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Lead Nurturing: Recap of the September Lunch & Learn

Lead nurturing isn’t just for salespeople (though it’s critical for them, too!). Membership Directors, fundraisers, and direct marketers must work on this, because, properly done, nurtured leads produce:

  • 4-10x the response rates of cold prospects
  • Purchases or donations that are 47% higher
  • A 10% increase in return over the first nine months

Today’s DMA lunch provided a great presentation by marketing guru Ed Gillespie, CEO of Connecticut based Bizmark ( on this subject.   We all work so hard generating quality leads, only to learn stats that on average 79% never turn into a sale – mostly because we fail to properly nurture the leads that don’t immediately convert.

DMAW attendee Cynthia Williams observed, “Some great pointers by Ed included mapping out the lead nurture process and providing multiple scenarios to enable more relevant content and follow-up based on interaction and profile of the prospect.  Mapping out the process will also help find balance of multiple follow-ups without being intrusive in nature; preventing ‘opt-outs’ and increasing win ratios.”

Cynthia also found valuable the concept of tracking results throughout the lead nurture process that can then be applied to tweaking future programs. The most critical piece of information on each lead?  Ed explained the three stages of the buying process:

  1. Awareness: the prospect is focused on their needs and current challenges.
  2. Consideration: the prospect is weighing the value provided by each of the vendors under consideration.
  3. Decision and purchase: now is the time to create a sense of urgency with special offers, coupons, etc.

Jane Zaretskie, Membership Assistant at Helicopter Association International, found useful Ed’s comment to “Start Simple.” Work with the data we already have, gathering more with each contact, and we’ll all be able to take our prospects the entire way through the “Lead Stage” – awareness, consideration, and finally purchase.

–       Rick Christ, VP Online Fundraising, Amergent