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We place a lot of importance on increasing website traffic and generating leads. We spend time on social media, pay for advertising, and maintain a blog all to get people to come to our site. We test button colors and landing pages to find the best way to convert those visitors into leads.

You get a long list of email addresses. Then what do you do?

Lead generation is only half the equation; how you nurture the relationship is equally important.
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Lead generation is only half of the battle. Once you generate those leads, you need to figure out what to do with them. If you don’t communicate with them at all, you’re losing potential customers. If you over-communicate, you risk coming across as pushy or too salesy.

For the best middle ground, here are four ways to nurture new leads:

Hand Them Over to Sales, When Appropriate

The most obvious thing to do with new leads is to hand them over to your sales team. However, don’t assume this should be the default process for all leads. For example, if Jane signed up to receive your blog posts via email, it does not make sense for a sales person to reach out and start aggressively selling. Jane clearly expressed interest in your content, and is still in the awareness stage. On the other hand, if Rob signed up for a very targeted webinar on how to improve SEO and gave you his email address, phone number, role, and industry, it’s more appropriate to reach out to him and start a conversation about the problem he is trying to solve.

Segment Your Leads

Lead nurturing is most effective when you can bucket leads by certain criteria. For example, you can segment all leads who work in real estate, leads who have spoken to a salesperson, or leads who found your site via Twitter. The more you know about your leads, the more personalized your nurturing can be. If you don’t have a lot of information about your leads, don’t worry. An email address is the perfect place to start. You can then create additional content to get more information from them or simply reach out to them via email and start a conversation.

Design an Email Drip

An email drip campaign provides helpful, valuable content to new leads at regular intervals. You’re kind of saying, “Hey, remember me?” A drip campaign is a long-term conversion strategy — you’re not going to get leads suddenly buying your product or service after two emails. But, you are going to be constantly top of mind for people who could one day be valuable customers. The key to this kind of email drip is to focus on helpful content (you should never talk about your product or service). Examples of content to include are blog posts, webinars, infographics, or relevant industry news.

Offer More Value

Lead nurturing is kind of like dating. When someone gives you his or her email address, it’s like the first date. That person has shown interest, but isn’t quite sold on you yet. You need to keep stepping up your game so he or she stays interested. And with lead nurturing, there’s no better way to impress than with an offer, like an e-book, white paper, or webinar. These offers are in-depth, comprehensive pieces of content that solve your leads’ real-world problems. They make a strong impression because they follow the “give before you get” principle. You are giving something of value, for free, to your leads before asking them to buy your product or service.

According to MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never become sales. That equals a lot of wasted time and money to get people to your site. With a lead nurturing strategy, you’ll build a strong relationship over time. And when someone is finally ready to make a purchase, she’ll remember the credible, trustworthy site that has already helped her solve her problems with valuable content.

If you don’t have the problem of too many leads, or you want to better your online marketing, consider our new 21-day training course, Converting Crowds to CustomersIn just 21 days, you’ll learn the best practices of starting your online marketing strategy, attracting more website traffic, and creating more qualified sales leads.

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