A key part of any sales cycle is its lead nurturing process. What is lead nurturing, you ask?
Lead nurturing is the act of engaging with leads via targeted messaging over a period of time in an effort to convert them into a sale. While the lead nurturing process can certainly be done manually by companies, there are some downsides to having a manual lead nurturing strategy, least of all being your employees becoming overwhelmed with having to nurture too many leads as your company continues to scale.
This is why an automated lead nurturing solution can benefit your company by taking away many of the manual tasks involved in the nurture process so that efficiency is increased and employees can focus their efforts elsewhere. There are some best practices that should be considered when developing a lead nurturing campaign, whether it be a manual or automated campaign, however today we will be focusing on the top five lead nurturing best practices for automated campaigns.
The first lead nurturing best practice is pretty self-explanatory. When developing your lead nurturing process, you will want to plan out all of your communication touchpoints in advance. This ensures you don’t get midway through the process and run out of nurture messages to send to leads.
Within an automated lead nurturing solution, you are able to create a workflow that allows you to string together all of your messaging and have them sent automatically, so that you never have to worry about remembering when the next message in the campaign has to be sent. You can design each message in advance and choose what content you wish to send to your leads to keep them engaged and continue on in the sales cycle. You can even determine how these messages will be sent to your leads, through one or more communication methods, such as email, SMS, or phone call.
2. Lead Management
It is important that your lead nurturing process contains a way for you to easily store and manage all lead information so that you can see where each of your leads are in the sales cycle in an organized and user-friendly manner.
A common best practice for storing leads’ contact information is to use an online contact database. An online database solution provides your company with a centralized system for inputting data, storing this data in an organized way, and accessing the data easily, whenever you need to.
This lead database can also provide you with other ways to organize your leads, such as pipelines or sales funnels that can be used to track leads’ journeys through the entire sales cycle based on how far along in the lead nurturing campaign they are.
The least engaging thing is having to read a generic, boilerplate “nurture” message from a company that is in no way targeted to you or your interests. Establishing a relationship with a prospect is one of the key outputs of a lead nurturing campaign – you want to instill a sense of trust and loyalty in leads early on in the process to decrease the chances of them dropping out of the sales cycle.
Adding elements of personalization to your nurture messages (such as the lead’s name, city, or a product they may be interested in) is a great lead nurturing best practice to follow, and luckily, with an automated lead nurturing solution, there is no need to compromise this personalization for the sake of efficient messaging.
In the nurture messages you have created when planning out your lead nurturing campaign, use merge tags or conditional formatting to identify areas for personalization in the message. The automated solution will then use the information stored in the online database about your leads and insert it into the proper place in your message whenever it gets sent.
Here’s a lead nurturing best practice that requires a little common sense. When building your automated lead nurturing campaign, you need to determine how often you wish to send your nurture messages to your leads. Sending messages to leads too often will have a negative effect on your lead nurturing efforts, however the same goes for sending messages too infrequently.
The sending sweet spot is around one or two messages a week. This way, your leads will still keep your company top of mind, while also not feeling bombarded by receiving constant communications from you. In your automated lead nurturing solution, you can insert delays into your campaign workflow which will tell the system when to send out each message and how long to wait in between messages.
Once you have implemented your automated lead nurturing campaign and it’s up and running, that’s it right? There’s nothing else you need to do?
Well, the answer here is both yes and no.
On the one hand, your company now has an automated lead nurturing solution that takes away a lot of the manual tasks previously completed by employees, meaning they can focus their attention on other tasks. On the other hand, how do you know how effective this solution is and whether there is anything you can do to make sure that it is fully optimized?
Arguably one of the most important lead nurturing best practices is continual optimization. Content can go stale after it has been used for long time, especially if your company’s processes have evolved or changed. It is a good idea to update your content every once in a while to ensure you are continuing to engage your leads to the fullest. As well, one of the benefits of using an automated lead nurturing solution is that you have access to detailed reporting for each nurture message that gets sent out to leads. These reports contain valuable information such as the open and click through rates, along with which links were clicked or engaged with.
Looking to implement these lead nurturing best practices?
All of these automated lead nurturing best practices can go a long way to making your lead nurturing campaigns more effective. You may be wondering how much work it will take to implement everything that was mentioned, and whether you will need to purchase multiple pieces of software.
SimplyCast has built an automated lead nurturing solution that allows you to reduce the number of manual tasks in your current process using automation and strengthen your lead relationships through regular, targeted, and automated messaging.
Would you like to learn more? Be sure to click the button below to request a demo from our knowledgeable team to see how your business can improve your lead nurturing process today!