If you don’t know what lead nurturing is, or it isn’t going well for you, then you may be missing some important details.
Lead nurturing through email marketing is important because not all leads, even if they’re qualified leads, are ready to buy as soon as they hit your site.
Nurturing those new subscribers means putting in the effort to build trust as you assist them through the sales funnel. Email marketing is the perfect tool for this.
What is lead nurturing and why is it important?
If you want to optimize your conversion rates and build an engaging relationship with your target audience, you need to explore and work with lead nurturing strategies.
A successful lead nurturing program is all about building those relationships. It is the process of listening to the wants, needs, pain points and problems of your leads – in this case, your subscribers – and providing them with the information they need. Doing so will help you build relationships that will lead to more sales. In other words, those who may not have been ready to buy at first could become customers at a later point in time.
Only a small percentage of your prospects will be sales-ready leads, so it’s important to engage all of them. Rather than forgetting all about leads that seem like a lost cause, such as subscribers that have not opened your emails for the last three months, keep the conversation going with regular and consistent touchpoints to gently push them down your sales funnel. For the most disengaged, you could implement reactivation email campaigns or tempt them with an irresistible offer.
So how can you build an effective lead nurturing campaign?
Lead Nurturing Tactics
One of the most effective lead nurturing tactics is targeted email marketing content. Use specifically targeted content according to where your leads are in their buying journey to nurture them.
Start by segmenting your planned content by your buyer personas and segments. Then, create the content that best fits each stage of the buyer journey that those personas find themselves in.
Use automated marketing triggers to target and segment those personas and deliver the right content at the right time.
Consider SMS messaging and online surveys to get new leads to subscribe to your content. This is a great lead generation tactic to use for a proactive segmentation approach to your lead nurturing. Use questions to help differentiate where each visitor is in their buying cycle and ensure that only relevant content is being delivered to them.
Finally, a good practice is to include personalization in your campaigns so that your automated messages stand out.
Set up emails to send automatically when certain actions are taken. For example, send automated emails when someone downloads a resource (e.g. a lead magnet, white paper, case study, infographic, industry report), signs up for a webinar, clicks a link in your email or when they visit a certain page on your website. Remember: your goal here is to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time.
If you are not nurturing your leads, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. If nurturing your leads is already part of your workflow and sales process, but it is not working, it may be because you are not following practices that are known to work (such as lead scoring and qualification). It could also imply that you didn’t pay enough attention to the quality of the content you are sending out.
So let’s take a look at how to achieve success with lead nurturing campaigns.
Lead nurturing: Structuring a nurturing marketing campaign through email
Now that you’ve seen the value of lead nurturing through content marketing campaigns, it’s time to dive into the steps it takes to create an effective email marketing nurture campaign.
Where are your email leads in the funnel?
To begin the process, you need to evaluate the different stages of your sales funnel and sales cycle and determine where your customers sit.
We have created an in-depth article to help you understand email funnels better before undertaking this step.
If you or your reps are sending emails that don’t align with your leads’ intentions, you could be turning potential customers away from your brand. Therefore, the first step is to structure the perfect email for each situation, paying attention to who you are sending them to, how you automate them, when your leads receive them and why. Ask yourself these questions and start creating your emails.
First off, how do you define email marketing segments? Audience segmentation breaks up your email subscribers into smaller groups based on certain criteria. This then helps you to deliver relevant email marketing according to your subscribers’ needs.
Here are some simple segmentation categories you can use to get started immediately:
Demographics. Info such as gender, company position, age, income level and geographical location are all demographics that you can use to deliver specific material to the buyer. For example, if you are a purse manufacturer, the type of marketing content that you deliver to a 20-year-old millennial making $30,000/year would be different than what you deliver to a 50-year-old making $100,000/year.
Survey Results. You can still get nuanced data from your potential customers without asking for anything more than their email address and consent to email them. Sending a survey can be a great way to segment your subscribers since their answers could help you group them into different categories. Ask the right questions and you will see your leads fall into neat categories.
Email Engagement. When it comes to automated email marketing campaigns, email engagement can be an easy way to segment your subscribers. Metrics such as email open and click-through rates (CTR) are great ways to keep track of your audience’s engagement.
Position in the Funnel. Know where your leads are in terms of your sales funnel. A brand-new subscriber might not be ready to purchase immediately and will need more nurturing before you can make a sales pitch. Conversely, somebody who already bought your product might not want to receive a brand introduction email. Utilize cart abandonment statistics, email CTRs and real-time analytics to see how people are interacting with your content to understand where they stand.
Website Behavior. Targeting your audience based on their interaction with your website is perhaps the most well-known tactic used for audience segmentation. If someone clicks on a specific page that includes specific content, it would make sense to email that subscriber content that is relevant to the page they visited. For example, pages the visitor didn’t click on, relevant pages to the content he read, or surveys they filled out would be good automated triggers.
Purchasing History. If someone has already purchased your product, use that information to cross-sell relevant products they might be interested in. For example, if they bought a new DSLR camera, you might want to send them an email promoting the perfect tripod or lens attachment. Purchasing history also tells you how much they’ve previously spent, which gives you an idea of objections you may face (and be able to overcome) in terms of pricing.
Finally, if they have already purchased something, you could continue engaging them with tips on how to optimize their product or alternative ways to use it. Doing so will enhance customer experience and people who are happy with your product are your best referral sources. You can ask them to share their experience on social media, your site and Google.
Automated lead nurturing (automate your campaigns)
By automating your campaigns and scheduling emails to be released over time (or based on triggers) you will start getting valuable data that you can analyze and use to adjust your emails for better performance.
Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Automation:
Find a marketing automation platform that is easy and simple to use
Set realistic targets and goals to generate better leads
Use your system to increase customer retention
Focus on creating targeted, specific campaigns, as well as retargeting campaigns
Target specific segments
Overpay for features you won’t use
Expect your automation system to create the content for you – that’s what your content marketing is for
Assume that marketing automation is only for the “big guys” – small and medium-sized companies often utilize automation even more successfully
Create broad, generic emails that people won’t want to open
Email drip campaigns are emails that are sent out at specified times or dates, which are activated when the customer responds to a trigger or call to action. For example, someone signing up for your email newsletter could get an automated email that welcomes them to your business.
Email drip campaigns are a great way to increase engagement with existing users or boost brand awareness with new subscribers. Some types of drip campaigns include welcome emails, product promotions, abandoned shopping cart emails, renewal emails, or upsell product emails.
Define exactly what your audience looks like and how they interact with your brand to create successful email drip campaigns. You don’t want someone who just signed up to receive end-stage emails, or someone who has been a member for months only to receive an introductory email.
To get your first subscribers, create marketing content that gives value. Use lead capturing tools, such as online surveys or subscriber list sign-ups, to give people an outlet to follow your blog or content – all while learning more about your business and your products or services.
From there, you can:
Set up your campaigns
Segment them by goal and buying stage
Set up the trigger that will start the actual automation
Write the actual email and then let it go
Monitor your campaign once it’s launched, ensuring that it meets your email marketing goals
Create a unique customer journey through triggers
It is a good idea to create custom email journeys for your readers. For this, you need to define triggers in your email marketing tool (also known as a customer action) that will automatically lead to a series of emails based on a prospect’s choices or actions.
Here are four useful triggers to aid you in your automated email marketing.
- A prospect subscribes to a nurture flow and/or enters a segment
- A specific date or a period of time in the prospect’s lifecycle
- When a prospect takes an action, usually on your website
- When a prospect completes another nurture flow
The first is a trigger that occurs when the prospect or consumer subscribes to your newsletter list. Whether they opt-in or you add them to the list manually, as soon as they are added to a specific list, an automatic email will be sent. This could be as easy as a welcome email. This trigger is also useful when a user is added to a very specific segment, such as a gender-specific or location-specific one.
Another useful trigger is based on setting specific dates. When a date occurs, you can set up a triggered email to get sent to a group or a specific person. These are great for things such as birthdays, insurance renewals, license renewals, or the anniversary of when a reader subscribed to your email.
If someone opens a piece of gated content, you could have the content they’re looking for sent directly to their inbox. Or if someone clicks on a specific link in a previous email, it could automatically send them a follow-up email on that topic.
Finally, you can create a trigger that is based on a previous automation series. When one series ends, the next one is triggered. An example of this type of automation would be if you begin with a welcome email and then continue nurturing your lead through the buying process with different automated emails.
Below you will find a lead nurturing email template to get you started with ideas on how your lead nurturing campaign could look like.
Thanks for downloading our guide on [Your Resource]!
Since [Topic Of The Guide] goes hand in hand with [Complementary Topic], we thought that you might find [Specifics Of That Complementary Ebook] useful. For this reason, you can find another resourceful Ebook here. [Link To Download The Ebook].
Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any troubles converting this knowledge into real- life situations. In such case, you can contact our customer support any time by [Give Details].
Have a great day, [Your Brand]!
In this way, you will nurture your lead by giving them more value than expected and leaving them impressed with your brand.
Add a compelling CTA
The Call to Action is the most important part of your email. In the hustle of today’s modern world, there will be no time for your lead to spend extra seconds searching for the next step. For this reason, it is a good idea to add a CTA that will guide the lead to the page you want them to go to.
Remember that you don’t want to be too pushy and “salesy”. People nowadays are very sensitive to these kinds of emails. The goal here is to lead the customer to your product or service in a natural way.
When you’re creating your call to action, use actionable phrases like “learn more” rather than “click here”. You’re looking to guide someone to content on your landing page or blog post, rather than just clicking a link.
It is a good idea to include your CTA within the body of your newsletter copy, not just at the bottom. If possible, naturally include it a couple of times throughout the entire email.
If you are showcasing multiple products or services then include multiple actionable links within your email. If you need to distinguish something, use bold text, italics, or a subtle but distinct change of color.
Use A/B testing to see which links get you the most clicks and remove the ones that aren’t converting your consumers.
Let’s recap the most important things from this article.
- Lead nurturing is aimed at building relationships
- Email marketing nurture campaigns can be automated and adjusted based on their results
- Create segments based on predefined criteria, such as demographics, survey results, email engagement, or previous actions.
- Create your emails based on where the prospect is in the sales funnel
- Write high-quality copy
- Use triggers to automatically segment your list and create a unique customer journey
- Add a compelling Call To Action, and repeat it multiple times in your email body copy
All in all, you should now be ready to start your own lead nurturing campaign. Pay attention to detail and play around with variations to see what brings you the best results.
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