It is known that a lead nurture program is a critical component to converting leads into sales. An integral part of any lead nurture strategy revolves around mapping the right content at the right time to a prospective buyer. The buying cycle is generally a four step process which includes awareness, interest, consideration, and purchase. More information about the buying cycle can be found here. By delivering relevant content to prospects, you are able to increase the likelihood that a prospect will engage with your messages which can be reflected in an increase in email open rates, improvement in click rates, and ultimately an increase in lead conversion.
For each lead nurture strategy it is important to identify what you are ultimately trying to achieve. What is your goal? Is it to foster customer engagement? Increase brand awareness? Each unique objective will directly impact the content flow and ‘story’ you provide to your prospect. An effective lead nurture campaign is analogous to a dating relationship. The goal is to maintain someone’s interest long enough for them to decide if they want to be exclusive. Assuming that your end goal is to increase brand awareness (which will ultimately convert a prospect into a customer), let’s explore what a campaign would look like from this perspective.
The awareness stage is where the introduction occurs. We all know that first impressions are everything so let’s hope that you are wearing your best outfit and took the time to put in some extra effort when getting ready. You only have one shot. In an instant the person sitting across from you will be deciding whether they will stop and take a second look or to keep walking… no pressure.
For the purpose of lead nurture, establishing a strong foundation is essential. During this phase, it is important to talk about yourself (not too much of course), while also listening to the needs of your prospect. What key obstacles and challenges are they facing? Remember, the primary objective during this phase is not to sell, but rather to begin to build the relationship in the hopes of a partnership later down the road. Therefore, it is important to leverage educational resources with concise language that can be easily understood. Informational and easily consumable resources such as videos, blogs, one-pagers, fact sheets or white papers are great resources that can be leveraged.
Phew, you made it past the first round and officially have a second date! The stakes are now a bit higher and within the interest and consideration phase, you have the ability to show what makes you stand out from the pack. What makes you such a great catch and why should someone continue to pursue a relationship with you?
For the purpose of lead nurture, showcasing what makes you different is key to keeping your prospect engaged. It is only natural that once your prospect has identified their specific business challenge, they will want to seek solutions. Within this stage, it is crucial to build credibility! Leveraging case studies and testimonials are a great way to build up your brand and create a positive lasting impression. Additionally, consider using this stage to demonstrate your solution features. Hosting a free webinar is a wonderful way to position yourself as a thought leader while also showing what your prospect can expect from you.
Congratulations, your date is now ready for the c-word… commitment! After playing the dating game for quite some time, the next step is moving into a committed relationship. You are a top contender but there are still others who are trying to vie for this person’s affection. It is time to go the extra mile!
For the purpose of lead nurture, after positioning yourself as a thought leader, you will ideally be a trusted brand among your prospective demographic. Within the purchase stage, your prospect is ready to buy! Therefore, it is appropriate to provide resources that helps guide the customer to choose you as their partner. Competitive one pages, discounts/coupons, and free consultation forms that include strong calls to action should be leveraged during this stage. Make sure to focus on any and all key differentiators that set you apart from your competitors.
In order to create a successful partnership, relationships in both dating and lead nurture require trust, time, and commitment. Through tailoring your content in your lead nurture campaign based on where a prospect is in their relationship with you, you can ensure that your prospect is receiving the appropriate resources based on their knowledge and interest which will ultimately increase the possibility of this lead becoming a customer. Who knows, maybe there will even be wedding bells!