Every business in every industry stresses about lead generation. We exhaust all resources to bring traffic to our website, present beautiful content that screams, “Download me!” and capture email addresses through carefully crafted landing pages.

But once we have those email addresses, tucked in safe and sound in our CRMs, we have to nurture them before they become stale.

What is lead nurturing?

The lead nurturing definition states, that it is a process of building relationships and educating qualified leads at every stage in the sales funnel. The ultimate goal is to be at top of mind, through email campaigns and website content, if and when a lead is ready to purchase.

So, once we’ve captured a lead’s information, it’s time to start paying attention to their activity and interest on your website (through your website visitor tracking software, which you’ve already installed and are a master at, right?). This not only tells us how serious of a buyer they are (visiting pricing pages vs. watching your ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video), but also which of your features or services they’re most interested in.

If you’re new to this process, the best place to start is lead nurturing through email campaigns.

Follow these simple steps to get going:

  1. Create segmentations in your marketing automation software based on your leads’ website activity and engagement. Organize leads based on similar actions and pages visited.  For example, group those who went to your YouTube page to watch a sales demo, everyone who subscribed to your blog, or those that read a specific product page into different segments to target them with different messages according to the product pages or YouTube videos they watch.
  2. Email these leads with continued education opportunities based on their past activity. Start slowly though, we don’t want to overwhelm brand new leads and come off as spammers! Offer content of slightly higher value than they’ve previously interacted with. Send loyal blog readers an eBook or send service pricing page visitors a demo video.
  3. Continue monitoring and mixing up your campaigns as needed. Every lead is different – some might move through the sales cycle quickly, while others will drop off the face of the earth for awhile. Create different projections based on campaign engagement and keep sales in the know when it’s time to reach out by phone and close a deal.

Most of us spend a bulk of our marketing budget on lead acquisition, so lead nurturing campaigns is crucial in order for us to convert those leads into revenue. In order to see that ROI, your nurturing process must be consistent and active.

Why should  I nurture my leads

Lead nurturing is completely, totally, and 100 percent necessary. It presents your company as a thought leader in your industry and not just soulless selling machines more concerned with dollar signs than client relationships.

Sure, every now and then, you might be able to convert a brand new lead relatively quickly without any nurturing. But, that lead is not going to be a happy and successful customer – they will feel distant from your company culture and may not even fully understand the product or service they’ve invested in.

Sounds like a prime candidate for churn.

Nurture campaigns don’t rush leads. They don’t pressure them to buy. They don’t push them into an uneducated decision. Instead, they give you time to build relationships and qualify your leads. Email is also an excellent platform for conversation, so make sure you encourage your recipients to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns (because, trust me, they have all three).