Lead nurturing takes time. There is no greater truth in the marketing world. Well, there might be, but for today, there isn’t.
We’ve all been there: We chase leads in the hopes that they convert with minimal cost. Of course, that doesn’t happen. Some leads will convert to sales in a matter of weeks, and some will take months. Others take years.
The Reality Of Lead Nurturing In Business
Will your persistence — your lead nurturing — pay off?
It comes down to a few variables.
It’s important to remember that every customer is different. They have different wants and needs, and those will change over time. They might not necessarily need what you sell right this moment, but they may need it in 6 months.
So, what do you do? You continue lead nurturing and stay top of mind. Do that, and they’ll come to you when the time is right.
Another variable is you. You have to build a relationship with that lead as a foundation. As you continue to educate them about who you are and how you solve their problem, you nurture the relationship.
As soon as you take yourself out of the equation, the lead nurturing ends. You can’t send out a few postcards or emails and call it a day. You must be persistent. This is how you build a strong foundation and see better results.
Think of it this way: There is no such thing as “lead nature.” Someone isn’t going to buy from you because your business just happens to exist.
You must put your business and brand in front of them and show them why they should buy from you. Tell them about your business. Tell them the story of why you do what you do. Your goal is to get your lead to know, like, and trust you.
Communication is another variable. We often think of communication as a two-way street. You say something, and the other person responds. It’s a back-and-forth dialogue. In lead nurturing, that isn’t always the case. In fact, most of the time, it’s going to be the exact opposite.
You might chase a lead for months and not hear a single word from them. Then, one day, they decide they’re ready to buy. This might be the only communication you get from them before they make their decision.
Shape Your Own Reality
As a business owner who is focused on growth, the process can be frustrating. You want to know: Is it really worth it?
The answer comes after they buy. You look at the metrics and determine if it was a success.
Just as every customer is different, every business is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to lead nurturing, but you can take several steps to get the most out of your time and marketing spend.
The key is in building the relationship. According to a study by MarketingSherpa, “79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.” It comes back to the idea that if you aren’t consistent in your lead nurturing or if you get lazy, you can’t expect good results.
The Keys To A Successful Campaign
Automate. You need to create an automated lead nurturing campaign. If you’re trying to do all the work yourself — sending out emails, newsletters, postcards — you’re going to get overwhelmed fast. Our blog and website are home to a number of resources to help get you started. Here are a few examples:
Grab their attention. Subject lines, headlines, headers, taglines — they’re all important. You need to grab their attention so they actually glance at whatever you send them, whether it’s an email or a piece of direct mail. If the subject line or headline grabs their attention, they’re more likely to skim your content. And if something stands out, they’re more likely to read what you have to say. Avoid a sales pitch right out the door and industry jargon and just engage them!
Keep relevant and timely. Don’t go off-brand or talk about issues that aren’t important today. Use your lead nurturing to tackle issues your leads and potential customers are dealing with right now and how they relate back to you. Link back to your website to a landing page that answers questions they may have this month or will have in the coming months. Because the past year has been a roller coaster ride, you have many avenues to pursue, which leads to the next point.
Don’t overwhelm them. When it comes to your nurture campaign, keep things simple, short, and clean. You don’t want to potentially overwhelm your lead and drive them away. For a lot of people, 2020 was not the best year. Keep that in mind with your lead nurturing. If you need to say more, leave the reader with a call to action or a website resource where they can find more valuable (and free!) information.
Track everything. Absolutely every piece of communication you send out should be tracked. Know your email open rate. Know your click-through rate and how many people are clicking the link in your email or going to the website URL or QR code you printed on your postcards. The more you track, the easier it is to evaluate the success of your campaign and adjust as needed.
Keep it up. After you start the campaign, don’t stop after the first few emails or direct mail pieces. Remember, lead nurturing takes time. Have patience. Tracking everything will make the process easier, and you’ll have a better picture of what’s working and what needs more attention.
Be ready! Once your lead is ready to buy, have a plan to walk them through the buying process. Answer their questions, offer support, and be the business they’ve come to know through your lead nurturing campaign.