In this article you will find out:
- Why lead nurturing is about building relationship
- Why structured approach to lead nurturing is important
- *What lead nurturing emails you can send at the early stages of your sales funnel to result in customer conversion *
A Word on Lead Nurturing
You basically try to **increase prospects’ exposure to your products or services and influence their preferences by building/ reinforcing your brand and product image. **
In simple words, you don’t force people to buy immediately, you just show your features and benefits, listen to what your prospective clients want and provide them relevant solutions. In such a way you establish relationship and covert prospects into actual buyers.
Everyone heard that email is the most effective digital marketing channel. And for many people lead nurturing is equal to carrying out email campaigns.
But nowadays lead nurturing is a multichannel effort. Usually it involves marketing automation, email marketing, social media, paid retargeting, dynamic website content and direct sales outreach. Yet, this article will only cover email lead nurturing.
*Source: *Charles de Gruchy
Strategic Approach to Lead Nurturing Emails
Structured approach to communication is the key to effective lead nurturing. Thus before you start sending nurturing emails you should make sure that the following things are done.
You defined your target customers (suspect) and what is relevant for them. You created targeted content. What is next? You want to make prospects out of suspects. Thus you have to offer them something of value for them.
Don’t offer anything for free.
Your goal is to collect as much information on prospects as possible, so offering something for free really means getting something (but not money) from your clients.
If you offer people some valuable piece of content for free, don’t forget to add a download form, or at least a form collecting email addresses. The first contact point, or lead magnet, may vary depending on the purpose of your website. The lead magnet could be a free manual or specification, subscription to a blog, video training, or sales material.
Don’t forget about opt-in. You should really be sure that people are interested in your offer.
In this example from AdEspression you can see such fields as “Advertising Budget” and “Business Type”. These are needed for further segmentation of their prospects and addressing unique needs relevant for each category.
Then you continue the conversation, but you stay attentive all the time. It turns out that the girl is a foodie (segmentation), so as you know (or don’t know) a nice gourmet restaurant, you offer to go there together.
A couple of days later you text her, she answers back, then you may be call her (lead nurturing), and some time later ask if she is still interested to go to that place, and as you were very nice, polite and helpful, she says yes (conversion).
What happens after you collected the data on your customers?
First of all, you need to understand your prospects.
Who are they? What do they want? What are their concerns, fears, doubts and uncertainties?
Here creating buyers personas might help.
Create a buyer persona for each of your segments to categorize unique needs and business drivers. Buyer personas should include descriptive characteristics with both qualitative and quantitative information, as well as description of potential events or triggers they are likely to experience when engaging with your company.
The deeper understanding of your prospects will help you to shape up your lead nurture content and messaging strategy.
You have your data, segments and buyer personas. What’s next?
You map your content considering these 2 things:
- Buyer personas
- Stage of sales cycle
If you already have some marketing offers for each stage of the sales cycle, just select the best of them and tailor them for your buyer personas.
When mapping content, you outline the sequence of lead nurturing emails and their timing.
The next step is setting up automation and personalization to make sure each of your segments/personas will get the right message in the right time: after/before a certain event or after a certain period of time.
Email Lead Nurturing Tactics to Use
Here are some email lead nurturing tactics that you can use from acquisition to conversion stages of your sales funnel.
1. Welcome Emails
Welcome email is one of user-triggered types of emails. The absence of welcome email can be very frustrating for your prospects.
Welcome emails are highly anticipated. So, this is definitely a must do thing. You can make your welcome emails even more engaging by adding links to relevant parts of your website or offering coupon/promotion codes.
By the way, keep in mind that the speed of welcome emails does matter: it is awful when you get a welcome email 1 hour later after the registration. Thus test your servers’ response.
2.“Thank you” emails
It is just nice to say “thank you” when users do something with your website like downloading a free guide or e-book. So thank you emails are also user triggered.
Here it is very good to add links to similar content or contact details of people whom they can ask questions, if any.
3. Drip campaigns
There are a lot of drip (automated) lead nurturing campaigns you can try to keep users engaged with your content or product.
However, don’t overdo them, because you can easily annoy your prospects.
3.1.“Forget-me-not” or engagement campaigns
You have to remind prospects (without being annoying) about your product or service. Otherwise you will be buried in the huge pile of information your prospects receive every day.
In general, there are two types of engagement emails:
- The ones triggered by some activity on your website
- The ones triggered by lack of activity
They can include links to new/ relevant content in a form of newsletters, reminders to complete some actions, offers to show some product features, highlights of product features etc.
Onboarding is the way to convert trial users into actual customers by sending them emails offering some small “sells”: downloading mobile app, signing up for a webinar or a course, or purchasing subscription.
Onboarding is an effective way to activate your users and turn them into real customers.
3.3. Abandoned shopping carts
More people than you think use shopping carts as wishlist: put there things to consider later and ditch it.
So a good way to remind people of things they liked and force them into buying is an automated shopping cart abandonment email.
Key point of this article:
- Lead nurturing is an effective tactic to convert prospects into customers.
- Nowadays email marketing is only a part of lead nurturing campaign.
- Before you start sending out lead nurturing emails you should study and segment your customers.
- The main purpose of lead nurturing campaign at the early stages of the sales funnel is to increase prospects’ exposure to your product or service and tell them about its benefits or features in such a way that it satisfies prospects’ needs and removes all fears, uncertainties or doubts they can have.
*Source: *CPC Strategy
Keep it up with lead nurturing and feel free to add your thoughts as comments!
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