Lead nurturing is that critical stage after lead generation when you build up a relationship with prospects and prepare them for the possibility of a future sale. By delivering consistent content to your leads, you can encourage them to start thinking about your product niche when considering their own business plans.
Fact is, lead generation can be expensive, so you definitely don’t want to waste any promising opportunities. A recent report showed that organizations that nurture their leads see a 45% increase in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not.
Here are 4 lead nurturing strategies to turn your hard-won leads into conversion.
1) Act quickly
Lead nurturing should begin immediately after you’ve collected someone’s contact info. Surprisingly enough, a lot of companies let leads go cold simply because they neglect to follow-up in a timely manner.
Set up an auto-responder so that, at the very least, you have taken some steps to engage with the prospect. Use this time to thank them for signing up, and provide links to some of your most popular materials and social platforms. After this step, remember to consistently engage your customers so they won’t forget about you.
Sometimes, it’s appropriate to call a lead right away: perhaps they’ve submitted their info through a contact page, or maybe they’ve indicated that they wish to speak with a salesperson as soon as possible. If this is the case, be sure to get in touch with the lead as soon as possible.
A study by InsideSales.com showed that the odds of reaching a lead are 100 times higher if called within 5 minutes vs. 30 minutes of submitting their contact info. Similarly, a lead is 21 times more likely to enter the sales cycle if called within the earlier time interval.
2) Assess & segment your leads
Before you begin sending mass emails to your pool of leads, you’ll need to evaluate and segment them to determine each individual’s level of commitment. Only then can you deliver content that’s pertinent to the customer.
Case in point: if you were only casually browsing at a car dealership, you probably wouldn’t be ready to take a certain model out for a test drive. On the other hand, if you were serious about purchasing a specific truck, you likely wouldn’t care to receive a pamphlet on the carbon footprint of a new line of hybrid sedans.
In order to evaluate leads properly, your marketing and sales teams should work together to determine what a qualified lead looks like. The marketing side can then work on nurturing the client to that stage, at which point the sales team can work to close a deal.
You can further categorize your leads into clients who:
- Work in your targeted industry, but aren’t aware of your services
- Are your target audience, and are considering similar products
- Have a need for your services and are actively looking for solutions
After you segment your prospects, you can move on to the next step…
3) Plan strategically
In order to keep your leads interested in your company, you need to connect with them on a consistent basis, providing appealing and fresh content each time. The easiest way to manage this is to send personalized emails that direct users to relevant information.
|For customers unfamiliar with your services
|For customers who are considering similar services
|For customers who are looking to purchase
4) Don’t shy from social
Don’t limit the nurturing potential of social networks by using a one-size-fits-all strategy. Instead, draw on the strengths of each social platform to share stories and gather feedback from interested customers. Sites like Quora and LinkedIn allow you to provide valuable insights and establish yourself as a thought leader, while Facebook and Twitter are great for testing new ideas and creating conversations with your customers.
The Bottom Line
Generating leads is certainly a large part of the puzzle, but marketers need to cultivate ideas and foster relationships in order to convince prospects to purchase. Take swift and strategic action with your leads to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your lead gen dollars.