What Is Lead Nurturing and How to Excel at It

Posted on February 15, 2021 | Updated on February 11, 2021

What is lead nurturing and why does it matter to your company’s success? Building relationships with people most likely to buy your product or service ensures they feel a sense of loyalty to your brand. You’ll also gain the advantage of understanding their needs and wants and will be better equipped to solve problems. 

In HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing report, they surveyed 3,400 marketers from various countries. They discovered 61% of marketing professionals rank lead generation as their number one priority. But, what do you do with those leads once you’ve uncovered them can mean the difference in success and failure. 

What is lead nurturing and how does it differ from lead generation? When you find a lead, you simply drive qualified traffic to your website or business. When you cultivate a new customer, you get to know them on a personal level and come up with personalized ways to solve their pain points. 

Now that you understand the basic premise of what is lead nurturing, here are several ways to stand out from your competitors as you schmooze your way into your future customers’ hearts.

1. Start with Education

The first step of any type of lead nurturing must be educating the consumer about your business and what you do. They need to see what you offer, so they and you can decide if you’re a great fit. What the process looks like is a bit different for each business, depending upon the industry you’re in.

Create content personalized to the needs of your clients. Share case studies, testimonials and customer videos showing what you’ve done for similar leads. At the core of what is lead nurturing is a deeper understanding of one another. 

2. Fix Your Sales Funnel

Does your sales funnel take too much time? People are busy these days. They might work a full-time job or run a company, take the kids to soccer practice, help their parents with some tasks and barely have time for dinner. The faster you get them from Point A to Point B, the better.

Even the speed of your website has an impact on the lead’s willingness to hang around. According to Google, speed means almost everything. When a page’s load time increases from one second to three seconds, the bounce rate increases 32%. An increase to five seconds, which is pretty fast by most standards, raised the bounce rate 90%. 

Think about the bones of your site and how fast pages load, but also look at the funnel itself and if there are any unnecessary steps in the process. Aim for a fast conversion process that takes a lead and educates them on your offer in mere minutes. 

3. Follow Up With Leads

When thinking about what is lead nurturing, the word follow-up comes to mind. There are many ways to get in touch with someone after they express an initial interest in your brand. Email marketing is perhaps the most effective. It removes the difficulty of speaking on the phone, but also gives you a chance to show how you personalize solutions to the person.

Once you’ve developed rapport via email, you can move to in-person or Zoom meetings to further solidify your case.

4. Know Your Target Audience

While personalizing your efforts to individuals is important, you must know your target audience before you even begin lead nurturing. Create buyer personas based on your ideal customer, and gather as much information as possible on them.

Is your average customer a certain age? Perhaps they are all homeowners in the case of a heating and cooling company. Think about what they each have in common and you’ll be better able to serve your leads as a whole. 

5. Use Multi-Channel Techniques

At the heart of what is lead nurturing is the ability to reach potential clients on multiple levels. You must employ multi-channel lead nurturing if you want to stay at the forefront of the buyer’s mind. 

Their first interaction with your brand may be at a conference, via your website or on social media. Create a buyer funnel for each point of contact. If you met them at a conference, follow up with a quick email. If they landed on your website and then liked your social media page, welcome them to your page. Look for various ways to get your name in front of them and build brand recognition. 

6. Keep Reaching Out

An in-depth look at the power of follow-up reveals about 63% of those requesting information about your company won’t buy for the next three months and some will take a full year to make a purchase decision. If you only reach out a couple of times and then give up, you’re missing out on a number of potential customers.

Instead, come up with a strategy that isn’t pushy but reminds the user you’re still there and happy to answer any questions they might have. When they do need your services, your brand will be the first one that comes to mind. 

Tactics might include weekly emails with relevant content, a birthday greeting and a tag on social media with information you think they’d appreciate. 

Put Relationship Over Sale

In order to fully nurture leads, they must feel you care about them as individuals. If your entire goal is to make money, it will show. Instead, get to know people on a personal level. Ask about their family, their pets and their interests. 

Keep careful notes, so you can follow up by sending a congratulations when their daughter graduates high school or a sympathy card when their beloved family dog crosses the rainbow bridge. In order to gain the trust and loyalty of people, you must treat them as humans above all else. Emotions are a powerful force. Be sincere, but invest your time and energy into developing meaningful relationships.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks in the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.

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