Sometimes your leads just aren't ready to buy - yet.
The challenge for businesses engaged in online marketing, then, is how to stay engaged with those leads until the buying decision is made. This is a regular challenge for firms that employ Inbound Marketing, as recent research shows that as many as 50% of all qualified leads are not ready to buy after their first conversion on your content.
So, just what are you supposed to do with those leads who've shown enough interest in your product or service to give you their contact information in exchange for your content – but aren't ready to pull the trigger on a deal?
Lead nurturing is a system of sending automated e-mails and additional content of interest to your leads as a way of maintaining contact with them, moving them through the sales funnel and, finally, delivering them as a customer.
Lead nurturing is a critical component of your Inbound Marketing success. By utilizing an automated, well-timed approach, you not only further qualify your leads before turning them over to the sales team, but you save your sales team time and money by better educating and preparing your lead for that final conversion.
Other benefits include:
Staying top of mind with your leads. Since you're sending regular content to them, you get to further demonstrate thought leadership and expertise.
Learning more about your leads. As you send additional content to your leads, their responses to the differing types of information you sent will give you additional insight into their needs.
Conducting a nurturing campaign is a pretty straightforward process. All you need is a little planning, the right content, and to follow these 5 steps:
1. Target your campaigns
Not all of your prospects will convert on the same top of the funnel content offer, so they shouldn't be receiving identical nurturing campaigns. Subsequent content offers should be related and move them further down the funnel.
Weidert Group has several different nurturing campaigns, each dependent on the initial content the lead converts on.
2. Don't give them a sales pitch
As we discussed earlier, many of your leads are not ready to buy when they first convert on your site. That's why you're nurturing them. Instead, offer them content of additional value such as webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers.
3. Each e-mail should have a goal
Even though the process is automated, each of the e-mails and content offerings should include a call to action to move your lead to the next stage of the sales funnel. Make sure you use enticing subject lines and write compelling text to encourage your lead to convert again on new content and further qualify themselves.
4. Create a timeline for your campaign
Typically, it's a good idea to send 2 to 3 emails to those targets in a lead nurturing campaign. Timing is everything. If your typical cycle runs 30 days, set up a campaign for emails to be sent out the 1st, 10th, and 20th days after a conversion. With lead nurturing, patience is a virtue.
5. Evaluate Your Success, and Optimize
As you run a campaign, experiment with subject lines and the calls-to-actions. Take note of what works and what needs improving. You can always make your campaigns better. Ultimately, you want your leads to arrive at the bottom of the funnel ready to close a deal.
Lead nurturing can be a powerful tool for converting leads into customers. Put in the time and follow these guidelines and you will improve your chances of making the sale.
To learn more about nurturing campaigns and the power of Inbound Marketing, please check out free infographic.