Like most companies, you have probably built a significant database of prospective customers. It’s not uncommon to have 100,000’s of contacts, or even millions, in a B2B or B2C company’s contact database. That database is a significant asset that gets undervalued at most companies. Think about it: if your average cost per new contact is even just R50 (a low assumption) and you have a modest database of 20,000 contacts, then your company database is a R1 million asset. Do you treat it as such? How many other assets of that size do you have in your company? How much revenue does that asset generate for your business?
The members of your database should be nurtured. Done well, lead nurturing can lead to much more efficient and effective demand generation. When nurturing leads that are not immediately sales ready, these are three times more likely to become a sales lead in a given month than if they are not nurtured. Overall, that means if you can generate 50% more qualified sales leads each month at 33% lower cost per lead.
To help design and implement these processes, here are some key tips to effective lead nurturing:
- Make it valuable — to your prospects, 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.
- Make it bite-sized. The internet has changed how buyers make purchases, and it’s affected how they consume content. 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 is more valuable and 67% say content targeted to their job function is more valuable.
- 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. One tactic is to let your prospects determine the pace themselves, choosing between once a week or twice a month and a best practice tip here is to work on a 90 day strategy plan.