If you own a business, then it is important for you to know everything that you can about lead generation and lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is important to inbound marketing because it gives you an opportunity to provide value to your leads as well as your customers so that you can help them grow with your business. As an inbound professional, you may be wondering about how to connect with your prospects and later turn them into clients in the most helpful way. Lead nurturing is the answer.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects with the end goal of earning their business when those prospects are ready. In practice, lead nurturing is a marketing effort focused on engaging with your leads plus customers in a way that encourages them to progress towards a specific action.
Lead nurturing is the timely, targeted and efficient approach to connecting with your contacts. And, by taking this type of approach, you can deliver helpful content with the right context.
And so the big question you need to be asking is, what makes lead nurturing important to your success at inbound marketing? It is important for you to know where your lead nurturing efforts fit into the inbound marketing methodology. How are you going to use lead nurturing to achieve your goals?
The 4 stages of inbound methodology
When you look at the four stages of inbound methodology (attract, convert, close and delight), lead nurturing lives primarily in the “close phase.” Successful lead nurturing helps you to focus on providing value to your leads by offering them the information they need at the right time.
Each lead you have in your database should be nurtured according to their interests and lifecycle stages. The pages they have visited and the content that they have consumed all indicate shifting interests.
The hallmark of good lead nurturing
Good lead nurturing adapts the messaging to stay relevant and helps you win new customers, faster.
Good nurturing also helps you to keep up the conversation with your contacts, and this helps you to continue to connect after they become customers, and could be looking for more information from you and your company.
You provide this value to your customers and they give you value in return, thereby helping you to grow your business. This is where you will see success with lead nurturing. It is the best of both worlds; growth for your leads and growth for you!
So, what exactly is lead nurturing?
It is the timely, efficient and targeted approach to connecting with your contacts. Let us look a little more closely at each of those listed aspects so that we can understand how to connect with your contacts.
The elements of lead nurturing
One of the major problems that inbound professionals face is finding the best time to connect with their leads when those leads are most interested. And one problem that all your leads face is being contacted at the wrong time.
This is where lead nurturing comes in. Lead nurturing is delivered through marketing automation. When we talk about marketing automation, we mean the software you have at your disposal for the purpose of automating your marketing actions.
Many marketing professionals have to automate repetitive tasks, such as emails, social media and other such website actions. Or, they want to build systems of automated workflows which help them to streamline and manage their campaigns.
Marketing automation technology makes these tasks easier and it helps you to deliver your content to all your leads at the right time.
With marketing automation, you can develop nurturing campaigns which can deliver the right content based off the actions that your leads take with your company.
Using your marketing automation software, you can trigger events to happen after your contacts have taken certain actions, such as downloading a piece of content, opening a specific page on your website, or requesting specific information from you.
For example, if one of your contacts downloads a piece of content on “The Best Ways to Create Subject Lines for Email Newsletters,” you will then be in position to send that contact some follow up content which builds on the specific subject the contact is interested in. This could be one of your blog posts providing more information about how one can write effective email copy.
By doing so, you will be continuing a conversation with that particular contact by availing more content which is contextually linked to what the contact has interest in learning about.
With marketing automation software in your inbound toolbox, you have the power to take full advantage of the benefits of timeliness, while also helping your leads to get the answers that they seek a lot faster.
Marketing automation software doesn’t simply allow you to be timely, but it also helps you to be timely in general. This sets the stage for the second aspect of lead nurturing, efficiency.
Research shows that the likelihood of an inbound lead becoming qualified are 21 times greater if those leads are contacted within five minutes as opposed to being contacted half an hour after their initial contact with your company.
This kind of speed is only possible if you automate tasks and reduce the time that a salesperson spends on qualifying or warming up each lead. It is all about efficiency.
The content and interactions which your lead will experience via your lead nurturing campaign will certainly do the heavy lifting so that you and your team(s) are left to focus on the creation of useful content, connecting with your leads through sales a lot faster, and also reviewing data so that you can continue optimizing all your efforts; in other words being helpful, human and holistic.
Your marketing automation doesn’t do marketing and lead generation on your behalf. However, it can help you to scale your efforts while increasing the value you provide to your contacts in a more efficient way.
Timeliness and efficiency together bring you to the third component of lead nurturing, targeting your leads in the right way.
Targeting your leads
By using lead nurturing, you can tie a series of emails to a conversion activity or specific event. In other words, you can craft all your emails based on the action that each of your leads or customers take.
Doing things this way shows your customers and leads that you know what their interests are, and they will be glad that you are taking steps to give them the next information they may need.
As you connect with your contacts, you want to be as human as is possible. Being human is what will build trust, and trust is what will enable you to become successful as a business.
Your lead nurturing campaigns provide contextualized messages to all your contacts, which is instrumental to building the trust upon which your business growth depends. It is about being targeted, and more engaging, to your leads or even customers.
Those are the three most important aspects of lead nurturing and why this is crucial to your success with inbound marketing. It is a timely, efficient and targeted approach to connecting to your contacts. Inbound professionals use lead nurturing to help their contacts grow with their business.
You can nurture your leads by engaging with them on an ongoing basis, and then gradually guiding those leads through the buyer’s journey using both helpful content and context.
To Your Success,