Start a Nurture Program

Mar 27, 2009 | credibility, Education, Lead generation, Recession | 1 comment

If you’re not already doing some kind of nurture program, you should start now. It is inexpensive (typically less than $500/month) and highly effective.

Nurture programs are designed to educate prospects about the value you provide – because almost any offering requires some education – and generate excitement and buzz about your company.

The idea is that you identify a small list of people – typically 100-200. Then you send them something every month.

Who goes on the list?
– Prospects who are already in the sales cycle
– Ideal prospects (people or organizations that you would love to have as clients)
– Influencers (respected individuals who could refer business to you)
– Business partners
– Maybe editors or bloggers who you want to have cover you
– Maybe competitors (if you want to annoy them)
– Maybe your best customers
– You (because you want to see what everyone else is getting and ensure the quality is high)

What do you send them?

Your goal is to educate them about your offering, so they fully appreciate the value. You also want to keep them up with what’s new with your company – to show that you have lots of interesting, exciting things going on.

We typically rotate between the following things:
– Case studies
– Postcards (often with a special offer)
– Press releases
– Educational articles authored by you or someone in your company
– Reprints of articles that have appeared about you in industry publications
– Reprints of articles written by others that support your point of view or help educate about a topic they need to understand to fully appreciate your solution
– Personal letters introducing something new that you are doing or making a special offer
– Giveaways (something cute and relevant to your company or offering)

You can do this by email, which is a good idea if you are nurturing people around the world. But we prefer direct mail, because so few companies use direct mail anymore that your mailings stand out more.

Keep in mind that prospects don’t know that you are only mailing to a couple hundred people each month. For all they know, you are blanketing the industry. And in a tough market, where many companies are cutting back on marketing, that’s impressive.

They get the sense that there’s a lot going on with your company – you must be growing rapidly and doing well for them to hear from you so often. That helps your credibility as well as gains you mindshare.

These programs are simple to put together too. Just define the goals for your program, pull together a list to start with, and line up the first 6 months of what you’re going to mail. Then turn it over to an administrative person to execute – you can do it almost on autopilot.

Just revisit the plan every 4 months or so, as your business needs change. Update the mailing list, and tweak the items you are planning to send as new ideas come up and new collateral gets created.

Who else should read this? Please share!

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