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Set Yourself Up to Succeed with Lead Nurturing and Drip Marketing

Drop of waterSomething that irritates me, and probably most people, is when you visit a site to simply poke around and immediately receive a sales call. It feels like a waste of my time and the sales person’s and, frankly, it is. This is a classic lead nurturing mistake, and it often drains the credibility out of an inbound marketing program because the percentage of leads that eventually close is very low.

Then what should you do? Consider a lead nurturing and drip marketing program that addresses each visitor at the right buying stage—and does so consistently without being intrusive.

You are going to know — because you’ve already have an awesome inbound marketing program in place, right? – which areas of the site visitors go to, what they download and how long they are on certain pages. If you haven’t put this kind of plan together—then start. Step one demands that you know why your visitors are hitting your site.

Step 1: Divide your leads into categories matching your sales cycle.

A good marketing consultant can help you but a lot of it is also common sense. If someone downloads a “How to Choose” or “Which One is Right for Me” asset from your site it’s likely they are weighing their options and might not be ready to buy. Get a feel for where they are in the buying process. Don’t forget the folks who have already purchased from you.

Step 2: Once segmented, decide how to keep in touch.

The further along they are in the sales cycle, the more aggressive your approach. So, that sales call I mentioned before? Definitely call within hours of a visitor pushing a button on your site that says “I Want the 10% Discount”. They are ready to buy. Use some finesse with the remaining categories. It might be as simple as just sending an auto-response to a person who provides their email address to receive updates. Save the phone calls for the leads that actually filled out the 15-entry form asking for more information.

Step 3: Be consistent and flexible.

Never shut off the lights on your lead nurturing program, and make sure that as buyers move through the stages they also move through your communication categories. Inconsistency not only showcases a lack of marketing acumen it gets confusing for your audience. Hence the words – drip marketing. Consistent content. Consistent amounts. Consistent time table.

What kinds of tactical tools are used in drip marketing?

The first, and most obvious, is a phone call. Following that: email blasts, newsletters, coupons and discount programs, buying reminders and special events can all be useful and, for the most part, automated by your CRM system.

Again, it is important in any lead nurturing or drip marketing activity to remain consistent and relevant. Do not inundate your audience with information. People respond better to quick and easy. Above all, always have a healthy respect for their time—and yours. Don’t set yourself up to fail by wasting your own time chasing leads that aren’t ready. Being consistent, quick and relevant will ensure your success.

Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this very interesting post. I don’t get a lot of calls from websites I have visited, but I have received them, and they’re always too early in the process. Like you said, the call should only be placed when I’m ready. When I received the calls, I always ended up saying no, and I unsubscribed to the emails I received from the company as well. I didn’t want any of the push marketing.. they were too aggressive.

  2. Really digging this simple field reference here, Christina!

    I feel that conversions in general is an often-overlooked area in our overall industry. We service professionals take lead generation, contracts and negotiation, and price lists for granted.. There’s a lot of overlap there.

    What you said about consistency is absolutely right. You’ll never have your stuff 100% set but you need to make SOME sort of effort. Play up your strengths, too.

    For me, Twitter is easily one of the most efficient ways to engage others and drip information. It has helped me build relationships efficiently, without taking away from the core of my work. It’s important that people keep us in business and friendships are important, regardless.

    Without our fans, followers, and friends, where would we be? Really, it’s not merely about buying readiness. We just have to build the trust and respect, plus be likeable and credible.. The rest is natural if, like you said, you use some common sense. 8)

  3. Hi Christina,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very interesting post. I don’t get a lot of calls from websites I have visited, but I have received them, and they’re always too early in the process. Like you said, the call should only be placed when I’m ready. When I received the calls, I always ended up saying no, and I unsubscribed to the emails I received from the company as well. I didn’t want any of the push marketing.. they were too aggressive.

    Jens

  4. Thanks Christina, for so much practical and easy to implement advice. I think some of us understand the concept and love it but don’t really “get” the sequence of the steps. You’ve given us a few clear action items that we can use to start the process and at least attempt to bring a few of those stragglers in. Much appreciated.

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