Lead nurturing is a critical strategy for engaging prospects and guiding them toward purchase. But in today’s connected world, email isn’t enough and marketers need to optimize lead nurturing with a multi-channel strategy, according to a new report from marketing platform Bizo and Oracle Marketing Cloud.
The report, “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing,” reveals that B2B companies are making significant investments in lead nurturing programs. According to the study, more than 90 percent of marketers have lead nurturing programs, and just 36 percent claim that less than a quarter of their budget has been allocated to this marketing approach.
But while most marketers surveyed say they use email marketing as a key strategy for nurturing existing leads and increasing sales, the report shows the channel has serious limitations:
- Email marketing can only reach known prospects
- Email marketing databases may be inaccurate
In addition, close to 80 percent of marketers surveyed say their email open rates are less than 20 percent on average. And 45 percent think that email marketing converts only one-fourth of known contacts to qualified leads.
Email marketing’s ineffectiveness aside, the development of marketing automation technology should also drive marketers to adopt a multi-channel strategy, according to the report.
Marketing automation platforms initially focused on email marketing, but the technology has quickly provided new possibilities to reach both existing and new consumers “across a variety of digital channels,” says the report.
So what other channels should marketers use in addition to email? In order to reach prospects and nurture leads, half of marketers believe paid search is a valuable tool, while 44 percent think display retargeting is useful. Another 51 percent believe social media can be an effective nurturing strategy.
What channels do you find most useful in nurturing your prospects?