With COVID-19 pushing more research and business interactions virtual and the increasing necessity to represent brands in the digital space, senior living communities have had to reevaluate how to interact with their prospects online.
As you may know, it takes on average 25 touchpoints from the time a prospect reaches out to your sales team until they decide to move-in. Coupled with a long sales cycle – anywhere from 70 days for assisted living and 120 days for independent living – it’s important that your community is regularly connecting with prospects that are most interested in moving in. But what about those that aren’t ready?
Enter lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This process can utilize emails, paid advertising, social media posts, and dynamic content on your website.
By taking advantage of marketing automation tools, lead nurturing allows you to continue to build relationships with your prospects and allows your sales teams to focus on leads that are more ready to move in.
Not just a sales tool
While lead nurturing can be a valuable addition to your sales process, it can also provide various benefits to both you and your prospects. At its best, lead nurturing can re-engage leads that may have put off their decision and provide them with resources that they didn’t know they needed – causing them to reach back out to your team.
Effective lead nurturing workflows do this by delivering value to your prospects in these four ways:
Keeping your Audience Engaged
For prospects looking for an independent living community, roughly 47% move in two years after starting their initial research. With such a long time spent researching and deciding what is right for their family, staying engaged with your audience can help make sure you’re meaningfully adding to their journey.
By periodically sending relevant blogs or educational tools, you can keep your prospect engaged with your brand and help them in their decision-making process.
Helping with Research
Depending on your company, you may offer various lifestyle options, floor plans, and care solutions. Add in the different types of communities, locations, and options that your competitors offer, and it creates an overload of information that prospects have to sort through.
By creating a lead nurturing workflow focused on research and education, you can help your prospects determine which option is right for them. This approach keeps you focused on solving their situation rather than pushing them towards an option that is not right for them. Even if they don’t end up buying from you, they will remember your willingness to help and are more likely to return to your community if their initial decision does not work out.
By being a resource for your prospects, you will increase your brand awareness and build trust. 81% of buyers are more likely to purchase from brands they trust. Lead nurturing gives you an opportunity to continue to build trust with your prospects by helping them through the decision-making process and providing relevant content that is unique to their journey.
Creating a Personalized Journey
Marketing automation tools allow you to personalize content for your prospects. Send service-specific blogs and resources to leads that have researched assisted living, suggest eBooks that are useful for caregivers, and dynamically switch out content on a landing page based on what type of person you’re talking to.
This approach helps create a more seamless experience for your prospects and can show that you’re truly listening to their needs and situation.
Be Helpful, Not Annoying
Although marketing automation gives us the ability to reach out and react instantaneously to a prospect filling out a form, that doesn’t mean we have to. Lead nurturing should not make your prospect feel like big brother is always watching them. Aim to add value to your prospect’s journey or periodically help them with their research – rather than sending constant updates.
Ultimately, you should focus on solving for your prospect, not just trying to move them down the funnel. Lead nurturing workflows that keep the user in mind will ensure your communications are helpful, relevant, and valuable to their buyer’s journey.
If you would like to learn more about lead nurturing or how Markentum can add momentum to your digital marketing efforts, contact us for a free evaluation!