Get ready – with the steps in this post you’re going to have one of the most powerful tools for selling your small business services. Best of all, once you’ve got it set up, it will run for you month after month building your business. It’s called lead nurturing and it’s going to help you get to “yes” with more clients more often.
Lead nurturing is relationship building via email. You gather a lead, put them into an automated system, share your wealth of knowledge and impress the socks off your list members. A lead nurturing campaign can turn casual interest prospects into clients who are ready to spend money with you.
Lead nurturing isn’t about selling directly, although you will want to have a specific offer in mind. It’s about helping your clients understand the value of what you do, educating them about their options and giving them the knowledge they need to make a decision.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started with lead nurturing –
An Email List
An email autoresponder service like Aweber, Mail Chimp or Constant Contact can help you gather leads from your website traffic and build a list. You can set up ongoing autoresponders so new list members get the same sequence of emails when they’ve been on your list for a certain period of time.
A Target Persona
Your list has a lot of different prospects on it, but in order to get the most out of your nurturing campaign, you need to have a specific persona in mind. What type of buyer is this persona? What are they most interested in learning? What questions to do they have?
Content to Share
The idea of lead nurturing is to educate – so you need to have helpful, actionable content to deliver on a regular basis. Content can include fact sheets, quizzes, reports, videos or anything else that is helpful and informative.
A Specific Offer
Yes, lead nurturing is about building relationships. But at the end of that road, you want your list members to make a decision on buying. If you sell a lot of services, select just one service or package of services that you want your list members to purchase at the end of your sequence.
Step 1 – Planning Email Goals and Delivery
Sending emails at a specific sequence is essential. Too many emails too quickly can lead to unsubscribes – and spacing them out too much might mean that your list members forget who you are.
A good rule of thumb to follow for lead nurturing campaigns is Day 1, Day 5, Day 10 and Day 15. It’s not quite once a week, but spaced out enough to be memorable without being annoying.
Step 2 – Set Up an Opt-In Offer
You may have an opt-in offer working for you already on your site, but if you don’t this is a must for list building and lead nurturing. If you aren’t sure what to share, think back to your target persona. What are their biggest questions? How can you help bridge gaps in their knowledge?
Let’s say your target persona is customer who has a website partially done and needs professional help. Your special offer is going to be a website consultation and customized action step guide. Your opt-in offer should be directly related to that special offer – a report on seven professional website essentials.
Step 3 – Create Your Emails
Each email in your sequence has a specific purpose. Don’t write your emails without understanding the goal and call to action for each!
Here’s a sample email sequence you can use to nurture your leads:
- Day 1 – Introductory email that thanks your subscribers for opting in and reminds them about your opt in offer. For example, your offer could be a report on seven professional website essentials.
- Day 5 – Offer new content related to your special offer. You can use a video or blog post that includes a call to action. You could link to a video or a blog post on your site that gives some additional website tips, and has a call to action to a free consultation.
- Day 10 – Offer new long form content like a whitepaper or report. A whitepaper on the biggest small business website mistakes would be a good fit here.
- Day 15 – Introduce your special offer and ask your list members to take action. This is where you would introduce your free consultation and a targeted action step guide.
Each email in your lead nurturing sequence has a different purpose, but they have the same basic format.
- Subject Line – This should be no more than 45 characters that piques interest and gives recipients a good reason to open the message.
- An Email Headline – Starting off the body of the email with a short headline will get attention and create a desire to keep reading.
- Email Body – Keep this section short and sweet – about 100 words total. It should include one call to action that is directly related to the goal of this particular email.
- A link with a unique tracking URL – Knowing which links are being clicked in your lead nurturing campaign is essential. Your email autoresponder program should offer unique links, or you can create trackable ones with Bit.ly.
- A post script with a reminder call to action – Putting another link in your email will increase the chances that your list members will click through and take action.
Here’s an example of what an initial email in your lead nurturing sequence should look like:
Subject line: [Name], thanks – I appreciate it!
Email Headline: Is Your Website Ready for a Change?
I noticed that you recently downloaded 7 Keys to a Professional Website (here’s the link again just in case you’ve misplaced it.). I just wanted to say thanks for your download.
I’d love to get your feedback on the book. How does your website rate? Did it cause you to think about ways that you can beef up your web presence and get better results? You can reach out on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter – or reply to this email directly.
I really want to help you make the changes you need to make to get your site up to par. To do this, I’m offering a consultation to anyone who has downloaded and read the book. It will help you see specifically how your website can be improved and which keys you need to focus on first. It really takes the guesswork out of the process!
In order to grab your free consultation, just click here and give me a few times that would work best for you.
PS: When we chat, I’d love to hear your number one goal for your business website. Be sure to keep this in mind when you schedule your consultation.
Remember to be personal and friendly. Lead nurturing is about building a relationship – so use this opportunity to introduce the voice and tone of your company. If you’re snappy and casual, make sure your email messages have the same light tone.
Step Four – Socialize Your Campaign
Get your emails in order, your offers in place and everything uploaded to your website and autoresponder service.
If you’ve already got a list, send out an alternate first email to let them know about your new resource and get them into your new campaign. In order to launch a new list or get new leads, you can put the power of social media to work for you.
Let your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIN fans and followers know about your offer. Ask some colleagues to spread the word for you to their followers as well.
Step Five – Analyze, Rinse and Repeat
Driving social traffic and introducing your list members to your new opt in offer will give you enough leads to test out your new nurturing campaign. Let it run completely through and then take a look at your analytics.
Are your links being clicked? How many new opt ins are you getting? Most importantly – are your leads reaching out to take advantage of your special offer?
If your lead nurturing campaign isn’t working as well as you expected, make changes. Try some new content, or increase the number of emails in your sequence.
Getting to the yes is a lot easier when your prospects have great information to learn from. So gather your content together, or have some created, and start building those relationships with your email list members!