What is lead nurturing?
We’ve all heard a million times that people have to know, like and trust before they will buy. Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with your leads and prospects, over time, until they are ready to invest in your products and services. At the time I discovered my email open rates were declining, I was sending out an e-newsletter. It was not targeted at all and went to everyone on my list. Basically, it was an email blast.
Email blasts aren’t as effective as lead nurturing campaigns.
Email blasts tend to be very general in order to appeal to a larger audience. When a person subscribes to your list, typically, it is in exchange for something they deem valuable: an ebook, tele-class, tutorial, etc. They have explicitly expressed interest in the topic of that content. So, if they download your e-guide on improving the effectiveness of your Facebook campaigns, do you think they care to start receiving information about twitter? Maybe. But, probably not. It is better to create lead nurturing campaigns in which you send targeted information to smaller groups of subscribers. HubSpot has a great post on why lead nurturing is better than sending email blasts.
Tip #1 – Follow up with new subscribers in a timely manner.
Within a few days of receiving a new list subscriber, follow up with them to start building a relationship. You just might get a sale because this lead is hot! It’s happened to me on many occasions. I’ll reach out to someone to get their feedback on the event they attended or content they accessed and they’ll say something like “I’ve been meaning to contact you…” And, the rest is history.
Tip #2 – Segment your list into groups, by interests.
If you’re going to put all of your subscribers into one huge list, also be sure to segment them into groups. Remember niche marketing? Apply this to your emails as well. And, I guarantee you will get better email response rates. Another reason I like this approach is because it allows me to see which groups are more responsive and tweak my campaigns accordingly.
Tip #3 – Send short, targeted emails to subscriber groups.
Ensure that you are sending your subscribers information they want to receive. We all get way too many emails that are not relevant or interesting to us. And, what do we do? That’s right. DELETE. And, you don’t have to be long-winded to be effective. I prefer to send out short bursts more frequently as opposed to long, drawn out emails less frequently.
Tip #4 – Use autoresponders to automate your lead nurturing process.
As your list starts to grow, it’s going to be pretty difficult to manually follow up and execute your lead nurturing campaigns. And, you just don’t have to. Spend your time wisely by using an email marketing provider or crm (customer relationship management) system that allows you to automatically distribute pre-written emails. I use Zoho CRM. I pay approximately $30/mo which is a steal for all of the features provided.
Tip #5 – Use trigger marketing techniques to re-engage your subscribers.
No matter what you do in the beginning, some people on your list are going to ignore you. So, just accept it. Continue to share and produce great content. After months of not opening any of your emails or responding to anything you put out, they may sign up for something: a workshop, tele-class, etc. Be ready! With Zoho CRM, I am able to attach different lead nurturing campaigns to different lists. If someone signs up for a webinar via a form on my landing page, they automatically start receiving the emails from that lead generation campaign associated with the webinar.
Put the thrill back into your email marketing campaigns.
If your list subscribers have lost interest in what you’re sending out, try some of the tips above to re-engage. Your audience has to want to hear from and connect with you. If this is not the case, it will be nearly impossible to successfully market and sell your products and services via this mechanism.
So, go on now and convert those list subscribers into buyers!
About the Author
Laid off, broke and a baby on the way. Sounds like a catchy title for a book. It's the story of a software developer, named Lavada Thompson, who now defines her own success by partnering with women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses online. As Owner of Gems Shine Consulting, Lavada's products and services include landing pages, web analytics training and consulting, search engine optimization and custom web development. She also authors the My Success Depends on IT blog which regularly provides actionable tips for increasing online leads and sales.