What is Lead Nurturing and Why do I Need it?

Susan Allen

Although we’re representing it as a stage in the 9 stages of the Lead Management Process, lead nurturing, once initiated, actually runs continuously in the background of the entire process.  Recall the 9 stages of Lead Management were:

  1. Initial inquiry
  2. Initial qualification
  3. Lead nurturing
  4. Marketing qualified lead (MQL)
  5. MQL distribution to sales
  6. Sales-accepted lead (SAL)
  7. Sales-qualified lead (SQL)
  8. Opportunity/Bid
  9. Win/loss

Once an inquiry has arrived via one of the various tactics Marketing has deployed, an ongoing dialogue should be triggered with the contact.  Ideally, a multi-channel nurturing plan would be put into place.  The plan should include some, if not all, of the following:

  • Electronic communication
  • Phone calls
  • Webinars
  • In-person events/interactions

The most cost-effective lead nurturing channel is electronic communication using a marketing automation platform (MAP.)  If you’re unfamiliar, here’s an excellent comparison of the many MAP solutions available today:

The two requirements for a vigorous lead nurturing program are Planning and Compelling Content.

Lead nurturing

Without these two elements, communications with the contacts in the Marketing database become a series of one-off email blasts.  With no planning, emails are sent out at irregular intervals and recipients become easily disengaged.  If no thought is given to content, our emails join the vast wasteland of junk mail, easily ignored and deleted. 

Before launching a lead nurturing program, you would be well-advised to conduct a thorough content audit of your organization.  Most Manufacturers possess a wealth of existing content that can be repurposed for use in outbound campaigns.   Between the company website, product spec sheets and brochures, project case studies and the like, there should be sufficient material with which to begin.  Now comes the hard work of building email campaigns to deliver the content in various formats compelling enough to engage our readers. 

For a step-by-step guide to creating content that will capture your prospects’ interest, check out the world of Content Marketing!

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