Understanding Lead Nurturing

Topics: Lead Generation, Growing Your Practice, Inbound Marketing

by John Gulino

Definition:

(1) A timely, efficient, and targeted approach to connecting with your contacts. And by taking this kind of approach, you can deliver helpful content with the right context.

(2) In practice, lead nurturing is a marketing effort focused on engaging with your prospects and clients in a way that encourages them to progress toward a specific action.


When we look at the stages of inbound marketing — attract, convert and close — lead nurturing lives primarily in the closing stage. Successful lead nurturing helps you focus on providing value to your leads by offering them information they need at the right time, often as they near their final decision-making.

Each prospect you have in your database should be nurtured according to their interests and lifecycle stages. Pages they’ve visited and content they’ve consumed all indicate evolving interests.

Good lead nurturing adapts messaging to stay relevant and helps you win new clients, faster. It also helps you keep the conversation going with your prospects.

If you provide this value to your prospect, they will give you value in return, by helping you grow your business. The success of lead nurturing is growth for your prospects and now that you understand that lead nurturing is about the timely, efficient, and targeted approach of connecting with your prospects, let’s look into each of these three aspects individually.

1. Timeliness

Inbound marketing professionals face the challenge of finding the right time to connect with prospects - when they’re the most interested and looking for information. They also are being contacted at the wrong time. This is when lead nurturing comes into play.

Lead nurturing is delivered through marketing automation software, which programs repetitive marketing tasks to happen at certain times, such as emails, social media posts, and other website actions. Marketing automation makes these tasks easier than ever and helps you deliver your content to your prospects at the right time.

By using marketing automation software, you can trigger events to happen after your prospects have taken certain actions, such as downloading a piece of content, opening a specific page, or requesting information.

For example, if a prospect downloads a piece of content, like our Lead Nurturing Guide, marketing automation allows you to send a follow-up piece of content that builds off that subject. This could be a blog post on key points to remember, or a new topic further down the same line of thought. You’re continuing the conversation with additional content on what the prospect is interested in learning about.

2. Efficiency

Including marketing automation software in your inbound marketing toolbox, allows you to take full advantage of the benefits of timeliness and help your prospects get their answers faster. Marketing automation software’s ability to help automate various marketing tasks leads to better efficiency, overall.

We have found that the odds of an inbound marketing lead becoming a qualified lead is 21 times greater when they’re contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. This type of speed is possible by automating tasks and reducing the time needed by a salesperson to qualify or “warm up” a lead. It’s all about efficiency.

Timeliness and efficiency together bring us to the third aspect of lead nurturing: Targeting your leads in the right way.

3. Targeted Approach

smart.not.hardBy utilizing lead nurturing, you can tie a series of emails to a specific activity or conversion event. In other words, you can craft your emails based on the action your prospect or client takes. This shows them you’re aware of their interests and providing them with what they might need next. And it’s important to be as human as possible when communicating with contacts. Your lead nurturing campaigns provide appropriate messages at the opportune time, which is key to building trust by being more targeted and engaging.

These are the three most important aspects of lead nurturing and crucial to your success with inbound marketing — it’s a timely, efficient, and targeted approach to connecting with your prospects and clients.

Research shows it takes around six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. That’s six to eight pieces of content that your leads interact with before they’re considered a sales qualified lead. And when you’re building a strategy to turn your leads into sales qualified leads, you’ll be using conversations to get them there.

Your marketing automation software and your conversations, which include things like emails, phone calls, social media messages, etc., will work together to fuel your lead nurturing strategy. Conversations play a critical role in lead nurturing because they’re how you deliver messages to your leads.


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