You receive an excellent amount of traffic on your site every month. You offer a whitepaper or a periodic newsletter and in this way have collected a good number of e-mail addresses of potential customers. You send them information regularly, but actually have a poor view on whether you are doing this in the most effective way. You would like to get the most out of those leads, but ... how do you do that? Lead nurturing can help you enormously in converting fledgling leads into 'sales ready' customers that you can make a customized, non-refusing offer. With the help of the steps below, this is also possible for your company.
Step 1: Map the buying process at your company with the REAN model
The mistake that many entrepreneurs make in the digital world is that they think too much from the digital world and too little from the consumer. It is fine to closely follow the statistics of your website and to check with which keywords people end up with your white paper, but remember: that search term is not your customer. The person who typed in such a search term is the customer you should focus on.
Ask yourself: which phases do my potential customers go through before they purchase my product (s)? In the literature concerning the REAN model (Reach, Engage, Activate, Nurture) four phases are distinguished, which in each branch have to be filled in in a different way:
- REACH - In this phase it is important that your product or service becomes known to the lead. What problem does your product solve? How does your target group behave online, what information are they looking for and how can you address them? Make sure that you are findable for your target group and make it crystal clear that your brand is the solution for their problem.
- Engage - The lead is now familiar with your brand and knows that your product might be a good purchase. But there are more hijackers on the coast. The lead must, consciously or unconsciously, develop a preference for your brand. That's possible with a nice one Marketing campaign or good online marketing, for example in the form of an infectious video. Be creative and speak to your target group.
- Activate - The lead will make a purchase and therefore become a customer. The different options are compared and the lead hopefully chooses your product. Sales techniques play an important role here. Do you convert the information you have received from the lead into an attractive, non-refusing offer?
- Nurture - The aftercare, which many companies too often forget. Is your customer satisfied with the purchase? Would the customer consider purchasing something from you again in the future? If so, what caused that? If not, what else could you have done to leave a better aftertaste? Ask your customers for feedback and ask sincere audit questions. And of course solve problems without any problems.
Step 2: Determine the information requirement for each step
The REAN model above is a blueprint. For your product, brand or service you will have to specify and elaborate this further. In addition, it is of great importance that you consider for each step which information needs would lead you can originate.
The need for information is a broad concept. Then it's not just about questions you regularly get from customers, but also about latent information needs. What should your target audience know about this topic? Maybe something they have never thought about? Don't just focus on low-hanging fruit, but really meet every information requirement. Make sure you have fully mapped this out.
Step 3: Enter the information requirement
Now it's time to provide all that information demand with appropriate answers. Is your company able to fully serve leads in all phases of the REAN model? Do you have all the information and expertise in-house, or is something missing? Gather all the information and expertise you need and align it with the phases from the REAN model. Be critical about gaps in your expertise and look for solutions.
Step 4: Create nurture emails
Now that you have insight into what information you should share in order to be able to fully service your target group, you can start preparing nurture emails. Write a number of possible e-mails per phase in which you focus on one subject by e-mail. Discuss one facet of your product or service and refer, for example, to a blog on your website for more in-depth information.
You cannot suffice with one nurture e-mail per phase. You do not chase a lead with three or four e-mails through the full REAN model. Depending on your industry you need several; in any case, make sure that you regularly include a call to action in the nurture e-mail. Your lead must know what to do when it is ready to go to the next stage.
Note: writing good nurture e-mails is very important. If you are not a star in writing activating and informative texts, do not hesitate to call in the help of a professional. This content is important!
Step 5: Send, measure and plan
For a good nurture campaign, use an e-mail tool such as MailChimp. This allows you to accurately set which emails should be sent to which leads at what time. You can differentiate all kinds of variables, such as existing versus new customers, response to previous e-mails, et cetera.
After your first batches you will be able to request a lot of data. It is vital to use this information to better target your next batches and improve your campaign. Even with an automatic e-mail tool like MailChimp you can never sit back. You will have to continuously measure and fine-tune your e-mail nurturing based on your findings.
Here too the following applies: if you are not good at this yourself, call in professional support. An optimized e-mail nurturing campaign can dramatically improve your lead conversion, but then proper maintenance of that campaign is an important condition.