If someone asked you which part of sales and marketing is the most important, what would you say? Lead generation? Closing deals? Customer retention?
What about long term nurture of slow leads?
Leads who don't move through the sales funnel according to your typical pipeline stages or timeframe are all-too-often left to slip through the cracks. If they're not going to convert quickly, there's not much point investing any time in them, right? Hopefully, this post will convince you otherwise.
While lead generation and customer retention are important, they shouldn't be done at the detriment of the contacts who are already in your database.
Generating leads is half the battle; once you've got them, don't let them go! If you're letting slow leads get lost in the abyss, you are sacrificing potential lifelong customers.
Why should you put more effort into slow leads?
- Keep your sales pipeline flowing
Long term nurture will help stop slow leads 'clogging up' your sales pipeline. It's a low-effort branch of marketing - which means it can tick over in the background without much work.
- Increase conversions and ROI
Capitalising on leads who would otherwise get left behind will help you increase your conversions. Long term nurture is low-cost and will improve your ROI.
- Slow leads are not lost leads
There are many reasons a lead falls off track, but most of those reasons won't stop a lead from being a customer altogether. Perhaps they're not ready to buy or they're yet to feel a connection with your business. There will be plenty of slow leads in your database who can be converted to customers - however long it takes.
- Long term nurture workflows can act as lead magnets
Not only will long term nurture campaigns encourage slow leads through the sales funnel, but they will also complement your other essential marketing efforts. Long term nurture campaigns can double up as lead magnets. If you create a high-value campaign to nurture your slow leads, encourage new leads to subscribe to it, too!
- Gather information on your leads
These campaigns are an excellent opportunity to gather information on your leads. Using data on their interactions with your long term nurture content, you can determine important information such as what types of content they like and when they like to engage. You can use this type of data to inform other workflows.
How can you put more effort into long term nurture?
Investing in slow leads doesn't actually require much effort. It's quick, simple and low-cost.
The key is to take a step back and remove 'selling' from the picture. This may seem counter-intuitive to the rest of your sales and marketing strategies, but you have to remember that these leads are not ready to buy. That's why they're not moving through your sales pipeline as quickly as other leads.
To get started with long term nurture, set up some workflows that are designed to span over a longer period of time than your usual campaigns. Create content that's laid back and valuable to your contacts.
While your aim is not to close deals, you do still need to set goals for your campaigns. You could consider goals such as:
- Engaging with an email
- Filling out a form
- Visiting your website
- Clicking a link
What types of long term nurture workflows are effective?
There's a lot of scope for being creative when it comes to long term nurture. Ultimately, you want to engage your leads and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds. These types of workflows shouldn't be pushing for sales.
Some ideas for long term nurture workflows include:
- Industry-relevant newsletters
- Introducing your team
- Behind-the-scenes stories about your business
- Case studies
Consider segmenting contacts and personalising long term nurture content based on data you already hold on them.
Many businesses neglect their slow leads in favour of lead generation and customer retention. While these are important, long term nurture is crucial for mopping up lost leads. You need to invest enough time into them to reap results.
At Flowbird, we help our clients with long term nurture strategies that engage leads and ultimately result in customers. For more information, contact us today.
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