What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is a process that provides value to leads through ongoing contact. It is aimed at those individuals or companies in the information gathering stage, or those not yet ready to buy. Lead nurturing establishes a relationship with a potential customer, so that when they are ready to buy, they come to you.
Lead nurturing uses leads generated from a variety of sources. SEO (search engine optimization), social media (such as blogs and sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), video and company websites (think opt-in pages) are common sources. Other lead sources include networking events, tradeshows and webinars.
The lead nurturing process uses email marketing to provide informative and relevant content to interested parties. Sales attempts of products or services are often avoided in initial and early follow-up emails, as customers are not yet ready to purchase. (Including these types of messages as a post script can be a good way to transition into more product or service-oriented content for future emails.)
What are the Components of a Lead Nurturing Campaign?
You might be wondering, what does a lead nurturing campaign look like? It has a few key components.
The jumping off point for lead nurturing is lead capture. This often takes the form of opt-in options on your company website – such as offering some type of information on a certain topic in exchange for an email address or other information. You can then add this information into your lead system and begin to cultivate a relationship with the potential customer. This process feeds into the next step – a simple thank you.
A thank you page gives you the opportunity to thank a lead for electing to receive messages and establish a relationship. Get the most from this page by including links to important pages and an option to share your resources with their social media connections. You might also include announcements relating to upcoming events or exciting promotions in which customers might wish to participate.
Lead nurturing relies heavily on the automation of email delivery. Find an autoresponder system that fits your needs. The system will allow you to create a sequence of emails that can be sent to a customer on a predetermined basis. The emails should be appropriately spaced and, most importantly, provide valuable content that will engage customers. The goal here is to establish and strengthen a relationship. At The Pool Marketing Site, we utilize HubSpot as our preferred automation software.
Emails should send leads to a landing page. This process allows you to measure whether potential customers open your emails, accept offers via the landing page (be it a consultation or a product), in addition to providing insight into other metrics.
Was the campaign successful?
Useful benchmarks to evaluate your lead nurturing campaign include analyzing the time it takes a customer to buy, identifying activity levels and important pages and monitoring open and click-through rates. Identifying the amount of time it takes for a lead to turn into a customer helps you use the optimal frequency and duration of communication. If it normally takes a month for your customers to buy, you could lose customers by only sending messages for three weeks. Also look at the amount of time leads spend browsing on your website and which pages trigger the buying decision, as well as where they might mention you. Analytics tools can help you identify where and when your company is mentioned and help you discover key points of influence in the buying process and decision.
Good lead nurturing campaigns also monitor open and click-through rates. Relevant content and good subject lines prompt activity that can result in more leads becoming customers. Adjust content when these metrics show negative results to take full advantage of the targeting lead nurturing enables.