You’ve got your lead generation down, and you’re bringing in new leads like there’ll be none left tomorrow. You’ve built it and so they shall come, right?

… Not quite. And once the reality of a ‘low conversion rate’ hits you, that’s when you’ll find out exactly how vital it is to the success of your marketing campaign to have a solid strategy for lead nurturing.

The phrase itself might conjure up imagery of a mother bird nurturing her hatchling, but this is more the type of nurturing required for building a relationship with your consumer – prospective and current.

What is lead nurturing?

Well, presumably you’ve heard of a sales funnel. Throughout each stage of your sales funnel, the journey each potential customer undergoes when purchasing your product or service, you should undertake the task of reinforcing or developing your relationship with your prospects.

Or so the experts say. Let’s choose to believe them.

They also say it’s true that lead nurturing is primarily centered on email marketing, but the idea is to create a cross-channel experience for a really successful and well-designed strategy.

And here’s just a quick, free, anecdotal tip on what lead nurturing is not: Hounding your prospects and dumping an uncivilized amount of emails on them.

Why should I nurture my leads?

Remember, a vast majority of your brand new leads will not immediately convert into paying customers. Yup. Let’s say that again: Those brand new leads that you’ve acquired?

Those are not guaranteed sales and most of them likely won’t be, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t be in future. As you may guess at this point, if you don’t nurture them, then a vast majority of those will in turn go elsewhere. Anywhere else, really. You’ve been warned.

Lead generation is all fun and games until you realize you simply cannot get every single lead to convert and then instantly make money. There has to be a net of some kind to safely catch all those who fall out of any stage of your crafted sales funnel.

By building trust, increasing brand awareness, and all the other good-for-business stuff, you’re maintaining a relationship and creating multiple touch points – until such time that they are indeed ready to hand over their hard-earned money. You’ll be at the forefront of their mind, no doubt.

Plus… Data.

Let’s not get too much into it now. But as you might imagine, a lead nurturing campaign is rife with data that will help you optimize your current campaign, inform all future campaigns, and allow you to monitor the behavior of your prospects. Isn’t that a win in itself? Those are all things that will ultimately help you become more effective at lead nurturing and increase your conversion rate.

How do I start lead nurturing?

When you interact with potential customers, you don’t want to go generic. When it comes to digital marketing today, there’s an expectation of a certain level of personalization. There’s something to be said for communications that work to provide relevant and timely information to your leads, and earn you a loyal following, which then earns you client retention and increased revenue. See how that works nicely?

So, there’s no reason not to use the full power of your entire marketing communications and channels to engage with your leads – from mobile, social, support, in-store and everything in between!

Palm releasing pink crayon dram envelopes

Email Marketing

Let’s start with the most obvious yet effective: emails.

Emails are great for personalization, as your email software should allow you to set up automations and segmentation that can help you deliver the right message to the right lead.

Many sales funnels can become quite long, and emails are such an efficient way to monitor analytics and lead behavior as well as relationship management.

Content Marketing

If you’re in the digital space, you must utilize the full power of content to build brand awareness and brand advocacy. Content can mean any form of media that can be shared across channels, such as a blog post, video, infographic, or even a meme.

This type of media is often used on a daily basis as it’s a largely inexpensive way to interact with customers and regularly publish new content. As there is an influx of readily available, free content online, yours must stand out.

Of course, easier said than done. But if you’re consistently putting out good quality, relevant content, as well as staying up-to-date on marketing trends, then you’re bound to reach people.

Social Media Marketing

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to social media marketing (paid and unpaid). An Instagram story lasts 15 seconds, pretty on par with the amount of time in which you have to capture and hold your audience’s attention.

Along with all the clickbait and attention-grabbing posts, this means social media has in some ways become harder. Especially for small businesses who are looking for an organic following.

However, the advantage is that the platform is designed for two-way communication and makes engaging so much fun and personalized for the user. Humor also goes a long way here, and there’s always the opportunity for a viral moment. Don’t take yourself too seriously!

Search Engine Optimization

Sorry, can’t avoid talking about it!

People are creatures of habit, and people look things up online. It can be just about anything, so if you are solving a problem, there’s someone out there looking for a solution online. The good news is that SEO helps you organically reach your ideal customer by using best SEO practices to rank your website on the search results page.

As you might already know, keywords are big here. All-or-nothing kinda big. Ensure that you select appropriate keywords and that your content is easily accessible, legible, and relevant.

Nothing destroys credibility quite like clicking on a page that ultimately has nothing to do with the keyword. Think of yourself as the user and what your best user experience has been when searching for information online.

Educate Prospects

Better than selling to your prospects, first try to help them help themselves. Instead of self-promotion, provide valuable and actionable content that users feel empowered to take on their problem.

One of the best and most common ways to do this is by giving away valuable content like free guides or ebooks. There’s a more subtle form of promotion here, as you don’t just completely disregard those brand new leads.

Again, you’ll create targeted content based off of your ideal client avatar. By then automating these systems, it’ll really help you scale your lead nurturing strategy.

There you have it, five ways you can start lead nurturing. It seems simple, and that’s because it can be to an extent, but you have to block out a decent chunk of time to plan and implement your strategy. It is an integral part of your marketing strategy that should work in conjugation with your sales strategy – something else to consider. So start with just one tactic, and slowly delve into more as you form a holistic approach to your cross-channel strategy. After which, you evaluate and optimize for more sales-ready leads.