In simple terms, lead nurturing refers to the process of building relationships with people who are not ready to buy your product or service right away, but have the potential of becoming your best customers sometime in the future. It, therefore, involves educating the prospects, building their awareness about your organization and products, and developing trust so that the chances of them choosing your product or service are higher when they are ready to buy.
A report published by Marketing Sherpa showed that 73 percent of the leads are not prepared to buy at the time of giving their contact details for the very first time to you. If the members of your sales team approach a lead that is not ready to buy immediately in an aggressive manner, the chances are that they will blow him/her away. This is to say that mismanagement of leads can do a lot of harm to your organisation. Studies also show that lead nurturing has been helpful in converting 15 to 20 percent of the not-yet-ready-to-purchase prospects into customers on a later date. Further, nurtured leads produced, on average, a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads.
Organizations often emphasize on generating leads, but the process of following up with them is frequently neglected. Lead nurturing helps fill this gap. It is, therefore, important to get the sales and marketing teams to work in tandem. This is because when the marketing leads are put into the funnel, the sales leads come out of the funnel, meaning nurtured marketing leads are passed on to the sales CRM team.
Having understood a little bit about what is lead nurturing and why it is important, let us now look at the best practices to be followed so that lead nurturing becomes a very effective exercise. They are as follows:
#1: Customise your emails:
If you are planning to use an email campaign for the purpose of Lead Nurturing, it should be personalised. Each email has to be tailored to cater to the interests and behaviour of the leads and prospects. You should also take into consideration the demographic factors when going for a lead nurturing campaign.
Further, it is essential to take care that the emails do not appear automated or feel as if they have been sent to many people at the same time. Emails could be sent from different departments, sales, marketing, technical, etc. It could even be a mail from the founder of the organisation. Customised emails have been found to be extremely helpful towards the close of a lead’s sales cycle.
#2: Educate your prospects:
Educating your prospects and providing them with the information they are looking for are crucial for nurturing the leads. If you are going to send one email, the main objective should be education. Some important tips on educating prospects in different phases of the sales cycle are as follows:
Awareness phase: Provide blogs, articles that are related to latest industry trends and statistics, and those that cater to leads’ interests.
Consideration phase: Send invitations to webinars and demo videos related to the products or services that you offer.
Decision phase: Forward product reviews and share customer experiences or success stories.
Finally, include offers in your emails.
#3: Avoid sending emails every day:
If you send emails on a daily basis, your leads will opt to unsubscribe from your mailing list immediately. You should, therefore, determine and follow an optimal email posting schedule so that your company’s name always remains in your prospects’ minds. The schedule should be such that it gives them sufficient time to properly digest the information.
#4: Avoid sending all emails to all leads:
All leads are not the same. This means that you cannot treat all of them in the same manner. Each lead will most likely be in a different stage of the sales cycle at any given point in time. As such, you cannot expect to effectively nurture all your leads using one email.
It is recommended that you segment and group your leads on the basis of traits such as job title, location, age, and interests. Segmentation of your leads in this manner helps you to send relevant information to the right group. This, in turn, elicits their attention and probably a click.
#5: Engage with leads when required:
One of the most important aspects you have to check is whether your leads are opening the emails you send to them or not. Another aspect to be checked is whether they responding to the sales form. If they are not opening your emails or responding to your calls to action, then it is time you to rethink the entire process. You can do this by asking for feedback from subscribers, offering incentives, and creating a sense of urgency.
#6: Never wait for the right time to start:
Your lead nurturing campaign need not be delayed till one of your prospects expresses willingness to purchase your product or service. The process should be started as soon as an individual shows any kind of interest in your business, or any of your products or service, or even your blog content. You can start lead nurturing even if someone just subscribes to your blog.
#7: Content should provide answers to peoples’ concerns:
Instead of creating self-centred content, you should focus on providing useful information to your leads. For example, an eBook guide to Salesforce published by HubSpot broke down terminology and explained the data objects and how they worked. In addition, the eBook also explained the methodology and the best practices to be followed, while introducing HubSpot in a subtle manner. More than 8,000 people downloaded the eBook. This helped HubSpot to bag many customers who would have otherwise gone directly to Salesforce.
In conclusion, you may think that lead nurturing is a complicated process. It is not so and it is well worth the time and effort you put in. However, you have to keep in mind the fact that any success does not happen overnight. Hope you found this blog titled 'What Is Lead Nurturing? Overview & Best Practices' helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.