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March 15, 2022

3 Tips for Building an Effective Lead Engagement Strategy

Salespeople are often eager to get a lead on the phone or in a meeting with the hopes of closing a deal, but pitching a meeting or a live demo can be a big ask of a buyer. Additionally, since 70-80% of B2B buyers prefer remote human interaction or digital self-service, even leads with interest and intent may be hesitant to agree to an appointment.1 In our increasingly digital world, you should be using all of the digital tools available to you to engage with your leads.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can create opportunities for lead engagement beyond just asking for an appointment.

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1. Provide leads with personalized content and messaging


To meaningfully engage with leads (as opposed to having a one-sided conversation through email), personalize your communication with them. Eighty-eight percent of top-performing content marketers prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales messaging — meaning they focus more on their leads’ interests than their own talking points.2 If you’re serving leads content that is unrelated to their interests and doesn’t provide any value to them, they have no reason to engage with your marketing.

Use all the firmographic and behavioral data available to you to understand your leads’ challenges, interests, and goals, and use that information to guide every touchpoint. As you learn more about their interests (as we’ll discuss in the next section), you can adjust your content strategy to meet them where they are. 

2. Create valuable points of engagement for leads


At its core, lead engagement is about creating a back-and-forth between your company and your leads.

A meaningful point of engagement with your business needs to:

  • Give your lead valuable information. Whether it’s a guide to solving a pain point they’re dealing with or a seat in a webinar featuring an expert in their industry, leads should get something valuable and interesting from their interactions with you.
  • Collect more information about the lead. Each engagement point should help you understand your leads more deeply and fine-tune your engagement strategy by collecting information through a form or behavioral data.
  • Account for changes in a lead’s interest. Your lead engagement strategy should be a constant cycle of refinement. As your leads learn more about how your solution can help them meet their goals, their needs and interests will shift — and your strategy should shift as well.

Lead Engagement Cycle: Provide Value, Gather Data, Adjust Engagement Strategy

3. Engage leads with trust-building content before asking for an appointment


While your lead engagement process is unique to your company, below are some examples of lead engagement techniques that can help you build a relationship with leads.

Personalized emails are a simple and effective way to engage leads, with 87% of B2B marketers naming email as one of their top three free content distribution channels.3 You can utilize emails in your lead engagement strategy by:

  • Developing an automated email nurture campaign to complement a landing page with a high conversion rate. The emails can be distributed over a period of a few weeks and include links to blog posts with more information, case studies about your clients with similar goals, or an invitation to a webinar on a similar topic.
  • Creating template emails with links to a white paper or original research and an offer to provide an estimate that salespeople can personalize and send to leads.
  • Utilizing newsletter signup lists to distribute weekly newsletters that drive readers back to your website and continue to educate them on your solutions.

Retargeting with personalized ads on LinkedIn and search engines is another effective channel for keeping leads engaged. There isn’t an industry consensus on the exact number, but we know it takes a few touchpoints to generate and convert a lead. Almost three-quarters of B2B organizations take at least 4 months to close a deal with a new customer, and providing multiple touchpoints is crucial for maintaining a relationship during long sales cycles.4 

Retargeting is an effective touchpoint for leads early on in the process that you want to bring back to your site. Your strategy might include:

  • Retargeting a lead that downloaded an e-book with an ad for a webinar on the same topic.
  • Showing leads who viewed an industry-specific page on your website retargeted ads for a case study download about one of your clients in the same industry.
  • Displaying ads for a free guide on addressing a specific problem to leads who indicated that it was a pain point for them when they filled out a form.

All of these engagement examples provide value to your lead while creating an opportunity for them to engage with your brand. Used in concert throughout the sales process, they can help you connect with leads as their interests and needs change and encourage them down the road to conversion.

Sources

1McKinsey, These eight charts show how COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever, October 14, 2020

2 3 Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 2020

4Research Divisons of Miller Heiman Group, CSO Insights: Fifth Annual Sales Enablement Study, 2019

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