Business, by nature, is competitive. Consumers have many options for meeting their needs and your job as a business owner is to convince as many of them as possible that your company is the best possible choice. You know your product is great and your customer service is stellar, but how do you convince potential customers? The answer lies in demonstrating that you understand them and their needs. This is a process known as lead nurturing.
What is Lead Nurturing?
In simplest terms, lead nurturing is strategically encouraging your target audience by providing them with helpful information in a supportive, encouraging manner. Much as a state-of-the-art medical facility leverages a robust healthcare document management system to provide patients with excellent care, your company can harness the power of a well-designed lead nurturing plan to connect customers with the products you provide. Read on for the main elements of lead nurturing and tips for adapting them to your advantage.
Who is Your Customer?
Before you can nurture any leads, you need to truly understand who the ideal prospect is. If you're an existing company with a history of sales, you can garner this information by surveying your own customers. Why did they purchase your product? Has it made a positive in their lives? Get as many details as possible, since this information will help you connect with future customers at a deeper level.
What if you're just getting started and haven't had any sales yet? You'll need to do some creative research to find out who you need to appeal to. One method is to investigate your competition through Facebook. Enter your competitor's Facebook page into the audience insight feature and a host of anonymous information about their customers will pop up. You can also search for online discussion boards related to your industry to find out what's on the minds of your potential customers.
How Do You Make the First Contact?
Before you can nurture any leads, you need to attract them. That's where the lead magnet comes in. One of the most essential components of your nurturing campaign, the lead magnet encourages potential customers to provide you with their email addresses or other contact information. The most common way to do this is by offering downloadable content that is of interest to your audience, such as a free video or Ebook. The list of emails generated from your lead magnet then becomes the basis of your lead nurturing campaign.
What is Your Lead Nurturing Strategy?
Once a prospect has shown interest by clicking onto your lead magnet, it's time to activate your full plan. At the heart of your strategy should be the lead nurturing email campaign. Keep in mind that the goal is not to send out a series of random emails but rather to demonstrate to your customer that your product is the perfect fit for them through carefully targeted and individualized communications. Developing this campaign takes a lot of focused attention but this level of detail will pay off in the long run by attracting and maintaining your ideal customer. Seek out advice from experts who can guide you in creating an outstanding email campaign.
What Do You Do Next?
Simply collecting email addresses and sending out the occasional communication, no matter how carefully researched and well crafted, will not result in sales. Converting general interest into actual sales requires action on your part. You'll need to follow up by responding quickly to all inquiries with helpful replies and then connect those prospects with an effective sales pitch. Your pitch can be delivered in a variety of ways, from a personal phone call to a webinar to a highly-produced video. How you deliver it will depend on your product and your personal style, but your sales pitch is where all your lead nurturing activities come together and hopefully pay off.
As you continue to grow your business and your customer base, keep in mind that each lead is an individual with the potential to become a loyal consumer of and ambassador for your products. Continually testing and improving your lead nurturing plan helps you build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.