Do you sometimes wonder how many leads you lose each year?

Well, let me tell you, a lot.

In fact, according to Marketo, up to 95% of people calling your business aren’t ready to talk to sales. And unless you nurture them to become clients, you’ll lose their business, potentially forever.

This week I decided to shed some light on the idea of lead nurturing process and show you how you could increase the number of people hiring your firm.

So without any further ado…

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is a process of building a relationship with prospects through sending them relevant information with the goal of earning their business.

A lead nurturing campaign attracts prospects at the early stages of the buying journey and helps to guide them through it until they are ready to make a buying decision.

And…it works. Just take a look at these couple of statistics:

Lead nurturing is the most common marketing automation strategy, employed by 84% of businesses (source).

According to Forrester Research, “Companies that excel in lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead.” (source)

And Kapost reports that, “Successful lead nurturing breeds educated, gratified customers who channel their satisfaction into their purchase sizes, making 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.” (source)

How does the typical lead nurturing process look like?

Lead nurturing process helps move prospects through each stage of the buyer’s journey.

It typically includes the three main stages:

  1. Attracting website visitors and generating leads,
  2. Converting leads into clients, and finally,
  3. Wowing clients to retain their business.

Let’s look at each of these sections in turn.

Stage #1. Attract

To begin the lead nurturing process, you need to attract as many qualified visitors to your website as possible.

A qualified visitor is a person matching your ideal buyer persona who visits your site with the intention of finding out information related to what you do. They don’t necessarily have to be seeking a law firm to hire right at this very moment. But since they match a particular buyer persona, you know that they might soon need your services.

I realize that I’ve introduced a lot of terminology you might not be familiar so let’s stop for a minute and discuss some of those concepts:

  • Buyer Persona. Hubspot defines a persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on real data and educated guesses about their demographics, behaviors, patterns, motivations and goals.
  • Buyer’s Journey. This term describes the active research a person goes through leading up to a purchase.

Attracting qualified visitors to your site gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship with them and nurture them until they are ready to become clients.

How to attract qualified visitors to the website?

This process involves a combination of creating compelling content that answers your prospects’ most burning questions relating to what you do through SEO and paid advertising.

Content is by far the most important aspect of the entire lead nurturing strategy. Posting relevant content that educates prospects helps attract and pull them from one stage of the buying cycle to another.

To find out what content types you should publish at this stage of the buyer’s journey, check out my guide to best content types for lawyers.

SEO helps to optimize your content to appear in the search engine results for specific phrases relating to it.

Paid advertising on the other hand allows you to attract qualified prospects directly to landing pages that aim to convert them into leads.

Using all three channels combined ensures that you attract the right visitors at the right stage of the buying cycle to your website.

Converting Visitors into Leads

Once you begin attracting relevant traffic, you need to think of converting those visitors into leads.

You do this by offering visitors relevant materials, known as lead magnets (i.e. eBooks, reports, whitepapers) to download in return for some basic personal information.

For instance, you could create an eBook educating prospects about their rights pertaining to specific cases. A person interested in this topic might decide to download the eBook and by doing so, indicate their potential need for your services.

Stage #2. Sell

The next stage focuses on building a relationship with leads and nurturing them until they are ready to hire you.

You achieve this by sending people who have downloaded a lead magnet a sequence of emails known as a drip campaign.

If you’ve never heard the term drip campaign before, let me go over it really quickly.

A drip campaign contains a set of emails sent automatically according to a predefined schedule. Using drip campaigns ensures that every new lead subscribing to your list receives the same messages in the same order.

Drip campaigns keep prospects engaged with your firm, provide them with information they seek and in turn, make a lasting impression convincing them to hire you.

How do you know that a person is ready to hire you?

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering:

If all I’m doing to nurture leads is sending an automated series of emails, how do I know when they’re ready to talk to me?

Good question!

One way to do it is by measuring the person’s engagement with the drip campaign. For instance, by including a link corresponding to various stages of the buyer’s journey in each email and measuring clicks you’ll quickly identify prospects potentially interested in talking to you.

Another way is to measure their involvement with your sales materials. If you’re sending additional PDFs or documentation as part of the drip campaign, use a system to monitor prospects’ engagement with those. Based on this engagement (open rate, content reviewed, topics reviewed etc.) you could plan the follow up and reach out to the right person at a right time.

Stage #3. WOW

The final stage of the process focuses on people who are your clients already. It’s goal is to strengthen your relationship with them, continue to delight them and ensure a repeat business.

The WOW stage includes two distinct strategies:

New client onboarding focusing on welcoming new clients and setting your business relationship to a flying start.

Ongoing communications. Once you’ve finished working with a client, you need to focus on communicating with them to win their repeat business.

Both of these strategies rely on sending relevant and informative emails to clients, to ensure that they continue working with you in the future.

Conclusion

Lead nurturing is critical for any business.

Given that today’s customers aren’t ready to make a buying decision at the time of contacting a business, you need a process to nurture them with the aim to win their business.