In February, the Marketing Maven published “Lead Nurturing Simplified: Five Core Principles.” In the months since then, a lot has changed in marketing due to COVID-19.
The core principles of lead nurturing still apply: use a lead nurturing system, segment your audience, nourish prospects, hand-off to sales, and track and learn. By adhering to these principles, you can successfully turn your long-term leads into satisfied customers.
However, you will need to make some adjustments within these core principles during the time of COVID-19 to account for the dramatically altered economic and marketing landscape.
In some ways, there has never been a better time to reach key decision makers through a lead nurturing email campaign, as many professionals are at their desks at home and not otherwise occupied with in-person meetings and travel.
Here are some tips to help you to continue to find success through lead nurturing:
Demonstrate empathy towards your audience
Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of another. You can do this by lending an ear to prospects
Why not add a phone call to your lead nurturing campaign? Simply ask your prospects how they are doing during this challenging time and listen to what they have to say. Or leave a message that you are thinking about them. If phone-calling isn’t practical, make one of your emails a simple statement letting your prospects know they are in your thoughts.
Adjust messaging to fit the times
If your company is doing something helpful, such as making monetary or equipment donations, protecting employees, or providing other COVID-related assistance, you can let your prospects know this. Certainly not every marketing touch should mention the coronavirus impact, but you should acknowledge the situation: it’s impacting you and it’s impacting your audience as well.
Back off any hard selling
Lead nurturing has always been more about educating prospects than getting aggressive and overly promotional, and now more than ever this holds true. Forget the sales pitches and limited times offers.
Instead, offer prospects that new eBook you’ve compiled of all your best content. Or invite them to a new webinar series that is replacing a cancelled in-person event.
Focus on brand awareness over sales
Chances are, your customers’ budgets are in disarray and spending may be on hold. Many prospects are not looking to buy right now—but they are still looking. If you stay in front of them through your lead nurturing campaigns and continue to offer relevant, educational content, they will be more likely keep your brand top of mind and turn to you when they are ready to buy.
Keep a positive tone
There’s plenty of bad news out there and all kinds of reasons to be frightened, making it easy to fall into a negative mindset. Don’t contribute to that.
Acknowledge the challenges your customers may be facing, but keep your messaging positive. Example: you’re looking forward to conditions improving, you’re hoping for an opportunity to do business with your prospects in the future, you’re always here to help them and answer any questions they have.
In other words, be the beacon of light, not the agent of darkness.
As you navigate this disruptive period, be sure to adhere to the five core principles of lead nurturing, and integrate these tips into your efforts. You and your customers can come out better on the other side.