When you think about lead nurturing, your first instinct might be to throw it into the B2B marketing bucket. However, some consumer products require nurturing on the part of a salesperson too.
Consumers face many high-involvement purchases that require a helping hand in the buying process, such as cars, insurance policies and even services like home construction and child care. These typically aren’t impulse buys.
Take, for example, the auto industry. Once upon a time, you had to go to each dealership and wheel and deal to make a great purchase. Now, many shoppers start their hunt online. This leads to consumers having to deal with “Internet salespeople.”
Today, for anyone in favor of researching their purchases, the Internet is the first stop. It was for me when I recently started researching different cars I might want to buy. Now keep in mind, I’m in my information search phase. This means, as you can see in John Dewey’s Customer Buying Process, I’m still a whole other step away from buying.
I’m still several months out from actually purchasing. I just like to have my ducks in a row for when I’m ready to take the plunge. Let’s keep that in mind for the remainder of the post as we go through four tips to better communicate with customers during the lead nurturing process.
Tip #1. Segment your leads
All leads are not equal. The prospects that appear on your list are not all at the same point in the decision process. One simple way for you to estimate where they are in the process is based on where they came from.
Think about a prospect who entered your funnel through your site. Then, think about a customer who was added to your list through a third-party website. While they might end up on your email list next to each other, they are two very different people.
Those who enter through your site could already be in the evaluation stage, or they could be ready to purchase, having already completed Stages 2 and 3. Those entering through the third-party site, where their information is potentially being given to multiple companies, could be just feeling out the marketplace.
When I researched a specific car on TrueCar — an automotive pricing and information website — my information was sent to three different dealerships so I could see those dealers’ online offer price. It was interesting as someone in marketing to see the varying responses I received – more on that in the following tips.
But, I’m just one very specific example.
We can certainly leave it at assumptions and generalizations. However, no one knows your prospects better than you. Look back at data — whether that’s in a sophisticated CRM or basic Excel sheet.
Which prospects seem to move faster through the funnel? Which seem to drop out rather quickly? Can you see a pattern based on where they entered the funnel?
If so, segment prospects into groups as they come in. That way you’re able to better personalize the email you send to them.