A lead who is not ready to commit to a purchase is not necessarily a waste of time.
In fact, if you treat them as such you could well be making a mistake. In all likelihood, they will go on to buy at some point; when they decide to, you want to be at the top of their list. Lead nurturing focuses on converting contacts that you already have, rather than develop new ones.
Lead nurturing should provide buyers with the appropriate/relevant information at the different stages of the buying process. The buying process starts out at the point where the buyer is not yet aware of the fact that they have a problem. It ends when they act on the decision to purchase. Those two stages and all of the ones in between (researching solutions, creating a shortlist etc.) require different types of information. This means that the data that they may find valuable in one stage will not be as important in another.
So what kind of information will a buyer find most useful? You can categorize content in three way based on the stage of the buying process/sales funnel:
- Those in the early stages will need education. They will need to know why their problem exists, why they need to solve it.
- Once they are educated on the nature of their problem, they will need a solution. They will need to know the nature of the solution and how to implement it.
- Towards the end of the buying process, they will need to learn why your solution is best. This includes providing them with tangible proof that it is better than other options.
Your nurturing program will have to incorporate these different types of information in such a way that it provides the buyer with the knowledge to make a confident decision.
Start With Good Leads
Avoid the temptation to skimp on prequalifying your leads. Your sales funnel should be filled with the prospects that have the best potential for being converted into customers. If your company is small and you are operating on a limited marketing budget, you should on rely on quality rather than quantity.
Use Content Correctly
The content for educating your prospects can be in whatever format you find works well with your audience, whether its blog posts, eBooks or videos. The goal is to convince them to deal with their problem sooner rather than later.
When it comes to content for providing a solution, white papers and other methods for providing deeper content are best.
For the latter stages of the buying process, customer stories and other proofs of your company’s value will be more effective.
Tailoring your content to suit your prospects is not something that you can afford to overlook. To ensure that the content is correctly tailored, you will have to invest in data.
Consider the fact that your buyers will have questions. Once one question gets answered, there will likely be a new one. It is only when all the questions are answered that the prospect is equipped to make a buying decision. As you create content, make sure that you provide the answers that your prospects need to make up their minds. Nurturing your leads involves creating a flow of information that leads from one answer to the next answer and so on through the buying process.
Know Your Buyers
You will need to know what is motivating them as well as where they are in the buying process. To this end you should look at your previous marketing campaigns and single out the leads that moves through all of the stages. Look at the content they got while at each stage.
You don’t stop nurturing just because you convert a prospect. Customers need nurturing too. The goal should be to build the relationship and ensure that the transition is enthusiastic and smooth.