So, we’ve already talked about gaining a certain quality of leads and techniques and of how they can be obtained in ‘How to generate high quality leads for your business’. But one topic within this that deserves to be explained more in depth, is lead nurturing.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing, as we’ve said before, is arguably the most important technique in generating high quality leads. It’s a process that guides your leads through the buyer's journey, while you develop a genuine and trusting relationship with them. Not everyone is ready to buy straight away, so through the course of lead nurturing you can help your lead with any queries they have, establish a connection, and provide them with information that will benefit them when making their decisions.
So, how do you do it?
There are many ways in which to nurture your leads, and different approaches work better for different people and companies, as is always the case. However, here are what we think are the most useful lead nurturing techniques that you can implement in your marketing today.
Multiple interactions is lead nurturing at its simplest form. You should never stop after the first interaction. This could cause you to lose prospects that simply aren’t ready.
According to HubSpot, prospects are contacted around 10 times from joining your sales funnel until they’re a closed/won customer. People may be swayed from buying straight away for a number of reasons including cash flow issues, lack of time or having more pressing issues to deal with.
Having multiple contacts with your leads also allows you to establish your business in their minds and reinforce your brand.
Email Lead Nurturing
Email marketing is incredibly useful when it comes to lead nurturing. You can keep your prospects up to date without being intrusive and your emails can be personalised to establish a connection and trust.
We find the best way to nurture leads through email marketing is by automating your emails. You can set up a trigger email. So, for example, when someone downloads your new ebook, this download will trigger a ‘Thank you for downloading’ email which can be scheduled to be sent as soon as you think it is appropriate. From this point, you can set up a series of emails to be sent after your initial ‘Thank you’ email with a delay (we recommend around 3-6 days) between each. The purpose of these emails is to be consistent with your communication with your leads and stay fresh in their minds. That way, when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be their first call.
Following up to your leads quickly is imperative if you want to convert your prospects swiftly.
If you respond to your lead within 5 minutes of their website conversion then you get a 21 times more chance of nudging them towards your sales process than if you replied within 30 minutes - as reported by financesonline.com. That’s a great advantage.
If you don’t respond promptly, you do also run the risk of your prospect finding one of your competitors and purchasing from them.
Lead scoring is where you use data from your forms to score your leads. This scoring system is of course decided and measured by you, but we suggest using a scale ranging between 1-5 or 1-10. You should base your scoring on how these leads engage with your business and brand while also applying the professional data that they’ve submitted to you.
The higher their score, the superior the lead.
Lead scoring helps you nurture your leads as you will be able to concentrate more of your sales efforts toward those that have a higher score and are more likely to become a paying customer or a client worth investing in.
Retargeting is the technique used to deliver ads and emails specifically to those who have previously been to your website or have previously engaged with you. These people are already familiar with your business and brand, but you lost them somewhere along the line.
One good example of retargeting if you have an e-commerce site is abandoned cart emails. This is a pretty simple email that can be automated to send after a potential customer has put items in their ‘basket’ or ‘cart’ but not followed all the way through to the checkout stage. We recommend that you arrange for these to be sent either one hour after the cart is abandoned or 10 hours after cart is abandoned. The email should look as if it has been sent from you and not look like a generic marketing styled email. Abandoned cart emails are a great way to make sure your potential customers don’t forget about you, and for larger purchases this could be used as a great opportunity to offer a discount as an incentive for them to complete the purchase.
Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing
Connecting with your leads across multiple channels gives you a higher likelihood of conversion. You may start to notice that the platforms that once worked well for your business’s lead nurturing are no longer performing as well. Multi-channel lead nurturing can combat this.
We like to bring in the inbound methodology to this part. You should aspire to deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time. In the context of lead nurturing, we know that one single platform - email, for example - won’t work for everyone. Consider your social media audience and use dynamic website content to attract those that you may lose elsewhere.