Lead Nurturing – It’s Time to Go Deep


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I’m hearing a lot more talk of improving marketing ROI and a shift from lead acquisition to lead nurturing and conversion. The days of fat and sassy marketing spends, throwing money at additional new leads are coming to a close. If you’re going to be successful and have a decent bottom line, you’re going to have to go deep with your lists. You’re planting seeds that will later be harvested.

The size of your lead nurturing program will largely be dictated by the size of your lists and the tools at your disposal. You can nurture a few hundred leads each week, or a few hundred thousand. The database that I nuture contains over 3 million records across ten brands and we communicate with over 100,000 people each week.

Lead Nurturing – Best Practices:

1. Offer Value – Make sure to offer relavant content
2. Limit Offers – No more than 1 offer for every 4 messages
3. Manage your contact to lead ratio – Ensure your not over, or under communicating
4. Personalize Messaging – dynamic content, controlled by the user
5. Automation – Utilize automation to limit resources, maximize your ROI
6. Muli-Channel – Vary your messaging, email, direct mail, phone, events

Things to Avoid:

  • Blasting your list – this is desperate and also old school
  • Repeatedly sending the same offer – mix it up, don’t bore your list
  • Delivering poor content – keep them engaged
  • Don’t waste your time nurturing a purchased list – you don’t have permission

There is always a temptation to “blast” the entire list. However, this is not much of a strategy. It’s more of a desperate act intended to give you a “boost” in your response. However, it can do more harm than good, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary. After all, if you hit your entire list today, what will you do tomorrow? It’s likely that you’re blast will disrupt your nurturing campaigns and effect your nurturing response rates. In addition, you will likely generate bad-will with your list and your unsubscribe levels will jump. If you are going to take that approach, make sure your messaging is well aligned and offers value above and beyond your regular offers.

Thoughts on Nurturing:

In my organization, I spend a lot of time educating others on our nurturing program. The sales team, the lead gen team, management. I had a conversation with a sales manager a few weeks ago regarding our lead nurturing program. In order to protect the innocent, I’ll call him Bob. Bob believed that because of improved sales efficiencies in the beginning of the sales cycle, all buyers would be sold. That would leave very few actual buyers left in the marketing pipeline. He’s made remarketing obsolete! Great job Bob… You’re missing the point. At best, you’re likely to only close 5% of your leads on the first attempt. That will leave 95% of the pool available to market to. Studies prove that 80% of leads will end up purchasing in the next two years.

The only question is… Will they purchase from you, or your competitors? The 95% who are “unqualified” are actually closer to purchasing, than new leads you’ve just acquired today. If we discontinue remarketing, simply because they’ve achieved a 1-2% performance increase in front-end conversion… we will miss out on the additional 5-10% that would convert over the next year if properly nurtured and persuaded.


There are many tools that can help you automate your nurturing program, including; InsideSales.com, Eloqua and the use of SQL programming. If you’re attempting to nurture a larger list, your infrastructure is critical.

If you’d like more information on lead nurturing, I found this great report on MarketingSherpa.com: Lead Nurturing Best Practices: New Data, Charts, Tips to Put More Punch in Your Cultivation Tactics

Carson Poppenger
After building a process to contact, qualify, and convert legacy data into new sales opportunities, Carson Poppenger co-founded Squeeze (GoSqueeze.com) to help other businesses accelerate sales, grow revenue, and increase profitability. He currently serves as president of the company and lives in Utah with his wife and three children.


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