Vesta Digital Blog

How To Nurture Leads

Posted on: September 20, 2010

lead nurturingLike most companies, you have probably built a significant database of prospective customers. Where you might be stuck is how to turn those prospective customers into loyal, returning customers. Lead nurturing is by definition: “A process by which leads are tracked and developed into sales opportunities.”

Lead nurturing generally begins when a company builds a database of unqualified leads (or suspects). After building the database, the company will use it to send offers and promotions to the suspects in an attempt to gain attention, response, and profit.

Here are a few key tips to effectively nurture your leads as according to Jon Miller, a writer for Marketo (a B2B Marketing blog):

Make it valuable — to them, not just you.

Each and every lead nurturing interaction needs to be relevant and useful to the recipient. If it’s too promotional or not helpful, then severing the relationship is usually just a delete button or unsubscribe link away. In a recent MarketingSherpa webinar, Anne Holland shared the five key topics that people care about: safety (keep my job), ease (make my job easier), power (get more power), greed (make more money), and ego (raise their awareness).

Make it bite-sized. 

The internet has changed how buyers make B2B purchases, and it’s affected how they consume content. Rarely does a business buyer have time to print out and read an entire whitepaper, watch a 60 minute webinar, or read more than a few bullet points on a website. Instead, today’s buyers have become accustomed to consuming bite-sized chunks of information in small free periods.

Match your content to buyer profiles.

Prospects find content targeted to their role or industry much more valuable than generic content. According to MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm, 82% of prospects say content targeted to their specific industry is more valuable and 67% say content targeted to their job function is more valuable. 49% say the same for content targeted to their country size, and 29% for content targeted to their geography.

Match your content to buying stages. 

Different types of content will appeal to buyers in different stages of their buying cycle, e.g. awareness vs. research vs. negotiation and purchase. Thought leadership and best practices work best during the awareness stage; comparisons, reviews, and pricing information appeals during the research stage; and information about the company, support, etc. will work best at the purchase stage.

Get the timing right.

It’s always difficult to say exactly how often you should send nurturing contacts. My general advice is that more than once a week is too much and less than once a month is not enough, and the right answer for your company is somewhere in between. 

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