Congratulations! You’ve generated leads for your business. They might have filled out a form on your website, downloaded a content asset or signed up for a newsletter.
OK, but now what?
These prospects receive hundreds of offers, ads and asks for their business daily. They have limited time. And demands on their attention are at an all time high.
How do you earn their repeat attention, cultivate their trust and convince them to buy from you?
One critical method is effective email lead nurturing.
Email is still king. We spend much of our day in our inboxes. And we make purchasing decisions based on that little mail notification. Forty-four percent of people bought based on a promotional email, according to Convince and Convert.
Email is changing as both email client and consumer preferences evolve. But the principles of effective email lead nurturing are immutable.
Here’s how to craft a simple, effective email lead nurturing campaign.
1. Pick an end goal.
First, determine a reasonable, effective goal for your email nurturing campaign. Your goals might fall into one of these categories:
- Encourage a sale.
- Read a page on the site.
- Onboard a new user to a service or product.
- Download another content asset.
- Take another qualifying action like contacting you or scheduling a demo.
Each goal is different, requires different content, messaging and timing.
2. Determine the timing.
Will your emails go out on a set schedule or depend on behavioral triggers? Either is appropriate for certain situations.
If you’re timing emails, determine how soon is too soon. Use past data and open rates to judge the appropriate delay between communications. You may want to wait a few hours or a day after a new lead downloads something to start emailing them. Additionally, consider spacing emails out every couple of days.
But, you may need a more aggressive timeline if you're onboarding users to a service or app.
Timing might also depend on behavior. When the prospect performs certain actions—like a download or a link click—they receive an email. Use metrics as your guide and map out clear behavioral triggers, if using this strategy.
3. Select your content.
Select content for each email in your nurturing cycle. What hook will reel in readers? What value proposition and messaging will keep them interested? Can you create more value for prospects with other content from your site or related sites?
Bullet out the hook, value proposition and value-add of each email before you write it. Then, determine the CTA of each email. (Each email should have one—no exceptions.)
Most importantly, keep it short. How many emails do you receive that you trash because they’re a wall of text? Few people have time for long emails. Keep them under 200 words and use smart formatting to keep them easy on the eyes.
4. Craft your subject lines.
Craft short, compelling subject lines for each email after you write it. A/B test your subject lines. For guidance, check out the following resources:
- Best Practices for Email Subject Lines
- The 9 Best Subject Line Styles to Increase Your Open Rates
- The 10 Best (and Worst) Performing Words in Email Subject Lines
These articles are useful guides. But remember, using the “best” word doesn’t mean you've created a timely, relevant email. Email subject lines remain both a science and an art.
5. Automate and optimize your nurturing.
Finally, set the emails up in your email automation or marketing automation software. Double-check the timing, order of emails and content. Set up any subject line A/B tests you might need. Associate the emails with a starting action, like downloading an asset or filling out a form.
Then, let it rip.
But don’t forget about your emails. Check your numbers often. Regular optimization increases performance over time. Even small tweaks in language, content, subject line and delivery time deliver outsized gains.
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