In a survey conducted by Salesforce, findings show that 72% of companies will invest more spending on marketing automation tools and technology in the next two years. That’s a 72% chance that your direct competitors – the companies vying for the same customers as you – are utilizing lead nurturing.
Why aren’t you?
This article could end here because if that doesn’t persuade you enough, I don’t know what will. But, let’s take a step back and go over exactly what lead nurturing is and how it can improve your marketing and sales.
You’ve saved up and finally get to go on that awesome vacation. Whether it’s a beach in Cali, Disney World in Florida, or a killer ski mountain up north; one thing remains the same. The first thing you do is hop in your car and turn on your GPS.
GPS systems are great. You know where you want to go, but have absolutely no idea how to get there.
Moving towards business, you know you want to crush the sales quota for this quarter and, in turn, cash in on that bonus. But how? Well, you turn on your GPS! In business and marketing, lead nurturing acts as your GPS to sales success.
“Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships by continually engaging leads throughout the sales cycle,” said Jason, our lead nurturing specialist here.
In other words, it’s an automated way to communicate with prospective customers.
In order to nurture leads, you obviously need to generate – or obtain – them. Once they are in your system, you can assign various “point” totals for actions the leads complete. This could include 10 points for filling out a form, 25 points for calling you, or even 2 points for visiting a particular page on your site. Your value system can change depending on the specific campaign, which derives from the goals you want to achieve.
Just like a GPS, lead nurturing becomes much easier once you gain more and more information. A GPS will provide multiple options when you search for a Starbucks in New York City, but if you have the address or street your options are narrowed down immediately. If you have more information on leads like their job title, you can begin to tailor your lead nurturing approach towards them specifically.
Once a lead has reached a certain point total, they are ready to be nurtured. While it is automated email marketing, lead nurturing must not come off as spammy, strictly sales-based conversation. Just think about all the crap you’ve already deleted today.
Instead, try to answer the lead’s questions and provide some value. A sample could be something like this:
We saw that you’re interested in (your product or service). That’s awesome, and we appreciate your interest! Feel free to give us a call or email at (contact information).
Also, check out this case study to see how we’ve helped customers like you! (This could be an infographic, blog, video, testimonial, or any piece of content that a prospective customer would find useful).
So, in the case Chris clicks on the email, whether it be your email link or the piece of content provided, you already have a secondary email ready to go to further his process down the sales funnel. Many automation tools give users the ability to create single emails, as well as email templates, that they can directly send to segmented lists of leads. Some even allow you to design landing pages to implement on your site, to further curate your content and engage your leads.
Once Chris is familiarized more with your business and services, he will feel more comfortable making a purchase. There you have it: lead nurturing is done!
Well, not necessarily.
True, lead nurturing did result in a successful sale. But why stop there? Chris is clearly interested in your business since he made a purchase. If your product truly is as fantastic as you advertise (we’ll assume it is), Chris will want more.
Why not set up another lead nurturing campaign for former/current customers? Think back to your GPS. Once you arrived at a destination, your device doesn’t just forget about it. Instead, it stores the address and allows you quick access if you need it again.
This process can be even easier to create sales compared to prospects if done correctly. Lead nurturing can create a loyal customer for life, but too much of it or the lack of it completely can destroy a previously stable relationship. (Nautica, I’m looking at you. I bought a shirt three years ago. Just stop already)
Are you satisfied with your current marketing programs? A 2015 Mediapost survey showed that 80% of marketers deem their efforts “slightly” or “somewhat” useful. If you are satisfied with that, your boss must really like you.
Many people look at marketing automation and lead nurturing as a way to save money and time. While it does do that, we like to think lead nurturing makes you money, too!
As this is such a rapidly growing market in our industry, there are several automation options and platforms to choose from. We are most familiar with SharpSpring and HubSpot, but others include Pardot, Marketo, Salesforce, Infusionsoft and more. It all depends on the amount of control you want to have within your sales funnel. Our suggestion is to explore a few of them and find what is best for your specific goals.
You can thank us later when lead nurturing helps you reach that destination: your sales quota. Good luck!