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.
What Is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is all about building a relationship with your audience, and then moving that lead in the right direction.
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:
To generate leads, you create a Facebook ad and promote a free resource guide.
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.
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.
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?