Improving Lead Nurturing with Analytics
Click-Through Rates = the proportion of the audience who clicked on one or more links contained in a lead nurturing email message
Conversion Rates = the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action
Time to Customer Conversion = the length of time it takes for a lead to become a customer
Cost Per Customer = the marketing cost of acquiring a new customer
The effectiveness of your lead nurturing is dependent on how well you’ve segmented your leads. Dive into your analytics to identify any problems with your list segmentation. Start by looking at your unsubscribe rate, which should stay below 1% at all times. If it’s higher for any particular list segment, it’s an indication the content you are sending isn’t relevant to that list segment, and they are unsubscribing as a result. You can glean similar insights by examining the click-through rates of each list segment. Marketers who suffer a low click-through rate for a particular list segment haven’t aligned their offer well with the recipients on that list.
Fix Poor List Segmentation
Faulty list segmentation can be remedied by revisiting how you’ve mapped content to your list segments based on their stage in the sales cycle. Deliver email content to leads based on the pages they’ve visited on your site, the content they’ve downloaded, the blog posts they’ve commented on, and how far down the sales funnel they are.
You can optimize the offers you deliver by analyzing which CTAs have the highest click-through rate, and which landing pages have the highest visitor-to-customer conversion rate in your closed-loop analytics.
Time to Customer Conversion
You should always be looking for ways to make your lead nurturing more efficient. To improve your time to customer conversion, analyze how good you are at generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) with your lead nurturing.
MQLs are the leads that are more likely to become a customer based on their pre-close activities. If you’ve implemented lead nurturing effectively, more leads should be moving to the MQL stage of the sales funnel. Analyze this for each lead nurturing campaign – you may find that some list segments move more slowly than others, indicating you have a bottleneck in your lead nurturing somewhere. Revisit the content and offers you’re using for that list segment. You may be sending less-than-compelling offers, or pointing leads to under-optimized landing pages.
You can also improve your time to customer conversion by looking at the number of sales-accepted leads in each lead nurturing campaign. Marketing automation should increase not just your number of MQLs, but the number of sales-accepted leads.
If this is not the case...
...meet with your sales organization to diagnose the problem. This is often a result of misaligned lead scoring criteria between Sales and Marketing. But by fixing it, you should see your time-to-customer conversion rate decrease as Sales reaches out to leads that have reconverted enough to provide the quality information needed to close sales.
Cost Per Customer
Effective lead nurturing converts leads into MQLS and sales-accepted leads, but it must follow through all the way to customer. Use closed-loop analytics to ensure the leads you’re nurturing actually turn into customers, and they do so at an efficient cost.
Over time, your cost per customer should decrease as more leads that typically bleed out of the top of the funnel are adequately nurtured down through the bottom of the funnel – until they are finally converted into a customer. Check this metric monthly to ensure your lead nurturing efforts stay cost-efficient.
Be sure you are allocating the most time and resources to the marketing channels with the most ROI.
You probably noticed none of the actionable improvements you can make by looking at your marketing analytics are possible without closed-loop analytics. The mistake many marketers make is thinking their end goal is generating leads. It’s not. Your end goal is generating customers. And you have no way of measuring whether you’re doing that, nor how efficient you are at it, without closed-loop analytics.
After analyzing all this data about your blogging, social media, lead nurturing, email marketing, landing pages, and calls-to-action, ask yourself—what marketing channels are the most helpful at generating leads that turn into customers? Be sure you are allocating the most time and resources to the marketing channels with the most ROI, and constantly monitoring these analytics to see if, over time, some channels start to become more effective for your business.