As you nurture your sales leads, you may find your efforts coming up against challenges. Here are the big five we’ve seen, and how to overcome them.
You publish a newsletter or blog, maybe both. You have a Facebook page and a group or a Twitter stream, perhaps an email list. You may or may not (well, you really should) be paying too much attention to weekly subscription figures. They may be humming along, and then suddenly, they change, and your numbers start going down.
This is normal according to HubSpot. It’s actually preferable. Consider this: When you first put together a Facebook page or got onto Twitter, your first followers were likely industry types who knew about you and personal friends looking to help you out and do you a favor.
But those people aren’t your prospects.
Assuming you aren’t seeing a mass exodus due to some major gaffe (you might want to avoid offering Yankee tickets to Red Sox fans, okay?), then this attrition is a good thing. It is culling away the folks who liked your page to be supportive, or got onto your mailing list so it would have something on it. It also eliminates the folks who were interested before but now, for whatever reason, aren’t.
By the way, they aren’t necessarily unsubscribing because they went with your competitor. Sometimes a solution is no longer viable because a prospect is going in an entirely different direction, or is even leaving the business entirely.
Again, according to HubSpot, there is a positive correlation between subscriber recency and clickthrough rate, one of the key engagement metrics.
You need to act quickly. Your prospects are busy people, with tons of information thrown at them every single day. And it’s coming at them even if they aren’t looking for it. Not acting quickly means you’ll get buried. You need a system in place to get your message out there as soon as is possible. The only way this is at all scalable is with an automated system when you have hundreds of people added to your mailing list following a trade show.
You have to have something to send, and something to say! You are an expert in your field. You are presumed to have a good handle on it, yes?
Recognize that it may take a while to get enough content. Starting off with nearly nothing to say is going to assure a really short relationship with your prospects. How do you add more good, germane content?
There is nothing wrong with working with another organization, or giving credit to another’s content while commenting on it with your own, which is precisely what is happening in this article. You need to make a bank of content. Write! Write like the wind! And research like it, too.
Yet another option is to approach other organizations. Perhaps you can exchange blog posts or features in a mutually beneficial manner. Get to know the professionals in your field and in peripheral fields. The Internet is a big tent. There is a lot of room under it.
#4 Subject Lines and Calls to Action
What makes people click? What makes them take time out of their day to read, click, retweet and share?
We have all seen articles which promise lists or sport enticing titles. It’s clickbait, to be sure, and we often feel suckered in afterwards. Those articles can be good for an initial bite, but people don’t go any further after the first click or so. Even if a reader gets through the entire list or dubiously meritorious article, they rarely come back.
Don’t treat your prospects this way.
Instead, yes, you do want to have interesting subject lines. Tell your readers, clearly and concisely, what your communication is all about. Add a sense of urgency or importance.
Then comes the message itself. Let your readership know, within the first three sentences, what your communication is all about, whether it’s an educational piece, an opinion manifesto, a sales pitch, or even a chance to win something.
Then the end piece is the call to action. Make it easy to understand. ‘Download our ebook’ or ‘Request our white paper’ are good examples.
#5 Meaningful Measurements
The last challenge is as vital as the others. You need to measure outcomes. But you need for them to have an application to what it is you’re trying to do. Similar to subscription numbers, there can be several reasons why one measurement looks the way it does.
There are any number of measurements out there, but some are more applicable than others. On Twitter, for example, you can tell which messages have been retweeted. You can see engagements and impressions. But it’s generally engagements that you care more about, as those are the counts of how many times your tweet was liked or retweeted.
On Facebook, any page with over 30 people liking it can get metrics. This includes you – there is no law against you liking your own page. Facebook further breaks down engagement, the demographics of anyone liking your page, and even when they are on Facebook. These are all meaningful metrics, but they’re used for different purposes. Engagement helps you to see what’s working, and what isn’t. As always, do more of the former, and either drop or change the latter. Demographics give you insight not only into what you should be telling people (e. g. if your page is liked by a group of people who are overwhelmingly American, then offering a coupon specific to Helsinki is probably not going to go over so well, unless you know from experience that your audience likes to travel to Finland. Time on sight gives you a good idea about when to post.
For newsletters and email lists, pay attention to who opens what, who unsubscribes, and who dings your messages as spam.
Meet these lead nurture challenges and see your way to success!
Photo Source: Nate Steiner