The power of nurturing

Do you nurture your prospects or customers? If not, start nurturing. Nurturing is building a customer relationship with your prospect or customers on his (or her) way to become and stay a customer with an automated communication strategy. In this blog we teach you how to start nurturing using the YouBaze nurture tool. It will boost your sales and profits, that’s for sure.

Before we launched YouBaze I opened some trial accounts with cloud software solutions from competitive companies. Not only to learn from their strong and weak points, but mainly to see how they would convert me to a paying customer. Well, most of them send me a couple of product related emails to teach me the basics of there cloud solution. But after some emails it stopped and it became silent… very silent. Can you imagine? They spent tens, if not hundreds of dollars to get me in as a prospect, send me some emails and stop communicating. Now that’s a missed opportunity. They started to nurture me and than they stopped. You should realize that the majority of your prospects are not in the mood to buy instantly. You need to find the right buying moment (or hire an amazing copy writer or sales person who can close the deal today). With this in mind it makes sense to start nurturing your prospects with a series of automated emails until they become a customer, does it? Not for 2 weeks, not for a month, but for as long as it takes to become your customer.

What is nurturing?

To my opinion a nurture campaign  is an automated campaign in which you know on forehand what and when you communicate, to whom and with what predefined goal: customer conversion, creating repeating orders or an educative goal. Sending out 6 newsletters a year is not part of a nurture campaign. It’s sent to a group of people at the same time. A nurture email is sent to an individual within a target group on a specific moment within his journey becoming (or staying) a customer.

If somebody downloads a whitepaper, he isn’t a customer yet. From the moment you add this contact to your YouBaze account you can tag him in a group (say ‘prospects’). Only than nurturing starts through a series of automated emails. You can even narrow it down to product level. Somebody who downloaded an SEO whitepaper will be more willing to open and read emails about SEO. This way the chance you get him in as a customer increases significantly.

Advantages of nurturing

A nurture campaign takes some preparations to set it up, but once it’s running it brings you a lot of advantages:

1. You can send more specific information to your relations which increases your opening rates.
2. If you have set up a nurturing campaign the YouBaze nurture tool does the work for you. It will send out emails automatically once you add a relation to a group.
3. It converts more prospects into customers and sells more products to existing customers.

This is how you plan a nurture campaign

Setting up a nurture campaign takes 5 steps

1. choose which groups to nurture and determine your goal (conversion, repeating business, education)
2. decide how frequent and when you want to communicate
3. choose your media channels
4. think about what you communicate twice
5. determine what you do if you reached your goal

1. Which groups to nurture

Before a customer becomes a customer he/she crosses several stages. The exploratory phase (visiting your website, reading advertisements, talking about your company with friends), the prospect phase (requesting for a brochure, samples or quote) and finally the customer phase. YouBaze allows you to group your relations and start sending them a series of nuture emails from the moment the relation enters the group. This series of mails will stop when your relation moves to another group, becoming a customer for example. You can nurture customers too, especially when you have a repeating business. This way you can optimize your nurture emails per group. Prospects need to be approached with more special offer mails than customers. Customers on the other hand are more interested in information about how to use the product they’ve bought from you. If you open a free YouBaze account for example, you will receive emails on how to use YouBaze features. On top of that you will receive some once in a lifetime offers you simply can’t resist. Hence uur goal is both educative as well as sales driven. It works both ways: the more a prospect uses YouBaze the bigger the chance he/she will become a paying customer at the end. If you turn into a sleeping user, not using YouBaze during a given periode, you will receive additional emails to motivate you to start using YouBaze again.

How often

A big mistake the majority of businesses make is that they think in terms of products and hence communicate about their products too. Wanna know a secret? Your customer is NOT interested in your product at all. Your customer is looking for a solution for a problem (or need), not your product. But hey, your product solves this, doesn’t it? So let’s answer the question ‘how many nurture emails can I send?”. This totally depends on you. If you talk about your products or your company all the time, people will unsubscribe fast. Try to make an impression on a date: go out with him (or her) and talk about yourselve all the time. How amazing you are. I will guarantee you, your “don’t date me again” button will be pushed for sure. As long as you talk your customer’s language you can mail as much as you want. Talk about success, how other customers gained benefit, mail special offers, share your knowledge, become the expert. So, how often? One or twice a week, once a month, even daily. The more frequent you send out your nurture emails, the bigger the chance you will find the buying moment of your prospect or customer.

Which channels

The most logical channel to nurture is email. Our YouBaze nurture tool allows you to send out a series of nurture mails periodically (every x days at a specific time). It’s fast, efficient and inexpensive (free in YouBaze). Disadvantage: a part of your target group will not open and read your email. So email is not redemptive. If you really want to nurture use traditional direct mail. Send a birthday card, new years greeting or ‘thank for being our customer’ mailing and embed a special offer for that special occassion. I know: it’s time consuming and expensive. But than again, your opening rate is near 100%.

What kind of information

What’s in it for me? If you can keep that in mind from a customer’s point of view, your chance of success will be big. Share your knowledge and become the expert. Send special offers, talk about other customers’ experiences). Show them why your products/services are the best and how they will gain benefit from it. Talk about how dedicated you and your staff are. How your products have been made with a lot of love and passion. How you solved complaints and turned unsatisfied customers into happy customers. Use special moments with special offers: birthday, new year, thank-you-for-beign-our-customer, your customer’s anniversary (let’s celebrate you being our customer for one year!).

Mission accomplished, what then…

If you accomplished your mission, you can decide whether to stop or continue sending nurture emails with our YouBaze tool. Say your nurture campaign lasts for 6 months and holds 12 emails. In email 10 your prospect buys your product and becomes a customer. He/she will start receiving nurture mails for customers (if you’ve enable this in the nurture tool), but you may decide you he/she will receive emails 11 to 26 too. Depends on the information you send.

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