Lead acquisition is one thing, nurturing them is THE thing

By Michael McEnaneyFebruary 23, 2015

Whether or not the tree that fell alone in the forest actually made any noise is not nearly as important to ponder as whether or a not a lead generated that isn’t then converted into revenue actually matters.

Far too many marketers spend all their energy on lead acquisition and behave as if the process ends there. The fact is, the real work begins after that lead is acquired and the process of moving it through your company’s funnel begins.

“Once you actually get a lead into your system, it’s time to kick the process into high gear,” began Laura Oles, a former VP of Marketing at Pixel Magic, a maker of digital imaging output products and services. “Lead nurturing actually makes or breaks your business as once you acquire the lead you should then immediately begin educating these customers about what your company is all about all throughout the potential buying journey.”

Oles, who since her time at Pixel Magic has become an email marketing guru, added that just because a customer downloads something from your site or has taken the time to send you contact info doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to buy.

According to a recent comScore report, 50 percent of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. Simply stated, if you are not nurturing them, you are burning the time and money spent in acquiring them.

Oles claims her email expertise plays a key role in lead nurturing as she further explains it’s vital to have some kind of an instant response system in place that provides an immediate communication with the customer.

“Doesn’t matter if this is automated or manual, but ideally there should be an instant email acknowledgment that lets this lead know that you are aware of their interest and are excited to be contacting them,” she said. “Provide a reference point, and work on getting more information right away. And it’s a good idea to do this by offering some kind of immediate value based on an instant response to you from them.”

She added that it’s also important to seek their permission to stay in touch, give the prospect options on how they want to communicate in the future and, above all, listen closely to what they are telling you their needs are.

Ultimately, lead nurturing boils down to gaining an understanding of the nuances and details of the leads' needs and the timing they are communicating they seek to have those needs served.

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