It’s no secret that email marketing is an effective form of lead nurturing. According to McKinsey and Company, email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to acquiring customers. But it’s not enough. Sure, you will probably have some success if you only nurture your leads through email. But you’ll have much more success if you engage with them across a variety of platforms simultaneously.
Think about it. Your leads are not all the same, so why should you treat them as such? Some might be checking their inbox every twenty minutes, while others might only check it a few times a day. Some of your leads might prefer to spend more time on social media instead.
That’s why it’s important to nurture your leads across a variety of channels—and not just one. Marketing across only one channel is like assuming that all of your leads like to spend their days at the beach. Some might; but others might prefer to go to a café…or a shopping mall.
Another benefit of multi-channel lead nurturing? If your leads are spending time on all those different platforms, you’ll help ensure that you remain at the forefront of their minds.
So with that, here are four ways that you can nurture your leads—that (you guessed it) don’t include email.
Other than email, retargeting is probably the most powerful type of lead nurturing. First, let’s go over the two main kinds of retargeting that you can do: pixel-based and list-based.
Pixel-based is the most common type of retargeting. When someone visits your website, a pixel is put on their browser. Then when they leave your site, the cookie on their browser informs retargeting platforms to send them specific ads based on the pages that they visited on your site. While these ads are timely and specific, pixel-based retargeting is based on how many people visit your website, so if you don’t have a lot of website visitors, this may not be the most effective way to advertise to your leads.
List-based retargeting (or email retargeting) is retargeting your leads after you have captured their contact info. You upload their email addresses to a retargeting campaign on social media and that social media platform will then retarget ads to those contacts, through that platform. While list-based retargeting can be highly customizable, the downside is that, since these ads are dependent on email addresses, if people give you a different email address than the one that is connected to their social media account, the retargeting fails.
As for where to set up your retargeting campaigns, there is no shortage of options to choose from: Google AdWords, AdRoll, Retargeter and Bizo to name a few. As with list-based retargeting, you can also retarget through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep in mind that while retargeting through social media networks have their advantages (people are easily able to share, comment and like your content), if you choose to retarget on social media, you will be limited to that platform, as opposed to the entire worldwide web.
2. Engage With Your Leads on Social Media
Social media is not just a place to advertise and post content piece after content piece. This is also where you should be engaging and connecting with your leads.
Start by following your contacts on Twitter. This can help you to get to know your leads a little better and will allow you to segment them further.
But depending on who you are targeting, your leads might not even be hanging out on Twitter. Find the social media network(s) where your leads are spending their time. Then start conversations with them. Reply to their questions and comments. Share their content. If, after following their activity, you find something that they might be interested in, go ahead and share it with them!
3. Install a Chat on Your Website
The beauty of a chat service is that, unlike email, it is instantaneous and happens in real-time. And it provides another option for those leads that don’t feel like picking up the phone and calling, while still sending them the message, “I’m here. Anytime.”
Chats also give you the liberty to be a bit more informal and personable in your messaging. As you’re communicating with these leads, just keep in mind that they will all be at various stages of the buyer’s journey. Some might be ready to purchase, while others might just be checking out your website for the first time. And other leads might fall somewhere in between. So let your leads know that you are there to answer any questions they have—but don’t exploit this platform by being pushy or aggressive.
4. Send Out Direct Mail
Now that nearly everything is online, many marketers don’t bother with direct mail—which means that there’s more opportunity for you to make your voice heard above all the noise.
Most people receive a lot of emails per day, so with email marketing, there’s the risk of your messages being ignored, marked as spam or deleted at the click of a button. But when you send out a letter, your recipient at least has to look over the letter before tossing it in the trashcan.
Opening a letter is a tangible experience and one that is more memorable than just clicking through an inbox. You have the option to get much more personal with your leads. For instance, you could use colored envelopes, a unique tactile paper coating, or handwritten letters. I don’t know about you, but I would have a hard time throwing out something like that!
Another benefit of direct mail? Those who do read your messages are more likely to take action. 79% of consumers act right away on direct mail, compared to just 45% of email-openers.
Take into account that while direct mail might be a highly effective approach for many businesses out there, it might not be for others. If you are targeting digital nomads (or people who move around a lot), for example, you probably won’t have much luck with direct mail. If you are targeting senior citizens, on the other hand, you will probably have much more success with direct mail than email (since 45% of seniors over the age of 65 don’t even use the internet at all).
To really connect with your leads and ensure that you stay top-of-mind, you need to be communicating on a variety of different channels…and not just email.
Where have you found the most lead nurturing success? Share with us in the comments below.