The Art of Lead Nurturing for MSPs

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    As an inbound marketing professional with over twenty rock-solid years of entrepreneurial experience, there’s a common misconception that far too many MSPs and technology businesses still have that I’d like to take a moment to shatter forever.

    A lot of people still seem to think that the job of inbound marketing is as follows:

    • You use content marketing and other types of collateral to cast the widest possible net, both raising awareness of your brand and attracting the attention of the largest audience that you can.
    • Some of the people who view your content eventually become leads, which immediately leads to
    • Those leads making a purchase.

    The problem with this mentality is that it assumes everyone is coming into your business with the same basic perspective. To put it another way, it assumes that everyone is equally ready to make a purchase and they’re just trying to decide which particular company to invest their hard-earned money with.

    While it’s true that generating leads is a big part of what you’re trying to do, this isn’t the end of the story – instead, it’s merely the beginning. Some will make a purchase with minimal effort on your part and when that happens, it’s absolutely cause for celebration. But for the ones that don’t, you’re going to have to work for their money AND their trust.

    That means you need to get better at actually nurturing leads and you need to get better at it now.

    The Art of Lead Nurturing: Breaking Things Down

    Perhaps the best way for an MSP to get better at nurturing leads involves not necessarily one inbound marketing campaign, but many. Remember that both the needs and preferences of any new lead that you generate is going to vary depending on which stage of the buying cycle they come to you during. For the sake of argument, let’s say one end of the spectrum is “awareness” and the other is the almighty “purchase.”

    Send the Right Message at the Right Time

    Depending on where they happen to fall on that particular scale, you need to have custom content that acknowledges A) where they currently are and what they’re concerned with today, and B) how you can move them farther along the buying cycle to where you want them to be, as efficiently as you can.

    For the sake of example, let’s say you were offering cloud printing services to customers. All of your content shouldn’t be geared towards the final stage of the customer journey – ie, the purchase. You should have high-value content introducing the concept. You should have content outlining how cloud printing is different and better than traditional printer management software. You should have content geared at the immediate short-term benefits of how cloud printing makes things easier during a cloud infrastructure transition. More content should then outline the long-term benefits. Then and only then should you be able to provide content that points towards the fact that “now is the right time to make the jump.” Not only does this put you in a better position to address a customer’s needs today, but you can also continue to do so as those needs evolve as the customer becomes more knowledgeable.

    This is why creating campaigns for each stage of the customer lifecycle is ultimately so critical. It allows you to provide deeper and more meaningful content depending on what someone needs to hear right now, but it also allows you to establish your presence as someone to be trusted and convey that you’re a true authority at the exact same time.

    Understand your Audience

    Along the same lines, you’re absolutely going to want to work on not just segmenting your leads based on which stage of the journey they happen to be in, but also developing campaigns that are tied to both that stage and the behaviors that you’re observing along the way.

    This is one of those areas where marketing automation software will help a great deal. Based on the actions someone is taking – be it signing up for a webinar that you’re hosting or downloading that great new eBook you spent so much time creating or absolutely nothing at all – you can begin to get a sense of how interested they are or are not in what you have to offer.

    Based on this, you can essentially double down on the specificity of your campaigns, checking in and sending them helpful messages or other content that improves the transition from one stage to the other.

    Be Patient

    Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re not going to be able to turn a lead into a customer in a day, either. It’s not about getting them to make a purchase as quickly as possible. It’s about doing anything and everything that you can to prove to them that the purchase is worth making in the first place. This is how you don’t just create new customers, but also forge the types of relationships that will serve both of you well for years and years to come.

    Without the right perspective and approach to lead nurturing, your MSP will essentially have none of this.

    At that point, where will you be?

    Any Questions?

    With that in mind, if you have any questions on the above or any others regarding lead nurturing for MSPs, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

    Thanks for reading!

    Nate Freedman

    Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing and Ulistic, the only MSP marketing group with 12+ years of experience helping MSPs generate over 20,000 high quality leads, with over 150 5-star Google Reviews to back it up. Connect with me on LinkedIn.