So you’ve developed a lead generation strategy that works. Your website visitors come to your website, fill out your forms and boom, you have leads. What now?
That’s the question I ask myself after watching all nine seasons of The Office for the 19th time. But it’s also the question that we, as marketers, need to answer when consumers cross that first threshold.
How do you turn your visitors into customers when you’ve shown interest in your brand? This process is known as lead conversion.
Let’s examine how you can build your brand’s lead conversion strategy and improve your current conversion rate.
What is lead conversion?
Lead conversion is a joint marketing and sales process that converts leads into customers through nurturing tactics like behavior automation, retargeting, and email nurturing. It should not be confused with lead generation, which is about converting visitors and prospects into leads.
A lead goes through several phases before becoming a customer. You start out as a lead, then grow into a Marketing Qualified Lead (MMS), and then become a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This means brands need to nurture their leads at every stage and create opportunities to take action to become customers.
How to create a lead conversion process
No two brands have the same process. Each brand builds its own conversion path that is tailored to their leads. Below are some strategies to help you with your process.
1. Gather information on leads.
Start with the data you have about your leads: source, industry, company, employee size, vulnerabilities – all of the information that will help you develop a strategy that is tailored to your leads’ needs.
After writing this article, remind me of the Leads’ Needs brand. Now back to the important things.
“You will be wasting a lot of time developing a conversion strategy that isn’t based on facts about your audience,” said Marwa Greaves, director of global messaging at HubSpot. “Ask yourself where your leads are. Are your leads the most engaged with your newsletter? Your website? On messaging channels? Make sure you meet your target audience where they are and don’t ask them to yourself.” To bow to your strategies. “
Jordan Pritikin, Head of Email and Growth Marketing at HubSpot, highlights another important element to consider.
“Understand why these leads are getting to your website in the first place. What is the underlying problem they’re trying to solve?” says Pritikin. “If you can create email nursing to solve this challenge, the more likely you will connect with them and convert them into a new customer.”
If you are missing this information, work to get it via forms and user research. From there, you can design a bespoke conversion process.
2. Identify high intention behaviors at each stage.
How do you know when a lead is ready to buy? What behaviors will the lead show? These answers are key to differentiating between leads who are ready to make a purchase and those who aren’t.
A lead who just reads your brand’s blog posts probably doesn’t have the same willingness to buy as a lead who visits your pricing page. So if you send an unqualified lead to the sales team, they’ll likely find it much harder to close a sale.
How do you avoid that? Work with your sales team to determine what signals high and low intention behaviors. By specifying these behaviors, marketers can know what follow-up action to take.
3. Use an SLA to align your sales and marketing teams.
A lead conversion strategy will struggle immensely without coordination between sales and marketing. One thing to agree on is a handover cadence that works for both teams. This is where a Service Level Agreement (SLA) comes into play.
It is usually used to outline an agreement between a company and a customer. However, it is also used internally between sales and marketing teams to better align lead conversion strategy.
An internal SLA should contain each team’s goals, initiatives, and accountability measures for a period of time, such as: B. Q1. However, this agreement requires regular updates as priorities change with the business.
4. Create the lead conversion path.
Think of your lead conversion path as a trail of breadcrumbs that will lead your leads to buy. The path itself will contain offers and calls to action to provide conversion opportunities.
Example of a lead conversion strategy
Take Zion, a fictional UK SaaS company, as an example. Zion’s sales and marketing teams have worked together on an SLA that includes: Marketing pledges to send 100 qualified leads to the sales team each month, and the sales team pledges to follow up those leads within a week of receiving them.
Both teams have also identified high intent behaviors that trigger automated emails and implemented a lead scoring system. For example, when a lead gets a score of 95, an email sequence is automatically triggered asking the lead to schedule a product demo with a sales rep.
At the back end, this sales rep receives a notification with information about the lead, its activity and a schedule in which to follow up. If the lead does not take action within a certain period of time, an automated, personalized email is sent to the lead on behalf of the sales rep.
This is an example of the path Zion can take to convert leads on both the customer side and the back end between sales and marketing.
How to calculate lead conversion
Calculating your lead conversion rate is simple: take your total number of conversions, divide that by your total number of leads, and then multiply by 100. That final number is your LCR.
Example time: Let’s say you generated 105 qualified leads from January to February. Of these leads, 20 became customers. The formula looks like this: 20/105 x 100, which means the lead conversion rate for that month was 19.04%.
Average lead conversion rates
Because lead conversion occurs in multiple stages at different touchpoints, there is no single average that can be used across industries.
Your brand would benefit more if you took a closer look at conversion rates, e.g. B. by channel (i.e. email conversion versus landing page conversion) and / or by stage (i.e. MQL-to-SQL rate).
Lead conversion strategies
1. Implement behavior automation.
There are two reasons for using automation: it saves time and it scales well.
For example, let’s say a lead is browsing testimonials on your website. This can indicate an interest in your product. Why not automate a follow-up email that could bring the lead one step closer to a purchase? This can be a free trial offer or a product demo.
According to Pritikin, behavior-based emails are much more powerful than other types of automated email. However, Greaves encourages brands to broaden their perspective when defining behaviors that indicate willingness to buy.
“Activity-based triggers are an easy asset to marketers, but think outside the box when creating them,” says Greaves. “It’s not just views on your pricing page that may need automatic tracking, but also views of other customer reports or reviews on your website.”
Here is a list of behaviors that could benefit from automation. The leadership:
- Checked your pricing page
- Schedule a product demo
- Sign up for a free trial
- Often engaged in email marketing
- Inquires about product features via chatbot, email, or other channels
- Downloads a high-intent content offering
Working with your sales team to identify these key behaviors is critical to automating follow-ups that convert.
2. Nurture your leads via email.
Email nurturing is the process of engaging your leads through email marketing with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers. When nurturing leads via email, it’s important to provide relevant and valuable information.
This is when the piece of data becomes important. Using the information you’ve gathered in your leads, you can provide content that piques their interest, aligns with their goals, and solves their challenges.
There are a few tips to help make your email stand out:
- Personalize your emails with the lead’s name.
- Use automation software to trigger actions based on email engagement.
- Segment your email list.
3. Use social evidence.
When leads are considering your product or service, social evidence can help move them into a purchase. Examples of social evidence include customer testimonials and reviews that provide insight into customers’ experiences with your brand.
They are best used when leads are in the decision-making phase (or in the vicinity). Hence, they are often displayed on landing pages and pricing pages.
User generated content is another great use of social proof and can be incorporated into your social media and email marketing content.
4. Use lead scoring.
If you’re having trouble aligning your sales and marketing teams with MMS and SQL, lead scoring can come in handy.
Lead scoring assigns points to actions taken by leads, and helps marketers see where a lead falls down the funnel. Plus, sales reps can prioritize leads and know what follow-up action to take. It also ensures that both teams qualify leads the same way.
A well-qualified lead means a lead that is more likely to convert once it reaches your sales team.
5. Retarget through PPC.
Retargeting is a great way to reach leads who have already considered your brand but weren’t ready to make a purchase. Refocusing them will allow you to reintroduce offers that they might be interested in or come up with new offers that are better tailored to their interests.
Retargeting is a proven method of lead generation. However, according to Greaves, converting leads into qualified leads can also work well. With the latest restrictions on cookies, commonly used for retargeting ads, brands are having to rely more on first-party data in their retargeting efforts.
How to increase lead conversion
1. Start the analysis.
If your lead conversion is low, the first thing to do is look at your analytics. Specifically, your conversion path over a long period of time to see if the low rate was consistent or current.
If it’s the latter, narrow down the time period the slump started and see what could have led to that change. If it’s been consistent, you may need to experiment with your conversion path differently.
Greaves recommends looking at your conversion CTA placements and the difference between them. You should look for the difference between high-performing and under-performing CTAs. If there are steep drops in certain pages, it could indicate friction with your forms, such as: B. on the length or order of the fields or even on the type of information requested.
If the data shows that leads drop shortly after being handed over to the sales team, it may be that marketing has over-promised what could be delivered.
With so many possible causes, start with the data that will guide you in the right direction. Pun intended.
2. Redefine behavior with high intent.
Many brands may have lead qualification issues and don’t even know it. Marketing may send leads to the sales team and later discover that those leads aren’t ready for sales engagement.
How do you identify the leads that are ready? It starts with gathering the right information. Contact your sales team to determine what information needs to be collected. Then, create a comprehensive list of high and low intent behaviors that the marketing team will use to segment leads.
This process can help direct more qualified leads to the sales team and increase your conversion rate.
3. Experiment with the conversion path.
Think of your lead conversion path as a house. I know you might be thinking, “Why not go with a street metaphor?” but stay with me for a second Regardless of the condition in which you buy your home, there is always room for improvement. Remove, fix, add, and revise things. And when your tastes change, the look of your home changes too.
It is the same with your way. There will always be room to improve your path. Also, your leads’ interests, goals, and decision-making processes can change over time and require a different approach.
“Lead conversion takes a lot of experimentation. You won’t succeed if you set a strategy and forget about it,” says Greaves. “When you create an experimentation process that lets you test every part of your flywheel, you can learn more about your leads and your own internal process than before.”
While the job is never completely done, every experiment you do gets you so much closer to converting your leads.
3. Experiment with the conversion path.
When trying to scale your lead nurturing process, automation is key. Sending personalized emails to your leads manually may have worked in the early days, but it quickly becomes overwhelming as your business grows.
Automation allows you to maintain the same level of personalization in a quarter of the time and resources. Once you’ve set up your conversion path, automate the follow-ups that are triggered when leads display certain behaviors.
Not only can this tactic save your team time, but it can also streamline the conversion process so that no head start falls through the cracks. This practice also leaves room for your sales and marketing team to focus on big ticket items.
The most important aspect of this is that lead conversion is not a one-time process. It takes strategy, cross-team collaboration, and a lot of experimentation.