When it comes to nurturing leads, many marketers rely heavily (and in some cases, only) on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This is a big mistake that can cause many companies to have a lower conversion rate.
Lead nurturing emails are an underrated way to reach prospective customers, build relationships and convert them into buying customers. If utilized properly, email nurture sequences can convert leads into loyal customers.
How Email Helps Lead Nurturing
Email campaigns are one of the most effective ways to reach and convert qualified leads. Unlike your typical social media marketing campaign, email targets a list of leads that have already displayed interest in your products/services — They’ve filled out an opt-in form to review emails from you. In this sense, your target audience has directly approached you for content.
What’s an opt-in?
Did you know that you can’t just email people at random? There are laws in Canada, the United States and the European Union to protect people from spam emails. Users need to give consent to receive marketing emails from your company through some sort of opt-in.
How To Create A Lead Nurturing Email Sequence
We’ve already established that email marketing is great, so let’s get down to business as to how you can create a nurturing email sequence.
1. Start with Strategy
To create effective email nurture sequences, you first need to start with a strategy. A strategy will help guide the creation of your email sequence from beginning to end, ensuring that you stay on target to meet your goals.
You can begin creating your strategy by answering these questions:
- Who am I trying to reach and convert to customers/clients?
- What am I trying to achieve? (i.e., sell a specific item or program, increase sales, build a positive relationship with past customers, etc.)
- When would I like to or need to achieve these goals?
2. Identify Where Clients are in the Sales Funnel
The main goal of email marketing is to nurture and lead clients further down the sales funnel. The funnel documents the buyer journey from brand awareness until the point of conversion also called the purchase. There are five general stages in the funnel:
- Awareness: The Awareness stage is when people are aware of your brand. This means that they know about your company but aren’t necessarily interested in your goods/services.
- Interest: This is when a prospect’s interest in your product/service is peaked. You need to keep their interest in your product/service by appealing to their pain points and wants.
- Evaluation: At this point, the prospect weighs whether they should invest in your product/service. They gather all the information they need to determine whether they should buy from you.
- Decision: After the Evaluation stage, the prospect will decide whether they will purchase from you.
- Purchase: This is when the lead converts to a customer by purchasing the product/service. This is also called the point of conversion.
To create an effective lead nurturing strategy, you will need to pinpoint exactly where your leads are in the funnel. When you know where they are, you will learn exactly what they need to convert. This information will guide the copy, content and timings of your email nurture sequence.
3. Plan Your Marketing Automation
Your nurturing process will look different depending on where your prospects are in the sales cycle. Here are some examples of what automated email sequence you should use depending on where customers are in the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness → Onboarding email sequence
- Interest, Evaluation or Decision → Re-engagement email
- Purchase → Follow-up email sequence
Each sequence and its lead nurturing tactics depending on where potential customers are in the funnel. You will need to decide:
- How many emails will help convert leads
- What will be valuable content to prospects at their stage in the funnel (i.e., relevant ads, information about your company, etc.)
- When to send your nurturing campaign (When will the first email go out? What about the second?)
There are many multiple sequences used to nurture leads, and many have standard layouts that they follow. We’ll touch more on this later.
4. Write Irresistible Copy
After deciding how many emails there will be in your nurturing sequence, you should begin writing your email copy.
Email marketing campaigns rely on copy for their success because the subject line and preview text are what encourage consumers to open their emails. Think about it: Would you open a sales email if it sounded like it was just trying to sell you stuff?
Here’s the important relevant content that you should include in all of your email marketing efforts:
- Subject line: This is the title of your email. Your subject line should be short, catchy and enticing.
- Preview line: This is the short preview text that customers will see before they open your email.
- Main body: This is the body text of the email. This should include relevant information and any dynamic website content you wish to include (e.g., a blog post, links to a landing page, featured products, etc.). There should always be a call to action included in the body.
5. Choose Timings Wisely
A helpful skill that most email service providers (ESPs) have is scheduled emails. Pre-scheduled emails allow you to lead nurture without effort. You simply need to plan your marketing automation and click send. Your automated email sequences will then be sent to contacts accordingly.
We recommend sending the first email immediately following sign-up, then spacing other emails out anywhere from 3-7 days apart.
6. Test, Test, Test
While your email campaign may be incredibly successful, there is always room for improvement.
The final stage of your lead nurturing sequence is to test different email templates, subject lines and calls to action to see if there are any that produce better results than the ones you are currently using. If you find one way that is better at converting leads, it is best to use that method going forward.
Lead Generation and Conversion: The Onboarding Sequence
To help you better understand how to design email sequences, we will touch on one of the most influential marketing campaigns: the onboarding email sequence.
The onboarding sequence allows your sales team to introduce your business, its values, and its products or services. In short, this sequence helps nurture leads and build a relationship with potential consumers.
We’ve come up with a tried and true onboarding sequence for our clients:
1. Deliver the Lead Magnet
The first email is when the lead magnet is delivered. Lead magnets are something that offers some sort of value to the target audience. They typically come in the form of a document, eBook or video. Many companies use a lead magnet to entice customers to offer up their email and receive email newsletters.
2. Relevant Content
In this email, we provide additional content that will be valuable to the customer. For service-based businesses, we send their leads blog posts or some sort of educational content. When it comes to product-based businesses, we recommend products that we think they would like.
3. Push For Engagement
This email provides some information about the company, the benefits of choosing them, and their standards of work/production. Social proof like testimonials, customer reviews, etc. We then encourage leads to purchase, sign up, or buy.
4. Join the Community
This email is one final call to action. It encourages nurtured leads to join the community either by purchasing their products/services, signing up for a course, following the business’s social media accounts or joining an online group. We mention how it will solve their pain points and, occasionally, we will offer a discount code or promotion.
Get Help with Your Lead Nurturing Efforts
Email marketing can generate leads, increase sales and boost overall business growth, yet many businesses don’t take advantage of this incredible marketing opportunity. Merged Media can help design a multi-channel lead generation strategy to convert your prospects into clients. Contact us today to learn more about our service offerings.