Your lead nurturing strategy is the crux of your marketing. Unfortunately, lead nurturing is often low on a list of priorities, or perhaps even ignored altogether.
This can have a highly negative impact on your business, because you are missing out on leads that could potentially become sales if handled correctly. In fact, the stats reveal quite a bit about the power of lead nurturing:
- 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy (Source: Gleanster Research).
- Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (Source: InsideSales.com).
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance (Source: MarketingSherpa).
But how do you create a lead nurturing strategy from scratch? Follow these steps to get started:
1. Start with Segmentation
The more data you have about a lead, the better quality lead nurturing you can engage them with. This starts the moment you capture the lead. Whether you are simply swapping their information for a downloadable offer, capturing their data through a contact form, or purchasing high quality data, you can begin the segmentation process based on what their specific interests are.
For example, if you are a technology company and you sell cloud solutions and technology support, you would want to have some type of offer on your website for each. That way, those new leads who download information about cloud solutions are sent information mostly about cloud solutions, and the leads who download information about tech support are sent information related to that interest.
This doesn’t mean you can’t mention your other offerings, but it gives your leads a way to tell you what they are interested in. Use this opportunity to segment your leads based on what they want to learn more about, and use that information to better target their needs.
2. Design the Strategy
Once you’ve segmented your leads, you’ll want to create a strategy that emphasis building a relationship of trust and value. This happens by carefully planning out useful, educational pieces of content that speak to your audience.
Depending on your business, you may have a couple of different services or products to focus on. One of the best ways to start out is to choose one service or product for each specific lead generation campaign you create and create a blueprint for the different components you will need to turn the lead interested in that particular offering into a buyer.
Starting with email, conceptualize the best order for your emails to be sent out to a lead, based on things like: topic, level of difficulty, and any other factors that might affect this process.
When you first begin creating lead nurturing strategies, keep your email campaign simple and stick with two to five emails that progressively lead up to a free consultation or demonstration of a product (both of which are late buyer’s stage offers).
Determine topics and keywords that someone interested in the particular product or service would be interested in reading and potentially search for. Keep in mind that these keywords will vary based on where they are in the buying cycle, so choose a healthy mix of introductory posts and more involved how-to’s.
These blog posts should not only drive traffic, but also supplement your email campaigns as needed.
Brainstorm at least one high-quality offer you could create that will allow you to capture your leads information. This should be an introductory offer or guide that would entice someone in the early stages of the buying cycle.
3. Create and Implement Content
Now is the time to really dive in and create all the content you determined you needed in the planning process. The best way to go about doing this is to prioritize which campaigns are most important and build it out end to end.
If you are already seeing a lot of conversions on an offer or other conversion opportunity you already have, start there and begin nurturing those leads with relevant emails that feature blog posts or other offers related to what they first converted on. If you currently have no way to capture leads on your website, start the creation process with an offer related to your best selling product or service first, and use it to start building a list to nurture.
Once you have a main conversion point, turn your focus to generating the emails, blog posts, and offers you determined would fit well with what you have to offer. Follow the strategy you designed above, and try to keep it very simple the first few times. You can always expand your strategy at a later time.
By breaking down your different offerings and prioritizing them, your lead nurturing strategy becomes a lot less intimidating. Remember to first start with the segmentation to create a relevant list, design the actual lead nurturing strategy, and create and implement the content. Continue to build on what you have created by writing more blog posts and utilizing social media. Then analyze your results and adjust based on what you’ve learned. Lead nurturing can seem like a very slow process, but it is vital to converting leads into buyers.