How to Nurture Leads on WeChat/关于“线索培育”，你正在做却不明所以的那些事
What is it?
“Lead Nurturing” is one of those hot terms in American marketing vocabulary that is still relatively unknown in China. So does it mean that Chinese marketers have been missing out on some major trade secret? Not necessarily. In all likelihood, you have probably been conducting a basic form of “Lead Nurturing” for as long as you have been doing marketing! For instance, if you have made any efforts to engage a prospective or existing customer (i.e. publish on SNS, push content through WeChat, WeChat message with leads after meetings, send offers and coupons to help close a deal), then you would’ve executed a form of “Lead Nurturing.” The only difference is that until (very) recent times in China, marketing technologies were not mature enough to popularize and automate this process. Thus creating a seemingly vast gap in marketing terminologies across the globe. This is all about to change, though. With the rapid development of digital marketing in China, you now have more opportunities to effectively nurture the interests and eventually capture the businesses of all qualified leads.
So how do marketers implement Lead Nurturing? In today’s overly complicated Marketing jargon, Nurturing is used interchangeably with many other terms: drip marketing, auto-responder, email marketing, or even the all-encompassing marketing automation, which you can read about here. This interchangeability is both confusing and inaccurate. Nurturing does not have to be automated, take email form, or involve sophisticated technology. In the simplest terms, “Nurturing,” when used in a Marketing context, is a brand’s continual communication with its target audiences.
You can “nurture” someone across all stages of the customer lifecycle. “Lead Nurturing” happens between the Visitor and Customer stages in the customer life cycle (i.e. leads who have not purchased your product yet), and “Customer Nurturing” happens after initial purchase. You nurture leads, or prospects, when you want to convert them to paid customers. Then you nurture existing customers to build loyalty, gain referrals, and increase up-sales. In other words, every interaction you have with a prospect or customer is a form of nurturing! At its core, marketing is nothing more than communication between a brand and its target audiences. Every advertisement, commercial, product description, email, and WeChat we receive is a carefully curated message crafted by the brands behind them.
Here is a very nice chart summarizing Nurturing from SAAS marketing guru Myk Pono:
“线索培育”是美国市场营销词汇中的热门词汇之一，但是在中国的热度似乎还没有那么高。但这也并不意味着中国的营销人员错过了一些重要的商机，十有八九，只要你一直在营销，你可能已经在进行最基本形式的“线索培育”！例如，如果你已经努力接触潜在客户或现有客户—在SNS上发消息，通过微信推送内容，发送会议后的跟进消息，发送报价和优惠券来促成交易达成，那么你已经在执行“线索培育”的模式了，唯一的区别是，目前中国的营销技术尚不成熟，还不能普及和自动操作这一营销过程，从而在全球的营销术语中形成了表面上巨大的差距。这一切都需要改变，随着中国数字营销的快速发展，现在有更多的机会去有效地培育线索，最终获得所有合格线索的业务。那么市场营销人员如何进行线索培育？ 如今，在过于复杂的营销术语中，线索培育与许多其他术语可互换使用，比如滴水式营销、自动回复、电子邮件营销，甚至全面的自动化营销，您可以在这里获取更多信息。 这种互换的使用方式不仅令人摸不着头脑，而且不够准确。 线索培育不需要自动化，也不需要采用电子邮件的形式或其他尖端的技术。 简单来说，营销中的“线索培育”指的是品牌与目标客户之间的长期沟通。
您可以在客户生命周期的各个阶段“培育”客户。 “线索培育”主要集中在客户生命周期的考察和形成阶段（即尚未购买产品的潜在客户）；“客户培育”是在初次购买后发生的。 当您想将其转换为真正的消费者时，您会培育线索或潜在客户，然后，您可以对现有客户进行培育，建立忠诚度，获得转介并增加销售额。 换句话说，您与潜在客户或现有客户的每次互动都是一种线索培育的方式！ 其核心在于，营销就是品牌与目标客户之间的沟通。 我们收到的每一个宣传—商业广告、产品描述、电子邮件和微信消息都是由产品背后的品牌精心策划的。
Why use it?
As a marketer, you want to convert every prospect into a paying customer; however, not everyone is ready to buy at a given moment. According to most studies, fewer than 25% of qualified leads on average are ready to purchase immediately after discovering your offerings, especially if your product has a long sales cycle or is B2B in nature (i.e. a car or SAAS platform). Most people who have visited your website, followed you on social media, or even added your official WeChat are simply doing buying research. In other words, they are actively looking but not ready to commit right away.
By nurturing your leads — keeping them engaged with relevant and informative communication on an ongoing basis — will help them progress down the stages of the sales funnel. Lead Nurturing is also a relatively easy strategy to implement because it can be automated and doesn’t need a ton of maintenance over time. Although not yet popularized in China, Lead Nurturing can be particularly effective here due to the ubiquity and personal nature of WeChat. WeChat is heaps more personal and instantaneous than email, and if done properly, it can be a much more persuasive Lead Nurturing channel. On the flip side, if your WeChat communication is irrelevant, untimely, and useless, then you will be unfollowed almost immediately.
作为一名营销人员，您希望将每个潜在客户转化为付费客户; 然而，并不是每个人都会随时随地消费。 从大多数研究结果来看，平均只有不到25％的潜在客户在注意到您的产品后会立即购买，尤其当您的产品销售周期过长或者是B2B（企业对企业）的消费模式（汽车或SAAS平台）。大多数访问过您的网站的人，关注您的社交账户的人，甚至添加您的官方微信的人只是在为购买做准备，换句话说，他们正在积极四处寻找，但并不打算立即购买。
通过培养您的潜在客户 – 让他们对持续更新的相关产品信息有所了解 – 这将有助于他们最终购买产品。 线索培育也是一个相对简单的策略，因为您可以使之自动化，并且无需大费周章的维护工作。 虽然线索培育在中国尚未普及，但由于微信的流行和其个性化设计，线索培育在中国更可能发挥作用。 微信比电子邮件更加个性化和即时化，如果开发得当，微信可以成为一个更有说服力的培育渠道；但另一方面，如果您的微信推送的是些无关紧要、不合时宜或没用的消息，那么您可能会被立即取关。
How to do it?
1. Automated Journeys:
The goal of lead nurturing is to constantly engage and re-engage your audience with your brand and products. Research across the globe found that prospects are most likely to engage with your brand upon initial discovery. This is particularly true on WeChat. Our own data found that followers are 30% more likely to engage with you immediately after following your official account. This means you need to make every new follower experience count. You can read more about creating effective Welcome Journeys here.
Thereon after, you should set up a series of automated engagements for the short and mid terms for each target audience. These journeys can take form as content marketing, chatbot conversations, or even direct messaging from the sales team. It goes beyond saying that each journey should be customized for a specific market segment based on interest, demographic, sales funnel stage, and engagement level. You can read more about segmented marketing here, but we recommend at a minimum that you design a unique nurturing journey for every QR code follow source (offline event, in-store, website, search, etc.).
2. Track & Score Leads
Your brand and products are not everyone’s cup of tea. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The key to successful conversion marketing is scoring and qualifying viable leads, and you can do that by collecting and tracking relevant lead data. For example, if your product is only suitable for multinational organizations with billions of RMB in revenue, then pursuing early-stage startup companies without revenue streams is a waste of time for both the lead and yourself.
To effectively score leads, first determine the ideal buyer profile for your company. Which attributes do most of your paying customers embody? Then determine the customer data needed to produce the highest quality leads, prioritize the data, and assign scores accordingly. Generally speaking, you can divide the lead qualifying data into three buckets (demographic, interest, and engagement) that can be collected by passively (behavior tracking, location-based information, engagement level tracking) and actively (surveys, incentivized conversations, multi-party data integrations, etc.).
For example, are your paying customers mostly Fortune 1000 companies, multi-nationals corporations, or high net-worth individuals? How often do they engage with you before they make a purchase? Where are their offices based? After you determine the answers to those questions and construct your rich customer profile and implement the necessary data collection mechanism, you can start adding up their scores! For instance, you can add 10 points if the lead has over 100 Million RMB in annual revenue, add 5 points if the lead has read more than 4 WeChat posts in the past two months, and add 2 points if they are based in Beijing. As a lead’s score increases, you should escalate your nurturing efforts until you deem them ready for an in-person meeting!
此后，您应为每个目标客户设置一系列短期和中期的自动化交易。 这些过程可以作为内容营销，聊天室对话，甚至由销售团队直接进行消息推送。 更不必说每个旅程都应该根据兴趣，人口统计，销售渠道阶段和参与度等特定细分市场定制。 您可以在这里获取更多关于分段营销的信息，但是我们建议您至少针对每个二维码的关注渠道（线下活动，店内活动，网站，搜索等）设计独特的线索培育之旅。
例如，您的付费客户大多是财富1000强公司，跨国公司或高净值人士，在购买之前，他们与您联系的频率有多高？ 他们的办公室在哪里？ 在确定了这些问题的答案、构建丰富的客户资料并执行必要的数据收集机制后，您就可以开始对他们进行评分！ 例如，如果潜在客户的年收入超过1亿元人民币，则可以增加10分，如果客户在过去两个月内曾阅读超过4个微信帖子，则增加5分，如果他们的工作地点位于北京，则增加2分，随着得分的增加，您应该逐步加强您的线索培育工作，直到您认为他们已经准备好了进行面对面的交谈！