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Educating and engaging prospects is a significant part of lead-generation marketing.

Online channels have made it easier and less expensive to distribute content in an environment where potential buyers are seeking information and are open to interaction.

Marketing tactics that educate and engage prospects are useful in the early stages of the customer-purchase funnel to build awareness and interest, and in the middle of the funnel to generate leads. Such tactics are also valuable in nurturing stalled leads—interested prospects who are not yet ready to buy.

According to the 2010 Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study by the Lenskold Group/eMedia, lead-generation marketers said the area of marketing that is most underfunded relative to the potential value it can provide is stalled leads.

Lead nurturing has high potential value when your acquisition programs have generated responses from interested prospects who are not yet ready to buy. Such stalled leads within the sales organization will typically get the periodic call with the "Are you ready to buy yet?" message. In the absence of a lead-nurturing program, the marketing organization may toss the leads back into the prospect pool and let future acquisition marketing bring them back into the lead/sales process.

It's easy to see why marketers believe there is high profit potential there—with low-cost marketing contacts targeting the right leads that are not fully qualified or stalled in the sales pipeline, educating and engaging those prospects can increase conversion rates, increase the value per customer, and shorten the sales cycle.

According to the 2010 lead generation study, six in 10 lead-generation marketers (58%) agreed that nurturing stalled leads is underfunded in relation to its potential value:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jim Lenskold
Jim Lenskold is founder and president of Lenskold Group (www.lenskold.com), a consultancy that delivers a comprehensive approach to marketing ROI measurement and management. He can be reached at jlenskold@lenskold.com.