I’ve been reading a lot of relevant articles online and offline and every single marketeer, has a top ten lead nurturing strategies of his own. What I like to think is that the ONE, the BEST strategy to nurture your leads, is one: a strategy that could nurture me. So, this takes us to, literally, billion strategies because that’s how personalisation should be applied. Thousands of strategies cut to fit each and everyone’s needs, state and available time.
But can you apply a billion strategies? Nope, but anything close to this, is great! Don’t be afraid, I’m only trying to make you understand just how unique everyone is, even if you only have captured one of their details: their email!
Lead nurturing should start with these things in mind:
-How to convert a qualified lead to a paying customer
-How to upsell to an existing customer
Apart from a catchy subject line that must be optimised for open-rates, condensing the email content in small paragraphs which can be easily read and which convey your message clearly as your subscribers quickly scan it, is key. Don’t forget to always include an unsubscribe link as well as a way for your subscriber to adjust the frequency of your email to their needs.
So, let’s see the best lead nurturing strategies to include in your marketing plan:
1. Identify where exactly your lead stands in the buying cycle. You can’t directly sell to them if they don’t know the value of your company or service. Understanding your customer’s buying process is key for any successful lead nurturing strategy. The kind of research they perform before getting to the final stage of the funnel is a prerequisite to forming a strategy to nurture them along the way and ultimately make them buy from you.
2. (After a specific event where you grabbed their email): Send out a wrap up of the event and present an overview of it. Let your lead know how beneficial his involvement with your company will be and tell him exactly how you will proceed from now on and how frequently will you communicate with him after this event.
3. Set up a completely different strategy for the inactive users (and when they click, transfer them to their different personas’ list) and another one, also different, for the active ones. It is weird to address to a client that hasn’t clicked a button and didn’t use your service at all with phrases like: “Now that you’ve seen how it works”, and “you already sent out your first campaign”. At least, it would feel weird to me…
4. Your welcome email – The first contact counts. Customers who have made purchases in the past or have interacted with your brand already are different. Your new leads should start getting introduced to the core values of the brand and also the solutions/products offered in a simple, non-intrusive way. After all they have just signed-up from a specific lead generation campaign, so they need to feel comfortable and certainly not feel overwhelmed with sales emails. It is a good opportunity to bring up the reason they signed-up from your campaign and the value they will be getting, so that they keep being engaged. It is also a good opportunity to include some basic research or other educational material which can be consumed with ease. Again avoid overwhelming them with too much information at this stage. Some of your new leads may not even know why they need your fantastic product, so you need to slowly start introducing them to why they need it.
5. Don’t always think of how to “sell, sell, sell” because that reflects in your messages. Your campaigns should show your customers that they should trust you, have you on the top of their list (when they decide to convert) and be educated: This is the most important thing here. To start educating your leads, from the time they sign-up to the point when they are ready to buy your product or service and should start talking with one of your salespeople over the phone or instore.
6. Send out regular communications depending on your industry. Studies have shown that different industries require different communication intervals. Generally for a lengthy sales process, lead nurturing communications need to have a wider timespan between them.
7. “You have 6 seconds to make me read you…” All emails sent to the customer (you can use additional channels too) must be written in an easy to understand language so that you can grab their attention within a few seconds, before they trash your email and go to the next one.
8. Consider the Christmas gift shoppers. They start thinking about what to buy as gifts from October or sometimes earlier, but they are not yet ready to commit to a sale. Depending on the type of gifts they are thinking to buy, they need to be educated in advance so when the time comes they make an educated purchase they are confident of. For their children, a wearable gadget might be the perfect gift but they have to be educated on the suitability of this type of gift for children, whether children do make use of such products and not get bored easily, the types of wearable gadgets available from your brand and whether it matches their planned budget.
9. Get your marketing and sales department talking. It is very crucial to decide together on the long-standing question “what is a lead” and “when is a lead going to convert and needs to be transferred to the sales dept”.
10. (This is the best one, trust me…) Don’t push, call, send email, retarget with ads and then again send a campaign, call and persistently ask for an answer. Execute your lead nurturing strategy well and you will never need to call or push anyone again!
11. And of course the best lead nurturing strategy is to always, always keep a healthy and vivid emailing list. Always updated and segmented so that you know exactly what to offer to whom and have a better chance to convert them. Be careful, though to update your lists immediately so that you don’t end up selling to those that have already been sold to. You will lose your authority and someone else will execute better their lead nurturing strategy to your client. After all, lead nurturing is just a cycle. Don’t get caught in it!
PS. Don’t forget that 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales (Marketing Sherpa). This is your target.