1. Establish Contact Immediately - Establishing contact quickly is key to actually connecting with your leads. An InsideSales.com study found that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first to an inquiry, and a HubSpot study found that response rates decline as the age of a lead increases.
2. Build Thought Leadership - People do business with businesses they know and trust. The first time someone converts on your website, the likelihood that they really know who you are or understand why they should do business with you is pretty slim. Lead nurturing is an opportunity to show that you are an expert in your field.
3. Maintain Consistent Communication - 66% of buyers indicate that "consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations" is a key influence in choosing a solution provider, according to a Genius.com study . Get off on the right foot and don't let leads slip through the cracks with an automated lead nurturing campaign.
4. Identify Interest or Pain - Lead nurturing emails are a great way to learn more about your leads - what challenges are they facing? What features or products are they interested in? By presenting different questions or types of content and seeing who responds to what, you can qualify your leads and set yourself up for warmer sales conversations.
5. Find Segmentation Opportunities - Similarly, you can learn more about your leads via this email nurturing and segment your emails going forward on what you learn to have more effective communications going forward. MarketingSherpa found that segmented emails get 50% more clicks, so any opportunity you have to segment your leads, you should take.
6. Maintain or Increase Engagement - Automated lead nurturing is a great way to maintain engagement when a lead has already made the move to interact with you. And, if that lead has stopped visiting your site or reviewing your offerings, lead nurturing is a great way to remind them about your business.
7. Automate Nurturing Through the Sales Cycle - Market2Lead found that nurtured leads have a 23% shorter sales cycle. Lead nurturing is a way for the marketing team to help with the sales process and nurture more leads through the sales funnel.
8. Find Cross-Sell and Up-Sell Opportunities - In the case of past customers, lead nurturing offers a way to broaden that customer's awareness of what you offer. The same Market2Lead study found that nurtured leads have a 9% higher average deal size, showing that there is an opportunity to not only increase the number of sales but the size of sales using lead nurturing.
9. Encourage Referrals and New Lead Generation - Even though you're emailing lists of existing leads, lead nurturing has the potential to attract new website visitors and generate new leads. Especially if you're doing a good job of sharing valuable content, your leads are likely to forward your email along to coworkers or friends, expanding your reach and attracting new people into your business.
If you're not doing lead nurturing, what's stopping you?
Originally published Feb 22, 2011 12:05:00 PM, updated August 29 2017