If you’ve ever taken dance lessons, you learn sequences of steps, the importance of timing, and precise ways of moving. If you’re in sales or marketing, these skills might remind you of another delicate dance that takes places between companies and prospects: lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with prospects on their timeline so that when they are ready to buy, they’ll think of you. No matter how you nurture leads--through software, a spreadsheet, or if you’re just getting started--these do’s and don’ts will show you how to put nuance into each step of this tango so that your lead sashays their way down your sales funnel and turns into a customer.
Do Deliver Value
If you send overly promotional sales material to your lead all it says is, “I’m great, and you should think so too.” It leaves no impression on your prospects and will quickly find its way into their trash folder and out of their thoughts. We’ve all heard the tenets of inbound marketing, and at the risk of being repetitive, it works. Sending content that instead communicates, “I’m focused on your needs and can be trusted to help you” through demonstrating your expertise and empathy will strengthen your presence with a prospect.
The other side of this coin is that you can’t act like you’re desperate for the sale. In other works, gently lead them through the rhythm of the cha-cha, don’t pull them through the moves and get ahead of the beat. Counter this urge to rush with having a plan in place for how often you will contact and with what content segmented by audience.
This ties into the point above. Lead nurturing is a give and take process because while you’re leading, you still sometimes have to take cues from your partner. Segment your messages based on buyer persona or how they interact and you’ll give your leads the personalized attention that they crave.
Don’t Message Mindlessly
Lead nurturing is simply not a one-size-fits all process. Blasting the same email at the same time to all your entire list will not have nearly the same results as customizing the flow. Doing so will show the lead that you’re not in tune with where they are and what they need and could encourage them to tune out.
Do Keep Testing
Testing how email messages are performing once is good, but continuously testing different variables and refining them is even better. You’ll see better results in exchange for your hard work in this area.
Don’t Wait for a Prospect to Reach Out
Be proactive is a mantra that applies to lead nurturing as much as it applies to any other area of marketing (or life, for that matter.) While balancing your approach is important, always commit to taking the next step--especially because many leads wait so long to make contact with a company.So whether you’re a seasoned lead nurturer with the moves down pat or a novice just learning the basic sequence, adding some finer points to your process will help more of the right leads fall through your funnel faster and convert them into sales.