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How to Win at Lead Nurturing

Did you know that roughly 73% of new leads never convert into a sale (Marketing Sherpa)? The number is staggering, yet only about 35% of marketers are doing anything about it.

If you want to tap into that 73% of undecided or unsure buyers, you should be nurturing those leads. Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’re hearing that, but getting your nurturing right can be a little tricky. If you’re having trouble getting the right balance for your lead nurturing efforts, you can use these dos and don’ts to get on the right track.

DO Segment Your Leads

The exact breakdown depends on the products or services that you provide, as well as the demographics of your target audience, but some common segmentations can include geographic location, job title, and company size. Personalization is key here, so the more targeted your lists the more likely you are to hit the right note with your customers. To better personalize your nurtures, you can include more detailed segmentations like past purchases and specific activity on your website.

DO Follow-Up Immediately

Luckily, marketers are also customers, so if you’re ever in doubt about how to reach your buyers, it’s not hard to put yourself in their shoes. If you’re looking for a new product or service and you’re interested in learning more about it, you probably want that information right away, not the next business day. That’s what your clients are feeling too, which is why triggered information, such as an automatic responder, does 67% better than a delayed check in (Epsilon).

DO More Touch Points

The key idea behind nurturing is relationship building; you are trying to genuinely understand your clients’ needs, provide value and then, hopefully offer a solution. All of this is not going to get done with just one email! Having a few touchpoints along the way will help you establish trust, solidify thought leadership and yes, eventually also make the sell. Research shows that 5 is the magic number when it comes to touch points — it gives you the chance to introduce yourself, set expectations, drop some knowledge bombs, share a useful tool and close the deal!

DON’T Be a One-Trick Marketer

A successful nurturing program hinges on content. That means that sending variations of the same email five times isn’t nurturing, it’s spamming. Before hitting send, think through a logical sequence and then create relevant, varied content that will move your prospect along a defined path. For example, think of a “welcome series” for a new prospect, or theme a nurturing campaign around an idea such as: “we know you have a problem, we have the solution!” for an existing client. Vary the types and topics of the content you send, and always aim to provide value with what goes out.

DON’T Forget to Align

Since your end goal is to gain a long-term customer, your sales and marketing teams should be working together to develop a nurturing plan. Preparedness is the secret sauce of nurturing; sales can help marketing understand what kind of content would be appropriate, while marketing can give sales the background and analytics for a killer call. With marketing/sales alignment, your nurturing will be much stronger.

DON’T Jump the Gun

How do you know when your lead is ready for a call? To win at nurturing, having a built-in qualifier that will let you know goes a long way. If you’re not using lead scoring, consider this your chance to take nurturing to the next level. Calling too early or too late will result in a missed opportunity, but with a lead scoring system you get an automatic heads-up that signals that your nurture mission is complete at the perfect moment!

When a lead is nurtured, their chance of converting increases by 20%; nurturing is a powerful yet under-utilized tool. What’s more, nurturing isn’t only for leads! One-time clients can be kept in the loop for new products, frequent buyers can get some well-deserved love, and former clients can be brought back into the fold. Once you get this nurturing thing down, there is no limit to how you can engage your audience!

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