In the previous post of this short series, I introduced the topic of lead generation and listed different goals of such campaigns. In this post, I’ll take a different angle and focus on communication channels to use in a lead nurturing campaign. There are more channels you may use, of course, but I limited myself to the most used ones: email, phone calls, SMS and social media.
Lead nurturing campaign channels
Email is one of the best and most effective communication channels and is slowly replacing telemarketing. Your goal is to send valuable content that is worth opening and give recipients a reason to click on links that will bring them to your site.
The challenge is always to stand out from the daily overload of information and messages that we all receive. This is why sending one-size-fits-all messages works against the idea of lead nurturing. Uniform messaging fails to make the kind of connection with consumers that you’re looking for.
Pay attention to the balance between sending messages too often and too rarely. You don’t want to annoy subscribers with too many messages, but you also don’t want them to forget about you. The best way to find the optimum solution is to track results and constantly improve. Check when open rates are highest, experiment with the sending time and the design of the message itself.
Attention-grabbing, substantive content is fundamental to any lead nurturing campaign. It builds brand awareness, establishes you as an expert in the field and inspires the trust consumers to need to reach a purchasing decision.
Telephone conversations can be a great tool for lead nurturing on the condition that you only call leads that are ready to buy. Lead nurturing by phone starts with organizing a sales team, setting goals and then supplying the team with tools they need to succeed. They need to be able to get in touch with leads that are ready to buy as soon as possible.
Scoring is a handy solution here. It indicates the client’s position in the sales funnel by granting points for different customer behaviors (e.g. opening an email, signing up for free content). This isn’t cold calling—in fact, it’s the opposite since sales already have information about potential customers and their needs.
Just like with emails, the first conversation isn’t about making sales. The focus should be on the customer’s needs and his business challenges. What makes a fruitful sales phone call?
- The customer speaks and the seller listens and notes information that can be useful in scoring.
- Timing is also important, more so than with emails, and it’s important to note time differences in the customer’s location.
- Be prepared for the conversation—a script in place will certainly make things easier for your salespersons.
There’s nothing worse than a seller who’s not sure about the facts and isn’t prepared to answer questions. After the call, import notes from your conversation with the customer to their profile in the CRM.
Text messages (SMS) are a very effective method for lead nurturing. They can reach customers more quickly and directly than emails. As with other channels, be sure to send messages that won’t disappoint or annoy the recipients. The message should be short and to the point – you have only 160 characters at your disposal. Create a great template with a ready message and don’t use shortcuts unless they are easily understood.
You and your team put a lot of time and effort into creating great content and there’s no better way to get it to a wider audience than social media. The hundreds of millions of pictures and films shared and viewed on platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat make the “share-ability” of your content very important. Make high-quality content that is easy to share and users will do the rest. It’s practically a lead nurturing campaign without campaigning.
It’s important to remember, though, that social media is part of a larger, general strategy and it can’t be your only communication channel with customers. You also need to be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns with the right metrics. Getting lots of likes is great, but how do you turn that into sales? Let’s take a closer look at the use of social media.
Advantages of different social media platforms
Facebook: The most important and most popular of all, this is where you can reach the widest possible audience of users who spend an average of 35 minutes a day there. On the other hand, you don’t have to contact everyone. Thanks to ad targeting you can select a very narrow audience and make sure your campaign reaches the right group of people.
Twitter: A good way to get new leads, communicate and interact. You don’t necessarily need words! Domino’s Pizza has flooded Twitter with tweets written only by pizza emojis. It was their way to promote ordering pizza using Twitter, which was supposed to make ordering pizza as simple as tweeting and it worked! Twitter’s drawback? It’s easy to get lost in the crowd with 350,000 tweets per minute. Solution? Use free tools that let you monitor hashtags and phrases and react in real time, such as Tweetdeck, Brand24 or Mention.
LinkedIn: A great place for finding new leads (you can export emails from your profile to find connections) and share educational materials and products. Sixty-five percent of B2B companies say LinkedIn is an effective source of leads.
Next step – Artificial Intelligence
Lead nurturing is client-centered, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t automate it and take advantage of the AI-powered marketing tools. They let companies achieve much more because they allow you to reach prospects at the optimal time with just the right content and personalized as much as possible.
Such advancements have become highly accessible not only for global corporations but also for smaller businesses. Customers appreciate this and come to trust the brand more, making them more likely to buy. Lead nurturing is more than just sales, it’s primary customer outreach.
Time to set up a rocking lead nurturing campaign!
Remember that lead nurturing is much more than e-books about a company and promotional newsletters. It’s about delivering valuable content to customers interested in a product, sustain and develop that interest. Measure every strategy according to how it impacts sales, the number of leads it generates and the quality of those leads.