Lead nurturing involves guiding newly generated leads through the sales funnel to a point where they can commit to doing business with you. As the following lead nurturing statistics show, while nurturing leads has always been important, it can be a key differentiator between the top-performing businesses and the also-rans in today’s digital marketing-driven economy. If you want your marketing investment to deliver good returns, these data points are going to be of interest to you.
Lead Nurturing Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- About 80% of new leads never translate into sales.
- Companies good at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads.
- Deals closing with nurtured leads receive a 47% higher order value.
- It takes about five to 20 touchpoints for a lead to convert.
- 66% of marketers use marketing automation for lead nurturing.
Lead Nurturing Stats
1. 52% of marketers plan their lead nurturing strategies for next year.
Strategy is at the top three of marketers, following content marketing (77%) and lead generation (57%). Statistics show that marketers’ tactics also align with preferred strategies, with email marketing taking the lead—which is heavily used in nurturing leads. Other tactics include organic social media (64%), search (60%), and event marketing (55%).
2. For 37.1% of businesses, generating high-quality leads is their top marketing challenge.
This scores above other concerns like proving the ROI of marketing activities (31.2%) and tracking offline conversions (30.7%). Quality lead generation has always been a challenge for marketers. The only difference now is that there are more touchpoints available to lead generation professionals to devise their strategies.
3. Almost half of the marketers think their lead nurturing initiatives need improvement.
Lead nurturing stats show the majority of marketers believe their strategies are not quite where they are supposed to be, with only 8% claiming them to be ‘excellent’. Most respondents stated that they don’t have insights into best practices, struggle to develop relevant content or build efficient workflows. These practices could include strategies on how to nurture cold leads, developing multi-touch attribution models, or customer segmentation for a more precise targeting process.
4. 78% of marketers expect their lead generation budgets to either grow or stay the same.
Lead generation can be expensive. With increasingly more businesses targeting the same pool of potential customers, it is not only getting difficult to devise effective lead generation strategies, but the budget outlay for each strategy is also moving upward. Yet marketers clearly reap the benefits, as more than half (55%) have increased their demand generation activity over 2020.
5. Nearly 80% of new leads never translate into sales.
The end goal of any lead generation process is to sell, but lead nurturing stats show that leads, especially at the moment they first enter your system, are often not ready to buy. So, what to do with leads you have worked hard to generate? This is where lead nurturing comes in. Lead nurturing is the process of guiding potential buyers through the sales funnel, understanding their needs, providing information, and developing a relationship that eventually translates into sales.
6. Companies that do well at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
Lear nurturing statistics also show that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured ones, further underscoring the importance of lead nurturing. The positive results confirm that investing resources into lead nurturing can help businesses with significantly better lead-to-conversion rates. The high conversion rate also means that fewer leads can get you strong sales, saving you critical marketing expenses.
7. Statistics on lead nurturing show that 66% of firms run up to 10 different lead nurturing programs per year.
Identifying lead nurturing best practices isn’t an easy task, yet the majority of firms run up to ten different lead nurturing programs a year. A promising 23% claimed to try between 10 to 20 programs per year, while only 2% of respondents go up to 40.
Statistics on Lead Nurturing Execution
8. 35% of firms reach out to nurture their leads on a weekly basis.
Stats from Demand Gen Annual Report point to a drop from 41% in 2019. Stats further show that 22% reach out every other week, the same number as those who do so every three days. Finally, 13% reach out to nurture their leads monthly.
9. Improving customer retention and increasing engagement are the two topmost priorities of a lead nurturing strategy.
Beyond improving conversion rates, most marketers wish to boost customer retention and engagement, both at 43%, closely followed by increasing brand awareness at 42%. Lead nurturing statistics show that driving prospects through the pipeline are generally prioritized, but many also consider driving brand loyalty through a variety of ways. These include improving customer experience (41%), educating prospects (23%), and reducing sales cycle length (19%).
10. A typical customer journey consists of five to 20 touchpoints.
The modern customer journey is long and oftentimes complicated but leaves room for creativity. While email marketing is typically considered the classic way to approach nurturing, creating diverse lead nurturing stages through full-funnel strategies and multi-touch attribution models is getting increasingly popular among professionals. A suitable distribution of resources into multiple channels, online and offline, better aligns with the complexities of the customer journey and delivers more lucrative results.
11. Misalignment between sales and marketing costs companies at least $1T each year.
Statistics on lead nurturing demonstrate that aggressive sales policies and marketing strategies don’t go well together. Between the leads being generated by the marketing team and the product or service being sold by the sales team, there is a long process where each team needs to know what the other is doing. This is an integral part of lead nurturing, which works differently for different businesses but involves developing a lead by the marketing team before it is ready to be handed over to sales.
12. Email and social media are the two most frequently used channels during the lead nurturing process.
While there isn’t a definitive answer to how to nurture online leads that’ll define the best distribution model, marketers find email (69%) and social media (67%) the most effective. Lead nurturing statistics also note personalized websites and paid advertising/retargeting among the top channels. These are often used in conjunction and differ in effectiveness as a tool for lead generation and lead nurturing.
13. A CRM application can help increase sales by up to 29%.
Among all lead nurturing tools, pretty much the most basic is good CRM software. It helps organize all your leads and allows you to build a customer-centric sales process. Besides boosting sales, it can also increase sales productivity by 29% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. Key features of CRMs include contact management, interaction tracking, and scheduling/reminders.
(DestinationCRM, Software Advice)
14. 56% of marketers find targeted content the most important element of a lead nurturing program.
Lead nurturing stats point to timely follow-up and personalization, each with 49%. Just over a quarter (26%) of respondents see multi-channel nurturing as the most important element, with a further 21% citing mapping the customer journey.
15. 55% of B2B marketers say articles are the most effective content type for moving prospects through the sales funnel.
Within the broad umbrella of content marketing, there are still more options that marketers could rely on. While B2B customers seem to prefer informative articles—one of the reasons behind the popularity of LinkedIn, known for such regular articles written by knowledge leaders in different industries—blogging is the most popular option for B2C customers, as per lead nurturing content statistics. In both cases, having a clear content strategy is critical for high ROI.
16. Aligning content with a prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey can boost conversion rates by 72%.
Relevance is an important factor in content marketing, and even more crucial while nurturing sales leads. This means knowing your prospects’ position in the buyer journey and providing content that is in line with their requirements. Audience relevance is equally important for B2B lead nurturing, with marketers rating it as the leading attribute of content marketing effectiveness.
17. Sending between 10 to 20 emails a month can result in about 12 orders per campaign.
Statistics on email lead nurturing reveal that engagement and sales rates don’t always go hand in hand within the context of email frequency. While sending one email per month delivered the highest open and click-through rates at 28% and 7%, it resulted in the poorest sales productivity, with about one item per campaign. In reverse, 10-20 emails a month delivered the second-worst open (13%) and click-through (3%) rates while yielding about 12 orders.
18. An internet user has an average of 8.4 social media accounts.
Therefore, the smartest lead nurturing tactic in case of social media marketing is to focus on a combination of social networks that your audience uses frequently. Lead nurturing statistics suggest that this will help in building brand equity over time by creating an impression that your brand is both active and accessible on multiple networks. Today, there are several social media lead nurturing mechanisms available to marketers, from basic ones like auto-posting of curated content to more advanced ones like social QR codes and multi-channel ticketing systems.
19. 48% of B2C marketers achieved their lead nurturing goals through content marketing.
Lead nurturing stats show a higher rate of success for B2B marketers, as 60% of them achieved their goals through content marketing. Both B2B and B2C firms have lower rates of success when it comes to nurturing through content; statistics demonstrate a significant drop in 2020, arguably due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic outbreak.
(CMI B2B Report, CMI B2C Report)
20. 65% of consumers prefer using a messaging app when contacting a business.
56% of businesses say that engagement through messaging is ROI positive. B2C lead nurturing can benefit particularly from the use of messaging apps to share content and respond to queries. Tools like WhatsApp Business and Facebook Messenger have made it very easy to broadcast useful content to leads, while the development and wide-scale adoption of chatbots have meant that queries can be efficiently answered any time of the day, increasing customer satisfaction.
21. 66% of marketers use automation for lead nurturing purposes.
Companies have been investing in marketing automation software to streamline their workflows for years now. The technology is superb for managing marketing processes across multiple channels automatically and particularly useful for several types of repetitive tasks. There are several lead nurturing stats that prove the utility of automation in nurturing quality leads: while 80% of marketers saw an increase in the number of leads generated, 77% reported an increase in conversions.
22. 42% of businesses don’t use any attribution model to measure marketing performance.
Attribution modeling in marketing is essential to figure out which touchpoints and channels are converting your leads. There are a number of attribution models available for marketers, and all the above lead nurturing examples and statistics are useless if they are not using any of the attribution models to analyze the efficiency of their strategies. If you are unable to attribute a user action to its place along your sales funnel, you can’t nurture any lead to a profitable outcome.
23. Only 39% of firms have and always use lead qualification criteria.
Lead nurturing statistics point to a significant conversion gap, as marketing and sales teams leave about 55% of leads neglected. A solid plan for lead qualification is essential for any demand generation and nurturing strategies to work properly, and it goes beyond mere screening. It requires sales and marketing alignment to establish a set of criteria to determine the quality of the leads.
Lead nurturing is a part of the sales and marketing process that no business can afford to overlook in this day and age of intense competition and demanding customers. As these lead nurturing statistics show, investing in it can add meaning to your lead generation efforts and reward you with long relationships with high-value customers. Among the multiple strategies for lead nurturing, you need to find the one that suits you and then execute it smartly, possibly with some help from automation.