As a marketer, you may have heard of lead nurturing. After all, a “lead” is exclusive to B2B marketing that typically involves long sales cycles and complex deals, right?
But guess what, individual buyers need to be nurtured as much as businesses do. Whether your business is an e-commerce enterprise, a for-profit university, or health insurer, your target audience needs to be engaged through acquisition, retention, loyalty, and ultimately, advocacy.
Customer nurturing involves building effective and long-term relationships with potential customers throughout their self-directed journeys. Creating a customer nurturing strategy that is based on best practices starts with putting goals in place, implementing the best solution, and integrating your nurture programs. Let’s dive into these three areas in more depth:
First things first, ask yourself a range of questions to evaluate your current customer management process, including:
Addressing these will give you a view on how to improve your current workflows and offer a groundwork for setting both quantitative and qualitative goals. Keep in mind that cumulative customer base is not always the prime goal you need to work towards. Enlightening their journey, brand perception, and ultimately converting them into advocates are also objectives that customer nurturing can help you achieve.
The backbone of customer nurturing is the platform used for engagement marketing. Engagement marketing means building a solid relationship with your customers as individuals based on what they do, wherever they may be.
To be able to engage your customers in a personalized way at scale, you need a robust engine that is built for marketers, with the customer at the center. There are three main things to keep in mind when picking the right tools for your customer nurturing:
With the number of marketing technology providers today, you have several options to evaluate and make your selections from. Make sure you’re assembling a team made up of both end users and decision makers to get the most balanced input. It is highly recommended to have representation from all stakeholder groups.
Just like other marketing activities, don’t think of nurture in isolation. By itself, it is effective, but in combination with other programs, it can be an incredibly powerful engine to drive engagement. Consider the following:
At the end of the day, always put yourself in the customers’ shoes. Would you want a disconnected experience consisting of batch emails hitting your inbox, or a well-coordinated series of touches that take you through a journey based on your interests? One of the top benefits of customer nurturing is automation—you can set up and let programs run based on behavior-based rules, and optimize them on an ongoing basis.
There is a lot to lead nurturing (customer nurturing), from segmentation, scoring, and cross-channel implementation, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! For a comprehensive overview of customer nurturing for consumer marketers.