Lead Nurturing can be a tough concept to understand at the best of times. Unfortunately, it’s also an integral part of a successful digital strategy which can suck pretty hard if you're someone who struggles with it, which (in my experience) is everyone. Considering the importance of the process in inbound marketing and it’s effectiveness for almost all businesses; I think I’ll take a moment to share a little understanding and see if I can’t help you develop lead nurturing strategies to nurture with the best of them.
To start with, relationship building is as important to your business as it is outside of it. Aggravatingly you cannot assume that someone who likes your Facebook business page is certainly going to buy a product or service from you- ‘likes’ are not legally binding (although that's not to say that facebook and it's likes don't have their uses). People generally aren't ready to buy off first impressions. Add to that the fact that the attention span of the modern consumer lasts about 8 seconds, they are always looking for a better deal; hence why businesses develop methods to keep their leads on the hook.
Email marketing is the most effective method to ensure your leads are still thinking dreamily of your business, and is most likely to turn them into customers. The trick however is knowing the correct method, that special way to nurture your leads and increase your sales. So, here’s what you need to do...
Learn who your leads are
If you’re on the Inbound Marketing train already, or following our Pathfinder Marketing Guide, then this is where the Buyer Persona comes into it. You should already know enough about your target audience to be able to talk to them in a way you’ll know they’ll respond to. Use that info to keep your emails relevant and interesting to your leads, keep them engaged with your content.
Alternatively, if you’re coming at this blind, knowing who your leads are is the most effective way to get that lead on the Buyer Train to Customer Station. Conduct surveys, ask questions and analyse what your leads are responding to. After that, it’s just a matter of writing your emails in a way that appeals to your leads, and puts them in a mood to spend some moolah.
Create Useful Content
If you want to improve your click-through rates and sales (pro-tip; you do want to do that), pairing your business message with effective, useful content will improve your audiences engagement out of sight. Do this with a well thought out content marketing plan and detailed blog posts that deliver above and beyond what your customers expect. A good nurturing email offers value beyond whatever it is you’re trying to sell- keep providing good content that they will hopefully associate that degree of usefulness and helpfulness with your brand.
Staying connected with your email leads by keeping in touch with them on regular basis is incredibly important; after all, it’s unlikely that a lead will become a customer on their own if you disappear in a flash of smoke once they’re through the door. Therefore, consider sending timely follow-ups, or thanking them for showing interest in your brand. These follow-ups can be done after a few days, even a week later; if you’re really keen and you want to catch the lead while your brand is still fresh on the mind you can even have automation in place to respond within minutes or hours. This does bear some risk though, replying too quickly with too much information can be considered creepy, and only very rarely does being creepy result in gaining customers.
Humanise Your Emails
Relationships with your leads are built by showing that you understand them. Humanising your emails by using the recipients personal info is an effective method of putting them at ease and making them feel like you’re talking directly to them, as you would in a personal conversation. This is called ‘Personalisation’ and can be automated by many CRM Software options, if you collected enough prerequisite info off your leads when you converted them. You never want a lead to feel as though they aren’t important, so do your best to sound like a real human person (even when you are in fact an email-sending robot).
Automate The Process
There is only so many hours in a day and realistically it isn't possible to send out individual emails to all of your leads at different stages of the buyers journey. Marketing Automation isn't just how you take your inbound marketing and lead nurturing strategies to the next level but it's how you effectively nurture your leads from visitor to happy customer.
Imagine all the time your marketing team could free up if all they had to do was write the content and the rest would sort itself out? An automated lead nurturing strategy is one destined for greatness and you simply can't lead nurture without automation.
Improving relationships via email has proven to be an effective, and time-tested lead nurturing strategy for maintaining business leads and increasing sales, so make the most of it to get the best possible results. Being an inexpensive, yet effective marketing method, the odds are pretty damn good of it having a positive impact on your business.