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Amy Post
by Amy Post
on June 16, 2016

Lead nurturing is becoming quite a hot topic in the world of online marketing right now. And rightfully so, because according to a recent study of businesses who implemented it, 45% reported an increase in lead generation. Now that I’ve got your attention, you probably want to know what exactly it is and how can you use it to grow your business, too? 

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is a marketing term for building relationships with potential clients over time even if they are not currently looking to buy a product or service. It is intended to educate potential customers, thus making it more likely that the client will be ready to purchase a product or service.

The truth is, 50% of your leads today aren’t ready to buy yet. And if you aren’t educating those leads, they may never be ready. Lead nurturing is all about understanding your customers’ needs and educating them, so they are ready to buy at some point in the future.

How Does it Work?

To begin, it doesn’t happen overnight - it’s a gradual process of educating and engaging potential customers over time. They receive informational content about your products and services in a non-aggressive, low-pressure way, with the intention that if and when they need your service, your business will be the first one they think of. They will think of you because they are already informed and aware of what you can do to solve their problem.

How Can we Start a Lead Nurturing Process?

Again, lead nurturing takes time, so you first have to accept the fact that you must put in a lot of work at first, then wait for results. Although there’s no definitive time for lead nurturing results, it often can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months before you begin experiencing any traction.

To get your lead nurturing process started, here are a few important steps:
  1. Segment Your Market: Break up your customers by location, age, gender, interests, purchasing habits, occupation, or anything else that uniquely identifies them. When you segment by this type of information, it allows you to provide specific content the potential customer cares about. If you are sending the wrong kind of information to a particular set of clients, you are far more likely to end up with an unsubscriber or thrown into a spam folder. Segmentation is an easy way to help you understand and meet the needs of your customers better.
  2. Create Great Content: To get started with content for lead nurturing, you have to focus on creating information targeted to your specific buyer personas. Understanding their interests, goals, and marketing triggers will allow you to educate them gradually with the information they care about most . With a platform like HubSpot, you have the power to segment and target your personas based on their activity so you can further nurture them towards your products and services, and more importantly, a sale.
  3. Think Beyond Email: Using multiple channels is the most efficient way to implement lead nurturing. From email workflow automation to social media, blogging, and paid advertising, lead nurturing requires a holistic approach with multiple touches. Because of this holistic approach, the sales and marketing teams need to be working together effectively to ensure success.
  4. Use Lead Scoring: Lead scoring ranks all of your prospects on a scale to determine the value of each prospect, or how ready they are to talk with a sales representative. Platforms like HubSpot will do this for you by assigning a number value to different activities your prospects are taking - like reading emails, clicking on links and downloading information. The more activities they take, the higher the lead score they receive.

Lastly, you want to be sure to treat your lead nurturing process like any other sales efforts: follow up with people promptly and ensure each prospect feels like the information is personalized to their needs. Because most of the lead nurturing is automated through your marketing software, you want to be sure your clients still feel like the information is a direct connection that’s providing value over the duration of the lead nurturing process.

 

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