In our guest post series, we’ll be bringing you advice and tips from industry experts on the other, sometimes non-marketing-related issues affecting local business owners. Today’s post comes from Laura Stroup, Inbound Marketing Strategist at Blue Frog.
If you have a website or do any kind of online marketing, you know how valuable online lead generation is. After all, the main goal of most business websites is to generate leads! Your online marketing efforts can (and should) go beyond simple lead generation, however. What you really want is more business, so why not use your business website to nurture your leads into becoming customers?
What is lead nurturing? It’s the process of developing relationships with prospects throughout the buyer’s journey. It means serving your potential buyers’ needs by giving them resources that will aid their research as they consider their purchase decision. By becoming an ally in your leads’ search for the information they need to make a confident decision, you build trust while keeping your brand top of mind with them.
If you stop at lead collection and don’t bother to nurture those new relationships, you can easily be forgotten as their search for information continues. Here are three tips for keeping your leads interested and building your relationships with them until they’re ready to buy.
- Keep Communication Open
When you collect a lead on your website—or complete business with an existing customer—continue to communicate with them. Not everyone who contacts you for a quote, for example, will be ready to buy right then and there. Many will get quotes from other companies to compare before purchasing, so staying in touch and providing helpful information will help your chances of winning out in the end—perhaps even if you don’t quote the lowest price.Even after you do business with someone, staying in touch by providing helpful information, resources, and tips, can help to encourage repeat and referral business. Automated emails allow you to easily stay in touch with your leads and customers, which brings us to #2.
- Create Automated Emails
We just discussed how it’s vital to keep communication open with your leads and customers, but how do you do that without a huge time investment? Automated emails.Automated emails can be set up one time and then once they’re activated, you don’t have to worry about them! Simply create a series of emails that each offer additional pieces of valuable information, coupons, or discounts, and space them out so your contacts consistently hear from you.
- Multiple touches
Once you’ve created your series of emails, how frequently should they go out? You don’t want to email leads too frequently, or you could annoy them and cause them to unsubscribe, nor do you want to continually send emails to leads who have never engaged with them in any way.To get the timing right, consider the length of your sales cycle. If you have a quick sales cycle where a lead contacts you for emergency service and your team meets with them immediately, you don’t need to space out a series of emails over the course of a few months. Perhaps you send a few weekly follow-up emails with preventive information, and then that’s it. But say you have a lengthy sales cycle, where a lead contacts you for information, and then they have to discuss your product or service with other people in their company as well as consider other vendors before purchasing. In this case, you may want to space out your emails by a few weeks—or even months.
The process of setting up automated emails and getting the frequency just right to avoid annoying or being forgotten by your leads can seem daunting. There’s help out there to make it easier, however. Signpost provides email templates that allow you to simply plug in your content, and once the email is activated, it sends it at the right time based on valuable customer data that its CRM collects.
Give Signpost a try to streamline your lead nurturing process and start generating more repeat and referral business!
Laura Stroup is an inbound marketing strategist at Blue Frog, a Des Moines, Iowa-based digital marketing company that specializes in designing customized inbound marketing strategies for companies of various industries and sizes. Laura is passionate about developing strategies that help her clients generate more leads and get a great return on their online marketing investment.