You’re in control of your lead generation and bring in new leads as if there weren’t any left tomorrow. You built it and that’s how they’re supposed to come, right?
… Not quite. And once you hit the reality of a “low conversion rate,” you’ll realize exactly how important having a solid lead nurturing strategy is to the success of your marketing campaign.
The phrase itself might conjure up images of a mother bird nursing her young, but this is more the type of nurturing required to build a relationship with your consumer – potential, and current.
What is lead nurturing?
Well, you’ve probably heard of a sales funnel before. At every stage of your sales funnel, the journey that every prospect goes through in purchasing your product or service, you should take on the task of strengthening or expanding your relationship with your prospects.
At least that’s what the experts say. Let’s choose to believe them.
They also say that lead nurturing is primarily focused on email marketing, but the idea is to create a cross-channel experience for a really successful and well-thought-out strategy.
And here’s just a quick, free, anecdotal tip about what lead nurturing isn’t: stalking your prospects and blasting them an uncivilized batch of emails.
Why should I nurture my leads?
Keep in mind that the vast majority of your brand new leads don’t convert into paying customers right away. Yup. Let’s say it again: those brand new leads you’ve won?
Those aren’t guaranteed sales, and most of them probably won’t be, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. As you might be able to imagine at this point, if you don’t encourage them, a vast majority of them will go elsewhere. You have been warned
Lead generation is all fun and games until you realize you just can’t convert every single lead and then start making money right away. There has to be some kind of net to safely catch those who fall out of any phase of your designed sales funnel.
By building trust, increasing brand awareness, and all the other business-boosting things, you nurture a relationship and create multiple touchpoints—to the point where they’re actually ready to hand over their hard-earned cash. They will no doubt be at the forefront of their minds.
Let’s not get into that too much now. But as you might imagine, a lead nurturing campaign is packed with data that will help you optimize your current campaign, inform any future campaigns, and allow you to monitor your prospects’ behavior. Isn’t that a win in itself? These are all things that will ultimately help you become more effective at nurturing leads and increasing your conversion rate.
How do I start lead nurturing?
When you’re interacting with prospects, you don’t want to be generic. When it comes to digital marketing, a certain level of personalization is expected today. There’s a lot to be said for communication that provides your leads with relevant and timely information and earns you a loyal following, which in turn brings you customer retention and increased revenue. See how this works well?
So there’s no reason not to use the full power of all your marketing communications and channels to engage with your leads – from mobile, social, support, in-store, and everything in between!
Let’s start with the most obvious, but most effective: email.
Email is great for personalization, as your email software should allow you to set up automation and segmentation that can help you deliver the right message to the right lead.
Many sales funnels can get quite long and email is such an efficient way to monitor analytics and lead behavior and relationship management.
If you’re in the digital space, you need to harness the full power of content to build brand awareness and brand messaging. Content can be any form of media that can be shared across channels such as a blog post, video, infographic, or even a meme.
This type of media is often used on a daily basis as it is a largely inexpensive way to engage with customers and publish new content on a regular basis. With an influx of readily available free content online, yours needs to stand out.
Easier said than done, of course. But if you consistently post quality, relevant content and stay abreast of marketing trends, then you will definitely reach people.
Social Media Marketing
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to social media marketing (paid and unpaid). An Instagram story lasts 15 seconds, which is pretty much the amount of time you need to capture and hold your audience’s attention.
This, along with all the clickbait and attention-grabbing posts, means that social media has gotten more difficult in some ways. Especially for small businesses looking for an organic following.
However, the upside is that the platform is designed for two-way communication and engagement is so much fun and personalized to the user. Humor plays a big part here too, and there’s always a chance for a viral moment. Don’t take yourself too seriously!
Search engine optimization
I’m sorry, I can’t help but talk about it!
Humans are creatures of habit, and humans check the internet. It can be pretty much anything, so if you’re solving a problem, there’s someone out there looking for a solution online. The good news is that SEO helps you reach your ideal customer organically by using SEO best practices to rank your website on the search results page.
As you may already know, keywords play a big role here. All or nothing pretty big. Make sure you choose appropriate keywords and that your content is easily accessible, readable, and relevant.
Nothing destroys credibility like clicking on a page that ultimately has nothing to do with the keyword. Consider yourself as a user and what your best user experience has been when searching for information online.
Educate your prospects
Better than selling to your prospects, try to help them help themselves first. Instead of self-promotion, provide valuable and actionable content that empowers users to address their problems.
Giving away quality content, such as free manuals or ebooks, is one of the greatest and most usual methods to do this. There’s a more subtle form of promotion here, as you’re not just completely ignoring those brand new leads.
Again, create targeted content based on your ideal customer avatar. If you then automate these systems, it will really help you scale your lead nurturing strategy.
There you have it, five ways to get started with lead nurturing. It seems easy, and that’s because it can be to an extent, but you have to block off a reasonable chunk of time to plan and implement your strategy. It’s an integral part of your marketing strategy that should work in tandem with your sales strategy – something else to consider. So start with just one tactic and slowly build into others as you develop a holistic approach to your cross-channel strategy. After that, score and optimize for more sales-ready leads.
To Your Success!