Not all of the leads you receive will be ready to buy right away. Some will take a few weeks, a few months or even longer before they will be serious about making a purchase. That’s why you need a lead nurturing program. A lead nurturing program will keep your name in front of these leads and, over time, will help to build trust and credibility with your prospects.
Short-term vs. long-term
Your nurturing program will have both a short-term and long-term component. When leads start coming in, it’s important to start lead nurturing right away. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. When prospects respond, you are on their radar at least for a short period of time. Don’t miss this opportunity. Several months later, you’ll still have many leads that haven’t converted – but you still want to stay in touch.
Sales is all about timing, and even an occasional email or postcard could result in some surprising sales down the road. Mostly email, but email is the clear choice as the most effective way to develop a lead nurturing program. It’s targeted, fast and cheap. And so much of it can be put on autopilot. Email is very seductive in this way. But don’t overlook the mail.
A follow-up mailing could have a dramatic impact if only because no one else is doing it. Keep in mind too that some prospects don’t use or check their email as often. With direct mail, you have many choices in format – a sales letter, a self-mailer, a postcard or a printed newsletter. As with email, it’s best to look at your direct mail not as a single mailing, but as a series of contacts spread out over time.
And don’t forget the phone. Your sales team should understand that not every call to a prospect has to be a sales pitch. You can use the phone to build your relationships with prospects by providing helpful information and continued engagement. Look for content to engage. Lead nurturing is most successful when you can engage your prospects with additional levels of response and interactivity. And this is accomplished through content. You’ll not only be solidifying your relationship with your new prospects, you’ll also be able to see – thanks to email tracking – which prospects are most engaged in your content.
You can use your emails to invite your new prospects to
- join a webinar
- watch a video
- view a slideshow presentation
- watch or read a tutorial
- read some frequently asked questions
- respond to a survey or a poll
- participate in research
- download a case history or customer story
- download additional white papers
Of course, if creating this type of content is just not practical for you from a time or money standpoint, consider a simpler lead nurturing program – one that combines simple email messages with follow-up postcards. This approach won’t engage your prospects as much, but it will keep your name in front of them. And that’s important too.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community