When most people think of lead nurturing they think of an automated email series sent to every new email address. And while that is a good tactic, it is a one dimensional way of approaching nurturing. Real nurturing involves building interest, awareness, and relationship, and to do that to the fullest we need to think beyond a handful of canned emails. We have to involve other dimensions of nurturing.
The One Dimensional Myth
The basic approach for most nurturing campaigns is provide prospects with a reason to give you their email address. This could be by offering a newsletter, a downloadable, a mailed item, or even a petition or other grass roots style plan. Then unleash a meticulously crafted series of emails designed to move people towards becoming donors, customers, or advocates. It is a one dimensional process where the emails do all the work.
People aren’t one dimensional beings though, and rarely do we become donors, customers, or advocates just because we are told to in an email, even if the cause is truly great. What works better is a three dimensional process.
When I say three dimensions, I’m talking about three or more relationship pathways. A relationship pathway is a unique communication channel that deepens a person’s connection with your organization or cause. Email is one, a download is one, a print piece is one, a DVD is one, a personal call or meeting is one, TV is one, an event is one, etc. There are of course more than three dimensions but you want to operate in at least three.
Thinking In 3D
Three emails is still only one dimension, likewise three events is still one dimension. It is all about trying to build relationship in multiple ways and on multiple levels. If I only know you via email then my perspective of you is narrow. But if I know you via email, and an event, and a book, then I have reasonably well rounded view of who you are and what you are about. There is more legitimacy and authenticity created. And I am much more likely to trust, appreciate, and be interested in you.
To create strong advocates, donors, or customers, your communications need to connect with them in three or more dimensions.