How do we connect with our prospects and turn them into customers in the most helpful way? ” Lead nurturing is the answer.

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they’re ready. In practice, lead nurturing is a marketing effort focused on engaging with your leads and customers in a way that encourages them to progress toward a specific action. Lead nurturing is the timely,efficient, and targeted approach to connecting with your contacts. And by taking this kind of approach, you can deliver helpful content with the right context.

So the big question you need to answer is what makes lead nurturing so important to your success with inbound marketing? It’s important to know where your lead nurturing efforts fit into the inbound methodology. How are you going to use lead nurturing to achieve your goals? When we look at the four stages of the inbound methodology — attract, convert, close, and delight — lead nurturing lives primarily in the close stage. Successful lead nurturing helps you focus on providing value to your leads by offering them the information they need at the right time.

Each lead you have in your database should be nurtured according to their interests and lifecycle stages. Pages they’ve visited and content they’ve consumed all indicate shifting interests.

Good nurturing adapts the messaging to stay relevant and helps you win new customers, faster. Good nurturing helps you keep up the conversation with your contacts. And this helps you continue to connect after they become customers and could be looking for more information from you and your company.

You provide this value to your customers, and they give you value in return, helping you grow your business. This is where you see success with lead nurturing. It’s the best of both worlds – growth for your leads and growth for you.

So what exactly is lead nurturing? It’s the timely, efficient, and targeted approach to connecting with your contacts.

Let’s look into each of these three aspects to understand how to connect with your contacts. The first aspect is timeliness. One problem that inbound professionals face is finding the right time to connect with leads when they’re most interested. And one problem your leads face is being contacted at the wrong time. This is where lead nurturing comes in.

Lead nurturing is delivered through marketing automation. When we say marketing automation, we’re referring to the software that exists with the goal of automating your marketing actions. Many marketing professionals have to automate repetitive tasks, such as emails, social media, and other website actions, or they want to build systems of automated workflows that help them streamline and manage their campaigns. Marketing automation technology makes these tasks easier and helps you delivers your content to your leads at the right time. With marketing automation, you can develop nurturing campaigns that deliver the right content based off the actions your leads take with your company.

Using your marketing automation software, you can trigger events to happen after your contacts have taken certain actions, such as downloading a piece of content, opening a specific page, or requesting information from you. For example, if a contact downloads a piece of content on “The Best Ways to Create Subject Lines for Email Newsletters,” you’ll then be able to send a follow-up piece of content that builds off that subject. This could be a blog post on how to write effective email copy. You’re continuing the conversation with additional content that has context in what they’re interesting in learning about. With marketing automation software in your inbound toolbox, you can take full advantage of the benefits of timeliness and help your leads get their answers faster.

Marketing automation software doesn’t just help you be timely but helps you to automate in general. That brings us to the second aspect of lead nurturing: efficiency.

HubSpot found that the odds of an inbound lead becoming qualified are 21 times greater when they’re contacted within 5 minutes vs 30 minutes. This type of speed is possible through automating tasks and reducing the time a salesperson has to spend on qualifying or warming up a lead. It’s all about efficiency.

The content and interactions a lead will experience through your lead nurturing campaign will do the heavy lifting to leave you and your teams to focus on creating helpful content, connecting with leads through sales faster, and reviewing data to continue optimizing your efforts — in other words, being human, helpful, and holistic. Your marketing automation doesn’t do marketing and lead generation for you, but it can scale your efforts and increase the value you provide to your contacts in a more efficient way. Timeliness and efficiency together bring us to the third aspect of lead nurturing: Targeting your leads in the right way. By using lead nurturing, you can tie a series of emails to a specific activity or conversion event. In other words, you can craft your emails based on the action your lead or customer takes.

This shows them you’re aware of their interests and providing them with what they might need next.

When connecting with your contacts, you want to be as human as possible. Being human is what builds trust, and trust is what helps you become successful as a business. Your lead nurturing campaigns provide contextual messages to your contacts, which is key to building that trust — it’s about being targeted and more engaging to your lead or customer. These are the three most important aspects of lead nurturing and why it’s crucial to your success with inbound marketing — it’s a timely, efficient, and targeted approach to connecting with your contacts.

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