Lead nurturing is a great way to improve your conversion rates and to focus your efforts and time on those leads with the greatest potential. Last month, we looked at the benefits of automating sales and marketing processes. Lead nurturing was introduced briefly in the latter, ‘Marketing Automation Transforms Businesses’. Several readers asked about how to start nurturing leads, so here’s our Inner Core Solutions guide to the what, why and how.
DO LEADS NEED NURTURING?
With a plethora of data and global competitors trying to muscle into your space, it’s tougher than ever to build relationships effectively. This is especially true when trying to open a business relationship remotely, as we all tend to do in a post-pandemic world.
At ICS, we’re convinced that emailed nurture sequences help to stay top-of-mind of prospects and improve conversion rates. And yes, we use them. Continuous contact with prospects allows you to gently feed them more and more pertinent sales information, prior to speaking/meeting with them. So, your time, or your sales team’s time is better utilised with prospects that have been warmed up already. On top of that, it’s ripe for automation with Zoho CRM for 100% visibility and efficiency.
WHAT IS A LEAD NURTURING SEQUENCE?
Lead nurturing sequences are an automated set of emails designed to be sent over a period, after a prospect makes initial contact. That could be a newsletter sign up, a download or a form completion that obtains an email address and permission that triggers the start of the sequence. Once triggered, that lead nurturing sequence will send the prospect emails over a period and with pre-set gaps between mailings.
HOW TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE LEAD NURTURING SEQUENCE
You’re going to need some considered planning, a little creativity and Zoho to make this work. Here’s our 4-stage process to get you going.
1. Decide on the Length of your Email Lead Nurturing Sequence
How many emails do you want in your lead nurturing sequence? Try to think of the information that typical prospects ask for or that seems valuable to them. Then try to break this down into a single idea for each email. That’ll give you your plan. Whatever’s right for your business, we recommend a minimum of 3 emails in a lead nurturing sequence. And probably a maximum of 6.
Also think about how often the emails are sent, assuming they’re opened. It doesn’t have to be the same gap between emails. Do you know the times/days that your customers typically open emails, if so, factor that in, too. You can see from Zoho whether an email has been opened or not, so maybe plan in some different sequences depending on open status.
2. Create the Email Content
The first email in your lead nurturing sequence is the most important. This’ll most likely have the highest open rate. Use it to thank the prospect for the interest they’ve shown (download, form completion or whatever the trigger was) Then introduce your company and 1 or 2 benefits of working with you. A testimonial quote can offer reassurance, too. Try not to be too pushy or ‘salesy’.
Make sure there’s a clear call to action in there; make an appointment, call now, download a leaflet PDF, etc.
We like to keep the content ‘personal’ in that it always has the sender’s name and contact details. These can be automated with a merge field to be the Account Owner’s name, to try and establish an early personal connection between salesperson and prospect.
Once number 1 is complete, move onto the remainder. These should each be specific and communicate a clear, single idea and benefit. Somewhere in the sequence, try to include at least one email that offers no new information but does offer a clear call to action, such as make an appointment for a discovery call or call now to discuss your requirements.
While you do want to deal with objections up front, it’s never ideal to bombard the prospect with too much information. Keep some back for when you finally talk!
3. Build the Sequence Logic
Zoho CRM uses a visual workflow creator with a series of triggers and actions to build your automations. Find it via the settings/setup button and look for Workflow Rules in the Automation section.
First decide which action taken by a prospect will trigger your nurture sequence to start. If you add leads with certain fields pre-populated, this can help. So, for example if a lead from an event triggers the sequence, when uploading the leads, set lead status to ‘Event X’. Then when a new lead is created with Lead Status = Event X, it can start your workflow.
4. Test Thoroughly Before Go-Live
It’s usually straightforward to build them but make sure to thoroughly test your lead nurturing sequences! You don’t want a prospect to receive all of your nurture emails at once or for some not to reach them at all. This may take a little time to do but the results you get in the end will be worth it! Test on yourself and your colleagues.