Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers
Post by Megan Totka
Your bottom line lives in your sales pipeline. Do you know where it’s breaking down? The sales process starts at first contact, when a customer browses your website. That first contact may initiate from a web search, a social media connection, or a marketing strategy. From that moment, you need to be nurturing your relationship.
While every buyer is different, you can use your data to analyze patterns and find out where you’re losing sales, and what buyers are likely to do next. Understanding the buyer decision process is the first step.
The wealth of information and ease of ordering almost anything online provides both great opportunity and intense competition. Winners and losers are often determined by the kind and amount of attention customers receive. Here are the best practices for nurturing different types of leads.
The first contact. When visitors come to your website for the first time, will they find what they came for? Product or service information might not be enough. Your customers want to know how your offering fits into their lives, they want to know they can trust you, and they want to feel good about buying from you.
Start your journey by offering in-depth information, case studies, user reviews, and customer recommendations. Give them an opportunity to opt in for more, and when they do, send them a warm welcome and an offer of help.
The unknown. The most common way to lose sales is through lack of data tracking. When your web analytics are on point, you have a wealth of information about your visitors: where they came from, what they did when they reached your page, what interested them most, where they went next.
Comprehensive web data analysis can help you redesign your website based on what visitors respond best to; add the kind of content they spend the most time on and refine your marketing efforts to maximize click-throughs.
Understand your customer to personalize the offers they get
Customer data fills in the rest of the blanks. Collect information from every source in your CRM (customer relationship management system), including social media, invoices, your sales and customer service departments. The more you understand your customer, the more you can personalize your offers.
The dropout. Study data trends to see where you’re losing warm leads. Follow up with people who chose to buy from somewhere else, and find out why. Once you’ve found the answer, fix the problem … and lure lost sales back with a highly targeted, personalized content.
Fixing the holes in your pipeline will take dedicated sleuthing. You’ll have to ask some uncomfortable questions, follow up with uninterested people, and check the notes in your CRM for comments from disgruntled customers.
The drifter. Potential customers can simply drift away over time. Keep their interest with well-timed contact, social media touches, and exclusive events. FOMO (fear of missing out) can be your best friend when consumers lose interest. Offer great deals for very limited times, on goods or services you know they are interested in.
Cross-channel marketing is especially useful here. By connecting with leads across on the social media channels they call home gives you unprecedented access to making the kind of emotional connection that leads to a deep customer relationship.
The sleeper. Old customers who bought once and haven’t returned could be a hidden goldmine. You know them, and they know you. You should have all the information you need to regain their interest and pull them in for a new offer. Even though most companies focus their spend on acquiring new customers, repeat customers are more valuable.
Never forget to show customers you value their business. This is where great customer service and personalized content comes in. Without overwhelming your contacts with invasive emails or other touches, offer them tips and updates, and ask for feedback. Keep in touch regularly, but don’t overdo it.
The secret to lead nurturing in any stage of the pipeline is targeting. Your emails and offers have to be interesting, and for that, make sure your email list is properly segmented. Consumers are bombarded by offers and accustomed to ignoring them. To get their attention, your offer has to be exactly what they want and need, timed to reach them when they are most likely to be interested.