Lead Nurturing: Moving Beyond Batch-n-Blast
Imagine you just got a new pet. This pet needs love and care to grow and have a good life. Without the proper amount of attention, food and love, this new pet is going to feel neglected and could end up running away in search of a new owner who will treat it better.
It works the same way when you acquire a new lead. We’ve already established that taking notice of the lead’s interest is important, but the relationship is a two-way street. Your interest and ability to attend to your leads is essential because you don’t want your lead running off to a competitor, do you?
What Does Lead Nurturing Entail?
Don’t just let a lead sit when it becomes known to you. Once the lead is acquired (regardless of the source) it’s time to start nurturing them with relevant content.
Seventy-nine percent of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.
First, though, let’s talk about what lead nurturing is not. Lead nurturing is not about using a batch-n-blast approach. Batch-n-blast is the practice of sending the same content to the entire database (or some large, high-level segment) at the same time. Batch-n-blast is good for certain communications but it is not lead nurturing in the way it is defined in today’s digital marketing landscape.
Lead nurturing is about developing the buyer’s journey. That means delivering the right content to the right person at the right time. A CEO of an investment firm who is late in the buying cycle has different needs than an IT Director of a technology firm who just visited your trade show booth. Each should receive content that is appropriate to their level of trust and familiarity with your organization. The key is to make the lead feel included and welcome with relevant content.
How to Develop the Lead Nurturing Journey
Lead nurturing is much more strategic than a batch-n-blast approach. If you only send one email and don’t follow up with relevant content, your potential buyer may lose interest. If your lead feels forgotten about, they may turn into someone else’s customer.
Usually, a mix of content works best, but a little testing goes a long way. As one of your first steps, consider developing a content matrix to inventory your content. Then begin to map that content to the buyer’s journey. Don’t go crazy mapping all of your content to every buying stage or persona, as you have to walk before you can run. Start simple with a few tracks of content over four to six weeks to begin testing.
- White papers
- Webinars (live and on-demand)
- Product benefits
- Case studies
- Blog excerpts
Lead Not Ready? Time to Recycle!
Sometimes leads are not ready to make a purchase at the present time. Don’t take this situation as a loss or a bad thing. Take it as an opportunity to win over a customer at a future date.
Fifty percent of leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy.
Consider recycling inactive or non-responsive leads back to the top of the revenue funnel. Best practice businesses will continue sending emails to recycled leads to keep the conversation going. When the recycled lead engages again via a website visit or other action, consider speeding up the conversion with more frequent emails.
Businesses that are not properly educated on the importance of recycled leads often forget about them. Then the lead will sit in the system until, eventually, they go to the lead graveyard. This is a lost opportunity to leverage the existing investment.
With proper execution, recycled leads can be a key component of a company’s nurture strategy. If the business properly nurtures recycled leads until they’re ready to make a purchase, this could turn a bunch of potential missed opportunities into sales.
If you haven’t already, it’s high time you start moving beyond standard batch-n-blast email “nurturing” and develop a true lead nurturing strategy. It’s a very important part of maintaining the attention and interest of your leads who, without proper nurturing, may disappear altogether and result in lost sales.
The same is true for lead recycling: you have to keep the conversation going at all times. Remember to always nurture those leads (and your pets) so they don’t run away in search for someone better.
This article originally appeared on RevEngine Insider.