When it comes to nurturing leads, one of the easiest and most effective methods is through a carefully constructed email campaign. We’re not talking about an impersonal and generic email that immediately gets marked as spam. This is an email that shows up in your inbox from a real human with an enticing subject, filled with engaging and compelling content that is relevant to your prospective lead.
Why is lead nurturing essential? 30-50% of qualified leads aren’t ready to make a purchase when they initially seek out information about your business, but 75% of those leads become sales-ready within 12 to 18 months. So as a marketer, what should you do for the next year while you wait for that lead to be ready to make a purchase? Take a year-long vacation and hope they remember you? Friend them on Facebook and invite them to your next birthday party? Maybe. Or should you create an engaging, helpful and unobtrusive email campaign to keep your business top of mind until they have a need for your service?
Definitely the last one.
Remember: out of sight, out of mind. The key is to cultivate a long-term relationship with the person or company that will continue even after they’ve made their first purchase.
Step 1. Send a welcome email
When a lead becomes a lead, start by sending them an immediate welcome email. Studies show that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that is the first to respond to an inquiry. Make sure it's written like a real human sent it, with a touch of personality and friendly flair. When you write emails with personality, it creates a stronger connection to your recipient. Go one step further and turn your welcome email into an opportunity to learn more about your lead. Include a brief questionnaire that segments your lead into a buyer, seller, or tire kicker (as an example). Not only with this help prioritize your time, so you know who to respond to first, but it will also help you segment future emails. Segmented emails get 100% more clicks.
Step 2. Follow-up with a variety of messages
After your introductory email, follow-up with your leads periodically. Try experimenting with diverse types of content to see which sticks. There is an endless amount of content and even more opportunities for content creation. Some leads will find wordy content interesting, like neighborhood reviews or quarterly recaps, others will prefer more visual content like videos and infographics. A study shows that 66% of buyers believe that “consistent and relevant communication provided by sales and marketing organizations is key in choosing a provider.” It is crucial to initiate and continue the conversation with inbound leads by sharing relevant content and being available to answer questions. Sharing this information also builds your credibility as an expert in your field.
Step 3. Listen to feedback and act quickly when you hear it
When in the follow-up phase, it’s crucial to listen to feedback, direct or indirect. If your contact is saying they’re just not that into you by unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam, make sure they don’t get any more emails. Repeatedly sending emails to these leads will hurt your deliverability rates and reputation. Nurture by sending content, not promotional messages and keep their interests in mind.
When your leads are ready to make a purchase, they’ll likely take action and contact you by replying to an email or filling out a form. Respond quickly to these leads as studies find nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
All an inbound lead needs to convert to a sale is a friendly welcome, engaging follow-ups and a detailed follow through. Add your personality to your emails and start building relationships with people and companies who show interest in your business.
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