21 Lead Nurturing Statistics For 2024

Lead Nurturing Statistics

Ready for a few lead nurturing statistics to help you plan and design your next campaign?

Lead nurturing is a form of marketing that helps guide prospects through the process of being introduced to your product to becoming customers.

In this post, we gather statistics from a few reports that include surveys of general marketing professionals and business-to-business (B2B) marketers.

We cover general statistics as well as statistics on lead nurturing strategies and challenges, all of which allude to the importance of lead nurturing.

Editor’s top picks – lead nurturing statistics

Top lead nurturing stats from this post:

  • 65% of marketers are not using a lead nurturing program. (Ascend2)
  • 69% of marketers use email marketing as their main channel for lead nurturing. (Ascend2)
  • 46% of B2B marketers use social media as a channel for lead nurturing. (Demand Gen Report)
  • 62% of B2B marketers primarily use lead nurturing to segment leads based on interest or behavior. (Demand Gen Report)
  • 49% of B2B marketers who use lead nurturing successfully benchmark new strategies to analyze their performance. This is compared to 37% of B2B marketers who haven’t been successful with lead nurturing and only run tests on strategies that perform poorly. (Ironpaper)

General lead nurturing statistics

1. 65% of marketers do not have a lead nurturing strategy in place

According to Ascend2’s survey on the state of lead nurturing, 65% of marketers do not have a lead nurturing strategy in place at all.

26%, which was the majority, do not plan on implementing this type of strategy at all.

01 Nurturing strategy

Here’s how this stat broke down based on the responses Ascend2 received:

  • A lead nurturing plan is in place and measurable – 18% of marketers chose this option
  • A lead nurturing plan is in place, but is not part of a well-designed strategy – 17%
  • Currently developing a lead nurturing plan – 20%
  • No plan in place, but have plans to implement a lead nurturing program in the future – 19%
  • No plan in place, and no plans to implement a program in the future – 26%

Source: Ascend2

2. 69% of marketers primarily use their email marketing channel during the lead nurturing process

According to Ascend2’s survey, 69% of marketers use email marketing as their number one marketing channel during the lead nurturing process.

While this may seem obvious, a close 67% use social media.

02 Nurturing channels

Here are other channels marketers use:

  • Email – Voted for by 69% of marketers
  • Social media – 67%
  • Website personalization – 38%
  • Paid advertising/retargeting – 34%
  • Mobile automation – 14%

Source: Ascend2

3. 91% of marketers have seen positive results from their lead nurturing programs

When they surveyed marketers on the lead nurturing strategies they’ve implemented, Ascend2 asked them to rate their results.

75% of marketers, the majority, say they’ve been “somewhat successful” with their programs while 16% have been “very successful.”

03 Lead nurturing success

Only 9% of marketers say they’ve been “unsuccessful.”

Source: Ascend2

4. Only 16% of B2B marketers rate their lead nurturing efforts as “excellent”

Demand Gen Report surveyed B2B marketers on their experience with lead nurturing.

They discovered that only 16% of marketers in this category rate their lead nurturing efforts as “excellent.”

04 Current Lead Nurturing

The majority, or 47%, rate their efforts as “average.” 30% say their lead nurturing strategy “needs improvement” while 7% rate their efforts as “poor/inadequate.”

Source: Demand Gen Report

5. 62% of B2B marketers say having the ability to segment leads based on interest or behavior is the biggest benefit of lead nurturing

According to Demand Gen Report’s, 62% of B2B marketers see being able to segment leads based on interest or behavior as the biggest benefit of implementing a lead nurturing program.

Here are other benefits based on the way marketers responded to this question:

  • Ability to segment prospects based on interests/behaviors – 62% of B2B marketers chose this option
  • Better response to campaigns/offers due to targeting/relevance – 62%
  • Leads moving faster through the funnel – 53%
  • Generating warmer, sales-ready leads – 50%
  • Higher acceptance of leads from sales – 45%
05 Benefits

Source: Demand Gen Report

6. 32% of B2B marketers have seen no difference in how nurtured leads perform in comparison to non-nurtured leads

Although higher sales is the ultimate goal of lead nurturing for most companies, the majority of B2B marketers see no measurable difference to the way nurtured leads perform in comparison to non-nurtured leads.

Another 32% have only seen a 10% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads.

18% have seen a 20% increase in sales opportunities while 14% have seen a 30% increase.

Only 4% of B2B marketers have seen an increase in sales opportunities that’s greater than 30%.

Source: Demand Gen Report

Statistics on lead nurturing strategies

7. 49% of B2B marketers who have been successful with lead nurturing regularly run tests to analyze the performance of new strategies

When Ironpaper surveyed B2B marketers, they discovered that 49% who rated their lead nurturing efforts as “above average” or “excellent” (Group A) regularly run tests to gauge the performance of individual strategies.

They even document their results.

This question in the survey also revealed that 37% of B2B marketers who rate their lead nurturing efforts as “poor,” “needs improvement” or “average” (Group B) only run tests when strategies don’t perform well.

Even worse, 22% of these marketers do not test their lead nurturing efforts at all, and 10% have no way of measuring this.

Only 6% of B2B marketers who rate their lead nurturing efforts well do not test the performance of their strategies, and only 3% have no way of doing so.

If marketers only run tests on strategies that perform poorly, they’ll never learn what strategies are most effective and will, therefore, never be able to optimize them.

The survey also asked marketers how they measure the effectiveness of lead nurturing emails:

  • Conversions (form fills, meetings, bookings, etc.)
    • 65% of Group A voted for this option
    • 54% of Group B
  • Replies
    • 57% of Group A
    • 34% of Group B
  • Return On Investment (ROI)
    • 43% of Group A
    • 15% of Group B

Source: Ironpaper

8. 43% of marketers say that, other than increasing conversion rates, increasing customer retention and engagement rates are top goals when implementing lead nurturing strategies

Ascend2’s survey revealed marketers’ top priorities when implementing new lead nurturing strategies.

They didn’t include “increase conversion rates” as an option as this is a given. Of the options they did include, “increase customer retention” and “increase engagement” were voted for by 43% of survey respondents.

08 Priorities

Here’s how other options fared:

  • Increase customer retention – 43% of marketers chose this option
  • Increase engagement – 43%
  • Increase brand awareness – 42%
  • Improve customer experience – 41%
  • Improve lead quality – 41%
  • Educate prospects – 23%
  • Reduce length of sales cycle – 19%
  • Improve content distribution – 12%

Source: Ascend2

9. 56% of marketers say targeted content is the most important strategy of a successful lead nurturing program

In Ascend2’s survey on the state of lead nurturing, the company asked marketers what they feel the most essential strategic element of a successful lead nurturing program is.

56% of marketers say targeted content is the most important strategy.

Here are other essential strategic elements, according to marketers:

  • Targeted content – 56% of marketers think this is the most essential strategic element of a successful lead nurturing program
  • Timely follow up – 49%
  • Personalization – 49%
  • Multi-channel nurturing – 26%
  • Customer journey mapping – 21%
  • Automation – 20%
  • Lead scoring – 16%
  • List segmentation – 10%

Source: Ascend2

10. 43% of B2B marketers use early-stage campaigns to nurture new leads

According to Demand Gen Report’s survey, the most popular lead nurturing campaign is the early-stage campaign designated for new leads and prospects who’ve completed specific forms.

43% of B2B marketers use this type of campaign.

Here are other types of campaigns B2B marketers use:

  • Early stage (new leads, completed forms) – 43% of marketers chose this option
  • New customer/onboarding – 42%
  • Advanced stage (specific to role/title/industry/company) – 34%
  • Current client (upsell/cross-sell) – 34%
  • Touch campaign (sales owner reached SQL) – 30%
10 B2B Marketers

Source: Demand Gen Report

11. 50% of B2B marketers say sales emails are the most effective tactic in a lead nurturing campaign

Demand Gen Report asked about the tactics B2B marketers use in lead nurturing campaigns.

50% say sales emails are most effective with sales calls coming in at a close second. 49% of marketers use this tactic.

Here’s the full list of tactics B2B marketers say are most effective:

  • Sales emails – 50% of B2B marketers say this tactic is effective
  • Sales calls – 49%
  • Videos – 45%
  • Email newsletters – 44%
  • Customer content (case studies, reviews, etc.) – 40%
  • In-person meetings – 33%
  • Direct mail – 32%
  • Thought leadership articles – 27%
  • Blog posts – 26%
  • White papers – 25%

Source: Demand Gen Report

12. 46% of B2B marketers are incorporating social media into their lead nurturing programs

Demand Gen Report asked B2B marketers about new strategies they’re implementing into their lead nurturing programs.

According to the survey, 46% are now incorporating social media into their lead nurturing funnels.

They’re also incorporating a number of additional strategies:

  • Social media – 46% of B2B marketers are including this strategy in their lead nurturing programs
  • Enhanced personalization strategies – 35%
  • Using content engagement data – 33%
  • Event marketing (virtual, in-person, hybrid) – 31%
  • Using intent data (insights highlighting buyers that are in market) – 29%
  • Content packages/bundles – 27%
  • Retargeting – 26%
  • Video messaging – 26%
12 Incorporating strategies

Source: Demand Gen Report

13. 39.5% of B2B marketers say email blasts and newsletters are least effective at keeping leads engaged

According to Ironpaper’s survey of B2B marketers, 39.5% think email blasts and newsletters are the least effective strategies when it comes to keeping leads engaged.

Specifically, 48% of marketers who rate their lead nurturing efforts as “above average” or “excellent” (Group A) feel this way while 31% of marketers who rate their lead nurturing efforts as “poor,” “needs improvement” or “average” (Group B) do.

32.5% of marketers also think automated emails and drip campaigns are ineffective.

This stat breaks down into 40% of marketers from Group A and 25% of marketers from Group B.

Unfortunately, this survey didn’t ask marketers about other email marketing strategies they use, such as list segmentation, which can make strategies like newsletters and drip campaigns more effective.

Source: Ironpaper

14. 80% of marketers say automation software is important for improving lead nurturing performance

According to Ascend2’s survey, 80% of marketers say automation software is important for improving lead nurturing performance.

39% say it’s very important while 41% say it’s somewhat important.

13% of marketers say automation software is somewhat unimportant while 7% say it’s not at all important.

This means 20% of marketers think automation software is not important for improving lead nurturing performance.

Source: Ascend2

Statistics on the challenges of lead nurturing

15. 43% of marketers say creating engaging, targeted content is the biggest challenge when implementing lead nurturing strategies

Ascend asked marketers about the challenges they’ve faced while implementing lead nurturing strategies

43%, the majority, say that creating engaging content is the hardest obstacle they’ve faced when implementing this type of strategy in their overall email marketing strategies.

Here are other challenges they’ve faced:

  • Creating targeted/engaging content – Voted for by 43% of marketers
  • Aligning marketing and sales efforts – 36%
  • Allocating adequate resources – 32%
  • Implementing a multi-channel program – 24%
  • Optimizing email series – 22%
  • Measuring KPIs* – 19%
  • Creating customer profiles – 19%
  • Lead segmentation and scoring – 18%
  • Determining optimal cadence – 16%

*Key performance indicator

15 Implementing lead nurturing

Source: Ascend2

16. 49% of B2B marketers say building the right workflows for campaigns is their biggest struggle with lead nurturing

According to Demand Gen Report’s survey of B2B marketers, in which they asked marketers in this category about their lead nurturing programs, 49% of B2B marketers, the majority, say building the right workflows for campaigns is their greatest challenge with lead nurturing.

Here are other challenges B2B marketers face with their lead nurturing programs:

  • Developing content for each buyer stage or interest – 48% of B2B marketers chose this option
  • Shortage of data on which leads to nurture – 41%
  • Lack of support from sales team in following up on nurtured leads – 38%
  • Insufficient insights into best practices on lead nurture frameworks – 34%
  • Declining response rates – 33%

Source: Demand Gen Report

17. 44% of B2B marketers say 25 to 50% of leads are returned for additional nurturing

Sometimes, your original sales funnel isn’t enough. When this happens, you need to retarget leads and nurture them again.

According to Demand Gen Report’s survey, 44% of B2B marketers say 25 to 50% of leads are returned for additional nurturing.

27% of marketers say 10 to 25% are returned while 18% say more than 50% are returned.

11% aren’t sure how many leads are returned for additional nurturing.

Source: Demand Gen Report

Lead marketing statistics

18. 53% of marketers spend 50% or more of their budgets on lead generation

According to our own report of lead generation, which included statistics from Authority Website Income, 53% of marketers spend 50% or more of their budgets on lead generation.

18 Lead Generation

Even worse, 58% predicted an increase in their lead generation budgets.

If companies spent more time segmenting and nurturing leads by creating segmented lists of qualified leads, they’d be able to spend less on lead generation efforts.

Source: Blogging Wizard

19. 54% of B2B marketers struggle to keep leads engaged once they enter the sales funnel

According to Ironpaper’s survey of B2B marketers and salespeople, 54% find it difficult to keep leads engaged throughout the sales process.

This is in spite of 84% of these marketing professionals agreeing or strongly agreeing that connecting with leads digitally is more effective than when it’s done in person.

Source: Ironpaper

20. 37% of B2B marketers segment leads by account

According to Demand Gen Report’s survey, 37% of B2B marketers segment leads by account.

33% segment by industry while 31% segment by returning customers.

30% segment by response or area of interest. These marketers segment leads as part of a larger account-based marketing program.

28% of B2B marketers segment leads by funnel stage.

Source: Demand Gen Report

21. 66% of marketers generated new leads from social media by committing six hours per week to this channel

According to a statistic from Social Media Examiner in our report on lead generation, the majority of marketers, or 66%, were able to generate new leads from their social media marketing channel by committing only six hours to it per week.

This means social media isn’t only useful for lead nurturing, it’s also important for lead generation.

Source: Blogging Wizard

Sources

Final thoughts

That concludes our collection of the latest lead nurturing statistics.

We learned quite a bit from these statistics, such as how almost half of B2B marketers are now incorporating social media into their lead nurturing programs.

This should be a wakeup call to businesses who are still relying on email alone.

We also learned the importance of testing all new strategies you incorporate into your lead nurturing program, not just the ones that fail.

Doing so can help you determine which strategies work best so you can use them more often in the future. You can even optimize them by testing them further.

The lead nurturing statistics in this post also revealed how lead nurturing isn’t necessarily a path to more sales and conversions. Instead, it’ll more than likely be a way for you to segment prospects based on interest or behavior, such as the products/services they purchase from you.

Doing so will help you send targeted content to sales ready leads and even nurture leads further by guiding them through additional funnels.

Lastly, the vast majority of marketers agree that automation is essential for lead nurturing. Check out our post on email marketing and automation tools for help in this department.