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 are ready to buy as soon as they hit your site. And if you don’t nurture them the right way, they will most likely walk away from the table.
Nurturing those new subscribers means assisting them through the sales funnel, and email marketing is the perfect tool to do so.
What is lead nurturing and why is it important?
If you want to optimise your conversion rates and build an engaging relationship with your audience, you need to explore and work with lead nurturing strategies.
Lead nurturing is all about building those relationships. It is the process of listening to the wants, needs and problems of your leads, in this case your subscribers, and provide them with the information they need. Doing so will help you build relationships that will lead to more sales – those who may not have been ready to buy at first could become customers at a later point in time.
Only a small percent of your inbound leads will be ready to make a purchase immediately, so it’s important to engage all of them. Rather than forgetting all about leads that seem like a lost cause, like for example subscribers that have not opened your emails for the last 3 months, keep the conversation going to gently push them down your sales funnel. For the most disengaged, you could implement reactivation emails or tempt them withan irresistible offer.
Forrester found that companies that utilize effective lead generation tactics generate 50% more sales – at one 3rd of the cost. Additionally, those companies see a 20% increase in sales opportunities from those nurtured leads.
So how can one 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.
To begin, segment your planned content by a unique persona. 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.
While the inbox might be incredibly effective, you have to think beyond that to get ahead of the game. Look at SMS messaging and online surveys to get new leads to subscribe to your content. This is a great tactic to use for a proactive segmentation approach for your lead nurturing. You can use questions to help differentiate where each visitor is in their buying cycle, (all automatically!) and ensure that only relevant content is being delivered to them.
Finally, a good practise many email marketers use is to include personalization in your campaigns. Since email marketing is one of the most effective lead nurturing tactics, it only makes sense that personalizing the email that your potential customers could receive up to six times more revenue.
To make it all easier, you can set up emails to send automatically when certain actions are taken. For example, send automated emails when someone downloads a lead magnet, 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. On the opposite, if you are already nurturing your leads, but it is not working, it may be because you are not following practices that are known to work, or 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.
How to structure a nurturing marketing campaign through email
Now that you’ve seen the value of lead nurturing through marketing content campaigns, it’s time to dive into the steps it takes to create an effective email marketing nurture campaign. The following steps are not ranked in any specific order since they are all equally important. So let’s see, what are the necessary steps to nurture your leads effectively?
Where are your email leads in the funnel?
To begin the process, you need to evaluate the different stages of your sales funnel. On top of that you also need to determine where your customers are in the funnel.
We have created an in-depth article to help you understand email funnels better, before undertaking this step.
If you are sending emails that don’t match the intention of your leads, you could be turning your 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? 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. (If you’d like to learn more about audience segmentation, you can read our detailed guide on it.)
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 millenial 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 open rate and click-through rate (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 making the decision to buy. 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 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: First off – if you have nurtured a lead all the way into purchasing your product – congrats! However, now is not the time to fall back. 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 standy-cam for this camera.
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 guess what? 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.
Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing Automation:
- Use a service that makes your automation easy and simple;
- Set realistic targets and goals to generate better leads;
- Use your system to increase customer retention;
- Focus on creating targeted, specific 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.
When optimizing your campaign, using a system like Mailigen’s email drip features can make life easier.
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 the 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 email, product promotion, abandoned shopping cart, renewal emails, or upsell products.
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 will:
- 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 in real-time.
Create a unique customer journey through triggers
It is a good idea to create custom email journeys for your readers. For this, you will define triggers (also known as a customer action) that will automatically lead to a series of emails based on a prospect’s choices or actions.
There are five unique triggers that Mailigen offers to aid in your automated email marketing.
The first (from the left) 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.
The next trigger is when a field value is updated. When a field in your automated audience segment list gets changed, you can trigger a specific type of email to be sent. Once the field has been changed, that would trigger the automated email.
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 your readers subscribing to your email.
In the picture below you can see an automation setup when you choose an opened email or clicked link to be the trigger event. For example, 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 with nurturing your lead into the buying process with different automated emails.
Below you will find a great 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 that expected and leaving them impressed with your brand.
Add a compelling CTA
The Call to Action is the most important part in 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 platform like Mailigen and use A/B testing to see which links get you the most clicks, and remove the ones that aren’t converting your consumers.
Creating a lead nurturing campaign with Mailigen
We are going to show you a step-by-step process on how to create a basic email campaign. There is a progress bar at the bottom of any type of campaign you set up with Mailigen, whether that is a basic email campaign or a more complicated automated nurturing campaign.
Step One: Sign Up For Your Free Account
To create an email campaign you will need a reliable email marketing platform. We are sure that you will enjoy using Mailigen just like we do. Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial in a few simple steps.
Step Two: Start from the Dashboard
Once you have signed up for your free trial, this is what your dashboard will look like.
From there, you have two options – you can begin by uploading subscribers and creating a new subscriber list, or begin by clicking that blue “Send Campaign” button.
Step Three: Import your Subscribers/Contacts
You will have to start the process by importing your list of subscribers or adding them manually. To do this, watch our detailed educational video that outlines the process of doing so step-by-step.
Step Four: Creating your Campaign
Next, you’ll enter the details of your campaign, such as the title and subject. You’ll want a campaign title that is specific and detailed, as you might need to adjust it later.
Since the Subject line will be the first thing seen by your subscribers, you’ll want to ensure that it’s catchy and interesting. Something that will draw the eye of your consumer and will actually entice them to open the email. Here is a guide to help you do that.
The From Email, From Name, and Reply Address can all be adjusted, depending on your company’s needs. You can select a predefined group, or create a new group based on your needs.
Finally, pick your options, such as personalization, tracking, and sending your campaign with images.
Step Five: Design Your Email
Mailigen offers a variety of predefined basic layouts, as well as predesigned templates. These layouts have been tested and are considered optimal layouts for certain activities, such as a newsletter format, promoting an event, or asking someone to re-activate a feature. If you have already done a campaign, you can reuse that template, import from archive, import a template from a URL, order a specific template design from the store, or edit/code one from scratch.
Search for the layout you were looking for, specific keywords, or go with a basic layout and add pieces as you go.
Step Six: Go Section By Section
As you hover over each of the sections of the template, you will notice options such as editing, adjusting the settings, duplicating, and more. Here is where you will want to include compelling copy, as you want the consumer to engage with your links and email.
Scroll throughout the template, ensuring that everything within the email has photos and content that is specific to your company.
Step Seven: Start sending out the emails
You are now finished with setting up an email campaign and you can start sending it to the segment you have specified.
In this article, we have learned a lot, so let’s recap the most important things.
- Lead Nurturing is aimed at building relationships.
- Nurturing email marketing 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.
- Use a service such as Mailigen to automate the mailing process.
- 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.
Let us know how your lead nurturing campaign turned out in the comment section below.