Lead nurturing is a lot like dating. OK, it's been 20 years for me, but I think I remember a little about dating.
First you try to get them interested with an impressive first date. For most of us it's lunch or dinner, a chance to get to know each other a bit without too much commitment. Inbound marketers do this by publishing a free whitepaper or webinar and inviting folks to sign up.
Then daters follow up with a phone call or two to show their interest and try to line up a second date. The second date needs to be different. If you did dinner the first time, try walking around the zoo or taking in a festival during the day. This shows your range in a more relaxed setting and adds more time for conversation. Inbound marketers can follow-up their first lead capture with an e-mail or phone call thanking their lead for signing up and inviting them to something else. If you gave away a free e-book at first, try a webinar or a tweet-up the second time. Your strategy is to move them closer to a real one-on-one discussion.
If you've made it to the third date, congratulations. Statistics show, by the third date you're in, so to speak. No, I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about starting a relationship. Now you want to turn it around and give your date some options, get them more involved. During date #1 and #2 you should be listening a lot. Try to determine what floats their boat, and suggest that for date #3. Same with inbound marketing. Start a conversation and offer to help (not sell). Give away some of your precious time and expertise. Ask for their ideas and share common experiences in marketing.
The key to dating and sales is asking for the next date. Don't focus so much on the smooch at the door - focus on getting the next date. Give them something to look forward to and you'll win their hearts (and business) every time.
What are your favorite dating/lead nurturing tips?