The days of following up with a direct-mail piece or a simple phone call are fading fast, if not already completely extinct. In today’s fast paced world, people expect immediate gratification, and this affects the way we market and respond to leads.

People do not have the time, nor will they take the time, to sit on the phone for 30 minutes discussing the pros and cons of your business.

It is more convenient for them to receive a simple text message with small amounts of data, more frequently. This does a few things, it allows them to respond as they have time as well as review when it is convenient for them.

In addition, it gives your lead a way to receive information immediately, making them feel important and like you truly care. This builds that trust and two way dialog between you and your prospect.

To learn more about the basics of lead nurturing, refer to our other posts to the right.

Other Lead Nurturing Articles

Our series on lead nurturing is designed to help you get the info you need to effectively grow your business through tested and proven techniques. Turn more of your prospects into sales with the information here.

Texting: A New Way of Sales and Lead Nurturing

With 68% of people having sent a love note via text and 62% of marketers using or planning to use automated text messaging in the next 12 months, text messaging is the new way of sales and is now far from uncharted territory.

With an estimated 9.6 trillion messages sent worldwide in 2012, it is no wonder why text messaging is becoming such a big deal in the marketing world. What does this mean for lead nurturing campaigns? Well that is simple – text messaging should be a part of your plan. In fact, it is shown that marketing text messages (SMS) have a 98% open rate and 45% response rate vs. only 20% and 6% for marketing emails.

In today’s fast paced world, it is very convenient for your prospects to communicate with you via text message and/or email as most people have some sort of smart phone or tablet with them at all times.

Dating vs. Marketing/Sales

I know it may seem funny to compare dating and sales but it’s actually astonishing to see how similar the stages really are. Below are the stages of both dating and text messaging (marketing/sales). Laugh along with me as you read through them.

  • Get Permission – With dating your usually get a verbal commitment or another sort of confirmation before the date is set. Likewise with sending text messages, your prospect will get the option to opt-in to your communications.
  • Set the Stage – 34% of texters who are dating say they prefer to get a confirmation of the date via text message. Likewise, texting during the sales process allows your prospect to confirm data and/or appointments.
  • Keep it Short – 52% said “thinking of you” is the most common text message while first dating. Likewise it is recommended for a marketing campaign to keep the texts concise.
  • Make it Crystal Clear – 84% believe that it is common to misunderstand a text message from your date. Avoid this same miscommunication by keeping your messages clear and to the point.
  • Timing is Everything – 24% say that a slow response time for text messaging is a huge turnoff while dating. Likewise, timing your text messages after another form of communication or to follow-up are the best use for text campaigns.

Tips for Using Text Messaging to Nurture Leads Properly

  • Keep it simple – A text message is not a newsletter, or even an email. Content needs to be short and to the point. You want to acknowledge your lead without overwhelming them.
  • Require sign-up and offer unsubscribe feature – Text messaging, like other forms of communication, should be something your lead subscribes to. It shouldn’t be something you buy lists for and spam people with. There are cost associated both for you as a business and for them as a consumer. In order to properly nurture leads with text messages, they should be leads who come to you and sign-up for your communications.
  • Stay top of mind – Text messaging is different than other communication and can be more frequent if done correctly. For example, I get text messages from my bank on a daily basis telling me about my balances and possible offers. It is not intrusive to me because I signed up for it. As a company, you need to decide what and how much is the right amount of interaction.
  • Don’t oversell, let your company sell itself –This is easy, don’t brag and show off every good thing your company has done. Relate to your new lead and answer the questions they need. There is no reason to bombard them with all of your successes for the past 10 years. Keep it relevant, and in a word, “simple”.
  • Pre-populate quality content – Based on each level of interaction with your new lead, you will want to have pre-populated content so your team is not only consistent between team members but also able to respond quickly and in timely manner. Some companies will invest in a software system to do this for them and minimize the time their sales agents spend nurturing leads.

Final Thoughts

The rise in popularity of lead nurturing is no surprise to most in today’s struggling economy. There doesn’t seem to be the same amount of low hanging fruit to grab, so marketers have had to get more creative and more diligent with building relationships to make their leads or prospects sales ready. Text messaging is one of those new and innovative ways to do just that.

It is not a stand-alone lead nurturing technique though; it is one that needs to be paired with your other lead nurturing tactics. Aligning text messaging with your other efforts will give you the success you are looking for (for less money) in the long run.