Posted by Brian Berg Google+
Not all leads are the same and therefore should not be pursued the same. More and more, direct marketing technology is making is easier than ever for marketers to build variable communication to “nurturing” their leads and improving their response.
Lead nurturing involves first understanding the naturally occurring subsets of your lead database. Many companies are always testing multiple ways to bring new leads to their store front. They may be using direct mail, online advertisement, space ads with a ring group phone number, and various co-marketing efforts that develop leads of all kinds.
In this day and age, nurturing leads from “cold lead to customer” has become the standard with marketing professionals of all industries and all size businesses. Successful marketers must attempt to develop your messaging appeals from introduction of a New Lead, through Warm Lead, to Opportunity for Sale, and finally through to New Customer.
Many of these leads could be very mildly interested in your product or service but aren’t necessarily ready beyond interested. They usually have more pressing interests and though they would like your product or service, they cannot afford it or simply do not have time for proper consideration. These cold leads are not in the “buying stage”, but they could be in the “learning more” stage in the near future. The best communication for these folks is familiarizing them with your brand, and making it very easy for them to learn more about the benefits to your product, company, and service.
Continued qualifying of the new leads is crucial to best assessing the true short term potential of this lead as they graduate to a Warm Lead or Opportunity for Sale.
Communication with New Leads might include the following:
· Visual content like info graphics along with simple messages that bring about more interest and curiosity.
· Helpful information pointing to blog posts, or follow-up information
· White Papers or eBooks that cover a broad scope of topics
· Invitation to events or webinars
Other leads are more serious about considering your product or service. Warm leads are those prospects at the stage of comparison with your competitors. They realize the benefits and value of the product or service. Warm Leads are ideal for competitor comparison charts and visualizing in the simplest of ways, to sum of the ease of purchase, ease of use, and ease of service and maintenance.
Communication with Warm Leads might include the following:
· Demonstration Requests remind these leads of their initial interest
· Product Overviews keep the warm lead in the moment as they contemplate moving forward
· Event or webinar invites
· Value Guides rejuvenate the leads interest and demonstrates clear value
Opportunity for Sale
Opportunities are leads that have serious interests in purchasing your product or service. They have decided they are going to purchase and are emotionally ready to open their wallet. Opportunity leads need that extra push to make the commitment and should be tended to with the best people on your sales team. These leads need to be acted upon quickly for if they don’t buy from you, they will likely buy from someone else.
Communication with Opportunity for Sale might include the following:
· Competitive Differentiators removes obstacles with the competition
· Buyers Guides moves Opportunities to action
· Special Offers and Pricing peek their interest to act
· Sales Proposals map out the finer details that prepares the prospect for the sale
Depending on what industry you’re in, new customers can be nurtured for more business, upgrades, up-sell/cross-sell products and services, etc. For most companies, continued communication with customers needs to occur in order to keep their interest and their business.
Communication with New Customers might include the following:
· Onboarding Information reinforces the professional process taken by your customer
· Training Resources ensures customer commitment and reduces product returns
· Product Updates reminds customers of the cutting edge brand
· Renewal Notices prepare customers of the next sale
At each stage of customer development, the curiosity of the lead either “tunes-in” to the finer attributes of your product or service, or they “tune-out”. Done right, your cold leads are nurtured through the development stages by offering more insightful content that best addresses a particular audience segment.
At every stage, continue effort should be placed on qualifying and re-qualifying where the lead is on their cycle from New Lead to New Customer. Ask yourself, what else can you do to better segment your lead flow to communicate more effectively with them? What commonalities do some leads have with others in terms of interests, product, etc.?
When developing your lead generation program, consider incorporating questions that will help you pinpoint what stage of nurturing your lead is in. Ideally, try to get the following questions answered:
· What product or service are you interested in?
· How soon are you considering a purchase?
· How often/how much do you plan to purchase/use the product/service?
· What obstacles are standing in the way of making a purchase?
Also, at each stage of communication, you want to collect bits of information that will help you better classify and communicate with the lead in order to nurture them through Lead Nurture timeline.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your postal direct marketing initiatives, call BB Direct at 866-501-6273. We’ll be happy to assist you!