SMS messages

Can a relationship last if it’s only one way? Relationships deepen when both sides get to know each other better. It takes an ongoing conversation to create the levels of engagement needed to convert prospects into customers. Especially, in the case of your lead nurturing programs. If a lead is not opening an email, it’s time to take a different approach.

SMS text messaging is more personal and has a greater chance of engaging your audience. While adding another channel to a marketing mix can be more challenging, the payoff is higher. A business text messaging solution that integrates with your CRM, will reduce your workload.

There are many reasons lead nurturing programs can fail. Here are four common mistakes marketers make while nurturing leads.

Don’t quit too soon

A relationship needs to be ongoing, but some marketers give up early because they mistakenly assume their prospect will buy on their marketing timeline. Marketers need to shift from a campaign mentality to a customer journey approach that meets buyers where they are in their buying process—including the mix of content and channels.

Numbing prospects with repetitive content

Marketers often blast their audience with the same content over and over. Track your communication and tweak it if it’s not getting results. Besides turning off prospects, you risk your communications becoming classified as spam.

Using only email for lead nurturing communications

In addition to mixing up your content, marketers can boost performance by integrating various communication channels. This approach will help you identify the channels your prospects prefer and where they’re most responsive. Try adding a call to action for them to choose text messaging for future communications. Build your opt-in list and commence with adding texts to your nurturing program.

Once you’ve done that, remember to sync all your communications with the prospect on one platform. This will help you customize your conversation with your buyers. You’ll increase the chances of continuing response rates as your nurturing program progresses. Using multiple channels increases your response rate by 37% according to a study. And that’s just what you want to see.

Treating your audience as if they’re all the same

Same content, same channel, to all prospects completes this short list of marketing mistakes. A prospect is more likely to respond if you send relevant and meaningful content. For example, a woman interested in purple sweaters is much more likely to respond to a promotional offer on a new shipment of purple sweaters than to a generic 10% discount offer. Or, a new home buyer looking for a 3-bedroom home with a pool who receives a property listing update for a 2-bedroom condo will just hit delete and wonder why they opted in to hear from you in the first place.

A marketing automation platform will help you apply segmentation so it’s easy for you to personalize your content for different needs within your audience. Seventy-three percent of consumers surveyed in an Accenture study said that they would rather buy from retailers who used personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant.

Easy Fixes to Get Lead Nurturing Right

Now that we’ve seen what marketers are doing wrong, let’s talk about how they can leverage the data and tools that are available to them, to increase engagement.

Segment and personalize

Segmentation can help you deliver relevant communication to your audience. Targeted messages can increase engagement significantly, compared to a single communication blast. You can segment leads by source, function, level of product interest, or activity, for instance.

Use your CRM to better know your prospects and customers and apply that knowledge in your communication. Just a few tweaks to a content piece can personalize it by industry or lead source, earning better results.

A software company used progressive profiling to get prospects to opt-in for text messaging by providing their mobile number and website URL to access a resource. It then texted them, offering a free analysis of their website, naming the prospect, company and URL. Responses were swift as text messages are opened in short order. The immediacy of the personalized message enticed them to reply.

Blending channels brings advantages

Use email and text messaging together to get the best out of both. For heavier content that people may prefer to access via their PC or laptops, use email. After a few days, send a text to those on your list who have not opened their emails, reminding them to look with a teaser message about what they might be missing.

You can also promote a VIP program with exclusive offers and content to those on your nurture list as a way to identify prospects who are more interested in your products and services. Or you can invite your prospects to ask questions about the topic of the information you just sent them by asking them to text a keyword for a quick answer. There’s no need to worry – you can set up alerts to ensure a messaging user is advised to respond quickly to incoming questions.

Focus Nurturing on the Customer Lifecycle, not the Initial Sale

Anticipate your prospects’ next move. Create different nurture tracks based on the segments you identified. If your prospects’ behavior shows that they are interested in a product related to the one they first looked at, you can send them to the nurture stream for that product.

Your nurture should be flexible, so that as your prospects shift focus, your content is still relevant to them. SMS text messaging can help you do this more easily then email, through keywords. If a prospect selects an option from a choice of keywords in a text, you can send the next text based on that keyword.

Think long term when it comes to nurturing a relationship, not a one-night stand. You need to get a conversation going with your prospects, whatever be the medium. Rather than relying solely on email, diversify with other channels, including SMS text messaging. This way, you’ll amplify engagement and momentum towards conversion—again and again.

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