Lead Nurturing – Automate It and Sell More

by | Jun 9, 2009

Lead Nurturing – Automate The Process While You Sell More

The Secret – Build Personal Relationships While Reaching Out To Prospects via Email

This is the third installment in our “Email Marketing – The Only Bailout Your Business Needs” e-Book.

In the previous two chapters, we’ve discussed the blocking and tackling of email marketing.  How to stay on the right side of the law, how to create emails that won’t annoy your customers, how to provide valuable information to your contacts via on-going emails.

Now comes the big pay off!  In this chapter, we’re going to show you how to create an automatic cash machine with a mind blowing ROI.  That’s because you really already have all the pieces you need!  We’re going to show you how to leverage the assets you have and increase sales and the bottom line!

Let’s take inventory of what we have:

Share Your Information

1 – Leads, Prospects and Customers
The ones that have already had contact with your customers and the ones that will in coming weeks and months.  Whether you advertise on TV and Radio, send direct snail mail, advertise online or cold call, you’ve got months and years worth of names and email addresses of prospects and customers that you’ve had contact with in the past.  Some bought something, some did not.  In most businesses, just the fact that they came into the top of your marketing or sales funnel and gave you their email address indicates that they have a general interest in the kinds of things you sell.

2 – Valuable Information
As discussed in detail in our previous chapter, you have information that these people need to know in order to be more effective at their job, happy at home, healthier, etc.

So, all you need to do is to connect the people on your list with the valuable information you have and you will ignite more sales.  No additional spending on advertising necessary!

The Payoff

Let’s calculate a typical example to see what sort of impact on sales this could have in your business.  Imagine that you have 100 new prospects or leads every month.  These are people filling out a form on your website, people you’re qualifying via a cold call, responses to direct mail or TV/Radio ads, etc.  In most businesses, if you’re able to close 20% of these leads then you’re doing well.  That’s 20 new customers each month.  But what about the 80 leads that didn’t buy anything?  What’s happening to them today?  Unfortunately, most sales people stay focused on the “hot” new leads coming in and neglect following up with leads that came in last month.

lead generation

If we stay in touch and engage them with information they find valuable, when things change in their world and they’re ready to buy something like what you sell, they will call on you.  To be very conservative, let’s assume that 2% of the non-buyers will come back into your sales pipeline again each month because you’re staying in touch with them and they’re ready.  After only 6 months of collecting and nurturing these leads, you’ll have 480 of them and you should see at least 9 of them coming back into the sales process each month.  Your close rate will be higher with these “repeat leads” normally but, let’s keep it conservative and use the 20% close rate we assumed for new leads.  That means each month, you’ve got 1.8 new sales that you didn’t have before.  That’s a 10% increase in sales!

And what did it cost you?  Well, you already have the leads coming in so there’s no cost there.  You’ll have to sit down and follow the guidelines in our previous chapter to create your emails so, let’s say you’ve got 20 hours of labor to invest there.  The only thing you don’t have is a way to get these emails out to the right leads at the right time, automatically.  And that’s the good news!  There are many email marketing systems available today and you shouldn’t need to spend more than $50 to $100 per month for a one user account.  So let’s say you’ve got $1,000 in up front costs to create your campaign and $50/month to subscribe to an automated email marketing system to achieve a 10% increase in sales!  Is that worth it?  I think so!

Are you skeptical?  Let me help assure you, this really will work.  Its almost fool proof.  And as we’ve just seen, the risk is minimal.  You see, prospects engage with vendors for many reasons but, often their initial contact with your business is an emotional reaction to something that just happened to them.  Once they learn more about your solutions and the costs, their rational mind will kick in and they often decide not to do anything about the challenge, problem or “pain” that drove them to your company.  They’re going to wait to save up the money or wait until the problem gets worse, etc.  Basically, they’re not going to part with their hard earned cash until they’re sure the investment will be worth it.  So, we’re waiting for their rational mind to catch up to their emotions.  That may never happen.  But for some, it will.  It may be next month or 12 months from now.

The magic lever that you have is that they’ve already gotten to know you.  They understand your products and services and how you prices them, the terms, etc.  If you now stay engaged with them and establish yourself as a resource for valuable information, then when that switch clicks in their mind that tells them its time to get serious, they’d be crazy not to reach out to you.  Its the path of least resistance for them.  They have your contact information in the emails you’ve been sending, they know and trust you.  Its easy for them.

So why is it so important to automate the email marketing process?  Why can’t you just put the list into Outlook once a month and send out your email?  Well, the first question is why haven’t you done it so far?  You can do it on you own but, you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to maintain compliance with the CAN-SPAM regulations and set up and maintain all the technology involved.  In short, you’re too busy to add another series of responsibilities to your list of things to do.  If you try, you’ll probably find you have more urgent matters to attend to each day and your resulting email campaign will be irregular and inconsistent and so will the results.

By using an automated email marketing system, you’re making it simple for yourself and your staff.  All you have to do is create the emails, load in your list of leads and ensure you have a process to load in new leads every week or month.  Your sales people stay focused on selling to the leads who are likely to buy now while the system nurtures the ones who aren’t, automatically.  Again, the cost is negligible compared to the 10% or more increase in sales you’re going to see!

In our next installment of “Email Marketing – The Only Bailout Your Business Needs”, we’re going to dig into nurturing new leads or prospects using email marketing. Register to receive the entire eBook here.

Special thanks for contributing to this installment go to Steven Greene.  Steven’s written and managed lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns in industries from banking to boating.  His input on email marketing is invaluable.  To learn more about Steven click here.