We all know how to go about capturing leads. If you don’t, there are tons of ways to go about lead acquisition.
But the question that has a lot of business owners fumbling on the next step is “What do you do with those leads once you have them?”
“How do I transform those leads into actual customers?”
As the above image illustrates, moving customers through the customer journey is easier said than done. But it’s not impossible.
In this article, we’re going to illustrate some of the best tactics for nurturing your leads and getting them from the initial interest to becoming a loyal customer.
1. Awareness: Welcome Emails
By using a lead magnet, or another incentive to get leads through email capture, you’re going to need a welcome email of some sort.
A welcome email is an automated email that’s sent immediately after a lead sign up for your newsletter or whichever incentive you’ve offered. The point of a welcome email is to introduce your lead to your brand, get the sign-up, and in many cases, get the first purchase.
Welcome emails give you the opportunity to begin nurturing a lead. You inform them about your business, pique their interest, and invite them to learn more. This could be an excellent introduction to your business and gives customers an immediate call-to-action (CTA) so that they can interact with your brand.
The open rate for welcome emails is about 90%. This gives you the perfect opportunity to make a first impression on your customers. Make sure to consider multiple parts of your welcome email so that you can impress leads:
- Catchy subject line that makes the content clear.
- Well organized and easy to read content.
- Keep the email short and simple to avoid overloading the lead.
While many customers have a good enough first impression from your initial email capture, this is your first opportunity to communicate directly with them. You want to make a positive impact, and begin gently nudging the customer towards that first purchase. They will want to find out more information and it will get your leads through the first step.
2. Consideration: Segment Your Leads
Marketing automation allows you to separate your leads by different types of information and behavior. This way you can send specific, tailored messages to people to increase the odds of them receiving information that they care about. This can include multiple approaches for segmentation so that you can segment your leads based on what you feel will help your business. For example, you can segment leads, based on:
- Triggers that occur during previous interactions with your brand.
- Information that your automated system collects.
- Shopping and purchase behavior.
In short, you map their journey, so that the automated system will send messages to leads with the highest odds of opening them. As a result, your leads receive relevant information, build brand bias, and begin to convert into potential customers.
3. Purchase: Retargeting
You have to keep in mind that it might not be the right time for customers to make a purchase. This is where retargeting comes in. If it’s been a while since they interacted with your business, try to use a different approach or to provide more information. In short, you can have your marketing automation try to get back in touch with them. Here’s an example.
- Lead hasn’t made a purchase.
- Lead ignores emails about deals but opens ones about new products.
- Automated system recognizes the types of emails that the lead opens.
- Automated system stops sending deals for a while and continues to inform the lead about new products.
Some customers need more time to go through the lead nurturing process. You should focus on maintaining the relationship that you already have, instead of trying to push them to buy a product. This will allow them to choose when they will engage with your brand and make a purchase.
4. Retention: Sales and Deals
Keep in mind that some people may make a purchase and not return to your store. There are multiple reasons why this could happen.
- They tried the product and didn’t like it.
- They forgot about your product.
- They like the product but don’t want to pay the same price.
You can encourage them to make more purchases by offering sales and deals via your marketing automation system. You can send both standard sales information or offer custom deals based on their customer profile. For example, many businesses set up their marketing automation to send deals to people on their birthdays. By sending customers sales and deals every once in a while, you’ll encourage them to keep interacting with your brand.
5. Advocacy: Referral Programs
Many customers would share information on products or brands with their friends. You can encourage your loyal customers to become your brand advocates by setting up a referral program. This technique is great for client engagement and retention – referral programs offer customers different benefits when they refer their friends to your business.
The most common ways to set it up is by offering loyal customers who refer new clients to:
- Receive a code and get a discount.
- Add credit to their next purchase.
Marketing automation software comes in handy when you’ve set up a referral program for your business. As your loyal customers refer new clients and these new clients interact with your brand, the automated system will send rewards to your advocates.
You can use marketing automation to take care of your marketing leads in each step of their journey. To be able to nurture them to returning and loyal customers, you’ll need to provide them with useful and meaningful content throughout the process. Check out our content marketing section for tips & tricks & best practices on content strategy and creation.