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16. 12. 2015

Why Over Educating Your Prospects Can be Bad for Your Business

Lead nurturing, educating and contacting your customers is, of course, essential for your business. In the complex world of sales, when there are factors influencing the decision making of your customers, lead nurturing is a process that keeps your customers engaged and educated about the main benefits of your company.

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There are many marketers out there who think that there is no such thing as over educating or too much communication. To them, when message reaches customers, there is a big hope of being understood.

However there are several researches and surveys that prove the opposite is right. A new study from McKinsey reveals that out of 1250 buyers, when asked “what went wrong in communication with the company”, 37 % answered “too much contact and information”.

According to Harvard Business Review, it was found that the “most annoying” failures of businesses is too much contact and education with customers. Of course, customers want to be educated, but not overwhelmed with so much information.

Another research done by marketing professors at Southern Methodist University (SMU), businesses can go too far when they try to contact with their clients. These professionals found the “perfect level” at which companies should educate their customers, and if the level is exceeded, there is a risk of losing them. After they conducted several experiments, they found that people tolerated 3 phone calls/emails after they reacted negatively.  And according to researchers, negative customer reactions meant less spending.

These researches show that you need to be careful when educating your prospects and stop at the right time in order not to over educate them. Try to think from their perspective: how much education is useful and how much starts to be annoying? In other words, figure out just “how much is too much?”

Well, there is “no one-size fits all” approach, but there is one thing we are sure of: having no customer engagement or content strategy can make your prospects unengaged and uninterested in your products/services. Marketing should create value for prospects. It should educate them about the benefits of your product/service and keep them aware of opportunities that will be beneficial for them.

However, we are also sure that it’s important to have a point to any marketing activities, because over educating your prospects can have the same effect as not educating them at all.

As long as the engagement, education is of high quality and useful for the prospect, it will continue to create value for him/her. However, all collapses when you pass the “enough level”. So, when considering the question “how much is too much?”, it is also important to understand “how little is too little?”

In order for you to understand the right level of educating your prospects, here we present 2 main ways to correctly educate your prospects and make more sales at the same time:

1. Creating valuable content

There is too much content out there on the web, most of which is repetition of one another and is not useful. The competition is growing day by day, so to stand out, you need to apply the following principles: 

  • Do right targetingYou might create super quality content, but have you identified for whom it creates value? You might write about topics that interest you a lot, but your content can bore your customer. To avoid such problems, first of all, before writing you need to analyze and understand which are your prospects’ interests and preferences, and which kind of content would interest them the most.

  • Understand prospect's’ pain pointsPeople buy products or use services based on their emotions. Someone eating healthy food won’t be interested in your fast food restaurant or someone having no health problems won’t be interested in your eBook called “what is the main reason of your health problems?” So, you need to take a moment and think what you really sell, to whom you sell it and whether your products/services are connected with their pain points. Content that is directed to emotions highly engages people and makes them share it and come back to you later. That is why it is important to tap into the pain points of your prospects.

  • Offer other related contentMost of the marketers think that producing content needs to be only for the specific little niche and they provide the same kind of content all the time. However it’s not a rule and you don’t need to follow it. For example, if you are a fitness company, you don’t need to talk only about fitness. You can also talk about other related things like healthy food. Don’t ever be afraid to mix different things. By providing content about related topics, you will have the chance to give value to your prospects and make them remember your company. Show some love to visual content as well.

  • Make competitor research: To see in what kind of content people are most interested in, try to make some competitor research, understand what are their main blog posts that have the highest engagements and try to analyze them for new topic ideas.

  • Differentiate your company: Make sure you understand how your content is unique and how it is different from other information already available on the web. You won’t be productive if you continuously publish content that your prospects have probably seen 1000 times. Just like your product/service, your content should have its own value proposition and it should be why people need to pay attention especially to your company. It is up to you to decide how you are going to differentiate yourself. All you need to do is just to make sure that people will find something in your company that they never can find elsewhere. 

2. Delivering content

Creating content is just one step of educating your prospects. Another step is delivering that content in the best way to your customers. How you distribute it has a huge effect on whether people will pay attention to it or not. If you can’t catch the attention of people with your content, then it’s less likely they will know about your business. Here are the main ways of delivering content:

  • Email autoresponders: Email autoresponders are considered to be an effective way for educating prospects and moving them closer to the end of the sales funnel. You cannot make sure that potential customers will visit your website multiple times before making a purchase, but this is what emails can do. You just need to deliver valuable content in the email inbox.

  • “Long form” content: When we say long form content we mean white papers or reports. This is an effective way for delivering huge information to your prospects at once. There are two ways you can make your prospects get it: either you need to make them available as free downloads on your webpage or you can use them as an incentive for them to get their email list. In reports and white papers try to think of a problem your prospects face and create solutions for their problems.

So, these are the 2 most effective ways you need to go through in order to correctly educate your prospects and maximize your ROI. You don’t need to overeducate or undereducate them, you just need to provide the right information at the right time. The sales process will definitely take more time and efforts, but it will help your company build long term relationships with your customers and increase the base of your loyal customers.

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Sona Hovhannisyan
Sona is the story-maker of Incredo. With her great writing skills and intellectual information processing she makes the best content for best audience. She is very punctual in everything she does. She has a strong writing experience with MBA degree. Because of her articles, thousands of clients are becoming more informed about different issues in different industries.
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