By Dolly Howard

lead_nurturing_soul_matesHave you ever sent a lead a "Request a quote" or "Request a consultation" offer within one or two emails of the initial conversion? If so, you're not alone. Many marketers struggle with creating effective lead nurturing campaigns. More often than not campaigns come across too strong and too soon in the buying cycle. If you start thinking about your campaigns the same way you think about dating and finding your soul mate, you will inevitably find your perfect lead who wants to buy your product or service and stick around.

Like dating, lead nurturing isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. You have to test different ideas on different segments of leads. You need to appeal to the person you are requesting more information and visits from and above all else you need to personalize your content.

Let's break down the dating scenario a bit more:

Chapter 1: Two people meet for the first time

You’re out with your friends and you gaze upon the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. You walk over, introduce yourself, and enjoy a quick conversation about who you are on the surface, what you do, where you’re from, and so on. Basically, you are both collecting information about whether you will need each other after this conversation.

In marketing: This is the stage in which someone comes to your website through organic, paid, referral or social media channels. Make sure you have calls to action on every page of your website, so that if the person visiting is interested in what you have to offer it is easy to take the next step.


Chapter 2: The first date takes place

Great news! The person liked you! This wonderful individual gave you contact information and wants to meet you again. You feel the same way, send an email, and make plans for dinner. You go on a date and talk about things that are a little more personal, and that’s OK. Remember: Don’t get too personal here! 

In marketing: A prospect fills out a form on your website and provides their contact information in exchange for a top of the funnel offer. They are still not ready to buy but still want to learn how they can find a solution to their problem. The gut reaction is to get them on the phone, but wait! Instead, follow up in your campaigns with more educational materials that would be useful to them. This will ensure you're building trust with your leads through thought leadership.


Chapter 3: After dating you decide to become a couple

Things have been going well for a while. Your new partner visits you all the time, you’re dating frequently, and you two love what each other has to say about the world you live in. Your new love starts to think you may be the one but needs to find out if you align on a deeper level. You’re starting to ask the right questions, and your partner starts to believe you may be the one.

In marketing: A lead downloads your middle of the funnel offers and starts to compare you and other similar products or services that could solve their problem. They think you're the one, but they want to be sure. Help them make their decision by providing case studies, comparison charts, testimonials, etc.


Chapter 4: You propose and get engaged

Now that you both know each other extremely well and are excited to talk about your future together, you can start planning the wedding. How much will it cost? Will you need a large attendee list? Will there be a sit-down or buffet style dinner? How much time will it take? It's important to remember that while you're engaged and you've decided that you are great for each other, things can change. So, let them know you care and that you're willing to work with them, but also evaluate whether or not you can spend the rest of your life with this person too.

In marketing: Your bottom of the funnel offers like quotes, consultations, or demos are your most promising for sales. Request a bit more information on your forms, like a phone number or other fields that will help qualify the lead before sending to sales. Remember: the lead still isn't ready to buy, but they are very close. The more you qualify them and get to know more about their pesona, the better chance sales has at closing the deal


Chapter 5: You've met your soul mate and you're married

You did it! You pulled off the wedding within your budget and are living happily side by side. You are certain this person is the right person for you too. And do you know why you were successful? Because you didn’t pressure your partner into committing too soon. You started off easy and then gradually became more and more serious to the point where it made sense to get married. You also made sure that what they wanted matched what you had to offer. You're married to the right person. You also didn’t ask the person out and then propose on the first date which is key here.

CONCLUSION: If you start to think about your leads as real people with personalities, hopes, and desires, you will connect more and learn far more about their needs. When you know what your leads need at each stage of the buying process you will be less likely to send BOFU offers too early. You will also know whether or not a lead is a good fit for your company earlier on and sales will receive more qualified leads as a result. Lead your leads down the path, woo them, GET TO KNOW THEM, get engaged, and then get married. Your soul mate is out there. Go get 'em tiger!

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If you're interested in learning more about how to take your lead nurturing strategy to the next level, download this ebook. It will walk you through the do's and don'ts of email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns.

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Dolly Howard

About the author

Dolly Howard is the Director of Marketing for SmartBug Media. Previously she worked as a senior marketing consultant leading SmartBug Media clients in strategy for lead conversion improvement and total marketing ROI. As a past HubSpot employee, Dolly is excited to share her knowledge and help enterprise companies grow their business.

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