If you’re a retailer or service provider, you’re always helping people make the decision to purchase, but making a purchase is rarely as easy as “see it, love it, buy it”. In the retail market, customers research every aspect of a transaction before making a decision – rather than making on-the-spot impulse purchases.”. Purchasing professional services is an even tougher decision, it can affect your livelihood and is often tied to complex emotions depending on the situation.

With each interaction you have with a client or customer you’re in a position to help them make a decision, be it giving them information to convince them your product is superior, more cost effective or allaying their concerns to help them feel positive about an outcome.

When you’re doing this in person, you’ve got an engaged lead and their undivided attention but when you’re addressing leads that come through your website, email can help you reach and nurture those leads that need a little extra push to make the decision.

The easiest ways to think about leads you’re nurturing is to separate them by short term or long term decisions. The length of the lead nurture process should correlate to the decision process and product cycle of your offering.. Consider too how price or perceived value plays a role in making these decisions. The extra push needed to purchase consumer goods or dine at a restaurant is much less than than for larger purchases such as cars or white goods.

The quick fix

Whether you’re in retail or a restaurant, understanding the motivations of your purchasers is key to converting these leads into sales or diners. Are people adding things to their cart and abandoning? Reward people for signing up by giving them discount codes or entice them back by sending abandon cart emails. Loyalty programs will keep people returning and the classic birthday campaign is always a winner.

If you’re a restaurant or service provider, pressure prompts can work wonders. Emailing or sending SMS’s at 11am for a lunch reservation can generate anticipation or Friday night takeaway deals at 4pm for those staying in can help focus people on your product. Beauty or hairdressers or other appointment based services could email advertising available slots to people you haven’t heard from in a while. Understanding these pressure prompts, whether its timing or occasions or discounts can help you understand what it takes to help get people over the line.

The long haul

If your product has a long lifecycle like a car, an investment property or  a professional service, you need to understand the role long-term lead nurturing strategies play. At their core, these strategies are about building trust and making sure that when a decision needs to be made,you’re the top of your customer’s mind..

For professional services, staying top of mind is key to ensuring that you’re the first one a potential client calls when they have a need. Newsletters with information and advice can be a great way to regularly communicate with clients, but make sure you’re sending material that is timely and relevant. Creating case studies for problems your clients may be  facing are also a great way to build their confidence in your ability to meet their needs when the time comes.

Creating content like this takes time  and can often feel like your last priority when there is other work to be done. Our advice? Do this first thing Monday morning before the calls start rolling in and there are meetings to get to. You’ll be grateful when you get to your monthly newsletter and have all your content ready to go.

Need help building a lead nurture strategy that works for your business? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.

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