What is Lead Nurturing?
In my previous article in this series, Funnels for Financial Advisers: How to Create a Successful Lead Generation Process, I talked about the steps to gather the information you need for leads. Now I would like to explain what to do with all of the information you have compiled.
This part encompasses the know, like, and trust process that I have talked about in the past, and it is an essential step in getting someone from just looking around your website to actually becoming a client. People want to do business with people they are comfortable with. You have to nurture those leads.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with a lead, also known as in our industry as a prospect. It is what you do before they are ready to commit to meeting with you, or making a decision about doing business with you. Simply put it is the planned out series of points of contact you use to introduce your firm and yourself to potential clients.
In the past, this may have been referred to as a marketing “drip” campaign and was done via printed and mailed letters. With the integration of technology, websites, social media, and email it can be simplified and modernized into an automated email series.
Why do I need this?
Lead nurturing has become an integral part of any successful marketing strategy. By having the ability to set everything up in an automated campaign it will save you time (and money). In the past, you had to pay for print and postage, you had to wait on items to arrive in the mail, and you never really knew what most people did with the information. Did it go straight into the trash? Did they read it? Did they visit your site? There was no way to track the results of your efforts.
With an automated, digital campaign, you now have a way to get your information in front of potential clients instantly. Items go directly to their email inbox. Most people have smartphones and have access to it anyway and anywhere. There are also ways to now track what they do with it once they receive it. It has completely revolutionized the way lead nurturing takes place.
By utilizing the modern technology available today, you can do all of this while also using some human aspects such as remembering to follow up with a new contact and introducing the firm. We are all busy and sometimes we can simply forget who is where in the process. Why not set yourself up for success?
Where does this fit into my marketing?
Do you remember the Marketing Funnel? The process is Attract, Nurture, Convert, Experience.
Lead generation is the section of the funnel where you use marketing campaigns to create awareness or attract potential clients. You then capture the information from your website, events, referrals, centers of influence, and partnerships.
Lead nurturing is what to do with all of the information you capture. Nurture is the pivotal point of moving traffic to your website and gaining clients. It’s important!
This is the step where you increase interest, build relationships (know, like, trust), and prove to them that you can share information that is relevant and useful. This is the time to establish yourself as an industry expert, show them that you are trustworthy, and create top of mind awareness.
I will cover the last two (convert and experience) in future posts.
When should I start the lead nurturing process?
You should start this process now!
Even if you do not have a complete generation process in place you are always getting leads from various places. It is best practice to have a system set up to push these leads into and through a nurturing campaign.
If you do not have lead generation in process, you are possibly dropping the ball. You have put a lot of work and effort into setting up the different ways to find and capture lead information. You need to make sure you are not losing information in the process and in turn losing potential customers.
How do I start?
Now that I have explained the what, why, where, and when, you need to know the how. In the next part of this series, I will cover the details about the How-to of Lead Nurturing and provide you with the actionable steps and even a few checklists and templates to get you started.
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