It should be no surprise that more than 60% of marketers consider personalization key to improving lead quality. These days, customers across all industries have come to expect personalized buying experiences customized to their specific needs. At the same time, standardized and generic marketing messages no longer get the results businesses need, and even have a negative effect on how consumers view your brand.
What is Lead Nurturing and Why Does Personalization Matter?
Lead nurturing is all about cultivating a relationship with a prospect as they go through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. It involves building awareness of your brand, educating your customer about your products and services, providing valuable information to help them make a decision, and continues through to conversion.
Lead nurturing also requires you to know what messages to send and when, effectively anticipating and meeting the needs of your prospective buyer. To do that well, you must have a thorough understanding of your customer, their demographics, characteristics, internet searches, buying behavior, and even purchase histories.
A 2021 report by McKinsey & Company found that 71% of buyers expect a personalized experience, with 76% frustrated when they didn’t get that. There are two reasons why personalization matters to us. First, we inherently desire control. When we receive content or marketing messages tailored specifically to us, we perceive ourselves as having a modicum of control over what we engage with. Second, we like personalization because it combats information overload. When done right, personalized content gives us only what we need to know—and no more.
The standard practice of appending a lead’s name to the messages you send to them is an example of overt personalization in lead nurturing. While it’s a good start, it’s pretty superficial, and the illusion of a personalized experience quickly fades if the content itself isn’t as personalized. The keyword here is “relevance.” The most effective personalized content focuses on what’s relevant to your ideal buyer, especially when it comes to questions they might have about your products and services.
Personalization in Lead Nurturing: How to Get it Right
In a recent report, Accenture found 75% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a business that checks all of the following boxes:
- They acknowledge a lead by name.
- They provide options based on past purchases or inquiries.
- They provide material that addresses any questions or concerns.
On the flipside, the same study found 74% of buyers get frustrated when the messaging they receive is irrelevant to their inquiries. It just goes to show the critical importance of understanding your ideal customer profile in order to provide them with the right kind of content they want and expect.
1: Understand Customer Needs
Everything starts with you. While you can’t conceivably know every concern or need your potential leads have, many of their pain points are common enough at companies within the same industry. You need to be knowledgeable of the problems your customers face and the resulting impact on the bottom line. You should also focus on what’s trending at any given moment.
You can get this information in several different ways. Sometimes, it’s as simple as digging through social media conversations. Another option is Google Analytics, which you can use to track the buying paths of audiences similar to the ones you’re trying to reach. You can even talk to your customers directly or send out surveys to gather the data you need.
You can use this data to look for patterns and trends that clue you into what your potential buyers are looking for.
2: Have a Strong Database
Naturally, to be able to nurture leads, you need to find leads worth nurturing. A great place to start is with a strong database of vetted and verified contacts. By tracking behavioral data of these contacts, like what they search, visit, or click on, it’s a great way to establish what kinds of content your prospects find most relevant, the channels of communication they prefer, and the most optimal times to initiate engagement. Ultimately, this information will shape your nurturing strategy moving forward.
So how do you acquire this crucial data? One way is to develop lead gathering forms on your website that prompt prospects to fill in the exact kind of information you’re looking for, such as job title, industry, company stats, and so on.
In fact, that same Accenture report found 83% of buyers don’t mind sharing data for a personalized experience, provided companies remain transparent about how they plan to use it. That said, make sure you have a verifiably secure website and clear terms of agreement.
Alternatively, you can use an existing database from a third-party provider, so long as you choose one with a reputation for quality, integrity, and dependability. Often, these providers will segment their databases to give you leads matching your exact parameters. Even better, many of these databases also include the key data points and behavioral information mentioned above.
3: Create Engaging, Personalized Content
Arguably, content is one of the most important parts of any good personalization strategy. It is, after all, where you directly apply what you’ve learned about your potential buyers’ needs. As you might imagine, it’s close to impossible to provide highly individualized answers to every lead at the start of the nurturing process. However, what you can do is respond as specifically as you can to the most common pain points and inquiries.
Knowing what makes your prospect tick makes it that much easier for you to build a robust library of relevant content to attract and convert them. And as you continue to provide your audience with valuable and relevant information, they’ll be more likely to keep your brand top of mind during the decision-making stage of their buyer’s journey.
Personalization Requires Understanding
There’s so much more to sales and marketing personalization than just acknowledging the name of a potential buyer in a subject line. Rather, it focuses on the holistic understanding of a prospect—their objectives, needs, challenges, and pain points—all to provide them with the necessary information to determine if a purchase is truly worth the investment.
That’s where we come in. DemandScience can optimize your lead nurturing efforts by delivering you the right kind of buyers for your business. This way, you’ll be able to execute effective personalization across all customer profiles, increase engagement, and boost conversion numbers to pad the bottom line.
Want to learn more? Talk to us today about how DemandScience can help amplify lead nurturing efforts for your company.
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