Posts Tagged ‘Customers’

How to Convert Customers into Referral Sources

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Would you like to turn your customers into referral sources? Wait, that sounds too boring. Not just referral sources, but evangelists who market your brand for you (and for free).

That’s the goal.

But is it a realistic and attainable goal? Can you truly get your customers to advertise your product to their own circles of influence?

Absolutely! In fact, word of mouth marketing is the most important type of marketing you can get, and you can get it. Let’s discuss how to convert your average customer into an effective marketer for your brand.

Need help asking for referrals? Check out this list of resources.

Focus on Your Customer Service

First things first, you need to develop a strong customer service policy. There’s no use doing any of the other things on this list if you don’t have a friendly, helpful, accessible, and responsive customer service team at the helm.

By ensuring your customers’ success with your product, you’ll groom them into excellent referral sources.

A lot of businesses pour so much effort into marketing and pulling in new customers that they neglect the ongoing and essential work of keeping customers happy. Happy customers engage with your product and are more likely to tell their friends about you. But it doesn’t happen without an intentional customer service and success strategy.

Simple strategies, such as following up on help desk requests or sending educational emails on new features, can strengthen your business/ customer relationship. Prompt responses, especially when delivered via live on-site chat, can show your customers that you care and are worthy of their endorsement.

For more strategies on how to improve your customer service, check out these posts:

Develop a Referral Rewards Program

Once you have rock solid customer service and success teams in place, you’ve got to ask yourself this question:

How will we reward our customers for their (free) marketing?

Although some of your customers will refer your brand without any incentive from you, that’s not something you can depend on. If referrals happen organically, that’s great. But, more than likely, any major referral marketing will need a push from you, the brand, to get it started.

When you incentivize referrals, you motivate customers to act. They know that by sharing your product with their social circles, they’re not only providing valuable information, they’re also getting paid for their efforts.

Referral programs are used in every type of business, from Google to your local gym.

But remember that incentive doesn’t necessarily mean cash. While cash may be the quickest way to your customers’ hearts, there are other, equally successful ways to incentivize your referral program.

For example, you can offer discounts on future purchases, thereby increasing the lifetime value of your referring customer. You can also offer free swag, such as branded t-shirts, pens, baseball hats, or coffee mugs. Swag has the added bonus of marketing for your brand whenever in use.

Ask Early

Ask for referrals when your customers are the most satisfied with your brand. Customers are usually the happiest and most engaged immediately after doing business with you. You’ve convinced them, they’ve bought in, they’re optimistic. It’s your chance to seize the moment.

So, after the customer purchases from you, jump into action and ask your customer for a referral. If you have a referral rewards program in place, be sure to invite them to join it.

You can ask simply in an automated email. It doesn’t have to be a big, lengthy production. It can be a few sentences along with a link to your set-up referral landing page. In your landing page, provide your customers with all the information they need to direct referral traffic back to your site.

Prep Them

Piggybacking off of the last point, it’s crucial that you prep your customers in the fine art of referral.

It’s not really that complicated, but for some people word of mouth marketing comes naturally, and for others, not so much. Some people don’t know how to tell others about you. That’s why you should come prepared with a script that they can use to tell people about your service.

On your customer referral landing page, embed share buttons for social media and email. Include a pre-written script that your customer can use, minimizing the need for them to come up with their own content. The easier you make it, the more buy in.

Run a Contest

Have you considered running a contest to build word of mouth marketing?

With a contest, you can excite your customer base while reaching prospective customers who’ve never heard about your brand. It’s like a two for one special.

When creating a contest with the goal of getting referrals, keep it simple and focused. In a simple contest, reward the customer who brings in the most referral traffic with a brand-related prize (i.e. give away your own product).

But don’t let any of your referring customers leave empty-handed. Everyone who participated and added new prospective customers should be acknowledged and rewarded for their efforts. Here’s another opportunity to gift free swag or offer special discounts.

Be sure to advertise your contest well. Email your current customers and get them excited about your contest. Advertise on your website via pop-ups or banners. Share it on social media. Add it to your email signature.

And then, after the contest is over, do it all over again. You can run multiple contests every year because there’s always someone else who needs to know about your product.

Create Content That’s Shareable

Exposure is huge for brands.

It’s estimated that nine out of every 10 people who are exposed to your brand won’t purchase on the first interaction. They may check out your products and even sign up for your email list. But the work of converting prospects to customers is through the process of lead nurturing.

You can nurture leads through your referral sources, too. My favorite way to do so is through creating valuable content that your referral sources can share with their social circles. From blog posts to case studies to beginner-friendly guides, take time to create educational content for the purposes of sharing and establishing trust with prospective customers.

Producing this type of educational, sharable content allows you to position yourself as a credible expert. It also gives your customers another reason to talk about your brand to their friends and family.

Include Reviews on Your Site

Reviews are word of mouth marketing, too. While onsite reviews are not the active “go out and tell” type of marketing, they do convert prospects into customers. That’s because people rely on the advice of others. A simple recommendation or criticism from an actual customer has more sway than glossy advertisements or even an entire marketing department.

I recommend allowing customers to leave product reviews on your website. This serves two goals:

  1. Good reviews can convert prospective customers
  2. Reviews are social proof that others have tried your product

By the way, don’t worry if you get a few less than stellar reviews. Prospective customers are more likely to trust products that receive a few mixed reviews over products that are universally loved. Universal love is always suspicious.

Testimonials also fit into the review category. Create a dedicated page for your testimonials, add them to your home page, and your product’s landing page. Include testimonials in your marketing materials and your social media outreach. Share case studies with your email list.

Use the words of your current, happy customers to reach new, prospective customers.

Additional Resources

Before you go, check out these related posts:

Don’t forget to download our list of resources for getting more referral business.

6 Ways to Turn Feedback into Your Customer Retention Strategy

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The good (and bad) news is: customers aren’t shy. They’ll tell you exactly how they feel about your business when asked. And, what’s more, dissatisfied customers are pretty loud about it. If you’re in business long enough, you’ll definitely hear their voices.

But, I’m one of those people who like to look at the glass half-full. I believe that all feedback is good feedback because you can use every last bit of criticism to retain more of your customers.

When customers (past and present) tell you what they want, what they like, and especially what they don’t like, it’s a gift. You see, when frustration creeps in, churn is next. But as long as they’re talking to you about it, there’s still an opportunity for you to do something about it.

You can turn that feedback into a powerful customer retention strategy and slow churn to a grinding halt.

By the end of this post, I’m going to make you love feedback. And, not only that, I’m going to show you how to respond to feedback effectively. Let’s get to it.

Here’s a list of ways to get customer feedback.

Different Types of Feedback

Feedback comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of it’s positive, some of it’s negative, but all of it’s beneficial.

Here’s how you’ll most commonly receive customer feedback:

  • Answers to surveys – Surveys conducted on your website, within your app, or via email
  • Reviews of your product – Both on your site and on other sites
  • Blog comments – Both on your site and on other sites
  • Social media comments – Both on your social media page and on other platforms
  • Complaints via customer service – Complaints are always unsolicited, but still helpful

To find feedback that’s not given directly to you, you can use social listening tools like HootSuite or Google Alerts. Always be on the lookout for mentions of your brand and your products on search engines and social media. Chances are high that your customers are talking about you (even if you’re not getting direct feedback on your channels), so make it a plan to actively search for it.

1. Use Feedback to Develop Your Product

For many SaaS, a lot of the customer feedback will be product-centric. You’ll start to notice a trend with the praises and the complaints. There will be features of your product that are universally loved by all. But, on the other hand, you’ll start to see that certain features aren’t quite hitting the mark.

This is what I love about feedback. It shows you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

So, listen to your customers, and take their comments to heart. Pay attention to the most frequently received feedback and update your product accordingly.

By doing so, you’ll create a better product that’s more in-tune with what your customers are asking for, thereby improving your retention.

But– and this is huge– don’t get so focused on pleasing every customer that you lose yourself as a brand. You’ll go crazy trying to tweak your product to suit every customer. So don’t even try. Instead, focus on the most common criticisms. After you tackle the bigger problems, the smaller problems usually self-correct.

Also, it’s important that all customer comments and complaints are relayed to the management staff. It’s easy for comments and complaints to come into one department and then die there.

Do you receive all of the feedback from customer service, social media, sales, and your tech support in one central location? If not, a lot of important feedback may be falling through the cracks.

2. Be Quick to Respond

Follow up on all feedback.

While feedback can be positive or negative, it’s your follow-up response that can actually make or break the customer’s experience with you. In some cases, your response can determine whether the customer stays or leaves.

If you don’t respond, customers are much more likely to leave with a negative impression of your business. They’ll think that you’re either “too big” to respond to the “little guys” or that you’re out of touch with your customers. Either way, it’s a bad message to send to your customers.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to respond to feedback. A quick, but thoughtful, sentence or two is all it takes to show your customer that you truly value their input.

Be sure to respond in like kind: via email, social media, blog posts, or forums. This is where social listening tools really come in handy. A friendly “Thanks for the feedback! We’ll look into your suggestion” can be a satisfying conclusion for your customer– especially if you mean it!

3. Be Transparent

So, you don’t want to say anything that you don’t mean. If you say that you’re going to consider their suggestion, do so. If you decide to make changes accordingly, circle back around and let the customer know that you’ve done it. This small, but rare, nod to the customer can really boost your retention rates.

Think about it: customers like to know that you listen to them and are willing to act on their feedback. That act will win over your customers.

After you’ve implemented the feedback, broadcast it on all of your outlets. Create a blog post, shout out via social media, send out an email– even make a press release. Be sure to share that your change is a result of customer feedback. Your customers will appreciate your transparency.

4. Use Positive Feedback to Recruit New Customers

Every now and then, you’ll have a customer send you a complimentary email, explaining how your product has helped them change their lives. Whenever you get such positive feedback, jump on this opportunity and look for ways that you can incorporate it into your marketing.

Positive feedback can provide an extra level of credibility and improve your trustworthiness as a brand.

Remember to respond quickly and ask the customer if you may use their words (and their likeness) to promote your product. Most customers won’t have a problem with your request. When you get the go ahead, place their positive feedback everywhere you can– on your website, social media, promotional content, and landing pages. You may even be able to score an interview with the customer for a case study.

5. Incorporate Feedback into Your Upselling

Upselling is great for increasing the lifetime value of your customers. Make upselling a part of your retention strategy by encouraging your current customers to continue buying from you.

I recommend using positive feedback (i.e. testimonials) as part of your upsell marketing. Show how others are using your upgrade product to effectively solve their problem.

Another thing to consider: enable reviews (both good and bad) of your product on your website. Reviews can motivate customers to buy the higher priced product because people trust other people.

6. Show Customers the Ropes

Once you’ve implemented changes in accordance to the feedback, make sure that your customers are not only aware of the changes, but they also feel comfortable with those changes.

Create an email series that highlights the different changes to your product and send it out to your current customers.

Additionally, create an in-app tour of the significant changes that you made to your product.

Radically changing your product (even if it’s for the better) can actually increase churn. No one wants to feel lost using your new and improved product. Combat that by showing your customers how to successfully navigate around your updated product.

Final Thoughts

Thoughtfully employing customer feedback will show customers that you value them. It will have a positive impact on your retention because customers who feel heard are a lot more likely to stick around.

Don’t forget to download this list of ways to ask for customer feedback.

How to Predict Customer Churn Before It’s Too Late

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Predicting churn is one of the most important things you can do for your business, but it sounds far-fetched, like a concept ripped from a science fiction novel.

How can you predict when a customer is about to leave?

Should you consult a Magic 8 Ball?

Image Courtesy of MemesHappen

For SaaS businesses, there are actually several big warning signs, in flashing neon colors, that indicate churn probability. Even though these warning signs are hard to miss, if you don’t know what to look for, they can easily be misinterpreted or brushed aside.

Let’s look first at the top warning signs that predict probable customer churn ahead. Then, we’ll discuss how to use these signs to prevent churn from happening. Let’s get started.

Here’s a checklist of what to do to minimize churn.

App Usage Has Declined

App usage is one of the easiest predictive metrics to track. If a customer isn’t getting what they need from your app, they’ll stop using it. App activity may end weeks or even months before the customer actually cancels. But make no mistake– cancellation is coming.

When you see a decline in app activity, jump on it right away. Your immediate course of action should be a re-engagement email series.

In this series, I recommend educating the customer on how to use your product. Also, send case studies that align with the customer’s stated goal for using your product. Finally, have your customer success team reach out personally to each disengaging customer to offer ways to improve the customer’s experience with your app.

They’re Not Opening Your Emails

If you send out email after email but are met with dismal open rates, churn is on the horizon. Customers who are highly engaged with your product are likely to open up your emails… at least some of the time. You’re never going to get 100% open rates, but you should never be satisfied until you do.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to deter churn and remind people to come back and use your product. It’s especially crucial in the beginning stages when the customer is still trying to understand your product. If you’re sending the wrong emails, they won’t get opened, and your customers will slowly drift away.

Low open rates across the board could indicate that your email content isn’t resonating with your audience. In other words, your emails aren’t helping your customers solve their problem. Don’t make the mistake of trying to speak to all of your customers at once, through the same email.

Instead, segment your email list into groups. You can slice and dice your list in different ways, including: app activity level, job title, user end goal, trial user, customer pricing level, and more. Segmenting your email list allows you to write more targeted and relevant content that will appeal to your users.

Through your emails, you can help your customers succeed with your app.

The right message can be compelling enough to pull them back to your product and remind them why they signed up with your product to begin with.

Administrative Changes Within the Account

Are you a B2B Saas? When you work with an entire business and not just a single consumer, churn is often a result of an internal change within that business account.

Let’s say your key contact for a business account leaves the company or gets promoted to a new position. Now, you have to work with a completely different contact– someone with a different personality, who may not “get” your SaaS, or may be looking to switch things up and cut costs.

Sometimes change is swift, and you’re not always privy to the internal operations of your business customers. But, if you establish a solid relationship with your customers with the help of your customer success team, your contact may give you a heads up.

Being prepared is crucial. If you know that there are internal administrative changes within an account, your customer success team can reach out to the business and offer to host a webinar and train new employees on how to use your product.

If you haven’t already, forge relationships with all the key contacts for your business accounts. Follow them on social media (especially LinkedIn so that you may know if the contact changes jobs). Send personal (not automated) emails to them periodically, asking how you can improve their experience. Or actually call them on the phone (it’s a dying art and a surprising gesture).

Expired Credit Cards

Credit cards expire every three years on average. That sounds pretty innocent, but here’s what should worry you: expired credit cards are among the top reasons why customers churn.

It’s not that the customer actually wants to leave, it’s just that their credit card expires, and they forget to update their information. Or, in another scenario, the customer isn’t notified that their credit card is about to expire. So, they’re blindsided when they attempt to access their account and find out that they’ve been locked out.

That’s not a good look for your customer service.

And now, your customer has to go through the headache of updating their information, reactivating their account, possibly paying a late fee, etc. For your customers, it may be easier to just leave. Yikes.

Don’t let an expired credit card be the reason for your customers to leave. Use pre-dunning emails to ask customers to update their billing information before their credit card expires and the payment fails. This can help you prevent unintentional churn and improve positive sentiment. Customers like when businesses are proactive and not reactive.

More Complaints

Complaints are a part of doing business with the public. You can’t please everyone. But, have you noticed an increase in customer complaints recently?

For every one squeaky wheel that complains, there are at least two that don’t. They’ll just quietly take their business elsewhere. So, be thankful for the squeaky wheels, and don’t forget to find out why they’re squeaking. Their complaints can help you identify what’s not working in your product. By addressing these concerns swiftly, you’re not just helping one customer, you’re helping the ones that suffer quietly in the background.

By the way, squeaky wheels don’t always contact you directly. This is why social listening is crucial for any SaaS. What do people say about your product on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook? Has anyone complained about your product in a blog post?

If you don’t know, you need to find out. Fortunately, tools like HootSuite or Google Alerts can help you monitor the web (automatically) for any mention of your brand or products.

Final Thoughts

Predicting and preventing churn is just as important as acquiring new customers. In fact, I would argue that keeping customers is even more important than constantly getting new ones. If your customers are canceling, you need to know why.

You need to get Retained. Retained will show you who’s in danger of churning and why. We look at key indicators, including sentiment and in-app behavior to make an intelligent prediction. Get email alerts before the churn so that you can stop it from happening in the first place. This is the one app that can help you predict churn before it’s too late.

Get an invite to Retained now.

Don’t forget to download this checklist for minimizing customer churn.

Delight with These Automated Customer Service Strategies

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Looking for easy ways to deliver impeccable customer service?

Nothing’s easier than automation. Set it up once, and you’re golden. From triggered emails that keep customers engaged to helpful onboarding emails that guide your visitors into a desired action, there are a ton of fantastic ways to be present for your customers (even when you’re not actually there).

This may sound ironic, but automation can actually forge a more human connection with your customers. The Internet can be cold and unwelcoming. You can counter-balance that by anticipating the needs of your customers and setting up experiences that help them succeed. With just a little planning and foresight, your automated interactions will feel intuitive and even interactive.

Let’s get into the details of how to create these experiences with your customers. We’ll take a look at the best and easiest ways to automate customer service without sounding robotic or disengaged.

Check out this awesome list of automated emails to send to your customers (and when).

Why Use Automation?

Not sure if you should automate your customer service?

At first glance, customer service automation sounds pretty soulless. If your customers don’t actually interact with a real human, how can you deliver a delightful, individualized experience?

That’s a valid question, and here’s the equally valid answer:

Automation allows you to respond to the 21st-century customer– the type who uses the Internet and doesn’t want to wait until for normal business hours for an answer to their question. On the Internet, everything’s open 24 hours a day. There’s no such thing as Monday through Friday business hours.

It’s old school madness to expect your customers to wait hours, or days even, to get in touch with a real human.

By automating your customer service, you can help your customers solve their issues as quickly as possible without waiting on human intervention. According to this study conducted by the Center for Generational Kinetics, the majority of American consumers prefer self-service customer service. A whooping 65% of customers feel positive about both themselves and the company when they can solve a problem without contacting human support.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Most customers, particularly millennials, prefer to avoid human interaction. For a huge portion of your customer base, it’s actually a loss to contact a customer support agent. But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon customer service altogether– instead, make your customer service more self-service friendly. Hello, automated customer service.

Another benefit of automating your customer service is scalability. You’re able to reach many more people when you automate interactions. It’s a lot easier to create one message that can be automatically delivered upon trigger than it is to keep writing that same email over and over again. You’ll free up your customer service staff to focus on the issues that truly need human intervention.

And last, but not least, automating your customer service shows that you care.

Have you ever reached out to a company via email and then… crickets. You didn’t receive a “Hey, we got your email and we’re working on it” response. You sat there wondering, “Did they receive my message? Maybe I should send again…” Don’t banish your customers to this communication purgatory.

When you send a response– even if it’s an automated one– you reassure your customer. You also communicate that you care about the customer’s experience.

Next, let’s discuss how to implement automated customer service in your business.

Anticipate the Needs of Your Customers

When will your customers need your attention or support the most?

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that customer service is reactive. The best customer service is proactive, especially when it comes to automation. If you can anticipate when your customers are most likely to need you, you can create systems to guide the customer into your desired course of action.

Here are two stages when your customers are more likely to need your support:

Before Becoming Customers

The majority of your first-time visitors simply won’t be ready to buy. You’ve got to nurture them from prospect to customer– and you can automate a big chunk of that process.

Whether you offer a free trial or a free lead magnet in hopes of wooing visitors onto your subscriber list, you can use automated systems to invite and then deliver the goods.

Then, you can stay connected to your prospects through ongoing automated email (more on this a little later).

During Onboarding

Once you’ve converted a prospect into a customer, you can use automation to deepen their engagement with your app. Setup trigger emails or messages that help the user find success in using your product. For example, if it’s been a week since the user last logged in, send an email that prompts the user to do so.

The onboarding process is about guiding your customers to success when using your app. Automation can help keep your customers engaged from the very beginning.

Ask yourself this question:

How can you help your customers have an enjoyable and delightful experience with your app?

Get detailed and use these answers to create an almost intuitive customer onboarding experience.

Automatically Route Incoming Emails

Are you segmenting the emails that arrive in your general “help” inbox? If not, you should.

It’s not an efficient use of time to individually sort through every email to figure out which department you should forward the email to. Set up filters and route emails that contain specific keywords or phrases to the right department automatically.

Send a Series of Automated Emails

Email allows you to serve your customers while also staying top of mind. Use email to deliver anticipatory customer service.

Feed a steady stream of helpful emails to your customers. Teach your customers how to use your product– this is a big part of customer service. Offer in-depth tutorials, share how-to videos, and link back to your knowledge base.

Create a series of automated emails, such as a tour of your app, a list of best practices, and common customer uses. Schedule those emails to send at specific intervals that coincide with your free trial, if applicable. Then, set those emails to send whenever someone signs up for your service.

How to Begin Automating Your Customer Service

Get Retained. We’ll help you automate your customer service and increase your customer retention rate. By providing you with actionable insight about your customers, it allows you to rescue those who are in danger of churning. Follow the predictive clues to figure out who you need to reach out to before it’s too late.

If you haven’t already, get your invitation to Retained here now.

Don’t forget to download this list of automated emails to send to your customers.

What is Lead Nurturing and How Does It Work?

Monday, March 20th, 2017

FEATURED_What-is-Lead-Nurturing-and-How-Does-it-Work-

You’ve probably heard a lot about lead nurturing, and you’re thinking to yourself, Should I use lead nurturing? And exactly what is it?

Lead nurturing is perhaps the most effective tool for building a stronger relationship with your potential customer. If you’ve ever struggled to close the sale, you need to develop a lead nurturing strategy.

In this post, we’re discussing the “what is” and “how to” of lead nurturing, so that you can turn your leads into customers. Let’s get started.

Here are 6 lead nurturing emails you should send:

What Is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is all about building a relationship with your audience, and then moving that lead in the right direction.

pexels-photo-66100

How Is Lead Nurturing Different From Lead Generation?

As a business, you’re no doubt familiar with the notion of generating leads. Leads mean customers, and the only way to grow your business is to get customers for your business.

But lead generation is different from lead nurturing. It’s one thing to attract people who are interested in your services, but quite another to convert the curious into customers. It takes a different strategy to get customers than it does to get leads.

That strategy is called lead nurturing, and it’s where you’ll spend the majority of your pre-onboarding time.

During lead nurturing, you’ll build a relationship with your audience so they learn to trust you, and eventually take the lead into trying your services.

It’s a shocking statistic that 79% of leads never become customers. The reason? These leads were never nurtured by the brand, and thus, fell through the cracks.

It’s important to generate leads, whether you do so through aggressive outbound marketing techniques or through a somewhat friendlier inbound marketing strategy. However, it’s also important to have a plan for what to do with your leads once you have them on the hook. What’s the next step after they arrive on your website?

What Are the Benefits of Lead Nurturing?

Let’s take a look at why lead nurturing is so effective.

You’re utilizing buyer psychology. Most of the people who arrive on your website aren’t ready to buy from you immediately. They may want to learn more about what you offer, and they want to compare your prices. They’re simply not ready to “show you the money” just yet. So, the best plan of action is to offer something valuable for free (i.e. a trial, a digital download, a consultation), and then nurture until they’re finally convinced and ready to buy from you.

You’re respecting your audience’s space. Hard sells scare away would-be customers. No one likes to feel rushed into making a decision. And rushing your audience can often backfire because they may end up getting something that they don’t want.

You have an opportunity to build the audience’s confidence in your brand. Your leads are suspicious. They’re not sure your product fits their needs. They don’t know if you’re going to scam them. With lead nurturing, you’re able to give the audience a chance to learn more about you, your values, and your products.

You can develop long-lasting engagement with your audience. By investing in your leads, you’ll create more of connection with them.

How Does Lead Nurturing Work?

You may be tempted to think of lead nurturing as the middle step process between lead generation and sale. But it’s actually easier to think of lead nurturing as a series of steps, and not just one. Here’s a very basic lead nurturing model:

Lead Generation:

To generate leads, you create a Facebook ad and promote a free resource guide.

First Contact:

George signs up for your mailing list to download your free resource guide. Now that you have his email address and permission to market to him, you send him a welcome email.

Continued Education:

You send emails to help George learn more about your product. You may also send case studies, testimonials, webinar invitations, and more to educate George.

How to Create a Lead Nurturing Program

Now, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how to create a nurturing program that works for your leads.

startup-photos

Understand Your Customer’s Lifecycle

The first step to a successful lead nurturing program is to understand your customer’s lifecycle.

With your previous customers’ data in hand, see if you can pinpoint your average lifecycle. If you offer multiple products, lifecycles may vary. Ask questions like:

  • From initial introduction, how long is it before most people buy?
  • What prompts leads to become customers?
  • What are our most effective lead generating tools, and why?

Create a Nurturing Pathway for Each Customer Persona

Do you offer multiple products?

Do you have multiple customer personas?

Do you have multiple lead generating techniques?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, you should develop multiple nurturing pathways.

For example, if you attracted a lead with a free eBook, your nurturing pathway may include an email series where you offer a case study of your theories in action, or a checklist to accompany the eBook.

In another example, let’s say you attracted a lead who signed up for a trial of your product. In an effort to nurture the lead, you’ll send them a series of automated emails during their trial to boost their success with your product.

And, in a final example, suppose you offer multiple products — but your lead is only interested in one of those products. Instead of sending generalized, untargeted content that promotes all of your products, you’ll automatically enroll the lead into a track for that specific product which takes him or her from vague interest to purchase.

Create a Series of Emails to Nurture the Customer

The bulk of your nurturing will be in the inbox. While you can also use SMS and social media for nurturing, your best one-to-one relationship building will be via email.

Create emails that do the following:

Educate your leads. Provide them with so much information about your product that you answer all of their questions and topple their doubts.

Activate your leads. It shouldn’t just be a one-way communication where you’re doing all the speaking. The best way to nurture leads is to get them involved with your brand. This way, you’ll establish a relationship. To activate, simply invite them into a dialogue. Ask for feedback. Solicit questions. Be open.

The best emails are:

Short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t ramble.

Informative. The subscriber should always be empowered by your email.

Actionable. End each email with a call to action so that the lead knows what to do next.

Other Ways to Nurture Leads

Although email is effective, it isn’t the only way to nurture leads. You can also do the following:

Use Your Blog

Your blog will be a great resource for your lead nurturing efforts. You can create blog topics that answer questions and concerns, and present it to your leads in an ongoing attempt to market your brand.

Use Social Media

Social media is another avenue for marketing leads. For example, you can use Facebook to remarket to people who’ve visited your page in the past 90 days but didn’t buy. It’s a great strategy for capitalizing off of a lead’s demonstrated interest in your brand/ products.

Over to You

What is your favorite lead nurturing strategy?

Don’t forget to download this list of lead nurturing emails you should send: