Wasp Barcode Technologies: The Barcode Solution People

Nurturing Leads on Your Website

If your company spends money to stimulate demand, it already is familiar with lead nurturing – building relationships with qualified prospects that eventually result in sales. Let's be clear: generating website traffic is not lead nurturing, although it is a necessary preliminary step. Your company's website is probably the hub of your marketing activities. You expend a lot of resources on optimizing your website to attract attention. You also probably participate in trade shows, social media, purchase of sales lists, etc. Unfortunately, most website visitors are not ready to buy on their first visit, and may not even want to identify themselves. In our previous series, we laid out the best methods available to optimize your website and recruit leads. In this series, we'll assume you've been able to convert a visitor into a lead.

Next step: qualifying leads and nurturing them to the point where they are ready to spend money.

You may need to provide relevant information, resources, answers and assistance to get the prospect "in the mood". I've seen numbers that indicate up to 95 percent of qualified leads visit your website to conduct research, and of these, 70 percent can be nurtured to eventually buy your product from you (or from one of your competitors!). Without lead nurturing, this percentage can easily drop to 50 percent or less. We are going to spend a lot of time in the next several posts describing what lead nurturing is. Perhaps we should first specify what lead nurturing is not.

Lead nurturing is NOT

  • Periodically emailing out a newsletter
  • Canvassing leads by phone every month or two to see if they are ready to buy yet
  • Randomly blasting out new case studies to your entire lead database
  • Cramming your website with promotional content without addressing the interests or needs of prospects that are not yet ready to buy
These practices have proven to be ineffective and even counter-productive. You should ask yourself: Is my website providing information that is useful to leads who never buy from me? If the answer is no, you've got it wrong – rethink your content and up the amount of relevant information. Prospects spend most of their time nowadays doing their own research before considering a purchase – a marked change from pre-Internet buying patterns. For instance, it's only relatively recently that social media recommendations make a big difference in the attitudes of leads towards your company. Thus, marketing departments must manage a buying process, which means providing prospects with high quality content that is relevant. The buyer runs the show; marketers must understand what the buyer wants and react to those needs in a timely manner. Lead nurturing is entwined with brand building. Even if you are operating in a business-to-business (B2B) environment, you can't lose sight of the fact that your buyers are also human and can be emotionally swayed. When people are faced with complex buying decisions, it is emotionally more comfortable to rely on experience to solve problems and discover new information. We call this "heuristics", and it guides which options we select and what facts we consider as we drill down towards a buying decision. From the seller's point of view, heuristics are very tricky.a buyer who makes a good decision may or may not receive positive reinforcement, but a bad buying decision will most definitely be punished – reputations tarnished or jobs lost. Thus there is an asymmetry between the rewards and risks of a B2B purchase.

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