Lead Nurturing: How Do I Get Started?

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Dear Kara,

Looking for a little guidance-

We’ve taken steps over the past few months to “optimize” our website per your recommendations. One of the biggest changes to note is our new compelling offer- “30 Day Free Trial”. Across all our channels, this change has increased our conversion rate by approximately 4%. lead nurturing how get started

Despite the increase in lead volume, our sales remain low. Historically our sales cycle falls between 30-45 days. We know by the time a trial comes to close the likelihood that a prospect will close.

We’re a small company and individuals wear many hats. For this reason, unless a prospect requests a call, we typically do not do any proactive reach out. I fear this lack of hand holding throughout the trial may be hurting our ability to close leads. Should all leads be followed up on? If so, how would you recommend we follow up during the trial period?

Sincerly,
Lost Leads

Dear Lost,

It’s great to hear you’re converting a higher volume of leads. Unfortunately, the work doesn’t end with website changes! The first step in making a sale is generating the lead, the second, and arguably most important step, is what you do with the lead after it’s converted.

How you nurture a prospect post conversion plays an essential role in building the relationship and trust. Research from Insidesales.com shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

If you’re a small to medium sized business, first responders may not always be available. Don’t fret, Lost! You can still get your foot in the door without having to increase your company headcount. To do this, set up an email nurture track for your prospects.

When a prospect completes your online web lead form, they should receive an email immediately with instructions on how to set up their their trial account. Additionally, they should receive periodic emails throughout their trial. The goal is to keep them engaged!

This sounds time consuming. It’s not! Although, it is possible for these emails to be sent manually using calendar reminders. (Yes, some people still do this..) If it’s lack of time that keeps you from sending out nurture emails, try using an email marketing solution like MailChimp. MailChimp not only allows you to create email campaigns for your prospects, but it will generate free reports on email response rates.

The email track should consist not only of check-ins, but original content- eBooks, webinars, helpful hints, feature explanation etc. The goal is to help your prospect navigate their trial experience seamlessly.

If you don’t have this insightful content already created, do it! Content, reviews and vendor responsiveness are consistently rated as the most important factors in software selection.

Here are a few tips on creating content:

Tip 1: Start by putting yourself in the prospect shoes.

They’ve signed up for your trial, now what? A great lead nurturing program will anticipate what questions your prospects ask themselves after the conversion:

  • How does it work?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Will this save me time?
  • What will this cost me?

Tip 2: Keep your material relevant.

What sets you apart from competitors? Are there features or functionality you should draw attention to? Trial interaction increases as you incentivize and empower your prospects. Make sure your content is helpful!

Tip 3: Engage the prospect.

Ask questions to evoke a response from your prospect. You want to get a conversation started with the prospect as it increases your chance at closing the sale! You may not have the manpower to call each lead as it converts. Could you call each lead that engages in your email nurturing? I would hope so!

Test different email copy to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. Engagement is the key! As always, if you’d like to run your email copy by me, email me at kdawson@capterra.com. I’m happy to offer additional feedback!

Sincerely,
Kara

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Kara Dawson

As a Marketing Advisor at Capterra, Kara serves as an outside marketing consultant for nearly 300 of our B2B software companies.

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