You’ve managed to pinpoint leads. Now, you just need to approach them in the right way. A well-planned email series is perfect for communicating with potential leads and building valuable long-term relationships. Spamming lead inboxes with nothing but sales and product links, however, isn’t an efficient way to convert them. In fact, you may lose leads this way. It’s important for marketers to respect their relationship with leads. Whether you’re working with B2B or B2C companies, your general strategy is the same: Demonstrate your brand’s value through high-quality content. In this post, we’ll go over a series of steps marketers should take to effectively nurture leads through email campaigns.
Why is email the best solution for lead nurturing?
When you start email communication with a lead, you’re engaging in a one-on-one conversation. Sure, their inbox might be crowded, but people tend to react differently to personalized email messages than they would ads or unengaging content. How do you feel when you see a captivating unread message? Compare that to a sponsored post from a brand you follow. People spend the equivalent of an entire day on their smartphones each week. According to research from Adobe, people of all age groups spend between five and six-and-a-half hours every day scrolling through their email inboxes. People admit to checking email all hours of the day and night while they complete other activities. This gives marketers plenty of chances to reach the right leads at the right time with captivating email series.
10 Steps to nurture leads with a captivating email series
The relationships you have with your leads are fragile. You need to provide just the right resources at the right time, or everything can fall apart. Follow these steps to nurture and guide your leads with emails (emails they’ll actually look forward to reading).
1. Analyze your leads’ behavior and segment them into groups.
First things first: you need to figure out who your leads are and how much interest they’ve shown in your brand. Collecting as much information as possible about your leads will help you answer potential questions. Plus, by doing this, you can provide them with relevant information in your email sequence. Has a lead browsed through several blog posts or downloaded gated content? Have they viewed product pages or added products to their cart? Has the lead signed up for your webinar? Do they simply follow your brand on social media, or do they interact with your pages? Break your leads up into different segments based on how deeply they’ve interacted with your brand and topics they’ve shown interest in.
2. Focus on knowledge, education, entertainment, and empowerment.
Next, you need to start developing a strategy for how you’ll approach leads. You want to retain customers, so they’ll continue to purchase from you. This is especially true if you’re selling to B2Bs. The goal of your email series should be to demonstrate value and authority. As an expert in your industry, consider yourself a teacher providing free education to leads. Depending on your audience, you may also want to offer content with entertainment value. Industry emails—especially fields like finance or law—can get dry and boring quickly. Adding a touch of humor or entertainment is refreshing and shows the human side of your business.
3. Start a conversation and allow each lead to control the dialogue.
According to case study research from DemandGen, using personalized content to nurture leads converts 20% higher sales than generic content. You can start simply by asking your leads which type of content they’d like to receive. Email preferences are also valuable. In other words, ask new subscribers how often they expect to hear from your company: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will discourage subscribers from unsubscribing. By simply starting a conversation and incorporating other data, you can nurture your leads with hyper-personalized content. Lululemon doesn’t even wait for the first email sequence to engage new subscribers. As soon as a subscriber registers, they’re prompted to choose their content preferences. Image Source: Lululemon
4. Strategize a content plan for your email series.
Now it’s time to develop a content strategy for your emails. Remember, you’re focusing on education—not sales. In fact, 79% of B2B buyers say they consume at least three pieces of relevant content before reaching out to a company’s sales department. That content needs to be trustworthy and provide value. Remember that everyone learns and consumes information in different ways, so it only makes sense to provide a broad range of content in your emails.
- General blog posts
- Thought-leadership pieces
- eBooks and guides
A whopping 64% of B2B buyers say they consider podcasts valuable content in the early buying stages.
5. Decide on the best call-to-action.
Put considerable thought into your CTA. Additionally, consider your lead’s stage in the buying funnel. You should still include some kind of CTA in every email, even though you’re trying to build a relationship. You want those leads to convert into customers at some point, right? Plus, not every CTA has to scream “buy now.” You can entice readers to take any range of actions. It also matters who you’re selling to. For B2C customers, a single CTA will produce the best results. For B2Bs, however, it’s a good idea to provide multiple unique opportunities for the reader to take action based on what suits them. This email from Lumi provides a series of choices for the reader to engage with the content. Image Source: Really Good Emails
6. Provide social proof when appropriate.
Case studies and testimonials are valuable for building trust as you nurture leads. Just make sure you use them in a thoughtful manner. Testimonials about how awesome your product is might seem overbearing in an email filled with your curated blog posts, for example. You can use subtle social proof as well. “See what our customers are saying on Facebook,” puts the reader in control. Photos of real humans interacting with your product are an excellent way to show social proof and increase your conversion rate by 95%.
7. Develop beautiful, customized campaigns.
Now you’re ready to design your emails. Keep the following ideas and tips in mind.
- Use high-quality images and graphics—add your branding as needed.
- Don’t be afraid to test and iterate when it comes to subject lines. 35% of readers will decide whether to open your email based on the subject line alone.
- Optimize for mobile browsing. At least half of all emails are viewed on mobile devices.
Make sure to send out test emails and conduct A/B tests to optimize performance.
8. Set up an automated email series or campaigns for triggered events.
Automated emails are the perfect way to gently nurture leads at the right time with the right content. Send out a welcome email asking for user preferences. Track your leads’ browsing behavior on your website. This will allow you to send them personalized coupons and deals automatically. You can easily guide your leads along their buying journey without becoming annoying. This email from Top Shop was triggered by the subscriber’s birthday. It’s always a good strategy to let subscribers know you remember special things about them (in a way that doesn’t feel invasive). Image Source: Pinterest
9. Integrate across multiple platforms.
Your leads are using multiple channels to browse content and interact with brands, so your strategy should be integrated as well. Include links to your app’s download page in the Google Play Store in your email series. Put social share buttons in all of your emails and blog posts. Encourage readers to participate in the conversation on LinkedIn or Twitter. This will give you an opportunity to interact with leads in unique ways while collecting more information about their interests and behavior.
10. Analyze your data and evaluate tactics.
Which leads are opening your emails? Who is interacting with your content? How many are converting into customers? If you have leads opening your emails but not clicking through your content, maybe it’s time to reach out to them and ask how you can provide better information. Do you have stale leads who fell off and aren’t opening your messages? Try some re-engagement tactics. If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to pull the plug.
Marketers should take a delicate approach when communicating with leads through an email series—especially if you’re marketing to B2Bs. No one wants product pages and promotions spamming their inbox. You need to provide high-quality content that answers their questions and adds value to their lives. By understanding your audience and using the right email service provider, you can eventually convert these leads into customers. Are you ready to create a captivating email sequence for your leads? Learn more about cutting-edge automation potential from Delivra.