There is a lot of information out there about capturing new leads–getting in front of your ideal client for long enough to take them through your sales funnel. But what do you do once someone has moved solidly into the “lead” category? How do you move them through your funnel in a way that ensures a successful, welcoming experience? It’s time to launch your lead nurturing campaign.

A lead nurturing effort is simply a strategy around on-boarding your newest lead. This allows them to get to know you better, verify your brand’s status as an expert, and trust your product or service. This step is absolutely critical to turning a lead into a client or customer. It’s the crux of the relationship you build with your audience.

So how do you run an effective lead nurturing campaign?

The short answer? Create an automated email sequence so they get used to seeing you.

Staying top of mind in a busy digital world is key. One of the best ways to do this is through the email inbox. Email is still your brand’s biggest asset, because it’s information you own. Someone chose to give you access to their inbox, and you’re able to use that data to make informed choices. You can also use the information to send an on-boarding, or lead nurturing, email sequence.
Here’s how it works: Your ideal client is interested in something you put out to the world. Maybe it’s an ad, or a blog post. Maybe you’re offering a coupon or a free download. Whatever it is, it’s enticing enough that your ideal client gives you their email address. Congratulations! They’re now firmly in the ‘lead’ category.

So what happens next? You have their email address…do they begin to get your regularly scheduled email campaigns and newsletters? Maybe, but this is a largely impersonal way to greet your new lead. When they give you their email address they’re initiating a relationship. This would be like having a guest walk into your house and deciding not to say hello to them.

Instead, what if they received a series of custom-tailored emails that related directly to the content they opted into? What if you could automatically let your new lead know you see them, care about them, and want to deepen the relationship you have with them?

This is a key step to the lead nurturing process, and it allows your lead to get to know you better. Through a lead nurturing email sequence, your lead will begin to see you as an authority and will be more likely to turn into a paying client.

What does a lead nurturing sequence look like?

It varies by industry and audience, but in general it’s a series of 5-7 emails that provide value (linking out to content you’ve created), brand insight, and opportunities to become a paying client. For example, let’s say you run a nutrition website and offer nutrition coaching services. Perhaps you put together a checklist of sugary foods you wouldn’t normally think of. This is your free lead magnet, or opt-in, and your ideal client–who is looking to eliminate sugary foods–gives you their email address in exchange for the list.

From there, you send email number one: The checklist. And now you have 4-6 other emails at your disposal to dive deeper into the topic of sugary foods and how to avoid them. During the sequence you can share your own experiences with sugary foods, testimonials from those who have worked with you, and even offer your new lead a chance to purchase your book on clean eating. You may even end the sequence with an invitation to sign up for a consultation.

This sample sequence follows the thread that began with the free lead magnet. A nutritionist can talk about many different things, but this lead was interested specifically in sugary foods. This provides a starting point, and your lead nurturing sequence allows you to reassure your new subscriber that yes, you understand their frustration, and you’re able to provide them with solutions.

Once your lead has had a chance to be fully nurtured, they can move deeper into your sales funnel. They’re now familiar with you as a brand, and they trust your expertise. They won’t be surprised to see your regular newsletters in their inbox, and they’re primed to turn to into a paying client.

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