As a marketer, your job is to find and nurture a steady stream of top-quality leads.
All the way along the journey from acquisition to conversion and on to loyalty, ensuring quality throughout is vital. It’s also the hardest thing you can do.
Hard, but not impossible, according to the results of the latest Adestra/Ascend2 research.
In our newest report, Generating and Nurturing Leads to Create Demand, 58% of marketers said their demand creation strategies were “very successful (best in class)”.
We’re pleased to see that more than half of all respondents, representing mainly C-level executives in companies of more than 50 employees, feel good about their demand creation programs.
Plus, 83% of those best-in-class marketers are actively working on demand creation, while only 1% are doing nothing. (Which causes us to wonder what that tiny sector of marketers is working on instead…)
But there’s much more to the picture, especially if you are struggling with lead gen and nurturing. Read on to find out how email, and specifically First-Person Marketing techniques, can help you not just get more – and better – leads, but also retain more of them on the path to conversion.
What works in demand creation?
Focusing on what high-performing executives do to succeed can show you where you need to shore up your own practices. Here are two key insights from the report:
1. Quality and insight outweigh increased numbers
You can see what the top priorities are for these best-in-class marketers:
- Improving lead quality (52%)
- Improving lead data analytics (44%)
- Increasing the number of leads (42%)
Our take: Focusing on quantity over quality will not help you convert more leads. Priorities that ranked lower on executives’ lists, such as ‘Improve lead data segmentation’, might influence tactics that matter more.
For example, improving segmentation means better personalization and targeting, which can ultimately improve quality.
2. Lead generation and lead nurturing need different approaches
Messaging channels that generate more leads aren’t always the best choices to nurture those leads through the journey to conversion.
- Social media tops the list for driving lead generation for 50% of top marketers, while email comes in a number 2 (44%), followed by SEO (38%)
- However, content/video marketing is the top choice of 48% of respondents for nurturing leads. Email is still second (42%) with social media at 38%
Our take: Invest in a hyper-personalized, cross-channel strategy with email marketing at the center of it all. Why email? Two reasons:
- Email’s ROI – an estimated $38 for every $1 you spend on it – is the highest of all channels, both online and offline. It makes fiscal sense to invest in email first.
- Email is compatible with and amplifies other channels like content marketing, paid social and search marketing. Use it to expand the reach and performance of your campaigns in those channels.
Use First-Person Marketing to master demand creation
One conclusion in our report is that lead quality should be your priority over scrabbling for every new lead you can find. We have long argued that a focus on First-Person Marketing can help you achieve this because it uses data and automation to tailor individual experiences and expand email personalization:
- Collect data along the way. Use progressive profiling to ask for data in relevant bits and pieces as your relationship with your leads develops. This is preferable to making them fill out long forms, most likely before they’re really ready to give you the data you need.
- Go beyond the form. Supplement the information your prospects give you with the data you collect by observing your customers’ actions, whether in your emails, on your websites, in your social channels or on other sources.
- Prepare for the possibilities. Map your potential customer journeys. Identify the points along the way where you can use content and personalization, either to keep them on the path or bring them back.
- Connect with your customers through the right content at the right time. Take everything you’ve learned about your customers and feed it into your marketing stack so you can stay in touch automatically with relevant, personalized content.
Download the report to learn more about effective demand creation
There’s much more to be gleaned from marketers who have mastered the demand creation game. Grab your own copy of Generating and Nurturing Leads to Create Demand to learn more about these key topics:
- How incremental innovation can help struggling marketers start improving their lead gen and nurturing strategies, one win at a time. (See Page 5 in the report.)
- The three factors marketing teams must consider before building a lead generation strategy. (Page 7)
- Why lead quality should be a priority over number. (Page 9)
- How to use email to augment your content marketing program as a key driver in lead nurturing. (Page 10)
- How Adestra client Blinds to Go used better targeting, segmentation and optimization to drive a 53% increase in revenue per email. (Page 13)
- Whether top marketers use in-house resources or outsource the work to specialists to create demand. (Page 15)
- The two initiatives that can help you create a stronger lead gen and nurturing program which, in turn, will create more demand and strengthen your connections with your prospects.