Lead Nurturing, like Dating, Requires Time and Trust
Relationships take time and trust to fully develop, and lead nurturing is no different.
Before I got married in 2009, I spent most of my twenties in the dating pool. I would meet someone. We would exchange phone numbers. And through a series of texts and calls, we would eventually meet for dinner. One dinner would lead to another and possibly another.
Lead nurturing isn’t all that different. When you first meet your lead, chances are they won’t be ready to purchase right away. In fact, 63% of consumers requesting info on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months. But if you spend time establishing a relationship and building trust, the moment your lead is ready to purchase, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
As more and more buyers are engaging with brands before they are ready to purchase, an essential function of any marketing department is lead nurturing. That is, moving leads through the sales funnel by leveraging what you know about their needs and online behavior. Marketing software company Marketo describes lead nurturing as being “personalized, adaptive, and able to listen and react to buyer behavior in real time.”
Lead nurturing, like dating, takes time to establish a relationship and move toward the ultimate goal of converting from lead to customer. Here are five tips to help nurture these relationships.
5 lead nurturing tips
1. Make a good first impression
You would never go on a date without looking and feeling your best. The same should be true for your website, your company’s online home. As part of your preparation for a lead nurturing campaign, review your website and make any necessary modifications so that it presents the best digital representation of your business. Beyond increasing conversions, having an attractive, modern website that’s free of broken links and out-of-date contact information establishes your company as a trusted resource for information.
2. Make a plan ahead of time
Where are you going to dinner? Are you making a reservation? What are you doing after dinner? Preparing for a date requires some thought and planning, especially when considering your date’s preferences. Content selection requires the same forethought. The decision about what content you’ll offer your leads will be guided by the preferences and needs of your prospects. Create content that is relevant to your leads, and make sure to identify appropriate channels of distribution in order to extract maximum value from your content.
3. It takes time
Dating tends to happen in stages that occur over weeks and months. Similarly, the lead nurturing process is intended to push content to leads in a linear fashion, with the ultimate goal being that they’ll emerge as customers. Once you’ve moved past the first date, so to speak, you’ll want to decide how to continue romancing your leads. To do that, align content with where your leads happen to be in the buyer’s journey. Leads will enter and exit your lead nurturing campaign at different points, and that’s okay. Just be certain that your content is relevant to leads in their specific stage. Regardless, each nurturing touch should be focused and specific and include a call-to-action to promote advancement in the buyer’s journey.
4. Communication is key
As with any relationship, the foundation of lead nurturing is communication. Being able to hold meaningful conversations builds a genuine interest and helps improve any relationship. In other words, don’t view the lead nurturing process as a way to blast your prospects with promotional information or marketing materials; treat it as a dialogue. The best lead nurturing campaigns are designed to help you learn as much about your leads as you would have them learn about your company.
5. Show your interest and appreciation
We all want to feel appreciated, and the same is true for your customers and leads. Whether it’s by showing gratitude to current customers for their continued support or showing appreciation to leads for their download, saying thank you goes a long way in building connections and professional relationships.
In our personal and professional lives, we want relationships built on trust over time. A successful lead nurturing campaign is constructed on these same principals. When you plan ahead, don’t rush the process and create opportunities for meaningful communication, the possibilities are endless.
Want to learn more about lead nurturing? Check out these 30 tricks and tips that will change the way you nurture leads.
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