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Posted by FetchRev ● 2/23/15 4:41 PM

From Window Shopper to Loyal Customer: Understanding the Fundamentals of Lead Nurturing

Today's online customers live in a world of endless possibilities. They spend the majority of their time finding a business they want to purchase from and less time actually making the purchase.

Because of that, small businesses need to create the right online environment for all types of shoppers, whether someone is just browsing or is ready to buy right then and there. This is called lead nurturing: keeping touch with customers, giving them the information they want, and building a relationship that eventually leads them to you if and when they're ready to buy. Here's how you can make the most of your online presence, attract and converting potential customers as they move along through the conversion funnel.

Turning Window Shoppers Into Loyal Customers: Understanding the Fundamentals of Lead Nurturing

1. Your online visitors are at all different stages of the buying cycle - they don't become customers overnight.

Because it's so easy to shop online, many people spend their time browsing the web. They know that they can hop from site to site, looking for exactly what they want.

To address this, your marketing materials should not always push them to make a purchase. While this is important to you as a business owner, the consumer may not be ready to buy just yet. And if you don't spend time building trust and forging a relationship, there's a good chance they'll never arrive at the purchasing stage.

Instead, consider sending them newsletters or sharing funny or interesting articles on social media. When they find value in your content, they will find value in your business and think of you next time they need a service similar to yours.

2. Today's buyers like to be in control.

Because there are so many options readily available, online consumers have become accustomed to getting precisely what they're looking for. They like to do their research and find the best option - not just the one right in front of them.

Say a couple is looking for a nice place to eat on a Friday night. They like Italian food but don't want to spend more than $30 per person. But they'd also like a quality meal. Instead of just walking in to the first restaurant they see, they can now open Yelp or Google right on their phone and find the best restaurant in their area that meets those criteria by reading reviews from previous customers.

This is why it's so important to spend time building up your online reputation. The in-control consumer wants to make sure they're spending their time well - and reading reviews gives them the vote of confidence they need.

3. Build relationships, not just sales.

Customer loyalty is not something that appears overnight. Instead, the best customers - the ones who come back time after time, the ones who talk about you to their friends and family, the ones who know you and your employees by name - are developed over time. This is where lead nurturing comes in. When you think about your customers as people first and consumers second, it's much easier to build organic, long-lasting relationships with them.

This boils down to how well you delight and surprise your customers at every step of the way. Do you have a loyalty program for regular customers? Do you send them special offers and discounts on their birthday? Do you share funny, interesting videos and articles with them on your social media channels? It's the little things that will turn one time shoppers into loyal customers who come back time after time.

 

Topics: Marketing