A thousand-kilometer journey is said to begin with the first step … and lead nurturing, too. If we consider that 73% of leads are not ready to convert at the first contact, we immediately see the importance of going step by step.
The lead nurturing process consists of accompanying leads from the moment they leave us their data for the first time until they become loyal customers. As in a real journey, it is necessary to prepare well before embarking on the journey and facing the stages one by one. Let’s see how!
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The 10 steps of the lead nurturing process
Define your goals
All lead nurturing processes should start from well-defined objectives. Normally, what we will aim to do is get a higher percentage of the leads generated to end up generating a sale, but this is too general. To define your goal well, always remember the acronym SMART:
S for “specific”: A goal must be specific and concrete.
M for “measurable”: in marketing, what is not measured does not exist!
A for “assignable”: who will be responsible for carrying out the tasks necessary to achieve the objective?
R for “realistic”: A goal should be a challenging but achievable challenge.
T for “time-bound”: that is, there must be a deadline to reach the goal.
Decide who you are going to contact
Lead nurturing processes are based on offering value to the user. And in order to offer value to someone, you have to know them well and know what they need.
In inbound marketing, the star tool to get to know your target better is the buyer persona, a kind of robot portrait of the ideal customer for your products or services. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to sit down and define it. Remember that the most important thing is not demographic information, but your needs and problems (“pain points”).
Choose your tools
The lead nurturing process only makes sense if it is automated, as it involves sending a large number of personalized communications at pre-defined intervals. Fortunately, there are many tools on the market that can help you, from the most basic email marketing solutions (MailChimp type) to comprehensive solutions such as Hubspot.
Create your lead scoring algorithm
The lead scoring is a perfect complement to the lead nurturing as it helps us to know how we should treat each moment leads.
Lead scoring consists of assigning a score to each lead to determine their chances of converting. The points are assigned based on factors such as the demographic data that you have left us when registering or the actions that you have carried out on our website.
Depending on the score that each lead has, we can know if we have to discard it, if it can enter our lead scoring process or if it is better to send it directly to the sales department.
The best practice is to apply lead scoring to make an initial evaluation of the contacts and then update it in real time , as the user interacts with the emails and other communications that we send them.
First impressions are always very important. Therefore, to start your lead scoring process on the right foot, you should send a welcome email to the users who register on your website, no more than 24 hours after they have left their data.
In this email you will lay the foundations of your relationship, for example, explaining the type of content you will receive and the advantages of being part of your database. It is also interesting to include some type of call to action to encourage the user to interact.
The content of value is the fundamental basis of the lead nurturing. Through a series of communications, we are creating a relationship with the user, so that they see that we understand their needs and that we can help them solve them.
For this reason, this process should always be based on a content strategy, where we have a resource base to send them in successive messages.
Adapt the content to each phase
The client’s journey comprises different phases, from the moment he first identifies a need until he becomes a brand client.
In the initial stages, the user is still not sure what they want, so they are interested in content that addresses their problem in general. Later, when you are already evaluating various options, we can present our brand more concretely through content such as testimonials or interviews. And finally, when you are almost ready to buy, we can use free offers or tests.
One of the risks of lead nurturing is to saturate the user with more messages than they need. Or conversely, we may space communications so far that the lead forgets about us and gets cold.
To avoid this, try to make your messages contain all the necessary information, but be concise and to the point. As for frequency, the most useful solution is to do tests and A / B tests with different groups of users, to see what works best for your brand.
Coordinate with the sales department
If the lead nurturing process has worked, the time will come when the lead will be ready to talk to your sales team and hear an offer. Therefore, it is necessary for the marketing and sales departments to coordinate their processes and agree on how and when to make this transfer.
You have finally managed to make that promising lead become a customer. Congratulations! … but the job is not done yet. And it is still necessary to communicate with him to retain him.
After converting, the new customer should enter another automated communication flow in which you offer after-sales services, reinforce brand values, and tempt them with offers to get repeat purchases. And is that a first conversion is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.