Lead Nurture Best Practices to Build Relationships

Sometimes your leads need a little love. Even if all signs point to qualified, most leads aren’t ready to buy Johnny-on-the-spot. Getting them there is all about nurturing the relationship. You need to lay down a solid foundation of trust to not only convert them as a buyer but keep them long term. The best way to do this? A nurture cadence.

Lead nurture can transform budding relationships into bonafide partnerships. But, successfully nurturing a relationship from early prospect to ready-to-buy client takes the right tone, content, and timing. You can easily scare off your prospect with too much contact and get lost in the noise with too little.

When it comes to building a successful nurture cadence, we’re breaking down four best practices to live by. 

Be Patient

Good things come to those who wait, especially in the game of lead nurture. A nurture cadence is a series of touchpoints delivered over a given period of time. But how, what, where, and when you send these messages is what can easily lead teams astray. It can take weeks, months, and even years before someone is ready to make a purchase, a valuable well-timed cadence will keep you top of mind when they’re ready to invest. 

When designing your drip, it’s important to establish a frequency that doesn’t drown your audience in emails At the same time, sending too few emails can also jeopardize your efforts. You need to strike the right balance of conversation that keeps your brand relevant without annoying your reader. Nailing the sweet spot comes down to testing.

Start by testing a two cadence frequency. Send one email every week over the course of a month. While simultaneously testing six touches over the course of two months. Putting similar segments through each cadence, you’ll be able to identify the timing that works best for you. 

Be Helpful

The body of your emails should always serve up value, no strings attached. Review your asset library and pull out non-salesy, top of funnel content pieces — blog posts, guides, ebooks, webinars, you name it — that hold exclusive value. These are the relationship-building golden nuggets of knowledge that will help you build trust and stand out as an industry thought leader. Your tone of voice can start passive, like the paper man dropping by with relevant reads and solutions to their everyday pain points. To deliver this content, your copy bones can follow something like this: 

Subject: { First Name }, checking in..

Body: { First Name } – you don’t know me but it looks like you may have recently taken a look at our {{content title}}. Given your experience, I think you’ll find this { Content Piece } useful as well, especially when it comes to solving {{specific initiative, pain point, problem}}. 

Let me know if you have any questions via email, I’m quick on replies. 

Cheers, 
My Name  

As you share this game-changing content you can start to sprinkle in promotional pieces using the 80 / 20 rule — 80% thought leadership and 20% sales-focused content (like case studies and comparison charts). Sharing thought leadership in tandem with promo content will help your audience realize they have a problem that you can solve. Tweaking your messaging to be more about educating and providing value will give you credibility when you swoop in for the appointment request down the line, like so: 

Subject: { First Name }, { Content Piece }

Body: Hey { First Name } – Since we were on the topic of { Pain Point }, I thought you’d find our latest case study helpful. Last { Month } we helped company xyz { Insert Problem Solved }.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Name

Be Personable

Your nurture cadence starts and ends with people. In the digital age, we’re swimming in promotional content and oh-so-vanilla sales pitches. To stand out from the crowd, you need to retire the sales pitch for authenticity. Embellish your messaging with personalized copy will help spark your reader’s attention. But, scaling a customized message to each and every lead can easily overwhelm your team. That’s where segmentation comes in. To scale your lead nurture, start with highly targeted audiences. Segmenting your contacts by location, job, Alma Mater, and any commonality they share will help you create personalized messages that resonate with your audience at scale. 

Be Everywhere

When you reach out to your audience, are they listening? If you’re not tapping into the right channels, they may not even know you’re there. Think about where your audience is online and design your cadence around these platforms. Are they active on LinkedIn? Tried and true email users? Or does their day revolve around the mobility of their phone? Including a mix of email, phone, and social media touches curated to your audience will help you get your message across, loud and clear. 

LinkedIn is the easiest (and most professional) social channel to reach your audience. Even if you don’t have the budget for premium InMail credits, you can use the personalized message in connection requests to deliver your message. Including a note with your connection increases the likelihood they’ll accept your request and remember who you are when you drop them a line. Be sure to keep connection requests short enough to include your contact info as you only have 300 characters to say your piece. 

Obama – I’m the gal who’s been sending you all of the awesome {{solution}} reads. I wanted to connect to put a face to the name. Cheers!

Contact Details 

When it comes to building a multi-channel cadence, you can design your drip by sending four emails, a social touch, and a phone call over a two month period. Track how many leads progress down the funnel and continue to test your channel mix from there. 

Summing it Up

A nurture cadence is one of the best ways to bolster relationships and guide prospects on their path from stranger to buyer. Nurturing your leads at scale may seem daunting but luckily we’re not reinventing the wheel. With the help of automation platforms, you can personalize your flow and establish your preferred frequency. Filling the meat of your emails, calls, and social touches with valuable content will help you build the necessary rapport with your reader. While, positioning your company as the problem-solving thought leader will keep you top of mind when your prospect is ready to pull the trigger.