We all know that it takes more than one encounter with your brand for customers to commit and make that first purchase. However, just because they're not converting on that initial touchpoint doesn't mean that a relationship hasn't been established.

Relationships with your customers begin long before they ever make a purchase, whether you realize it or not, they're forming an opinion of your brand. Your prospects have a built-in idea of what to expect from you, based on your site, your reputation, and even the items you sell. And while prospects will form their own opinions, you can guide them to those conclusions with strategic approaches that:

  1. Will land you more leads
  2. And help you boost customer lifetime value.

Thus, the more leads you nurture, the more revenues you'll generate, which makes connecting with your prospects a top priority.

What is Lead Nurturing?

When a prospect learns about your brand or even identifies a need, you have the opportunity to connect with them, to assist them and to nurture them. The idea is to focus your marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of your prospects to provide them with the answers and content they need. This process, called lead nurturing, not only helps the prospect, it puts you in an ideal position when they are ready to buy.

Lead nurturing is an essential part of marketing your brand to new prospects and developing relationships with them at every stage of their journey. The process of connecting and nurturing after your prospect becomes a customer will ensure you retain them for the long term.

Why Nurturing Matters

The more competitive your field is the more nurturing matters. The way you nurture and care for your leads, and eventually, your customers will differentiate you from other e-commerce brands and ensure you forge a lasting connection.

It takes more money and effort to find new prospects than it does to sell to a repeat buyer or nurtured prospect. Repeat buyers already have a connection with you and know something about your brand. When you have to find someone new to sell to, you'll spend time and money trying to get noticed. The leads you already have or that you attain are your gold mine, making it essential to pay attention to their needs and serve them well.

Benefits of Nurturing

Nurturing will boost your conversions. When you have a nurturing campaign or plan in place, any leads that come your way are treated as a top priority and receive a swift response. According to research from Hubspot, this rapid response is essential for conversions, since up to 50% of leads buy from the first vendor that responds to them. Hubspot also found that leads deteriorate over time — the longer they sit, the colder they get. A nurturing campaign allows you to strike while the lead is hot and make a lasting connection.

Automated processes make nurturing easy. A nurturing campaign spots and responds to new leads automatically, launching a planned series of engagement, informative and helpful emails or touchpoints. Automation ensures that every lead gets the same treatment, preventing them from feeling overlooked. Additionally, automation helps you create usable data about how well your marketing initiatives are working. And here's the bonus, once you set up your nurturing campaign you won't have to touch it again.

Regular, ongoing relationship building. When you nurture a lead right from the start, you let them know what to expect from your brand when they become customers. You can leverage the same techniques used for nurturing leads to ensure that your hard-won customers stay with you for the long term — and even refer you to others.

3 Ways to Nurture Leads

Nurturing helps your leads move through your sales cycle efficiently, provided you offer lots of value, and don't adopt a pushy sales approach. Email is a great way to connect with leads as it's affordable and effective, and with the help of DataQ you can easily segment your leads. Moreover, creating different segments for your leads' various interests and needs will ensure that each group receives relevant content that resonates with them. Below we'll outline three easy ways to begin nurturing your leads.

Be a Giver

According to HubSpot, one of the worst things you can do when nurturing is immediately launch into a sales pitch. Instead, send material that addresses your lead's pain points, teaches them something new or even showcases a fresh new approach. When you do this, your emails are far more likely to be opened, and you'll start your relationship right — by giving, not asking for something.

Create a Timeline

Examine your typical sales process and cycle and determine a timeline for your nurturing campaign. Tune your emails to deploy over a certain amount of time using your optimized schedule. Setting up your calendar will allow you to create a campaign once and then use it for every new lead you attain. Aim for three to five touchpoints that offer genuine value for the prospect and spread them out over several days for maximum impact. Each connection should provide something of value, a way to connect and, after your initial contact, the option to convert.

Evaluate and Optimize

Let your campaign run for a few weeks, then examine your results. Are some emails getting more attention or a better open rate than others? Do some convert more readily than others? Which segments respond best — the brand-new leads or the ones you've been connecting with? Ideally, your nurtured leads will convert more often than new ones — if they don't, you should revisit the content you are sending.

Conclusion

By committing to nurturing your leads, you'll boost your conversions and also build long-term customer relationships that will benefit your brand in the long run. Nurtured leads become happy, engaged customers, and as long as you continue your efforts, you'll benefit from ongoing retention and repeat business.

To learn more about nurturing leads and how to build compelling campaigns, subscribe to our blog. We want to help you make the most of the leads you've worked so hard to gain and make sure you get the best possible ROI on your marketing efforts.