Results multiply when lead nurturing strategies multiply. Successfully engaging prospects depends on a mix of tactics to maintain positive awareness of your offering until it’s time to buy. The resources and methodologies needed to address these requirements include a smart mix of three core processes:
Multi-touch: Frequency matters. From initial engagement to lead qualification and through long-term nurturing, frequent and systematic touches are essential. Our clients’ prospects need an average of 12 contacts to engage, and lead nurturing can take even more touchpoints.
Multi-media: Use a smart mix of multiple media. Vary and integrate media—outbound calls, voice mail messages, personalized email, direct mail and landing pages—to deliver messages in consistently fresh formats and in accordance with prospect preferences.
Multi-cycle: Most prospects buy at more than six months out, so expand planned contact from over a few days to over several weeks and across multiple sales cycles. Mid- and long-term nurturing assures continuous coverage of high-value qualified leads so the latest touch-point coincides with the prospect’s need window.
Executives often don’t respond until a need’s priority has escalated, and many of the best prospects turn out to be those who have been contacted multiple times by voicemail, email and direct mail over a period of months before a conversation finally occurs. The lesson: Don’t give up too early. Many executives save emails—and even voicemails—and will eventually self-qualify by responding or replying at a time convenient for them and after they have satisfied themselves with independent research and have come to the conclusion that your solution or service is a fit.
In addition to multi-touch, multi-media approaches, there is additional benefit in implementing multiple cycles for high-touch marketing campaigns. The initial contact cycle—the first time that you touch your market with a combination of those 12 phone calls, emails, voicemail and direct mail—will yield only 40 to 50 percent of the total opportunities. Continuing to touch the same prospects with the same multi-media, multi-touch strategy on a regular basis can identify other opportunities existing within the market.
And perhaps surprisingly, the most frequent responders to voicemail and email have been the more senior-level decision makers such as C-level and senior VP-level executives as compared to lower-level managers. Senior-level executives are 2.5 times more likely to respond to a voicemail or reply to an email than are their subordinates.