How to Use Forms to Nurture Relationships

Written by Nicole Witt on May 22, 2013

Posted in Form Hacks, Lead Generation

In the marketing world, the term “lead nurturing” is used often, but where does it fit in to your business strategies? Lead nurturing can be easily explained by comparing it to dating. First, you meet, and then you date, until finally you make the relationship official. Everything that happens from the first meeting to sealing the relationship deal is the nurturing phase. So, for marketing purposes, the same principle can be applied to nurturing qualified sales leads from their first brush with your brand until their decision to buy.

Lead nurturing allows you to keep in touch with your non sales-ready prospects so you can continue the conversation until they decide to buy. You can do this by periodically touching base with them through automated, one-to-one emails. But first, in order to do this, you need their email addresses. And therein lies the beauty of an online form.

Let’s say a prospect — we’ll call her Caitlin — visits your site, pokes around a bit, and decides she’d like to sign up for your newsletter (or blog feed or white paper or whateveriStock_000018341485XSmall content you have to offer prospects that they would be willing to disclose their personal information to receive). This form should be simple, asking for a small amount of information such as her name and email address. Asking for too much too quickly is like asking for a commitment on a first date – you run the risk of scaring your prospect away.

Once Caitlin submits her information to your form, that info can either be stored in your Formstack account database and/or you can choose to have that info emailed directly to you or the person of your choosing. But this is only the first phase of the lead nurturing – it shouldn’t stop there. Now that you’ve got Caitlin’s info, you can use integrated online tools to help automate the rest of your nurture phase.

Since we’ve partnered with several email marketing services, you can integrate your email tool with your Formstack lead form, which allows you to automatically send Caitlin’s info to your email tool and adds her as a subscriber to one of your lists. Better yet, you can create specific lists that correspond with the points your prospects engage. So, if Caitlin signed up for a newsletter, she will be added to your list of newsletter subscribers. This way, you know her entry point and what message you need to communicate to her next. This is known as the “lead-nurture track.”

The best way to organize your lead-nurture track is to use a CRM system (CRM = customer relationship management) to help you manage your communication and touch point schedule. Once again, you can integrate your Formstack lead form with your CRM system allowing you to add your prospects directly from your lead forms to your CRM automatically.

Now that Caitlin is added to a lead-nurture track, you can set up automated email campaigns and tasks within your CRM. This ensures that you are continuing to engage with your prospect for as long as she is willing to engage with you. If Caitlin signed up to receive your newsletter, the next email she receives could invite her to download a free white paper. After she downloads the white paper, you can have an email automatically sent to a sales rep to follow up with her. Depending upon your sales cycle, you can schedule the emails to be sent out on whatever timeline works best for your process.

Simply put, online forms enable you to start a conversation and nurture a prospect down the path toward conversion. Whether you nurture the prospect with an automated email campaign, send a follow-up email yourself or pass the information on to a sales rep, Formstack provides the tool you need to start qualifying a prospect that you may have otherwise missed out on completely.

Check out this post for more tactics to grow your email list, and let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!