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How-To Turn Leads Into Sales: Try Effective Nurturing

[ 0 ] Dec. 9, 2013 | SBO Editor

Before they become your customers, visitors to your company’s website are potential customers.   To convert them from prospects to customers requires an effective lead nurturing strategy.   Even if you already have such a strategy, you may want to revisit and refine it, because lead nurturing continues to evolve.

The objective of effective lead nurturing campaigns is connecting current and prospective customers to your company by sparking a positive emotional connection, and a dialogue of sorts.   An assortment of communication tools can be used to nurture leads, and effective marketers use a number of them.

13-WD-067 LeadNurturing PHOTO

The key to an effective lead nurturing campaign is to first establish a rapport with the prospect.  Next, initiate a one-on-one dialogue that serves to gradually move that prospect through the marketing funnel from lead to customer.

A MarketingSherpa survey released last year and involving almost 2,000 respondents revealed that emailed newsletters were favored by more than half (57 percent) of participants as an effective means of nurturing leads.Sales calls were mentioned by 41 percent, white papers and thought leadership articles by 35 percent each, webinars by 30 percent, blog posts by 29 percent and direct mail and research-based content by 25 percent each.

To effectively nurture leads, your company must really listen to and comprehend prospects’ concerns and interests.  What are their biggest worries?  What problems are they facing?  What benefits would they like your company’s offering to deliver?  Really understanding these issues is the key to providing information leads will find particularly relevant to their own situations.

Failure to understand can result in you providing leads with information inappropriate to the circumstances, or at inopportune times in the relationship.

Next, begin a two-way communication.  Keep in mind lead nurturing is a one-on-one endeavor; mass blasts have no role here.

Email would seem the logical way to sustain that communication, and will indeed play a critical role in building rapport with the prospect.  But it is best to go beyond simple email, engaging with leads in all places they are comfortable and likely to frequent.  These places can include but aren’t limited to your website, favored social media channels, webinars and live special events.

Your nurturing program should move your leads ever further through the marketing funnel to customer status.  It’s better to err on the side of guiding them through small steps, rather than large leaps, to get them to purchase.

Additionally, consider incorporating these techniques in your strategy:

Limit graphics. While visual content is increasingly important in many marketing communiques, recent studies have found white papers, blog articles and research reports can provide greater benefit in lead nurturing.

Test, refine and improve. Test all lead nurturing elements from subject lines to calls to action, noting how many leads are converted.  Then continually refine and improve your lead nurturing campaigns to enhance their effectiveness.

Continue the dialogue. Once the [W1] one-on-one communication with customers commences, don’t let it end.  Strengthen the relationship over time.

For more on effective lead nurturing, contact Walt Denny Inc. at 708-246-4211 or email walt@waltdenny.com.

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Category: Features