If you’re a business owner planning on starting a lead nurturing campaign, odds are, you’re way ahead of the competition. According to Forrester Research, only 1 in 5 businesses are engaged in lead nurturing—and most of these are not doing it very well.
Why do businesses fail to convert leads into sales? In many cases, the answer is lack of a good plan. You have a business strategy, right? Well, your lead nurturing campaign needs a strategy too.
Planning a lead nurturing campaign involves some basic steps. Follow these tips and get on the road to more leads, more conversions and better customer relationships:
1. Research your buyer.
Anticipation of your buyers’ needs is foundational to lead nurturing. Identify your buyers and their issues. Create content that helps them make purchasing decisions, based on this information. This builds brand loyalty—a key component of conversion.
2. Know where they are in the funnel.
Typically, at the time that a sales team contacts leads, only 30% will actually be qualified. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the other 70%. Know where your leads are at all times so that you can segment them. Then, you’ll be able to target each group with content and marketing tools appropriate to the stage they’re at.
For example, email newsletters to inactive leads could contain content designed to lure these people into the funnel, so that when they’re ready to buy they will come to you.
3. Ask for information.
Marketers call it “progressive profiling”. You can think of it as “give to get”. This is the practice of asking for information incrementally, at each stage of the lead nurturing process. For example, you could start with basic contact information and, as the prospect clicks through on offers, move on to a white paper in exchange for filling out a more detailed registration form, and so on.
4. Automate communications.
Streamline your lead nurturing efforts with automated communications that are triggered by certain behaviors. For instance, whenever a potential customer abandons a shopping cart, fills out a form or renews a contract, you have an opportunity to send an email appropriate to that action. This often helps lead buyers through to the next desired action.
5. Measure results.
Is your lead nurturing plan fulfilling its goals? Monitor its effectiveness using the right lead nurturing metrics. This is an ongoing process that gives you the information you need to make necessary adjustments.