for converting and retaining happy customers.
Continual Optimization Practices
- Send post-purchase and exit surveys to identify areas of friction
- A/B test different nurturing email content and cadences
- Review analytics reports regularly and monitor conversion rates
- Track ROI on nurturing campaigns and prioritize highest performing
- Document feedback and insights in a centralized location
- Hold quarterly reviews of feedback to inform future optimization
Convert More Leads with Strategic Nurturing
Implementing the right lead nurturing strategy takes consistency and patience. But in today's business landscape, reducing your leakage and maximizing conversion rates is well worth the effort.
The savviest marketers utilize the ten tactics covered in this article to turn promising leads into loyal, high-lifetime-value customers. With a segmented, high-touch nurturing approach across channels, you can continually optimize until you find the perfect conversion formula.
Remember, lead nurturing isn't a "set it and forget it" endeavor. Continually track performance metrics and gather customer insights you can use to refine your strategy. With consistent optimization and stellar execution, your organization will reap the revenue rewards of superior lead nurturing for years to come.