In today’s world of always-on marketing, companies are looking for more and more ways to connect with prospects and nurture leads that go beyond the traditional methods. Buyers are researching and interacting with your company on multiple online channels, 24/7, and they’re doing it all with less and less contact with your sales reps.
That being said, one way you can maintain a relationship with your leads and help them become more sales ready is by spending more time on the social networks they use—particularly LinkedIn—to stay connected throughout the buying process. Using LinkedIn can add a level of personalness to the often-impersonal lead nurturing email campaigns, which can have a major influence on your leads trusting the content you send them.
To help you build a better connection with your online buyers, here are 7 lead nurturing strategies salespeople can use on LinkedIn:
1. Like, Comment, and Share
If you’re connected with a prospect or lead, one of the best things you can do to keep your name on their mind is simply like, comment on, and share some of the updates they post. Doing something on every post is a bit creepy, but a like or comment every now and then is definitely a good way to keep your name in the mix.
2. Message Your Connections
If you want to take it one step further than just liking, commenting, or sharing, you can also send a direct message to your contacts as a way to nurture them. Of course, just sending someone a message out of the blue recommending content will be pretty ingenuine, so make sure you have a good reason before sending the message. Let’s say you notice them sharing a lot of content on a particular subject that you blog about. Mention that you’ve seen their recent updates, and that they might find your article/blog an interesting read as well. It can be as simple as that.
3. Set Reminders for Your Connections
If you have a hard time keeping track of your leads, you can use LinkedIn’s Profile Reminders to schedule recurring reminders for your connections. For example, if you know you’ll be talking to a lead over the phone, go to their profile and schedule a reminder for yourself to follow-up that call at a later date. You can also schedule reminders about work anniversaries, birthdays, etc. so you don’t miss the chance to comment on any of those.
4. Keep Notes for Each Lead
Similar to Reminders, LinkedIn also allows you to keep notes about each user, which you can use to aid your nurturing efforts. For example, if you meet a prospect at a conference or expo, you can make a note of it on their profile, and ask them if they’ll be attending next year, or maybe other upcoming industry expos.
5. Organize Your Connections with Tags
Another tool you can use to help keep track of your contacts are LinkedIn’s Tags. On each user’s profile, you have the option to tag them, and you can use those tags to organize them into groups (i.e., MQLs & SQLs). You can create up to 200 different tags and tag up to 1,000 contacts, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Once you’ve given someone a tag, you can sort your connections by tag by going to the “My Network” tab, “Connections”, and then filtering your connections by tag.
6. Email Your Connections
Did you know you can export all of your connections’ names and email addresses to a .CSV file? It’s really easy actually, just click here. Once you’ve exported their information, you can go into Microsoft Excel (or another compatible program), and manually go through your contacts to create an email list of relevant leads. From here, you can send traditional nurturing emails, like this one we sent for Experience Inbound.
7. LinkedIn Lead Accelerator
When you look at the statistics for traditional lead nurturing, you'll start to realize why it's so difficult to only use emails and phone calls for lead nurturing these days. Of all the people that visit your website, only about 5% typically share their email address, and only about 20% of those people open your emails—and that's on a good day! If you have 10,000 visitors each month, this means only about 100 people who expressed interest are actually receiving your messages—meaning 99% of your website traffic goes unnurtured.
With LinkedIn's Lead Accelerator tool, however, even anonymous visitors who don't leave their email address can still be nurtured by your brand through social and display advertising, thanks to advances in marketing technology. LinkedIn can tell if a user's IP address has visited your site in the past, and if so, will place content and ads in their newsfeed and sidebars as a form a nurturing. And while this might sound a lot more like advertising than nurturing, know that these ads only appear for the anonymous users who've visited your site, making it more highly targeted and effective than typical social ads. This service does come with a bit of a price, but offers proven results for companies who have trouble closing leads—especially those with longer purchase cycles.
For marketers who want to go above and beyond the traditional lead nurturing tactics, LinkedIn offers many free and low-cost ways to nurture leads and close more sales. Try using the strategies above whenever you connect with prospects on LinkedIn, and please share any LinkedIn lead nurturing tips of your own in the comments below!
Posted by Alex Sobal Alex has exceptional writing skills and the ability to learn new industries and their complex processes. While at Weidert Group, he was also an avid social media marketer and wrote frequently on online community engagement and content creation strategies for our blog.