With the phasing out of cookies, capturing first-party data such as email addresses is becoming more important than ever.
Research from Google and Boston Consulting Group found that those using first-party data for key marketing functions achieved up to a 2.9X revenue uplift and a 1.5X increase in cost savings.
Creating a lead magnet that offers valuable content in return for basic information is one of the best ways to capture this kind of data.
But once you have someone’s email address – what should you do with it?
There are many nurture strategies you can use:
- Email sequences
- Email newsletters
- Targeted content
- Follow up calls
It got me wondering…What are the leading B2B tech brands doing to nurture their customers after they download a lead magnet?
Without being part of these organisations it’s hard to know their secret inner workings. But we can do the next best thing – pretend to be prospects and download one of their lead magnets. Nothing sneaky, just a healthy bit of market research.
I downloaded 50 lead magnets to find out how B2B tech companies are nurturing prospects today. Here’s what I found.
- Random selection of B2B tech companies ranging in size from start-ups to multi-national companies.
- 50 lead magnets downloaded in total
- I downloaded an e-book, whitepaper or guide from their website or LinkedIn ad
- Only used gated content (ie where I was asked for an email address and other details)
1. Delivery method
Most brands offered instant downloads
68% of brands offered instant download for my lead magnet, letting me download it straight from the confirmation page. These brands know how fast their customers’ attention wavers/is lost and are delivering content while they have it (their attention).
56% sent me an email with a link to my lead magnet
Over half of the brands I downloaded from are providing a confirmation email with a link to the lead magnet. This is a good idea in case your customer wants to come back to the lead magnet later. It also helps reduce the chances of your next emails ending up in spam – if someone has already opened an email from you.
A quarter of brands are covering all bases, delivering instantly AND via email
A quarter gave instant downloads AND a confirmation email – doubling up on the chances of me reading their lead magnet. Also making sure I had a copy on hand if I needed it later.
One lead magnet was never delivered
Sadly, there was one lead magnet that was never delivered. I didn’t receive an instant download or an email confirmation – meaning I didn’t get my lead magnet at all (boo hoo). This is a good reminder to test your lead magnet delivery sequence, even your old ones because people still download them.
Section 2. Nurture strategy
42% of brands didn’t send any follow-up emails
Most brands (58%) are following up with some sort of email communication, either in the form of a nurture sequence or a general round up newsletter. But a staggering 42% don’t do any sort of email nurture. Making me wonder why they are capturing email addresses at all…
Email nurture sequences were slightly more popular than newsletters
Of those who followed up with emails, 54% had a targeted email sequence that nurtured me from download to offer. 26% put me straight into the general newsletter roundup – with no mention of the lead magnet I downloaded or offering targeted content.
I feel like this was a bit of a missed opportunity. In some cases, this lead magnet was the first thing I had downloaded from some brands – I would have liked to know a bit more about their brand before I was chucked into their general comms channel and bombarded with webinar alerts and general news roundups.
Only 24% made an offer or a “big ask”
Around one quarter of brands I interacted with led me all the way from lead magnet download to a “big ask” such as a free trial, product demo, or booking a call. Again, I feel like this was a missed opportunity, since I had willingly given over my details I would be more willing to take the next step (as long as I was carefully led down that path).
It was definitely an interesting experiment. Other than taking up WAY more time than I expected (I admit I got lost down more than a few rabbit roles), there were a few other surprising things that came out of this activity.
- Not everyone is using the emails they capture to follow up with prospects. Call me crazy but I would have assumed that you’re capturing details to do something (anything) with them. But for some, there was no lead nurturing action at all.
- I was surprised that so many brands put me straight into their general newsletter list. I felt a bit neglected!! But I completely get why this happens…Having worked in marketing, I know we used to do this as well, mostly because we were so busy fire-fighting and chasing tails we didn’t have a lot of time to think about big picture, long term strategy. Not to mention the time it takes to plan out, write and set up email sequences. (which is why it could be a good idea to get some help)
- Very few actually made a big ask. And when they did, it was fairly soon after I had downloaded the lead magnet (usually email 2 or 3). I would have expected more brands to ask, but also a little more nurturing before they did.
Overall, I was surprised to see that not all brands are nurturing their prospects in 2021. While my numbers weren’t quite as high as some of the stats I’ve seen like 65% of marketers don’t nurture their leads, it’s still a lot of missed opportunities. How well do you stack up? Might be time to take a look at your own lead magnet marketing strategy to see if there are any ways to improve the way you’re nurturing your customers in 2021 and beyond.