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How Lead Nurturing Can Increase Your Inbound Marketing Success

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According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead

What is Lead Nurturing?

When businesses assess the sales conversion percentages for their email marketing campaign(s) the numbers may surprise them. The gap between a lead and a final sale could actually be closed quicker and more cost effectively if entrepreneurs invested just a little work in the one area they are probably neglecting. So, what is this area? Lead nurturing, and it is as crucial to the success of a business as the inbound marketing campaign itself.

Lead nurturing is the systematic process of follow-up that helps businesses form a relationship with prospective customers. By engaging leads that are not yet sales-ready, you greatly increase your chances of being their vendor of choice once they are ready to make their buying decision. In fact, according to Gartner, companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months.

Lead nurturing is using a range of methods to do just as the name implies and nurture or care for leads that could potentially become sales. Regardless of what product or service you are selling, someone out there wants or needs it. More than likely, it is not something a person may buy immediately. People think about their decisions and compare prices, read reviews and generally try to decide if your product or service is something they want to spend the money on. While the lead is in the process of weighing pros and cons, you could be nurturing this lead to help it end up as sales conversion instead of sales lost.

Lead Nurturing and Your Business

If you invest time, energy, finances and effort into having a strong inbound marketing campaign, then don’t lose all of what you have invested by skipping lead nurturing. If you want to see more sales conversions as a result of your email or content marketing efforts, then it is time for you to get serious about setting up lead nurturing. The important thing to know about nurturing your leads is that this isn’t about marketing; this is about building a relationship built on trust.

You may be wondering how this gets done so you can improve your sales. There are different techniques and approaches to take and much of it depends on the type of business you have. The most common method used is what is often referred to as a ‘drip’ campaign. This is a series of emails that are mailed out periodically and at different intervals to stay in contact with the customer. It is enough to be a reminder and maybe even offer specials to entice leads, but not enough to annoy them and drive them away.

The best approach is to try to get more personally involved with potential customers by contacting them yourself. A follow up form type email is fine, except it may not address the issue that is keeping certain potential customers from becoming sales. Building a relationship during the lead nurturing phase to increase your sales conversion is about finding out what the reasons are for your leads to be hesitant about becoming sales. Sending out a standard email doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter or help people feel nurtured. Make it a point to stay in touch with potential leads on a regular basis and find out if they have questions or if there are any incentives you can use to help convince them to follow through with the deal.

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Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

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