What is Lead Nurturing and How Does It Work?

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Lead nurturing is basically networking, nurturing your relationships with prospective clients. Most people think lead nurturing is nothing but a series of autoresponders, however, there much more to it than that: it is a complex and intricate process.

Why do you need lead nurturing?

Based on surveys conducted by MarketingSherpa, 79% of leads never convert, i.e. they do not turn into customers.  Which, honestly, is a problem. The question is, what becomes of them, what happens to them? Why don’t they make a purchase? The ultimate question is, however, how can you retain them and turn it over so that 79% of your total visitors convert any you only lose 29%?

Lead nurturing provides a solution to just that.

Lead nurturing, as the name suggests, is nothing but nurturing your leads, taking care of them.

Simply put, lead nurturing is holding your leads by the hand and taking them through the sales funnel, only letting go after they have made a purchase.

OK, but what does it look like in reality?

The first step of lead nurturing is contacting the prospect, then, offering them content that makes them return as a lead until, finally, they convert and make a purchase.

How do I nurture leads?

The sales funnel is a lot longer today than it was a few years ago, but this is what gives you the opportunity to prepare the visitor for the shopping and provide your sales team with leads who are ready to make a purchase. You can make use of this long road by lead nurturing.

Imagine the sales funnel as a huge funnel. Divide this large funnel into 3 stages from top to bottom, and, depending on where your prospect is, name it TOFU (Top of the Funnel), MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) and BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel).

Depending on where your prospect is in the funnel, i.e. in the buying decision-making process, provide them with appropriate content to gain their full commitment.

What kind of content am I to write at each stage?

You’ll need different types of content in each of the three stages, because as prospects go deeper down the funnel they are presented with more information, meaning they will need different information than at the top of the funnel when they were only trying to familiarize with the topic.

Top of the funnel (TOFU)

The first stage of lead nurturing. Visitors are just curious, trying to find a solution to their problem. You’ll need to present them with easy-to-digest content that satisfies their curiosity while urging them to further explore the topic.  Content like this includes blog posts, tip sheets, free white papers, videos, checklists, infographics.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU)

Visitors are already at stage 2 of the buying decision, i.e. they are now called leads. As you previously managed to obtain their e-mail address using TOFU content, you can now start the real, automatic lead nurturing. In the MOFU stage, they’ll need deeper, more educational content. MOFU content includes webinars, case studies, and manuals.

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

Leads are now at the end of the buying decision process and are now called sales qualified leads, meaning they are ready to make the purchase. All you have to do now is make them finish the process and convert them into clients. This is the time to send them vouchers, offer discounts, invitations to demo versions or a free consultation.

All this, however, will not qualify for lead nurturing. You’ll need to set up a strategy to keep track of who is at which stage, and know what content you can offer using which channel. You’ll also need to identify a workflow, enabling you to decide the types of content a lead receives one after the other, and the frequency of contacting them. And, more importantly, you’ll need to decide how you will automate this whole process, i.e. what marketing automation software to choose.

If these questions got you thinking, continue to follow the Automizy blog, and we’re sure to answer all of them.

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