Last Updated: July 20, 2021
Did you know our attention span has decreased by 33% since the beginning of the century? The social media phenomenon and the technology surrounding us made sure of that. Consumers are getting more and more impatient. With the prolonged sales cycles, which can now last up to 18 months, navigating potential buyers through the sales funnel has become quite a challenge.
Additionally, not all B2B marketers have done their homework on lead nurturing statistics, which is why they are failing to recognize that the buyer’s journey doesn’t end soon after their first interaction in the conversion funnel. Many consumers get lost on their way to the final purchase, and this is where lead nurturing comes into play.
Trendy Lead Nurturing Statistics
- 63% of people looking for information about a company will not make a purchase
- Only 3% of the market is actively buying
- 65% of marketers are not nurturing leads
- 50% of buyers choose the vendor that’s quickest to respond
- In-person meetings, email, and content marketing are the top three lead nurturing strategies
- 47% of marketers believe email marketing is the most effective lead nurturing tactic
- Marketing automation in lead nurturing brings a 451% increase in qualified leads
A Look at the Basics
Before we dive into the vital statistics about lead nurturing, let’s take a look at the steps buyers should take before making a final purchase.
With a lead nurturing strategy tailored to individual prospects, businesses can turn a complete stranger into a paying customer. Lead generation software might be useful for businesses not only to generate but also to nurture leads. They can do this by catering to their needs and communicating with leads effectively throughout the buying process. So, the buyer’s journey should start with raising awareness of your brand, followed by building consumers’ interest in your business.
The next stage is to analyze prospects’ behavior. Based on their readiness to become paying customers, you can then give them useful resources. These can take the form of industry reports, cost comparisons, and personalized webinars. Once your prospects enter the decision stage, you can offer free trials, product demos or consultations, among other things, to make it easier for them to reach a buying decision.
It’d be easy to think this is where the journey ends – it is not. Once your leads become your customers, you should continue to nurture them, as they become your brand’s advocates. Make sure you give them special privileges, tutorials, and personalized content.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the numbers that will guide you in the lead nurturing universe.
Fascinating Lead Nurturing Statistics for 2021
2020 brought a lot of changes for us all. How did it all affect lead nurturing though?
1. Blogging 11+ times per month generates 4x the number of leads than blogging 4-5 times a month.
This highly insightful lead nurturing statistic of 2020 applies to B2C companies only. While it seems impressive, there’s a couple of things to remember.
Firstly, quality is always better than quantity when blogging. So, produce detailed and unique content rather than repeating the same thing over and over. Your readers will soon get bored!
2. Almost 80% of new leads do not result in a sale.
The goal of lead generation is to eventually sell something. The problem, according to multiple lead nurturing statistics in 2020, is that most leads aren’t even ready to buy. Thankfully, lead nurturing can be used to better translate a prospect into a sale by using different tactics.
3. The best companies at lead nurturing produce 50% more sales-ready leads at a third of the usual cost.
Most companies make the mistake of pitching too early in the sales process which is understandably off-putting. So, if you’d like to secure more sales, you should allow customers more time to understand your products or services. Lead nurturing stats in 2020 tell us that this alone can improve conversion rates significantly.
4. Usually, around 10 lead-nurturing steps are needed for a lead to convert to a paying customer.
Lead nurturing stats in 2020 indicate that leads only convert into paying customers after they have passed through at least ten different touchpoints. And if that wasn’t difficult enough, these are usually distributed across a number of different channels. As long as marketers can guide their leads through the process and answer their concerns, they’re likely to make a sale.
5. The biggest challenge for 61% of marketers is generating enough leads and traffic.
In other words, lead generation statistics are telling us that we are all in the same boat. Except, of course, that 39% who seem to be killing it! By being a part of a large community, you’re more likely to find solutions, while also being able to help those who struggle to generate sufficient traffic and leads. Leading us to our next point…
6. 32 highly ranked Fortune 500 companies also happen to use online communities.
(Source: Lead Feeder)
This lead generation industry statistic, as mentioned by Adam Zawel of Leader Networks, basically backs up our previous point. Companies who make the effort to engage with prospects can better understand not only them but partners and their own products.
7. Over 80% of B2B leads on social media came from LinkedIn.
(Source: Neil Patel)
So why could this be? Lead generation statistics suggest it’s because of LinkedIn’s recent rebranding, along with ever-expanding opportunities to advertise. Recently, the platform has included things like video ads, interest targeting, and lookalike targeting.
8. 500 million people use Instagram daily.
We understand that this on its own doesn’t reveal much about recent lead generation stats. However, consider its huge audience, which is third behind Facebook and Twitter, and all the lead generation possibilities that it can offer. One suggestion for converting users is to set up a strong social media strategy that is bound to help you acquire new customers.
9. Some hybrid estate agencies are able to achieve 30% more than the average industry conversion.
(Source: The Negotiator)
Despite the number of selling opportunities falling by around 20% in the last year, some hybrid estate agencies have managed to reverse the trend. In fact, according to real estate lead conversion statistics, the hybrid estate agency ‘EweMove’ was able to increase this by 5%, along with a 25% increase in conversions overall.
10. According to sales conversion rate statistics, the gift category is the highest converter at 4.9%.
(Source: Adobe Digital Index)
In other words, if you’re thinking of setting up an online store that converts well, you probably can’t go wrong with gifts! In contrast, if you lack experience in converting prospects to customers, you may want to avoid categories like consumer electronics, DIY & tools or automotive as these are the most poorly converting ones.
11. 98% of B2B leads aren’t converting.
(Source: Customer Think)
That means that only 2% of paid and organic B2B traffic converts. To avert the situation, we might see higher spending on conversion optimization in 2021. The action will see a deeper audience segmentation while focusing on the “down funnel.”
General Facts and Stats About Lead Nurturing
Attract, engage, delight—it’s as simple as that! Or is it? Let’s see what lead nurturing stats tell us about the lead nurturing culture across organizations.
12. 65% of marketers are not nurturing leads.
(Source: Marketing Sherpa)
A study from Marketing Sherpa that collected answers from approximately 1,750 B2B marketers shows that 65% of marketers don’t have a lead nurturing strategy. The same study also revealed that 74% of marketers considered generating high-quality leads a primary concern. The second most difficult challenge (49%) was generating said leads in sufficient volumes.
When it comes to lead nurturing strategies, 30% of marketers reported lack of a lead nurturing process and guidelines. 41% of all marketers involved also described lead nurturing within their company as an informal process with few guidelines. Lastly, only one-fifth of participants said their companies have a formal process with detailed instructions on how to nurture leads.
13. The conversion rate for ecommerce was 2.12% in April 2021.
According to lead nurturing statistics for 2021, the conversion rate for ecommerce was just over 2%. That was a drop of 0.25% compared to the percentage during the same period last year.
14. 40% of marketers say getting a response from prospects has become more challenging over the years.
We have to ask ourselves which obstacles stand in the way of an effective lead nurturing strategy and closing a sale. The lead nurturing stats from last year’s State of Inbound report shows most marketers (40%) believe that getting a response from prospects is an obstacle that is becoming more complex over time.
Other such challenges include prospecting good leads (22%) and closing sales (36%).
15. 16% of B2B marketers believe lead nurturing timing is one of the leading obstacles.
(Source: Marketing Charts)
According to the responses of 235 B2B marketers, finding the perfect content and timing, as well as following up on nurtured leads are the main problem areas in lead nurturing campaigns. The highest percentage of marketers (41%) sees creating content based on buyers’ interest as the top challenge. Another 16% give the “challenge” label to the task of getting the right timing of lead nurturing campaigns. Lastly, 17% of marketers have problems with the sales team, as far as following up on nurtured leads goes. So, how do marketers go about these challenges?
16. 78% of marketers predict that demand generation budgets will increase.
Having lead nurturing strategies is essential for businesses as they allow them to estimate their demand generation spend. Most marketers estimate that the amount of money they plan to allocate in the area will continue to increase.
17. 59% of marketers expect their sales team to increase over the next year.
(Source: State of Inbound 2018)
The State of Inbound report reveals that 59% of marketers expect to have a bigger sales team next year. How much bigger, however, varies wildly from anywhere between 1% and 50%. On the other hand, shrinking the sales team is likely for only 2% of marketers. Lead nurturing statistics from the State of Inbound report show that 31% of marketers don’t expect any changes in the size of their sales team over the next 12 months.
18. 58% of marketers believe they have a very successful strategy for generating demand.
A 2018 survey from Ascend2 illustrates the existing state of demand generation. According to the study, 58% of marketers describe their demand creation tactics as highly successful. A somewhat smaller percentage of marketers (35%) describe their tactic as moderately successful, with only 7% of marketers not seeing success in their strategy for generating demand.
Additionally, a study from Demand Metric gives us valuable insights into how satisfied companies are with the level of effectiveness of their lead generation efforts. Taking into account both lead quality and quantity, 49% of companies describe their lead generation strategies as moderately or highly successful.
Another 18% apparently can’t define their strategy as either successful or unsuccessful. Finally, 15% of companies think of their lead gen tactics as ineffective, and another 17% consider theirs only slightly ineffective.
19. For 55% of marketers increasing sales opportunities is the top lead nurturing priority.
Marketing influencers have spoken. According to last year’s study from Ascend2, 55% of marketers are aiming to get more sales opportunities from their lead nurturing strategy. Increasing customer conversion is the second most important goal of lead nurturing with 53% of survey respondents recognizing it as important. Raising brand awareness is another desirable outcome of a lead nurturing program (35%), as well as decreasing the duration of a sales cycle (30%).
20. 83.7 million consumers in America use Augmented Reality (AR) at least once per month.
(Source: ROI Revolution)
The pandemic has led to a rise in AR use in the United States. By Q1 of 2021, the figure has risen by about 10 million per month compared to the previous year.
Experts predict the number will rise to 93.3 million by Q4. By 2022, that number will have grown to 166 million monthly users.
The technology has been helpful in an era where people can no longer visit their favorite stores. With it, buyers can try makeup, clothes, and accessories online before making a purchase decision.
21. 51% of marketers believed they had good marketing strategies in 2020.
(Source: Sem Rush)
According to lead nurturing stats, half the marketers in a 2020 survey reported having good marketing strategies. That was an 8% increase since 2019.
Only 11% said they had had excellent approaches, compared to 9% in 2019. Only 2% admitted to having inadequate plans of action in both years.
What Users Actually Do
Even if a user is looking up your company on the web, it doesn’t mean that she will become your client.
22. Only 3% of the market is actively buying.
One of the lead nurturing stats from Marketing Sherpa revealed that on average 79% of leads never convert to sales. The number is so high because of the widespread absence of a lead nurturing strategy. When we add that only 3% of the market is actively buying it’s easier to comprehend why companies are unable to take full advantage of their leads.
So, what happens with the rest of the market? According to Vorsight research, 56.6% of the market is not ready to buy, while the remaining 40.4% of the market is open to the idea.
23. 63% of people currently looking for information about a company will not make a purchase in the next three months.
(Source: Marketing Donut)
We took a closer look at lead nurturing statistics that explain buyers’ readiness to buy. The data from Marketing Donut revealed that just because a consumer is looking up information about your company, it doesn’t mean they are ready to buy.
As the source points out, 63% of people who did research on your company today will not make a purchasing decision in three months’ time. Your leads may reach out to you, but a buying decision will come only after you establish a connection with them and build trust.
24. 48% of sales are complex, long cycle sales with numerous influencers.
Nurturing leads takes time, and a 2017 State of Email Marketing Survey agrees. It found the most organizations (48%) deal primarily with long cycle sales. For those companies it’s particularly important to understand how to nurture online leads. The number of short-cycle sales makes up a little over one-third of all sales. The percentage of organizations that deal with both short cycle and long cycle sales equally stands at 17%.
A study from Chief Marketer delivered more detailed information about the typical duration of a sales process. According to the source, only a small percentage of businesses manage to close a sale in less than a month (16%), while most sales (33%) take between 1 to 3 months to close. Organizations that deal with year-long sales are lowest in number at 7%.
25. Email marketing, retargeting, and personalization are the top lead nurturing strategies.
(Source: Data Box)
About 60% of survey participants claim email marketing is the best way to nurture and re-engage leads. It’s easy to automate it; hence is a time-saver and cost-effective tactic.
Retargeting leads using social media is another valuable method to use in 2021. For maximum returns, it requires proper segmentation. For instance, you might need to use LinkedIn if you want to get the attention of working professionals, rather than TikTok or Snapchat.
Confirmed leads can increase by 30% with personalization. Rather than sending generic messages, add unique touches that will appeal to each customer. So, instead of typing dear customer, adding their name makes them feel respected and valued.
26. 47% of marketers believe email marketing is the most effective lead nurturing tactic.
The study from Ascend2 confirmed what the vast majority of marketers already know – email marketing is an effective lead generation channel, and an even better lead nurturing channel. Based on Ascend2’s lead nurturing statistics, email marketing is the top tool for lead nurturing, whereas content marketing and social media marketing rank second and third respectively.
The same study gives us an insight into how effective the same channel is for different goals. So, for example, social media marketing is the most effective lead generation tactic, while its contribution to lead nurturing is a bit lower.
27. 90% of organizations use content in their marketing strategies.
(Source: Demand Metric)
One of the most inspiring lead nurturing quotes is that you have to tell a story before you can sell a product or service. What better way to do that than with content marketing? As Demand Metric points out, 90% of organizations are using content as a marketing strategy, while spending about one-quarter of their budgets on this type of marketing.
If you had any doubts content marketing was an excellent lead generation strategy – turns out it generates three times more leads than traditional marketing. On top of that, it costs 62% less on average than traditional marketing.
A study from Aberdeen shows that the companies who tailor content according to buying stages of their customers have 73% higher conversion rates than the companies that don’t have such practices.
Lastly, when it comes to different lead nurture post types, Content Marketing Institute found white papers dominate the middle stage of the buyer’s journey. Webinars, case studies, interactive content, and video all rank just slightly behind.
28. 51% of marketers include five or more interactions in their lead nurturing campaigns.
(Source: Demand Gen Report)
Consumers typically receive ten marketing interactions by the time they become paying customers. However, according to a Demand Gen Report, nearly half of marketers (49%) only include between 2 to 4 interactions. These lead nurturing stats indicate that marketers need to create deeper relationships with their potential customers before they decide to buy.
29. 50% of buyers choose the vendor that’s quickest to respond.
A timely follow up is vital to achieving higher conversion rates. As Hubspot pointed out, half of buyers will choose a vendor that responds first. So, businesses should be able to get in touch with leads as quickly as possible.
Hubspot found that following up on a lead within five minutes results in greater odds, 21 times greater odds to be more precise, of that lead entering the sales process compared to contacting leads within half an hour.
Yet, lead nurturing statistics from Harvard Business Review revealed that the average response time is 42 hours. This leads us to the question: is marketing automation the answer?
30. Marketing automation in lead nurturing brings a 451% increase in qualified leads.
Business2Community revealed that companies that use marketing automation in their lead nurturing efforts had seen a 451% increase in qualified leads. The same source also pointed out that nurtured leads to make larger purchases.
The most recent forecasts for the marketing automation market indicate that companies are quickly adopting it as an efficient business tool. Forrester predicts this market should reach $15.6 billion this year and $25.1 billion by 2023.
After going through all of these exciting and sometimes surprising lead nurturing statistics, we’ve saved the best for last. 49% of marketers say their sales teams are not in sync with their marketing team. This can cause hiccups in your lead nurturing program, and decrease your business’s overall performance. Aligning your sales and marketing teams is sure to be well worth your while.
It allows businesses to develop better relationships with buyers by not only listening to them but providing information they need, making them more likely to buy.
A method in which to entice more prospects and potentially convert them to a paying customer. Email marketing, blogging, and landing pages are some of the most effective forms.
Using a number of different campaigns in the right way to attract more customers, lead nurturing statistics show.
Contact management, segmentation, and the buyer’s journey.
- Lead Feeder
- Marketing Sherpa
- Neil Patel
- The Negotiator
- Adobe Digital Index
- Marketing Charts
- Marketing Donut
- Chief Marketer
- Demand Metric
- Demand Gen Report
- Data Box
- ROI Revolution
- Customer Think