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The importance of nurturing leads

What does it mean to nurture someone? Typically, when we talk about nurturing it’s in reference to children or plants, but marketing leads need to be nurtured too. Your team has worked hard to attract the attention of prospects in your target market — now that you’ve got their interest it’s important to give them what they need to grow into a customer.

Remember that effective marketing today is based on building relationships — communicating with and educating prospects to create awareness about your brand and to build their trust in it. Also remember that in the digital age, prospects want to get as far along the customer journey as they can before reaching out to a company, so making relevant information readily available to them is important to keep them engaged. If that stream of communication suddenly stops because a prospect hasn’t converted into a lead, the goodwill you’ve built up will begin to fade and, more importantly, the prospect will likely forget about your company and its offerings.

On average, 50 percent of leads that are qualified aren’t ready to make a purchase. But that doesn’t mean they should be abandoned. Instead, marketing teams need to find a way to maintain those relationships and stay top-of-mind; nurture email campaigns are a great way to keep the conversation going. Here are three things to consider that will help improve your success rates of turning leads into customers with nurturing:

  1. Take a content-based approach. Yes, we’re suggesting more content. Even though your team has already developed assets to educate prospects about solutions to challenges they may have and what the benefits of your offerings are, there is still plenty of information to share with prospects about how to choose a solution and why yours makes sense. Nurture assets are typically later-stage content such as ebooks, videos, or blog posts that answer purchase-related questions such as 'What should my buying criteria be?' 'Who are the key players in this market?' and 'Why should I choose your solution?' The goal of this content should be to help prospects move forward in their buyer's journey to make the right purchase.

  2. Consider what’s already been consumed. It’s tempting to recycle content that’s already been part of the journey to use in nurture emails — assuming that prospects may have missed it the first time — but best to resist that temptation. You want to use nurturing to add to what prospects may already know about your company and your offerings, so they have a better understanding of why your solution is for them.

  3. Offer incentives. Nurture emails keep the conversation going with leads with the hopes of conversion. In addition to giving leads assets that may help them make a purchase decision, this is a good opportunity to offer product discounts or other incentives that might help them decide your solution is the right one.

Read more about lead nurturing basics in our book The Principles of Inbound Marketing for Small and Start-Up Businesses. Then contact us to learn how we can help you put an effective lead-nurturing strategy in place.


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