HubSpot describes lead nurturing as “a way to stay connected to the leads you collect that aren't ready to buy from you yet and build up trust until they are ready.” There is a fine line between nurturing a lead and agitating them with an overwhelming amount of messaging. Once a prospect has found their way into your pipeline, you want to do your best to build a relationship with them until they are ready to buy. This can be done by using several different tactics. Paying attention to your prospect’s online activity and responses to your messaging will help you to understand how and when to contact them. Here we go over four of the most effective ways to nurture prospects and current clients.
“The odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.” - HubSpot
Often times organizations lack the bandwidth to respond immediately to leads generated through online efforts. This lapse in time can cause potential customers to look elsewhere to address their pain points. Having automated workflows that immediately follow up on content downloads and contact us requests can help bridge the gap until a live call can be made.
“Studies show the best time of the week for phone calls are Wednesdays and Thursdays, but immediacy trumps this. So, if you have a hot lead, you should still pick up the phone and call them right away.” - SEMrush
For those visitors that have indicated the need for an immediate solution the best way to follow up with them is to pick up the phone. Many times, emails and social media messages can get lost in the shuffle. A phone call gives you the opportunity to address any questions a prospect may have and determine if your solution is a fit for them. A live conversation is still the best way to develop a relationship and establish trust with a potential client, especially one who is ready to make a purchase.
Personalized Direct Mail
“Using mailshots helps you to stand out from the competition, as the email and social media advertising space has become extremely crowded. You can be inventive with direct mail in ways that isn’t so easy with these other mediums to help generate more leads.” – baker goodchild
What was once an overused tactic by organizations has since become a way to target high-level contacts at your most important target companies. Rather than using mass mailers as in the past, creating unique mail pieces that stand out and offer value addressed to key decision makers is now a way to separate yourself from the competition and get noticed. Physical mail has a much longer shelf life than email and a highly personalized mail piece will show them you’re serious about gaining their business.
Exclusive Offers And Invites
Companies that understand the psychology behind special offers create a favorable brand image, deliver happiness to new and returning customers, and boost long-term profitability and sales. – Huffington Post
Special offers such as product trials and free pilot programs can get prospects in the door and also help you to upsell current clients. These offers should be tailored to the specific prospect or client and offer true value. The aim should be to get someone to eventually purchase more of your product or to sign on as a permanent client after a trial period expires. Follow up emails and calls should be placed during the trial period to gauge their interest and address any concerns they may have.
Simply going after the “low hanging fruit” and only opening up communication with those that are ready to make a purchase will leave you with an empty sales pipeline. Lead nurturing helps to keep your company at the top of the mind of your prospects and build a relationship that can result in long-term business and loyal customers.