The inbound methodology has four stages: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight or attracting visitors into becoming leads, closing the sale and delighting them even after they become customers. Now closing the sale may sound like the most attractive to you, but it’s not necessarily the case for your audience. In fact, you may have qualified leads right now, but 50% of those leads are still not yet ready to buy from you.
That’s why understanding the main purpose of the close stage is so important. Its main purpose is not just the sale, but what you and your team need to focus on in order to determine and solve why your lead is not ready to purchase from you.
This is where lead nurturing comes in. Lead nurturing is providing those solutions to specific pain points that your leads have. In today’s Thought Hive, we’re going through the top three hats your lead nurturing needs when it comes to sales readiness especially through email marketing and marketing automation.
Why nurturing is necessary?
The marketing world has changed and keeps changing each year, if not, each month. With the help of the internet, the way people market and advertise their products and services relies heavily on being personal and intentional. Wide net advertising may accumulate large interest, but it may not ensure qualified leads in the long run.
Nurturing is crucial to personalization marketing. From knowing your audience’s specific needs to the types of content they like, the more you know about your audience, the more you know how to create content that solves their needs and nurtures them towards the sale. For more information on what the marketing world looks like, watch this insight:
The Three Hats Needed for Your Lead Nurturing
It may seem that nurturing doesn’t require a whole lot. You may just be creating scheduled, automated emails that contain eBooks or webinar links—hoping to ensure that your contact with your lead will increase the chances of sales readiness. However, you have to make sure that the message you are sending out is something that they NEED to hear. And no, that may not be your newest promotion.
In fact, let’s review the top three hats you need to wear at all times when it comes to your lead nurturing.
Hat #1: The Educator
Wearing the educator hat ensures that you are providing thought leadership content on a consistent basis. From your emails to your eBooks and blog posts, you need to make sure that anything that you share with your audience has their best interest in mind. Meaning, your lead nurturing should focus in on creating content that teaches your audience about the topics that they have the most problems with. And that through your content, you become a trusted source for solving those pain points.
Ways to implement being an educator:
- Create emails that speak to their issues.
- Create and compile content that addresses these issues and aims to solve them.
Carefully planning the flow of your emails will help you create well rounded campaigns that pull your leads through the sales funnel. The first email after the initial conversion might be very educational, while subsequent emails should continue to educate while giving the lead an opportunity to convert a second time.—Shaun Pinney
Hat #2: The Doctor
Wearing the doctor ensures that you solve their pain points in everything that you do. A doctor assesses what’s wrong with their patient, provides a solution, and analyzes the results to see if and how the patient transforms, hopefully for the better. Your lead nurturing should focus on creating and compiling content that solves their pain points while sending out that content through email.
Email is a place for one to one conversation. So treat their inbox like you would a doctor’s appointment. You’ve heard their pains. Now it’s your turn to test and determine why your lead has this problem and how you can solve it.
Ways to implement being a doctor:
- Send out emails that address their issues as well as give adequate allotted time for them to become sales ready. It could be three weeks. It could be twelve weeks. Create what they need and they will come.
- Create emails that solves their pain points.
Your lead nurturing email campaigns should be personal. Tailoring each email to the interests and behaviors of your leads and prospects. Not every email you send should appear automated. Think outside the box.—Carolyn Edgecomb
Hat #3: The Friend
A good friend knows their friend’s interests, likes and dislikes. They have their best interest at heart in everything that they set out to do for their friend. Wearing the friend hat ensures that you treat your leads well as if they were your friends. Let’s be honest here. If your friend LOVES cat stuffed animals only, you wouldn’t give them a dog one, would you?
If you said yes, you’re a bad friend.
In order to be a good friend to your audience, you have to be mindful of their wants, needs, interests and behaviors.
Ways to implement being a doctor:
- Do your research. Know your audience and create buyer persona profiles based on your audience’s behaviors and interests.
- Create segmented lists based on your leads’ specific needs.
- Create and compile content that meets your leads’ interests.
- Create and send out emails that pertain to them, not anyone outside of their segmented list.
Throughout all three of these hats, you may have noticed an overlap. That’s because you need to wear all three hats when creating a lead nurturing campaign, workflow or strategy. For more information on lead nurturing best practices, check out the following video as well as articles from some current thought leaders within the marketing industry.
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