Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with prospects. If they’ve provided you with their contact information (usually just an email address) it makes sense to respond to them promptly by sending targeted, relevant and valuable messages that can further a nascent relationship.
The end goal is to get your prospects to “raise their hand” and self-select into further engaging with your business. Simply put, lead nurturing is a system that lets you send an automated series of email messages at an early stage of the selling cycle to pre-qualify the lead before handing them over to your sales team.
As a marketer, generating leads is the lifeblood of a business. But not all prospects or leads are at the point where they can be considered sales-ready. Most visitors on your site aren’t ready to do business with you right away. In fact, most are in the research or information gathering mode.
To make lead nurturing effective, you need to consider your existing sales funnel and answer these questions:
How long it typically takes to convert a lead into a customer after their first inquiry?
Does the sales cycle vary for different types of purchases?
At what price point will more people be involved in the decision?
How many people are part of the purchase decision?
What part of the purchase do they “own”?
Create every opportunity to opt-in.
Every business is challenged with creating opt-in opportunities. Your goal should be to give people lots and lots of reasons to opt-in. Follow these best practices to succeed.
Be explicit about the benefit’s your recipient will receive by providing their contact information
Stay relevant by relating to the offer that originally brought them to you
Be personal and use a real email name and address with a personal signature
Add value and get into the mindset of your recipient by asking “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM)
Provide offers and content that helps solve their challenge or address their pain
Make the value clear in both the email body and the subject line
Communicate the value of your offer in text and don’t just rely on images
Be consistent so that your recipients expect and look forward to your messages
Pick a schedule and stick to it
Focus on conversion.
When someone opens your email, make it clear what you want them to do. Whether you want them to click to read a blog article, download a new eBook, or share on their social networks, decide on the goal or outcome before you create the content. And be sure to include a Call-to-Action that links to a landing page where the recipient can convert (again) and self-select to further their progress to becoming a customer.
If you’ve already captured the lead, tell them about solution-centric offers and let them self-qualify as more sales-ready. If they’re not yet ready to commit, keep nurturing them with broader offers that help you stay