You’ve created compelling content, engaged your prospects on social media, and your website is looking (and working) great. Finally, the online leads are rolling in. Phew! All your hard work has paid off, and it’s time to reap the benefits.
Not so fast, partner.
Increasing online leads is only half the battle. If you don’t follow through the rest of the way, many of those leads will never turn into sales. You’ve earned your leads! Don’t let them slip away.
When it comes to increasing occupancy at your senior living community, online leads are extremely important. But a lead is nothing if it doesn’t eventually end with you having a new resident.
So how do you turn qualified leads into bona-fide sales? The answer is lead nurturing.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Yes, lead nurturing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s all about nurturing your leads.
Lead nurturing is a process that begins as soon as you have your prospect’s contact information. It involves interacting and building a relationship with your prospect at every step of the decision making process—whether they are ready to move into a senior living community next week, or are just researching their options. The goal of lead nurturing is to provide your prospects with the information and encouragement they need to reach the next step.
Not all leads will be from ready buyers, and that’s okay!
Like I said before, lead nurturing is about reaching out to prospects at EVERY stage of the buying funnel. Yes, those who contact you who are near the end of the funnel (those who are ready to move in) are extremely important. However, don’t treat leads from prospects at an earlier stage of the decision process as any less valuable. Given the right attention, these leads can be fostered into becoming move-in ready prospects, too.
Nurturing is caring.
Yes, at the end of the day, your goal is increasing occupancy. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t truly care about your potential residents. Another word for ‘nurturing’ is ‘caring’. Your leads have willingly given you their contact information. They are actively reaching out to you for more information and advice. Let them know how much they are appreciated!
5 Ways to Show You Care With Lead Nurturing
- Be Prompt.
You just got a prospect’s email address. How long should it take for you to get back to them? Hint: One day is too long. They should be receiving an email acknowledging their request within the first hour of them contacting you. Often this is an automatic email that is followed by a more personal email later.
- Be Thankful.
What should your initial email include? How about a big thank you! If you’re happy about your lead and you know it…let them know. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and your prospects are no exception. A word of thanks also shows prospects there's a real person behind the scenes of your website.
- Be Helpful.
Your leads didn’t give you their contact info for nothing. They might want to talk to someone about a question they have or they might be ready to set up a visit. Maybe they just want to be provided with more information. Besides a phone number, you can provide links to online resources, whitepapers, brochures, event calendars, or special offers.
- Be Respectful.
Yes, they want more information, and yes, you don’t them to forget about you—but clogging their inbox is a sure way to lose a lead. They’ll either mark your emails as spam or click ‘unsubscribe’. More than one email a day is typically too much, and some people don't want more than one a week.
- Be Patient.
Just like with any sale, your prospects don’t want to be rushed into things. Especially since choosing a senior living community is a much weightier decision than buying a flat-screen TV. You want to be persuasive, while still assuring your potential residents you have their best interests at heart.
What are you doing to show your prospects they aren’t just another name and email address? Do you treat your leads with the appreciation and attention they deserve? If your online leads aren’t increasing occupancy like they should, it may be time to add some lead nurturing goals to your online strategy. To get started, give Marketing Essentials a call today and speak to one of our Digital Strategists at 419.629.0080.