Rule No. 1 of lead nurturing: Don’t squander your leads. You’ve worked hard and followed tips on this blog to bring them in through SEO, social media, blogging, etc. These efforts are not solely about creating content – and if it’s the thing you’re focusing on, you are not using these methods to their fullest potential.
What I am talking about is optimization – not in terms of search, rather in terms of using these efforts to move prospects through the inbound marketing funnel. In effect, do you optimize these methods for nurturing your prospects?
This post looks at some effective ways to optimize these efforts to nurture prospects into valuable business leads.
First, it is important to capture all your leads by at least getting the prospect to arrive at a landing page to download quality content in exchange for their contact information. Make sure your landing pages are optimized and include forms that only have two or three fields asking for minimum information without discouraging their interest with an involved form.
Respond to each lead in a timely manner: Using a thank you page is the most reliable way to let the prospect know you are aware of their interest and will be contacting them while deepening the engagement by offering a secondary conversion opportunity. This secondary conversion opportunity should be in the form of relevant premium content, i.e. eBook, checklist, or whitepaper.
Pre-qualify your leads: To optimize your time, determine which leads are ready and able to work with you today. An automated workflow sends out a series of targeted emails; these messages include links to landing pages offering premium content. These landing pages contain forms that further the qualification process by asking the questions needed to determine whether you are engaging with a hot prospect.
Offer value upfront: With an auto-response email, offer a download of a useful, relevant eBook, guide or handy checklist that relates to your target industry or professional services and subtly showcases the benefits of your expertise and service.
Listen for your prospect’s unmet needs: Scan emails, review chat logs or take notes during phone calls to uncover clues that tell you what your prospect seeks. Look for pain points or problems that you or your services can solve. Describe in detail that you have a keen understanding of how they feel and respond with a solution/s that solves their problem.
Track each contact/touch point with you prospect: Tracking prospect engagement should include the content, the results of the interaction and next steps. A spreadsheet capturing this information may suffice. This information will guide you on next steps for continued engagement.
Keep in touch: Remind your prospects of the details of your previous contact or conversation, captured in your lead nurturing system to keep the relationship moving forward.
Continue delivering value: Send another eBook, newsletter or white paper. Make a special offer based on needs expressed by the prospect in prior interactions.
Ask for the business: Listen for agreement/willingness to engage your services--then close the deal.
Request a referral: Even if the sale hasn’t closed (or won’t, at least not for now), you can request a referral if you think the prospect is happy with your interaction. For example: “Can you suggest someone who might benefit from our services?"
Evaluate results, adjust and improve your system: Keep refining your lead generation, nurturing and conversion procedures to increase ROI. Adjust lead sourcing to avoid tactics that haven’t yielded quality leads.
Do you have other ways you can nurture your prospects into viable business leads? Share your ideas in the comments below!
For more information, contact Colosi Marketing.
Video via iStock.