No matter what industry you’re involved in, what kind of product you’re trying to sell, or which service you hope to offer, every business needs “leads” to survive. Your leads are the interested parties that come to your company in search of a solution to their problems. While not every lead will necessarily become a customer, the more leads you have, the more profitable your venture becomes.
One of the most important things that any entrepreneur should know about conversion, is that only a very small percentage of inbound traffic will convert the first time they visit your website. This leaves about 90% of your possible customers sitting on the table. By implementing an effective lead nurturing strategy, you can boost the performance of your inbound marketing efforts, and seek a significant increase in sales. In fact, studies show that companies with a good lead nurturing plan get about 50% more sales, for a 33% reduced cost!
Despite the obvious benefits of lead nurturing, studies suggest that only about 36% of marketers are currently in the process of “actively” nurturing their leads. This means that savvy business owners (like you), have a better opportunity to tap into the market and gain an advantage over your competitors.
So, where do you get started?
Email is The Best Tool for Lead Nurturing
Email might not be the most “modern” marketing strategy out there, now that social media campaigns are more popular than ever. However, that doesn’t make it any less effective. Several studies indicate that email marketing continues to be one of the most effective strategies for lead generation and nurturing. In fact, personalized emails produce significantly better results than your standard email blast. According to Experian, the results translate into 6 times higher revenue per email!
The great news is that even if you aren’t a content expert, there are plenty of tools available today that make it easier for companies to establish a customized email marketing strategy for their campaigns. Automated email services like MailChimp and AWeber ensure that you always have a template available for any style of email you want to send.
You can even send triggered emails that are designed to launch the moment someone clicks on a link on your website, visits a certain page, or demonstrates extra engagement by downloading gated content. When you combine the potential of digital marketing with the behavioral elements of personalized emails, you get the perfect opportunity to interact with the right people, in the right ways, at the right times.
Ontraport is the tool that we use for our email marketing efforts, because it allows us to maintain a strong sender reputation with our clients, and invest in automated re-engagement campaigns with customized messages to re-engage our customers. While the application you choose will depend on your personal needs, the solutions that you use to strengthen your email nurturing strategy should follow a few simple steps.
How to Leverage your Lead Nurturing Campaign
Lead nurturing emails could be the ultimate way to keep in touch with prospects and potential customers after they’ve converted, or before they’ve made a decision to buy from you. With an email, you can move someone further along the sales funnel, build a new relationship, or enhance existing trust. All you need to do is write the correct message.
As a strategy, email marketing is consistently evolving, which means that businesses now have a wide range of tools to choose from when improving the power of their campaigns. However, regardless of how many metrics you choose to track, and how many tools you decide to use, it all comes down to making sure you know how to write a compelling email.
Here are just a few tips for keeping your email marketing campaigns in check.
Step 1: Write Subject Lines with Style
In an email marketing campaign, your subject line is the first thing your recipient will see, and the element that convinces them whether they should open your content in the first place. Remember, your email can’t improve your sales if no-one decides to open it. While your subject line doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece, it should be magnetic enough that it engages your audience. Keep the Copyblogger “Four U’s” of subject lines in mind when writing yours:
- Urgency: Does the reader feel compelled to read straight away?
- Unique: Is the message something new and interesting?
- Ultra-specific: Does the subject line explain what’s in the email?
- Useful: Is the message valuable to your reader?
Step 2: Perfect Personalization
Email marketing for the purpose of lead nurturing is all about personalization. You can use the name of your client in the subject line to automatically insert information about the individual you’re writing to. If your email looks like it’s specifically crafted for a specific reader, rather than a form of mass communication, it’s more likely that someone will choose to read it.
Remember, before you start writing, you should always segment your audience. Send different emails to the groups in your network depending on what they need from you, their buying persona, their behavior, or even their stage in the buying cycle.
Step 3: Keep it Human
Remember that segmenting your emails is only one stage of giving them that “personal” feel that your customers are looking for. When you’re investing in an email marketing strategy, you’ll need to create a rapport with your audience that makes them look forward to hearing from you. With that in mind, follow these email marketing tips:
- Use your first name in the “from” line, rather than your company name
- Speak to “you” rather than “our customers”
- Use the right tone or personality in your content
Step 4: Focus on the Reader
Remember, even if your email marketing strategy is designed to deliver more customers to your door, that doesn’t mean you should make it sound as though it’s “all about you”. When it comes to effective lead nurturing, you should be focusing on what your people want to read, and what they want to know when they’re looking for information about your business. Keep your focus on the pain points that your customers want to solve when they come to you, and how you can resolve your problem.
Additionally, avoid the risk of talking about your company in every email you send. While it’s good to keep people informed about the latest changes in your enterprise, your main goal should be to provide your readers with constant value.
Step 5: Deliver Consistent Value
As mentioned above, just as your Facebook marketing strategies should be designed to deliver interesting information to your followers, your email campaigns should offer constant values to your readers. At the end of the day, you can use every trick in the book to get your emails opened more often, but the only thing that works for long-term success is creating a valuable email that someone really wants to read.
Try to make it so that your subscribers are actually looking forward to getting your emails each day, instead of sending them straight to the spam folder or junk box.
Step 6: Give Every Email a Call to Action
Finally, remember that one of the easiest ways you can improve your email marketing campaigns is to make sure that every message you send comes with a pre-defined goal in mind. This should stop you from spending your valuable marketing budget and time on writing emails that don’t do anything for your company. Your goal could be anything, from convincing people to read your latest blog post, to download your new whitepaper, check out a new product, or reply to a company question.
Just make sure that you only focus on one goal at a time. If you try to cram too much action into one email, then you’re more likely to confuse your customers, and you won’t get the results you’ve been working for. Another point to keep in mind is that your CTA (call to action) should be inspiring, not pushy. For instance: “Grab a new quote today!”
What Kinds of Email Should You Be Sending?
By this point, you should have a good idea of just how valuable email nurturing campaigns can be for your business and future profits. The Demand Generation report suggests that lead nurturing emails get about 10 times the response rate of a standard email communication – so it’s worth making sure that every message you send really counts towards your end goals.
Remember, every person who fills out the forms on your website is a potential customer, and while they’re not all interested in buying from you straight away, the message you send can successfully move them along the sales funnel until they feel comfortable making a purchase. You need a strategy to motivate and inspire. The following email types could be a great place to get you started.
1 Educational Emails
The first kind of email you want to send is an “educational” email. These emails are generally one of the most underutilized email methods out there, because eCommerce brands are so fixated on selling products, that they forget the importance of developing valuable content. An educational email requires you to create thought-provoking information that you can deliver to your customers for the sake of value.
The goal of an educational email isn’t to sell products. Instead, the goal is to present your brand as an influencer wherever you can. Educational emails often coincide with the production of regular blog posts. For instance, whenever you write a new article, you can send out an educational email to those who are interested in hearing more about the work your company does, or the latest changes to take place in your industry.
2 Emails with Social Proof
Often, if someone signs up for your email list, but they haven’t taken the time to purchase from you yet, this is because they’re not sure whether they can trust your company. This is a common problem with new or under-recognized organizations that haven’t had the chance to build their reputation in the marketplace yet.
Your job, at this stage of the buying cycle, is to convince your potential prospects that you can offer them value and security from their purchase. Unfortunately, simply telling them that you’re trustworthy isn’t going to be enough. Instead, you’ll need to convince them that you have something great to offer by showing off reviews, stories, and quotes from other people who have already worked with you in the past. This develops trust and makes it easier for your customers to buy from you – even when other alternatives are available.
3 Behind-the-Scenes Emails
Since trust is the “holy grail” of digital marketing, you’ll spend a lot of your budget and your time trying to find ways that you can convince your customers of your value. One of the best ways to help potential customers to get to know the people behind the brand is to send out emails that act as an extension of your social media marketing strategy.
For instance, instead of just sending constant promotional emails to your subscribers, you could send them an email that offers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. This email might include:
- An introduction to some of your employees
- Pictures of your latest workshops
- A video that shares an experience within your company
- Information about your mission or origin story
- An explanation of a typical day in your business
The more your customers learn about you and the steps that happen in between them purchasing a product, and that item arriving on their doorstep, the more they’ll begin to feel comfortable with your brand. Eventually, this comfort could transform into brand loyalty.
4 New Product Emails
While a good portion of your emails shouldn’t be promotional if you want to keep your customers interested and engaged, that doesn’t mean that you should never send out any information about upcoming products or services.
It’s a good idea to keep in touch with your subscribers and let them know every time a new product hits the shelves on your store, or you have something new to offer in terms service or support. These updates will show that you’re committed to consistently delivering new solutions that are designed to give your followers a better experience with your brand.
You could always ask for their input on the new things that you introduce too, or show how your new product responds to a testimonial you received at an earlier stage. This suggests that you respect the input of your valued customers.
5 Feedback/Survey Emails
Speaking of feedback, one of the best ways to find out why someone isn’t buying your products is to simply ask them! Qualitative feedback from your customers is incredibly valuable in today’s marketplace, but most people won’t give it unless they’re specifically asked to do so by the brand in question.
Survey emails are a great way to connect with your clients after they’ve purchased something from you. Just make sure that you wait a couple of days after the purchase before you send a request for information. Give your customers a chance to get the full experience of your product before you ask for their opinion, then use the feedback you get to upgrade and inform your marketing strategy.
6 Urgency Emails
Finally, if you’re having trouble driving the subscribers in your email list towards conversion, then it might be useful to send them an exciting offer from time to time. Email campaigns that include urgency factors can be excellent for driving action. For instance, you might give your committed followers an exclusive offer that expires in 24 hours, complete with a countdown widget that shows how long they have left to buy.
While you shouldn’t be using this strategy all the time, it’s particularly useful for those seasonal emails where you want to drive sales around the holidays.
Achieving a Better Email Nurturing Campaign
Attracting leads to your website is just one stage of the conversion process. While it’s tempting to focus all of your energy on getting more traffic and designing incredible landing pages, you’ll also need to put plenty of effort into your nurturing campaigns if you want to tap into the countless customers that arrive on your website, not yet ready to buy.
The advice above should not only help you to determine what kind of emails you’ll need to send in your upcoming nurturing campaigns but how you can adjust your writing tactics to make a real difference to your click-through and opening rates.
Just remember, writing good emails is just one element of building a successful company with digital marketing strategies. If you want to make the most of your presence online, then you need to come up with a complete strategy to take your customers through the purchasing funnel from start to finish. To find out more, check out some of our other blog posts, or why not sign up for our own email newsletter so you can keep up to date on the latest marketing strategies?