4 Tips for Nurturing E-mail Leads
In its recent whitepaper The Marketing Imperative for 2009: Build A Killer Lead Nurturing Program, TailoredMail, a provider of e-mail marketing software, cites studies that show between 70 percent and 90 percent of leads go to waste—some of which could be worth significant revenue if pursued.
While there are many reasons for lead detritus, TailoredMail points to a lack of communication between sales and marketing as a key factor. To move forward, it suggests a shared definition for qualified leads, as well as a clear-cut plan for lead nurturing. In outlining a process to improve lead nurturing, TailoredMail highlights these four tips:
1. Provide Authenticity
E-mail messaging sent to leads must address prospects' needs or problems, interests and roles at their companies—in regard to B-to-B offers—with the most authentic tone and point of view possible. Writing "from" a sales person or customer service representative lends communications authenticity and takes the first step in starting relationships with customers—by introducing prospects to the person who will lead them through the rest of the sales cycle.
2. Tweak Your Copy
E-mail is celebrated for its measurability and easy reporting features, so why not use these tools to update your offer and messaging? If you are working with a copywriter who has no e-mail experience, it's worth searching for one who has e-mail specific success and can use reporting and conversion rates as a platform to tweak message text.
3. Permit Questions
In highly successful e-mail nurturing programs, each message includes an opportunity for prospects to ask a question directly to a sales person or customer service representative. When a prospect takes this action, it signals he is ready to engage with the organization. To convert these leads, sales must respond immediately. For easy follow-up, try implementing a value system to rank each response in order of importance.
4. Reach Out to the Unresponsive
There are myriad reasons why leads do not respond to follow-up messaging. They could become distracted, time-pressed or put your offer on the back burner. To capture more unresponsive leads and convert them to qualified status, use a communication plan tailored to them. Place them on lists for your more low-key, soft-sell items (like monthly newsletters) to keep your product or service top of mind. Provide a way for the leads to be advanced down the sales pipeline, or, in the event they remain unresponsive, sent back to prospect status for more nurturing.