I can drown you with numbers from a dozen sources that prove how important lead nurturing is in the marketing process, but I choose not to. Let me give you a sprinkling of the juicy tidbits, though, as compiled by Ellen Gomez for Convince and Convert:
- 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause for poor performance (MarketingSherpa)
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo)
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group)
Very clearly, lead nurturing is an effective marketing tool to transform what were merely leads in the ToFu to paying customers in the BoFu. I will let you in on a secret: everybody can use lead nurturing to their advantage, and that includes you.
I know you’re excited, but before you begin any lead nurturing program, you need to clearly define goals so you know what is considered “success”. We all know there’s always that “everything depends on perspective” thing. A 100% increase in converts may spell success for you, but to others, it may mean nothing. See, without clear objectives of what you are trying to accomplish with your lead nurturing campaigns, you will never know if you’re seeing success or not. Now think of a concrete and measurable goal. You can even write it down.
The Four E’s of an Effective Lead Nurturing Program
Now, here’s what we’re going to do to realize those goals.
Build a good list of prospects, (operative word: good) from which you define buyer personas and do progressive profiling. Everything, and I mean everything, starts with a good-to-great prospects list. If you can tell yourself you have a pretty decent list, throw it away. You need at least a good one, or else everything that follows will be exercise in futility.
From the list, you have to understand who it is you’re trying to reach. It will provide you with a tremendous marketing and sales advantage. Creating buyer profiles takes time, but once completed, they focus and leverage your efforts. You simply cannot have a consistently effective nurturing program without clearly defined prospect profiles.
Create awareness, inform them about the product, and teach them how to make better decisions by creating relevant, timely, and useful content. In creating the content, make sure you:
- Know your audience very well
- Consider the buyer’s journey
- Set a conversational tone
- Keep it simple (or short and sweet)
- Personalize your content
If you have already mapped out the number of touch points you need and determined which channels to use – it could be email or phone or social media or all of them – you’re ready to engage them.
Helpful Stastistics: 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2016
After sending the initial information about the products or services, you can follow-up by phone. By now, you should have already been able determine if the target decision makers are receptive or not. If they aren’t, you can try and reach out to them via social media. They have to be reachable somewhere; it’s your job to cover all bases and figure out where that is. And remember, key to engaging your prospects is not just giving them any old marketing bit you have prepared, a brochure or a link – it has to be relevant to them and their business, and you must give them that information in a timely manner – at a point when they need it and are actively looking for it, not before, not after.
Win them over with a final push! Sometimes, all it takes is a little nudge to make the prospect say yes. Apply all the theories in Psychology to get that sweet yes.
- Try reciprocal concession: If there is an expensive and a cheap model of a product, it’s better to advertise the expensive one first. Selling down works better than selling up. We feel more responsible and satisfied after agreeing to a concession. We think we have brought that change.
- Use social proof: We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
The more number of people doing it, the more the rule works into making us believe that the behavior is correct.
We use behavior of people (like us), to determine proper behavior for ourselves.
Mention how many people have bought the product in the past 48 hours and the prospect might just give in.
You have to understand that an effective nurturing program actively moves the prospects you’ve created through your marketing and lead generation efforts, through a complex sales development process to the point where they become paying customers. Yes, anyone can enjoy the benefits of an effective lead nurturing program. You just have to be willing to invest time and resources and patience and ingenuity. The list is quite long, really, but in the end, it’s all worth it.