Nurturing Those Leads

So often I am asked about converting those leads into sales and it all comes down to nuturing the lead. Here’s some interesting facts that may astound you:

  • Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should go to sales
  • 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy
  •  lead nuturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate of stand alone email blasts (email series v’s stand alone)
  • 20-50% of sales got to the business that responds first

So what is lead nurturing? It is a system that allows you to send an automated series of emails to an early-stage lead in order to pre-qualify them. Sometimes this is also called drip marketing. Not all leads are at the point where they can be considered sales-ready. Depending on whose research you read, only 5-25% of the traffic on your website is actually ready to do business with you at that moment; the rest are doing research. Automated lead nuturing is a great way to maintain engagement when a lead has already made the move to interact with you. If that lead has stopped visiting your website or reviewing your offers, lead nurturing is a great way to remind them about your business and keep your name/brand at the foremost of their options. It builds a relationship with your potential customer. Lead nuturing also allows you to maintain consistent communication with your leads; 66% of buyers indicate that with consistent and relevant communication provided by an organisation is the key influence in choosing a solution provider. So why would you let a lead slip through?

Another major benefit of lead nuturing is that it’s automated. Once you set it up, emails are sent out automatically according to your schedule as new leads come in. This leads to a high return for a low investment. You may launch the campaigns and forget about them but the emails will be doing the owrk for you, helping you qualify leads and push them down the sales funnel faster. This should also reduce the time the sales consultant needs to spend on qualifying or warming up a lead.

The lead nurturing emails can be set up within your CRM program or other emailing system. Once the lead is categorised, it should trigger off the email series spaced a few days apart over a short period of time. It isn’t hard to set up, although time consuming and should not be a big sales pitch instead start out by sending useful, low-commitment information with content based ‘call to action’.

Think about what problem are you helping them solve? What are the benefits (not facts) for the potential customer, does it offer value? Examples of vauable offers include videos, webinars, ebooks, blog posts and whitepapers.Consider the purpose of your campaign:

  • Educational emails – educating your customers on techiques to use your products
  • Promotional emails – avoid making it too spam like but focus on building enticing and value (the subject line is the key).
  • Invite email – come in for a free demo or launch party
  • Personalised emails – this is recommended further down the sales funnel and offering the opportunity to talk to a real person and giving them the attention they deserve.

Depending on your product or service, the timeline can vary from a matter of a week or two up to 18 months. Above all, keep the email short. The lead should be able to glance at your email and within 5 seconds know the value it provides to them with a clear message. Including a ‘call to action’ in the first paragraph can ensure they got the message and your goal is clear. Don’t wait too long after their initial contact to start your lead nurturing – they will drift and buy elsewhere.

If conversion rates are soaring, you’re likely offering content that is in line with your leads’ needs at the time. If not, you might need to adjust the types of offers your’re sending at different points in the nurturing process. The unsubscribe rate should be less than 1% to be regarded a good campaign. If you want a measure that shows you engagement and interest, you should turn to click-through and conversion rates for a clearer indication. Not all people will unsubscribe, they’ll just stop opening your messages.

Conclusion: among some of the key benefits of lead nurturing is that it enables marketers to establish contact with their fresh leads fast and stay on top of the mind for potential and even current customers. Lead nurturing can be relatively easy to set up because it is automated and doesn’t need a a ton of maintenance over time. Creating the emails in the lead nurturing campaign is the most time-consuming step of the entire process. You need to first determine your goal, know who you will target and identify which content you will use to reach the desired results. Test it, refine it and get started.