Warming Up New Leads: Turning Visitors Into Future Customers
People who aren’t ready to buy yet — but are still interested — have a different set of needs and concerns than the “buy now” people.
On-the-spot buyers want a quick, easy, direct sales process. Clear information and a strong call to action are essential for closing these sales.
But the “maybes” — browsers, comparison shoppers, people on the fence — want information. They want to learn a little more about what you’re selling. They want to know if you can meet their needs with your products or services, as well as whether they can trust you.
This is also a longer process than with immediate buyers. You’re moving them through a funnel that will lead them gradually toward that sale, even if they’re not quite ready just yet.
Step one is to “bait’ people into engaging with you. This means you need to offer them something that’s valuable or useful for them.
Some examples could include:
- Industry insights that are unique, which they won’t find anywhere else. White papers and ebooks, which ask for an email address in exchange for a free download, are a great way to use your expertise to engage with people.
- General advice, like ‘What to look out for when buying a used car.”
To access the information you’re offering, the reader needs to offer you their email address, or other information about themselves. You can also ask them to follow you on social media.
If what you’re offering is of value, people are more than willing to offer you an email address. They can always unsubscribe later, if they so choose. You can also ask for other information, although you don’t want the contact form to be too long. People will walk away if you need them to fill out twenty different fields.
Now, you’ve established contact with this person, via email or social media. Plus, you’ve offered them something of value. Now it’s time to start selling to them, although you don’t want to come on too strong too quickly.
You’ve set up a connection you can use to maintain and further build your relationship with them. Eventually, this can easily result in a sale.
They’re in your sphere of influence.
Building Relationships with Leads
So how to you continue to build and nurture your relationship with the new leads you’ve brought on board?
To cultivate a successful social media presence, your brand needs to “act like a person,” as much as possible. This means having a consistent voice, tone, and aesthetic. With a human voice, your brand can become a charismatic leader, not just another faceless company.
Speak to customers like you’re speaking with a good friend. People naturally want to talk to other people, so you want your brand to come across as a person when you engage with customers.
It’s a good idea to be as responsive as you can. Try to reply to social media messages from customers within four hours, when possible. Follow the 80/20 rule, too. At least 80% of your posts should be informational, not explicitly sales-oriented. No one likes a pushy salesman.
Using the ebook method we discussed above, you can start building an email list of qualified leads. This can become one of your most lucrative marketing channels. Over time, you can nurture a strong relationship with that customer base, leading to repeated sales and long term brand loyalty.
First, you need to plant the seed, by offering consistently valuable content in your emails and on your website. These “seeds” need to be nurtured to grow. You need to keep it up consistently, offering great information on a regular basis to build a mutually beneficial relationship with consumers.
Once a relationship is established, you can easily bring up your actual products or services to them. When the time comes, they’ll already be receptive to your sales offers, because you’ve build up trust over time.
Creating Valuable Content
The content you create and share with your audience, via email and social media, is the key to building this important relationship with potential customers. You can find ideas for blog posts and infographics by using tools like Buzzsumo and Answer the People to pinpoint hot topics in your niche.
Strong Relationships Create More Sales
If you want to maximise your profit and your ROI on ad spend, focus on building strong, long term relationships with potential customers. Through content that provides value to your audience, you can guide people through a sales funnel that leads from initial interest, to repeat sales in the future. In a competitive marketplace, having a strong relationship with people, built on trust, can create the brand loyalty and positive word of mouth you need to succeed.