Lead Nurturing in SaaS:
6 Best Strategies & 4 Common Mistakes
According to Marketing Sherpa, 73% of all B2B leads are not willing to buy yet. It’s especially true if your lead generation campaigns include cold calls, cold emails, and other methods where you make the first move. There’s a pretty slim chance that they would buy your product right away.
That’s why you don’t stop at lead generation. Lead nurturing is also a crucial part of your sales strategy.
What Is Lead Nurturing?
Put simply, lead nurturing is building a good relationship with your leads in order to convert them into sales.
And as with any relationship, communication is key.
Just look at relationships between couples. Without enough communication, they drift apart. You wouldn’t want that kind of fate with you and your prospects.
But if you say the right things in the right way at the right time, you grow the relationship. Eventually, you can pop the question and get married.
Of course, by “pop the question”, I actually mean do your sales pitch. And by “get married”, I mean close the deal.
Lead Nurturing For SaaS
For traditional businesses, lead nurturing is just selling the product further. The leads are already interested in the product. All the sales team needs to do is to answer any question the lead might have and settle any doubts they may have.
But SaaS works a little differently.
B2B SaaS needs demand generation. This focuses not just on the product, but on how your product can solve the customer’s problem. Sometimes, leads won’t even know what the problem is until you show it to them.
Lead Nurturing Strategy
Building a relationship with a non-sales-ready lead and eventually closing a deal with them can be a challenging task. It takes consistent and strategic communication with them.
Here are a few strategies that can help your lead nurturing efforts.
1. Use Multiple Channels
Every buyer has different preferences, especially when it comes to a communication platform. You have to cover all bases when it comes to reaching your leads. You need to use all possible channels you can have to stay in touch with them.
- Email: Generally, B2B SaaS communications happen through emails. But not everyone takes the time to check every single email that they receive. That’s why you need to keep it engaging. Spice it up with free stuff, like eBooks and other giveaways. Exclusive discounts also go a long way in getting and keeping their attention.
- Website: Your website plays a crucial part in making a good first impression. It has to be visually appealing to your visitors and have a good user experience. But most importantly, its contents must answer the questions that your website visitor may have. A live chat tool where prospects can ask questions is also a good way to engage them.
- Social Media: People may not check every single email they get, but social media notifications are hard to ignore. It is one of the most-used marketing platforms today.
I’m not just talking about posting about your product every now and then. Social media interactions are HUGE opportunities to build relationships with your prospects. Your reactions and replies to their comments go a long way in leading them to buy your product.
- Mobile: SMS and calls are proven ways to grow relationships with potential customers. They are more relaxed and engaging than emails. And you have a bigger chance of getting a response from your leads.
More than that, mobile technology has made leaps that make it a great tool for lead generation and nurturing. You can now track whenever a prospect is viewing your website, allowing you to follow up immediately.
Additionally, more and more people are using their mobile devices to view websites. So make sure that yours also looks good in mobile browsers.
- Retargeting Ads: Have you ever seen ads that show you the exact same products you recently looked up? Those are retargeting ads. While it can be creepy how the ads know what you are into, they did get your attention, didn’t they?
Sometimes, potential buyers just need a little nudge before they purchase something that they already want. And retargeting ads can get them from window shopping mode to actually shopping mode.
2. Target Your Content
Which would get your attention more? A generic message or something that talks about your specific interests?
I think the answer is pretty obvious.
Potential customers are more likely to read your emails and messages if the content is relevant to them.
It starts with segmentation. You create different lead lists and group your prospects according to different categories. These segments can be based on geographical location, company size, previous interactions, and more.
Advanced lead segmentation tools even allow you to group your leads according to their behavior on your website, their interests, and lifestyle choices. Although, getting these deep insights into your leads requires business intelligence solutions.
Knowing your leads enables you to send targeted content for different segments. For example, messages for small businesses can focus on your lower-tier plans. And content for a younger age group can have a more conversational tone.
Having targeted content will help you nurture your leads successfully, keep the conversation going, and eventually close the deal.
3. Score Your Leads
Another way to ensure a high conversion rate is to prioritize leads that are most likely to be converted into sales. Not only does this give you a high chance of closing a deal with them. It also shortens the time it takes to do it.
Lead scoring helps you objectively identify those prospects that deserve more of your attention. It removes the guesswork in choosing which leads to prioritize.
In lead scoring, you rate each lead’s likelihood of turning into a sale. Scores usually go from 1 to 100.
Factors that can affect the lead score can include the prospect’s company, industry, and job title. You could set bigger companies and higher job positions to add more scores.
You can also assign points on their level of interaction with you. Website visits, email opens and clicks, and social media engagement are good signs that they are drawn to your product. You can add to a lead’s score for each interaction like these.
Certain activities may also deduct a lead’s score. Unsubscribing from your email, for example. That indicates that the prospect is no longer interested in your product.
Intelligence on your leads plays a crucial role in scoring them correctly. The more details you have, the more accurate the rating.
Lead scoring can go hand in hand with content marketing. If you score them accurately, you know what targeted content to send them and when you should send it.
Yes, the timing is also crucial.
4. Run Drip Campaigns
Speaking of timing, drip campaigns can help you automatically send a series of pre-written emails or texts at the right time.
In a drip campaign, the intervals between messages are usually based on time.
For example, you just generated a new lead and it triggers a new drip campaign. It sends out an introductory email about your SaaS company and product. After a few days, it sends your most viewed blog post. A few days after that, it dives right into your products. And so on.
Drip campaigns can also be based on user actions. For example, a prospect visits your website and lingers on a certain subscription plan. The campaign then sends them an email featuring all the features and benefits they can get from that plan.
Needless to say, drip campaigns require marketing automation software that may cost some money. But it helps you save time you would otherwise spend manually sending messages. With the right timing for those messages, it ultimately increases your conversion rate.
5. Generate Reports & Analytics
Another strategy (and a non-negotiable one) for your lead nurturing campaigns is to know how your current campaigns are doing. With that kind of insight, you know what adjustments you can make to improve your sales.
Click-through rates: This is a metric that indicates the proportion of leads that clicks the links on your lead nurturing emails.
There are several factors that can affect click-through rates. It can be the content itself and its relevance to the lead segment you sent it to. It can be the design. Or it can be your CTAs.
Improving your click-through rates takes not just analyzing the metrics, but testing it as well. How do the click-through rates for one CTA compare to the other CTAs? Or for design compared to the others.
Sales cycle length: This is the time it takes for a lead to be converted into a sale. But in a more detailed analysis, you can determine how long a lead stays in each stage of the sales pipeline.
With this metric, you may find bottlenecks in your sales funnel. You could also notice differences in the average sales cycle lengths between various lead segments.
Basically, this helps you find strong areas and potential red flags in your pipeline.
Profit/cost per customer: Now this metric is an overall measure of whether or not the cost of your lead nurturing efforts is worth it. Cost per customer is calculated by dividing the total expenses for the lead nurturing campaign by the number of leads converted into sales.
To calculate profit per customer, you first need to find your Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC). This is the total revenue you earn from a campaign divided by the number of customers produced by that campaign.
Deduct the cost per customer from the ARPC, and you have your profit per customer.
You can also perform more comprehensive analytics on the content you are adding to your website and other lead nurturing channels. For a detailed rundown of these metrics, check out our guide on how to measure your SaaS content’s performance.
6. Use CRM Software
A customer relationship management (CRM) software enables to you keep track of your current leads and visualize your sales pipelines. They also serve as databases for their contact details and other information you can use for targeted content marketing.
Some advanced CRM solutions cover all of the strategies mentioned earlier. They help you manage communications across multiple channels, score and segment your leads, run drip campaigns, and produce visual reports and analytics.
There are some free CRM solutions out there. But don’t expect too much from the free versions. Still, even basic tools for managing your contacts and communications would be of great help to your lead nurturing efforts.
Common Mistakes In Lead Nurturing
No matter how good your SaaS product is or how well-planed your sales strategy is, mistakes can cancel that out and pull your conversion rate down. Knowing the usual pitfalls can save you from unnecessary losses as you run your lead nurturing campaigns.
Watch out for these common mistakes:
1. Having All Leads In A Single Campaign
We have already touched on the importance of targeting your content and personalizing your emails. And I could not stress this enough.
Your leads are made up of people of different roles in different industries from different locations. They are all different.
Having one generic campaign for all of them is a sure way to lose their interest.
Segment your leads.
Target your content.Personalize your emails.
2. Featuring The Product Too Early
I know it can be tempting to dive right in and tell your leads how great your SaaS solution is. But lead nurturing is not just about selling your product.
For the most part, it’s about preparing your prospects for the sale. That involves building rapport with them and gaining their trust. And a premature sales pitch could jeopardize all that.
Focus on helping your leads make an informed decision by engaging and educating them about the particular problem that your product solves.
3. Contacting Leads Too Often
Sending an email to your leads every day is a good way to annoy them and guarantee your spot in the spam folder.
Sure, they may have expressed their interest in your SaaS product when they became leads. But they don’t need to hear about it every day.
But don’t wait too long to contact them either. You wouldn’t want them to forget all about you.
The key is consistency. Contacting them every two or three days should be a good enough interval. And don’t forget to mix it up with varying content through different communication channels.
4. Lack of Testing
Your lead nurturing campaigns may be working well. But they can always be better.
One way you can optimize your campaigns is by performing A/B tests on them. Create various versions of your content and see how differently your leads respond.
We discussed earlier that you can improve click-through rates by trying out different things about your email. That’s what A/B testing for email is. You can change parts, such as subject lines, layout, colors, fonts, and CTAs.
But remember that lead nurturing is better if you do it across multiple channels, not just email.
Things you can A/B test in other channels include the time of day the message is sent, the type of media you add to your message or post, and a lot more.
If you fail to test your campaigns, you are limiting your opportunity to make more sales.
One of the most important things when it comes to lead nurturing is knowing your prospects. It’s beneficial not just for this part of the customer journey. Knowing them helps you draw them in through behavioral marketing and support them better after they become your customers.
Another is automation.
Think of a regular screwdriver and a power screwdriver.
With a regular screwdriver, you need to exert some effort. But it gets the job done.
But with a power screwdriver, you can do more things much quicker at a simple squeeze of its trigger. Sure, it’s more expensive and consumes electricity. But it saves you A LOT of time and effort.
That is also true with SaaS solutions for lead nurturing. Software for CRM, lead scoring, and drip campaigns may need an extra budget. But these tools help you be more efficient and successful at nurturing your leads.
For more information on SaaS marketing and other strategies, visit our blog here.