If you’ve spent any time at all on our website, social media or even in a room with us, you’ve almost definitely picked up on how much we value brands building relationships with their customers. We’re all about it, we refuse to stop bringing it up. One of the core ways that this can be achieved is through the use of nurturing automations or sequences that can help educate people on their problems. Most people call this process ‘Lead Nurturing’, as it is the process of providing nourishment to a lead, encouraging them to sprout into a customer.
To break that down a little deeper, inbound marketing is all about helping people solve their problems – we’ve talked about inbound and content marketing a lot in the past. This doesn’t necessarily mean just giving someone the answer, that approach doesn’t encourage a long-term relationship, just a transaction. Instead, educating your leads and helping them work this out for themselves is a much better way to set yourself up for success. By feeding an interested lead content, you prove that you know what you’re talking about, you help solve their problems and you show them that if they have questions, you have answers. Load all this content up into an automated sequence and you’ve got yourself some lead nurturing!
What does a good Lead Nurturing sequence look like?
Excellent question. Let’s start instead with what bad lead nurturing looks like. I’m not going to bother phrasing this as a question – I know for a fact that everyone reading this has suffered poor Lead Nurturing at some point. You’ve received multiple emails from a business that aren’t particularly relevant to your or your problems and aren’t particularly helpful. They come thick and fast, to the point of being obnoxious. You don’t feel particularly connected to the company, you don’t think of them as an authority and you haven’t had your problem solved. These are all common mistakes made by marketers who don’t take lead nurturing as seriously as the should.
If you want to create a nurturing sequence that drives conversions and creates invested, happy customers, then here are some of the guidelines we follow when setting up sequences:
- Get the timing right. No one likes to receive emails every day from a company they’re still only considering – it’s a bit clingy and desperate. Likewise, leaving weeks or months between emails gives the lead far too much time to move on to another brand and forget about you completely. Aim to space out your emails so they land 7-14 days apart.
- Ensure the content is relevant. The only thing worse than drowning in emails is drowning in emails that aren’t in any way relevant to you. Your lead gave you their information in return for something that interested them – nurture them by offering more of the same. Build their knowledge base on that topic.
- Offer some variety in content. You might write fantastic articles, more akin in Hemmingway novels than standard blogs, but eventually people will tire of reading them. Change things up through the nurturing process by giving people different offerings, different methods of consuming information.
- Personalise the heck out of your nurturing. The point of these sequences is to build a relationship, without having to devote the time required to do so manually. As such, little extra’s like using personalisation tokens where possible, ensuring the email comes from a person and not the business, and referencing information relevant to what the lead is interested in, will go a long way. Ideally, the lead should think that these emails are being sent individually.
- Remember the goal of the sequence is a conversion. It’s easy to forget what you’re working towards with a long-term sequence, but every piece of content and every email should be an attempt to get the lead to convert to the next stage of the funnel. Once they do, be sure to remove them from the sequence too, so you don’t keep trying to get them to do something they’ve already done.
- Give the lead a way out of the sequence in each email. Likewise, some leads don’t need a big, fancy, months-long sequence in order to convert. You’ve won them in just two or three emails. If that’s the case, you want to make sure they have the ability to convert while they’re in the mood so ensure every email has a link that lets them skip the rest of the emails by taking them straight to conversion. You’ll get a customer all the quicker and they don’t have to sit through a bunch of emails telling them what they already know.
Follow the above and you’ll be building lead nurturing sequences that create more leads than you know what to do with, in no time at all.