November 6

Steps for creating a true lead nurturing program

Lead Nurturing


Sometimes in an attempt to vamp up lead nurturing efforts, misguided and well-meaning organizations simply start sending out more emails. When an email is misused in this manner, companies are really just training prospects to ignore or delete their messages.

See What IS and ISN’T Lead Nurturing

If your organization lacks a well-defined process for nurturing early-stage leads and building relationships before the buying process, you are missing out on opportunities. True lead nurturing involves creating and maintaining a relevant and consistent dialog with viable potential customers – regardless of their timing to buy. Your content should help you become a resource to prospects.

A true lead nurturing program will always include:


Lead nurturing automation tools that will support, personalization, lower volume and ad hoc delivery while tracking all touch points such as phone, email, online efforts and personal contact.

Check out How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

The measurement of nurturing results such as:

  • Depths of contacts in the sphere of influence
  • Contacts that “opt-in” for nurturing
  • Contacts that become “sales ready” leads

This can seem like a complicated ordeal. It’s easy to see why organizations get overwhelmed by the time and planning required for developing an effective program, so I’ve broken down the process into eight steps.

  1. Define the Ideal Customer Profile: Make sure you are nurturing relationships with the right people and organizations.
  2. Define the Universal Lead Definition: Higher standards on qualifying inquiries to actual leads positively impacts conversion with lead to pipeline and lead to sale.
  3. Lead qualification: Marketers have a tendency to require too much information from their inquiries at the first touch in an effort to qualify someone right away. The process can be broken down into steps that balance out the process.
  4. Understand and Capture Audience: You need to understand who’s involved in the buying process so you can build a database based on your prospect’s role. The goal isn’t to build the biggest database, but to build one that is going to be most relevant.
  5. Message Development: Message mapping is a great way for organizations to tie in what they are selling with what the buyer’s key issues are.
  6. Build Lead Nurturing Library: Gather content that you can use to set yourself and your company up as thought leaders.
  7. Develop Lead Nurturing Tracks: Map out tactics for sharing your content. Remember to start out slow and build your program slowly.
  8. Executing Multi-Modal Lead Nurturing: Track all touch points (email, web, phone, social media etc.)

You may also like:

How to do lead management that improves conversion

Empathetic Marketing: How To Connect With Your Customers

Lead nurturing via email series and content marketing

Lead Nurturing: What it is, and what it is not

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Very Well written article. That should surely help those remember to go back to basics, and those that are new the proper way of lead generation.

  2. It is true. Many top producers have turned me off with their constant email pitching. I have 4 online businesses and I try to only send an original ‘benefit laden’ article style email once a week tops. I have read that every 14 days is best. I do find myself wanting to connect each week.

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