Create Customers with a Lead Nurturing & Lead Generation Plan
When you're spending a good amount of time and energy on your business blog, you want to see a return on that time. Of course, updating your blog is great for traffic and search engine rankings, but that's not all you want to see from it. This is why it's important to create a lead generation plan and lead nurturing process on your business blog and in your email newsletter, so that you're encouraging leads to sign up for your email list, and leading them to eventually become customers.
The first step in lead nurturing is the lead generation process: actually capturing a new email address, or the interest of a new customer. In digital marketing, the best form of lead generation is getting people to sign up for your email list. So let's first discuss ways to capture new leads online.
Step 1: Lead Generation
What are some lead generation techniques? There are a few different ways to go about collecting leads on your website. The easiest is to simply have a newsletter signup form. You can include this in a popup on your website's home page, in your blog's sidebar, or in the footer of your website.
Another great way to capture new email addresses is by creating content extras for your blog posts. A content extra is a downloadable checklist, infographic, or other type of PDF file that adds value to a blog post. You write a blog post on a topic, but a content extra is something extra you create in order to get a user's email address in exchange for them downloading it.
Put some thought into a good lead magnet, or a freebie that you offer new subscribers in exchange for their email address. Sometimes this is something like an ebook, other times it's a coupon or discount code. It depends what type of business you own, and what your customers really want from you.
Create Facebook and Twitter ads to help with your lead generation plan. There are ads that will collect email addresses directly on the social platform for you to export and import into your email service provider, or you can simply create a landing page for your offer and track conversions through there. Lead generation and conversion tracking ads are more expensive, so you might even consider simply driving traffic to your lead magnet's landing page.
Lead generation is only the first step. When someone signs up for your newsletter, they're not typically ready to buy yet. This is why it's so important to consistently reach out to your leads and nurture them.
Step 2: Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing essentially means that you're creating a relationship with your customers throughout every step of the buying process. You created a relationship with them when they decided to sign up for your email list to receive an awesome piece of content from you. You nurture that relationship with them every time you send out a new newsletter or write a new blog post.
In order to create lead nurturing content that will actually lead to sales, you need to create automated communication that will help to nurture the relationship without much extra work from you.
Marketo has found that about 50% of all leads are not ready to buy yet. This is why it's important to create the perfect lead nurturing email funnel.
After your new lead has downloaded your lead magnet, you'll add them to your regular weekly or monthly newsletter and begin to send them your typical newsletter content. However, you'll also want to create an automated sequence with your email service provider that includes other offers and deals to entice new leads to buy.
The important thing to remember is not to dive in with your main product or service offering. The best way to turn a lead who's not ready to dive in and buy big into a paying customer is by offering them a low-dollar product. This can be a short informational product or a small product that doesn't cost much to produce. Start sending emails teasing your low-dollar item to each new lead. This shouldn't be anything more than $10. Again, we want to keep it cheap, only to get the lead to buy something from you and turn into a customer. Even if they go from a $5 product to a $500 service, it's much easier to get someone who has already bought something from you to buy more.
After you've secured a purchase from the lead, start teasing your main product or service. Offer a discount if they buy within a certain time frame to create urgency.
Lead nurturing involves creating a relationship with your customer, and then nurturing that relationship through each step of the buying process. By creating content extras on your blog and an automated email sequence for new subscribers, you're going to increase the likelihood that leads turn into customers. To learn how to improve your lead nurturing efforts, check out our blog post, "5 Ways to Improve Your Lead Nurturing Efforts."