If you have a system to deliver content to a lead that moves them along until they are ready to buy, then congratulations.
You’re one of the few businesses using a sales funnel to convert the leads who weren’t ready for your pitch (If you haven’t started a funnel yet, it’s not too late to start).
Don’t celebrate just yet, because there’s bad news. You’re still losing sales.
8 in 10 leads never become sales for companies who don’t offer a nurturing campaign, but those who do it well see an average sales increase of 50%.
If you’re not seeing this significant level of revenue growth from your funnel, it may be time to make a more complex sales machine by using segmentation and personalization.
Your Intro to Segmentation
Segmentation all comes down to one word, data.
The reason these funnels even exist is based on data that the average amount of time for buyers to actually purchase products is increasing. Sending content to potential customers help businesses stay at the top of the lead’s mind until their ready to buy.
For better or worse, the public in general have become increasingly aware of how much effort businesses put into maintaining relationships. The need for tailored content and a more personal approach is becoming more prevalent in the digital age.
That’s where segmenting your leads comes into play.
Marketing segmentation is the process of using the data that is known about your leads to deliver a set of custom responses for the purpose of educating and eventually converting them into customers.
Whew. Basically it’s delivering the right prompts to people in your funnel depending on their readiness to buy.
How about a couple examples?
Example A: Jane responds to your social media ad targeted to new prospects and is enticed to sign up via email for your free introductory guide, “Basic Dog Training”.
Chances are Jane needs to be educated on your entire brand and products. She’ll probably want just about any piece of content you have related to training, and will be an excellent candidate for your entry level paid products.
Example B: Samantha is a dog trainer who finds your site through a Google search and downloads your white paper titled, “State of Dog Training 2016”.
If you send Samantha the same content you did Jane, you’ll never convert her. Even though you may have an awesome course on boosting an existing dog training business.
Although, a series of content dedicated to helping Samantha get more clients for her dog training business would warm her up to your products.
How you segment your leads can go deeper than Alice’s rabbit hole, but every new path you set up for a set of leads should be driven by, you guessed it,
Here’s How To Start Segmenting (Slowly)
Just because you have a few products and several ways of gathering leads, doesn’t mean you need an information superhighway flowing through the cloud.
Having a super complicated and personalized funnel system doesn’t mean more sales.
Slow, but continuous progress is the way to go.
Each leg of communication you set up should not only be based on data, but also monitored to see if it has a positive or negative affect over time.
Here are a few pieces of data to consider when deciding exactly how far to follow the white rabbit of segmentation before you become the mad hatter.
Number of Products/Services
If you’ve developed multiple services or products, they will most likely appeal to a different audience. Even if someone can start with one and eventually need another, they may need different nurturing content.
Pro Tip: Offering multiple types of lead magnet content to prospects is a great way to start the segmentation process (e.g. the example above with a dog training course for Jane and white paper for Samantha).
If you haven’t developed buyer personas yet, that should really be your next step. Like, right now. Here’s a great resource on that.
Once you have a couple ideal customers on paper, it will be easy to develop personal content for each of them. Then, work backwards to see which triggers will set them off on their specific journey.
Depending on your industry, there are a number of factors that influence your leads besides your content. Time zones, personal details, and even the changing seasons can work for you or against you.
Finding the patterns that your leads commonly share will make the process of putting them in groups easier. Think not only about what information they want, but also how they want to consume it (more on this a little further down) and how far they are in their decision making process.
Another set of data to consider is going over your website metrics (like site speed), what time of year leads are more likely to buy, and other key data will help you time content and choose when to use calls to action.
Gathering leads may seem easy in comparison to choosing the perfect time to pitch a lead, but just like a well cooked soufflé, it’s worth it.
Create the Right Content
Believe it or not, there are a few different types of funnel segmentation, but they are all fueled by content.
The purpose of lead nurturing is keeping your brand in the minds of those you want to become customers, but if your content isn’t speaking to those buyers closely enough you might as well be poking them with a stick.
If you take the time to segment your leads you’ll have a good idea of what they want (or need) to know. Now, you have to create it for them in a form that speaks to them best. The good news is that repurposing content has never been easier.
The image below will give you a good idea the vast amount of ways to your audience consumes content.
Deliver It Where They Want It
While an overwhelming majority (94%) of businesses communicate with their leads via emails, you don’t have to limit yourself to one channel.
Email is the still the best way to keep the ear of your funnel, but if it’s the only way, you may be missing an opportunity. Wherever a lead has chosen to engage with you means that they’re comfortable talking to you there.
Social media has become a lead nurturing power house and shouldn’t be overlooked. If you think it’s mainly for eCommerce and other B2C businesses you may be surprised.
Key Stat: 43% of B2B companies receive business from Facebook alone.
Businesses want email addresses, but your leads want you to speak to them where they are.
Whether it’s on your website, blog, YouTube channel, LinkedIn, Facebook, email, or even traditional mail they’re still your lead and can be nurtured.
In the end, segmentation is a data science that requires input and experimentation from you and your sales team.
Doing it right can have a huge impact on your bottom line without increasing ad spend and overhead.
How are you segmenting your leads?