A big contact list is of limited value if you don’t know how to use it properly. Nurturing your contacts through all stages of the buying process greatly increases your chance of making a sale.

Gathering leads is an important part of generating business. You can do this a number of ways, including attending industry events, chatting to people at awards nights or trade shows, and making a conscious effort with your networking. You can also build your contact list through more direct lead generation strategies, such as offering a downloadable white paper in exchange for contact details.

If you do these things consistently, you’ll end up with a sizeable contact list.

Then what?

You may have some hot leads, so you’ll follow up with them straight away. But what about the other people? What about the people who gave you their contact details, are interested in your product but aren’t ready to buy just yet?

You could throw their business card in a desk drawer, (they’ll do the same to yours,) and hope they remember to fish it out and give you a call when they are ready to buy.

Your other option, and a much better one, is to strategically nurture these leads until they’re ready to become customers. Lead nurturing involves providing your potential customers with valuable information that is useful to them. You could call them regularly to fill them in on the latest industry news, but that’s inefficient.

Do you know what will work?

Consistent lead nurturing by regularly sending awesome email newsletters.

The topic of lead nurturing is a big one. Nurturing your customers could be as simple as regularly sending them a newsletter, but even that isn’t truly simple. The newsletter needs to contain useful information that is of value to your potential customers.

More complex nurture tracks involve segmenting your list based on people’s characteristics, needs or behaviours, then stepping selected contacts through particular pain points or typical objections and ultimately leading them towards a sale.

Lead nurturing involves cultivating relationships with customers and potential customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey. Marketing efforts are focused on the needs of prospects with an emphasis on providing information and answers they seek.

By analysing the behaviour of your email recipients you can gauge who is most engaged with your content, and is therefore more likely to engage with you as a business.

Put in the effort and the results speak for themselves

Whether you’re producing content for your website, magazines, email nurture campaign or any other host of places, it is more effective to share your expertise rather than telling people how good your product or service is.

When you take the time to produce content that people need, and share it in the right places, the results speak for themselves. An effective nurture track does more than what phone calls alone could ever do. Not only does it help you to stay in the mind of potential customers, it also lets you demonstrate why you are the expert in a particular area by showing how you can solve problems to make people’s lives better or easier.

Quality of content matters

Not all emails get read. That’s just a fact of life these days. In order to increase the chance that your carefully nurtured contacts will open your emails and eventually become customers, you need to be sending them quality content.

Think about what they need and send them information that will help them. Don’t sell to your customer — talk with them about the issues they face and the things that keep them up at night. You’ll earn credibility and pave the way for a smooth sales process.

If you can regularly nurture your industry contacts with engaging content, your chances of making a sale when they’re ready to buy are greatly improved.