An important part of inbound marketing is lead nurturing and encouraging potential new customers that aren't quite sales ready to begin their journey down your sales funnel to become a sales lead.
As companies adopt inbound marketing as a way to pick up more leads, the importance of lead nurturing and having an effective strategy becomes very clear.In most cases, only a small percentage of your inbound leads will be ready to make an immediate purchase.Implementing an effective lead nurturing strategy can have a huge impact on the results of your inbound marketing plan. Research has shown that marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs. non-nurtured leads.
Here are three tips to help you nurture your inbound sales lead.
1. You’ve Got Mail
Email marketing is the number one requirement to effectively nurture an inbound sales lead. It’s a communication strategy that sends pre-written messages to new customers over time. While messages usually take the form of email, other types of media can be used.
There are two different types of lead nurturing emails for inbound marketing. Firstly, email workflows are emails that are sent based on a trigger event, such as a request for a whitepaper or a webinar registration. Secondly, educational emailsare sent rhythmically each month, regardless of the new customer’s action.
The way you’ll know if your email marketing is working is based on the open rates and click through rates. You want to see open rates between 70-80%, and if you’re seeing lower, you will want to relook at your subject lines. If you are seeing click through rates lower than 50%, you need to reconsider what you are promoting.
2. Don’t Be a Sell Out
When nurturing an inbound sales lead, you should never attempt to sell anything. The minute you start pushing appointments andcalls, or when you try and provide discounts,or push any specific action, you run a huge risk of losing a new customer.
This can feel difficult at times, but your customers want to feel safe and valued. It can be hard to just let the buyer journey play out, but if you stay strong, this will be the best experience for your potential customer. At the end of the day, the more patient and the more focused you are on educating the customer, the more effective your inbound sales will be.
3. Take Control
As you start gaining momentum with your business, and all of your campaigns and customer transactions start to grow, your site can quickly get out of control. The key to keeping everything under control is—you guessed it—keep it simple! You can use templates and reuse lead nurturing emails, retire old and underperforming emails, and try new messages and new offers. As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new.
If you look at inbound marketing as a funnel, at the top, you have everyone who is first visiting your website, then those following or subscribing—considered prospects—and finally,at the bottom are those who are purchasing from you.
Often, businesses tend to only focus on the bottom of the sales funnel. With lead nurturing, however, that is not a good mentality, since you have to learn to nurture you leads through your funnel proactively. You should never underestimate the power of inbound sale leads.