Sometimes it makes sense to take a step back and define terms we use a lot, especially when it comes a complex topic like senior living leads. So let’s discuss two terms you’ll likely encounter: auto responders vs. lead nurturing.
What are auto responders?
An auto responder is exactly as it sounds. It’s an automated response, typically in the form of an email, that’s generated after someone takes an action on your senior living website.
For example, after someone fills out a website form, best practices suggest that you direct the person to a thank-you web page AND that you send an automatically generated email. The benefits are two-fold. First, the thank-you page and email reassure the person their form successfully went through. Second, the thank-you page and email provide an opportunity to serve up additional content the person might find interesting.
The reason you should do BOTH the thank-you page and auto-responder email is because the email gives the person something tangible to refer to. The thank-you page will “disappear” once someone navigates away from it.
BENEFITS: Auto responders are an effective way to personalize the experience for your senior living leads and to continue engaging with them.
What is lead nurturing?
Again, everything is automated thanks to your senior living software. Over time—days, weeks, even months—the person will receive a set of emails. The emails will engage and “push” the lead further along the sales funnel until they are ready to make a decision. At this point, sales would take over.
The types of lead nurturing emails that you send—the content, the frequency, how many overall—will be something that marketing and sales will (ideally) figure out together based on lead scoring and lead attributes (e.g., persona and decision timeframe).
Not all leads will enter a lead nurturing program. Leads that your marketing automation indicates as sales-ready/sales-qualified will be handed over to sales to follow up with directly.
BENEFITS: Lead nurturing will help your community stay in front of prospects who aren’t ready to buy right now, but who might be ready in the future. The content can help persuade people that your community is the best fit for their specific needs.
How auto responders and lead nurturing affect senior living leads
This isn’t an “either or” situation. You should use auto responders and lead nurturing in your ongoing marketing efforts. So, for example, after someone downloads a piece of content from your site, they will be redirected to a thank-you page and they will receive an auto responder email. Both things happen IMMEDIATELY after the person hits “submit” on the form.
If your marketing automation software identifies the lead as sales-qualified, the lead will be redirected to sales for direct follow up. If the software labels the lead as marketing-qualified, the person will enter an appropriate lead nurturing workflow to engage them further.
The right marketing automation software is critical for lead scoring and lead nurturing.
If you need help choosing the right senior living software and setting it up correctly, give us a shout! We live and breathe marketing automation for senior living communities.