Effective lead nurturing today depends on making sure your message gets absorbed by buyers as they are considering their options. And that means you need to develop a direct relationship with each individual. You can do that through making sure you are focusing on engagement with each of your nurture touches. Where batch-and-blast campaigns feel like shouting, engaging nurture campaigns can feel more like a natural conversation. That’s because nurturing should attempt to genuinely connect prospects and customers with a company by “engaging” them in a dialogue, with the goal of eliciting a positive emotional connection. The more frequently and consistently you can connect with a prospective buyer on an emotional level, the stronger and more deeply that person becomes involved with your brand. To find out more information about engaging leads and customers be sure to download our new ebook, How to Choose the Right Solution to Nurture Leads and Customers.
Effective lead nurturing incorporates 4 key elements:
Relevance should always be of primary concern to a marketer. If communications or content are not relevant, they will be ignored. Plus, it can be detrimental to your lead nurturing efforts if you send the wrong information at the wrong time to a prospect. For instance, if you send a price sheet to a prospect that isn’t even close to making a buying decision, you might cut short any future interactions. In other words, you would create distance between the buyer and your company and lose the opportunity to convince that person of the value you deliver. You need to listen and understand what is relevant to your buyers when determining what content and messaging to send out.
2. Communication must be two-way
No one likes to be yelled at (which is often what it feels like when marketers send out batch-and-blast messages). In order to engage a prospect or customer in dialogue, the communication must be two-way. In other words, people will be more open to hearing what you have to say if they know you are also listening – that’s the true meaning of a conversation. And to enable this, you need technology that can do more than just blast out messages. Specifically, you need to use a platform that can “listen” to what prospects are saying or doing so you can respond accordingly and engage them through dialogue.
However, listening is easier said than done. Many marketers are engaging in silo channels based on what’s easiest due to the technology available to them. For example, email is a no-brainer for most marketers and a primary form of communication. But it gets more difficult when it comes to integrating email communications with direct mail, teleprospecting, social, and other channels. Yet, you need a holistic cross-channel view of how buyers are reacting to your campaigns and messages. It’s the only way to create a meaningful, two-way conversation in your lead nurturing efforts.
3. Go beyond email
Today’s buyers spend time in a variety of places, whether your website, on their preferred social network, or even at an in-person event. And it’s important to be able to engage them in any or all of these channels. If you don’t, your competitors probably will.
Regardless of which channel you’re engaging through, the key is to be social with all of your interactions. And remember, social is really about interacting, whether you’re engaged in a dialogue or activity with someone. In fact, social elements are interactive in nature. Consider a poll. You can ask a question that is relevant to a prospect and by listening to the answer, you gain more insight into that prospect’s interests and needs. At the same time, social interaction enables you to share content with prospective buyers, while allowing them to share that with their colleagues and peers. Social interactions inherently make it possible to expand the reach of a conversation. Make sure you are including social queues in all of your lead nurturing campaigns.
4. Continue the conversation
The conversation shouldn’t end once a prospect becomes a customer. Rather, it’s just the start of a long-term relationship.
Regardless of what the customer lifecycle looks like for your company, the conversation with your customers needs to continue and change over time as relates to your objectives and goals, and those of your customers. For example, a brand-new customer will be focused on product adoption while a customer of five years will want to understand how to take advantage of additional products and features.
As the conversation continues, your organization can tap into numerous opportunities to generate more revenue through upsells and cross-sells, as well as to build loyalty that encourages referrals. But to achieve those goals, you need to deliver content through lead nurturing and spark discussions in line with the customer’s focus.
Download our new ebook How to Choose the Right Solution to Nurture Leads and Customers to learn more about how to engage customers and prospects in a relevant two-way dialogue.