One of the most common requests I receive as an internet marketing specialist is to help small to medium sized businesses generate new opportunities, and more specifically, to generate new leads. This is at the core of what having a website and communicating with customers via social media is all about.
A business owner will collect leads from their website (the contact us page), their social media (click to call, or contact us), newsletter subscriptions, or even inquiries driven by a blog topic. All these activities can result in a list of leads that now requires further action.
The question is – what do you do with these leads?
Don’t store them away!
Busy proprietors never have all the time they need, and it is not uncommon to find that after having expended the energy and time to collect leads from an event or from their website, the list of leads is sitting in a file right next to their desk. That list may have been sitting there for months. But every day it sits without being touched, the likelihood that those leads will turn into business decreases. When they provided you with information, these leads were in the buying process and seeking information. You don’t want to let much time pass before they hear from you.
Develop a plan for routine contact
You need to develop a plan for routine contact with your leads. These contacts continue from the initial thank you email, to the receipt you provide them after they have purchased goods or services from you, and beyond. New leads who have never been your customer before need to be kept in touch with. And your existing customer base should also be hearing from you routinely. You might be able to create the emails they receive in advance and then send them out as needed. For new customers, you might have a thank you email, a follow up special offer email, and then a monthly email with more information about your products or services. Existing customers could have a similar flow of communications.
Doing this keeps you in front of your potential customers, and top of mind. The quality and type of information you provide can influence their buying decision – ideally, in your favor!
Segment between the more interested and the less interested
Depending on how you structure your communications and your offers, you might see that there is a smaller group of leads (potential customers) who are more responsive and continue to request information. These are your most likely to convert from leads to customers in the short term. You can craft messaging that is different for these leads vs those leads who are less responsive. Remember, all your leads are potentially valuable, but some leads have the potential to convert to buying customer sooner than others.
For topics, think about what’s going on right now
If you have challenges thinking about what to communicate to your leads and need a starting point, look around you. Are there unusual weather events that create demand for your offerings? Is back to school or the fall season relevant to these potential clients? The winter holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s – give you plenty of opportunities to reach out to them. There is always an opportunity to highlight how you might favorably impact your potential customers.
Find a good email service that works for you
To make this easier for you to implement, make sure you use all the available features in your current email service, or find one that has the capabilities you need.
Remember, your leads have value. If your average customer transaction is between $500 and $1,000 and you have 700 leads and assume that 5% of them eventually convert to customers in the next 12 months, you would have between $18,000 to $35,000 of revenue sitting in that list of leads. It’s well worth nurturing those leads.
If you’d like to know more about how to manage your leads more easily and effectively and move them from lead to customer, contact us.