No shock, but not every demand gen lead is qualified, informed and ready to buy. In fact, in most cases, they’re not. Luckily, if you nurture leads, you’ll grow engagement and get them ready for sales. Here are some tips:
- The first segment that needs nurturing? Brand new leads, particularly if they responded for educational content offer or attended an event. The reason they gave you their contact information is so they could learn something, so don’t expect them to book a meeting or buy something right off. Continue to educate them and build a relationship to get them to that point.
- Next? Prospects who need to be won back. Maybe they started to engage with your sales team and chose not to buy. Or they took the first call and then just went cold. Rather than just leaving them in an endlessly spinning cycle of “checking in,”, nurturing programs get them re-engaged.
- For nurture, relevance is key. Plan nurture segments by engagement, industry, size of company, product fit or anything that gives you something to say that is meaningful to them. A generic newsletter to the entire database is not nurturing.
- If you need ideas on what to say, map out the buyer’s journey. Document what obstacles your prospect is encountering and what information is important to solve those problems. And then create a content strategy from the day you identify a lead to the day they buy. This also helps you set how long buying cycle is to make sure your nurture streams have enough touches. If people buy quickly, a few emails will do it. If you have a 6 month decision cycle, you’ll need a lot of content.
- Don’t stress over content format. Not everything has to be brand new or fancy. Consider blogs, cheat sheets and infographics. As long as it’s well executed, relevant and gets response, you’re fine. Plus, the truth is, your audience is busy and if every offer is a 45 minute webinar or an hour long read, they won’t respond just because they don’t have the time.
- Now create a nurture map that documents how folks come into nurture, move down the pipe and when they go to sales. Typically, there are 3 or so nurture stages – “Education” (where prospects don’t know much about the problem your company solves and want to learn), “Investigate” (where they want to know why they should consider your solution) and “Selection” (where they’re ready to buy). To move prospects from one stage to the next, either move them based on engagement or use lead scoring. If you want folks to move faster towards a sale, add in accelerator emails. These are a second send to the same prospect with a related richer offer or the chance to meet with a rep. If they engage, it adds up points to more quickly get to a sales ready lead.
- Since the whole point of nurture is to build on a relationship, every single touch must have the “What’s in it for me”. Does your email copy give a reason for the recipient to care and have you been crystal clear about what you want them to do? (Quick check – count how many times you say “I” and if it’s a lot, you need to rethink. And never, ever use the words “checking in”.)
Want a template for a great nurture plan? Reach out and I’ll send you one!