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Why leads don’t convert: Understanding the weaknesses of your lead nurturing strategy

A lot of factors prevent businesses from effectively connecting with leads. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not even something the business can control — it’s the lead. But “it’s not me, it’s them” is not an effective motivator for any lead nurturing strategy. Instead focus on what you can actually control.

So let’s talk about some common weaknesses of lead nurturing strategies and how you can easily change how you’re communicating with leads.

This post covers five common weaknesses of lead nurturing strategies that often mean leads won’t convert.

1. Not doing any lead nurturing at all

2. Using ineffective methods of outreach

3. Sending messages that don’t engage

4. Taking too long to reach out and respond

5. Moving things forward too fast

Weakness #1) Not doing any lead nurturing at all

The most obvious but somehow not-obvious downfall of lead nurturing is not doing any lead nurturing at all. Almost 80% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of proper lead nurturing is the main reason nothing ever happens.

You don’t want to leave it to potential customers to make a decision in isolation. Especially when people will be investing a lot of money into your business, you need to interact with and guide them through the buying process. Otherwise you end up leaving a lot of money on the table.

Even for smaller purchases or choices, simply assuming prospective customers will ultimately choose your business after doing their own research isn’t a lucrative plan. If your competitors reach out, start conversations, and regularly follow up with leads and you don’t, you will lose out to them over and over again, even if you do offer superior services.

So do something. Almost anything. Lead nurturing looks different for every business — some will need more touch points than others — but it should be a priority regardless. Check out this post to learn how to optimize your lead nurturing throughout the entire customer journey.

And always remember that lead nurturing is not simply asking someone to do something over and over. Pitching someone immediately and then when they say no thanks asking them again a week later is not lead nurturing.

Weakness #2) Using ineffective methods of outreach

This one is a little less obvious. But even businesses that focus on lead nurturing aren’t necessarily making contact in the most effective way. So what’s the best way to reach out and follow up?

Well, many emails get ignored and deleted. When they do get opened, let alone answered, it’s often hours and days later. This isn’t to say there aren’t great email marketers and SDRs out there, but relying too heavily on email outreach is a primary reason leads don’t convert.

Phone calls aren’t great either. So many calls get pushed to voicemail. And missed calls hardly ever get returned. Even when you have a set appointment with someone, phone calls are easily missed and never happen.

But texting? Texting begs responses. And it allows for immediate, low-pressure conversations to occur whenever, wherever. You pretty much guarantee your message will at least be read, and it’s super easy for you to follow up in the future. It’s effective for you and convenient for your leads. In fact, consumers prefer texting over both phone calls and email when it comes to communicating with businesses.

All that being said, don’t keep reaching out in one way just because that’s the way it’s always been done. You’re very likely missing out on great conversations because you aren’t communicating with people how they want.

Weakness #3) Sending messages that don’t engage

This is perhaps the trickiest lead nurturing obstacle to overcome because it turns up again and again. It takes practice and lots of hard work to get all of your messages just right. And even when certain messages work in most cases, you might end up with a group of leads who don’t resonate with those messages. Then it’s time to start over and write something else to get people to respond again.

Even if you offer really valuable services and are the perfect choice for a prospect, it won’t do you any good if you don’t convey that info in the right way. And the method of outreach doesn’t matter either in that case.

If your messages…

– don’t resonate, they won’t care

– are impersonal, people won’t feel like they matter

– talk about things irrelevant to people’s needs, you’ll get ignored

– are sent at the wrong time, people won’t see them

– have spammy language, people won’t respond

Writing effective and approachable messages needs to become a priority for any lead nurturing process to succeed.

So pay careful attention to what works and what doesn’t and let trial and error be your guide. Don’t be afraid to switch things up, even just changing a word or two. You might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Weakness #4) Taking too long to reach out and respond

Taking too long to reach out to leads kills the effectiveness of any lead nurturing. People expect quick responses and you should provide them — within reason of course. (Because we also support proper boundaries.)

Slow response times give people a chance to get distracted and look elsewhere for a solution. Slow responses sometimes even say to people that you don’t actually care about helping them. And obviously you don’t want to give people any reason to think they need to choose a different business.

And think about it: If you reach out to someone, they reply, and then you never take the time to respond, why did you bother texting them in the first place? Then you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

When you make a conscious effort to respond to people’s inquiries quickly and give them all the information they need, you decrease those potential negative effects. Responding slowly and not creating just a little urgency makes people quickly lose interest. You want leads to realize that they need your help and they need it now.

Weakness #5) Moving things forward too fast

You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, would you?

No. Of course not.

Jumping right to a sales pitch is like asking someone to marry you right away. You need to court them! Woo them! Make them feel special! You’re in it for the long haul, not a one-and-done.

Actually interact with leads, have conversations, and make sure they’re someone you want to do business with.

Especially if becoming a client or customer means a large investment of money, someone won’t take lightly to making that decision quickly or being rushed. Further, the more familiar someone is with your business and what their options are, the more likely they are to become a customer and then stay a customer longer. That education and relationship building gets them invested.

Need more help with your lead nurturing?

There’s a lot of nuance to why leads don’t convert, but it’s best for everyone when you provide a seamless lead nurturing experience. Your prospects get a better buying experience and you earn more loyal customers and more consistent revenue.

To give you the best chance of converting leads, the Skipio blog has a wide range of posts dedicated to helping businesses and teams improve every step of the process. You might be surprised by the little changes you can make right now that will help you make better connections and earn more customers!

This post was originally published October 29, 2019. It was most recently updated on September 22, 2020. Updates included more specific examples of weaknesses within lead nurturing strategies as well as specific ideas in each section for how to more efficiently nurture leads.