Once you’ve found a way to generate leads for your business, you’ll need to devise a lead nurturing strategy and set up lead nurturing campaigns to guide your leads down the sales funnel.
While all businesses should use lead nurturing campaigns, not all of them do. The most successful businesses are often those that excel at lead nurturing.
Most of your lead nurturing efforts will be done through email. Luckily for you, email marketing has shown to be the most effective form of marketing, and as much as six times more effective than social media.
This guide will teach you how to use emails to nurture the relationship you have with your leads and move them down the sales funnel.
You’ll learn how to create a lead nurturing campaign and how to write proper lead nurturing emails. This guide will also cover the six main types of lead nurturing emails you will be sending to your leads.
By the end of this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to be able to create hyper-relevant automated lead nurturing email campaigns that will drive your prospects down the sales funnel and lead them into making a purchase.
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with your leads with the intention of guiding them to make a purchase.
Effective lead nurturing campaigns are segmented, behavior-based, and personalized for each specific lead. They educate prospective customers, make them comfortable with your business, and hold their hand all the way to the decision stage.
- Nurtured leads make purchases that are 47% larger than those of non-nurtured leads.
- Lead nurturing email campaigns get up to ten times greater response rates than regular emails.
- Businesses that use lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.
There are a few things you need to take care of before you engage in lead nurturing. Doing proper preparation will ensure that your lead nurturing campaigns become a success.
The steps you need to take to prepare your first lead nurturing campaign include:
- Creating buyer personas
- Performing a content audit
- Determining the length of your campaign
We’ll go through each of these steps one by one before talking about the proper way to write your email campaigns.
The first step in preparing your lead nurturing campaign is researching and understanding your leads by creating buyer personas. Think about your ideal lead’s goals and pain points. What would they like to accomplish? What are their main problems and how can you help?
Brainstorm ways of finding out more about your leads. What questions can you ask them to find out what they need? Consider using questions on your email sign-up forms to help you qualify and segment leads.
Finally, use the information you gather to create detailed buyer personas that will help you plan out your nurturing campaigns.
The next step is to perform a content audit and gather all content that could help with your nurturing campaign. Do you have blog posts, ebooks, webinars, or white papers that you could use to educate your leads?
Create a spreadsheet and list all of your content in it. Categorize the content by topic, type, buyer persona, buyer’s journey stage and anything else you might find helpful.
Determine what content would be the most suitable for use in your nurturing campaign. Once you’ve done that, make sure to have all this content on your website. Don’t send leads to read your blog post on LinkedIn or watch your video on YouTube – you want to keep them on your website.
How long it takes for a lead to become a customer depends on your industry and your product or service. In some industries (e.g., DTC clothing), moving customers through the sales funnel can take weeks while in others (e.g., B2B enterprise software), it could take months or even years.
Keep this in mind while determining the length of your campaign. Make sure you have enough content to support your nurturing campaign all the way to the end.
If you have your buyer personas and your content ready, and you’ve determined the approximate length of your campaign, you’re ready to write your campaign’s emails.
The first step in writing emails for your nurturing campaign is to decide on a goal. What are you trying to accomplish with your email campaign?
Are you trying to qualify a lead or move them to the next stage of the funnel? If you’re trying to move them to the next stage of the funnel, what action do you want them to take (e.g., download an ebook, view a video, etc.)?
Always keep your goal in mind when writing lead nurturing emails.
Effective lead nurturing campaigns are highly-segmented. Segmenting your leads makes sure that you’re providing every lead with exactly what they need at the current stage of their buyer’s journey. It allows you to send them hyper-relevant content that will ensure high engagement rates.
Sending irrelevant content to your leads can make them lose trust in your business and request to stop receiving your emails.
You will need to segment your list into smaller groups based on any factors you find relevant. You can segment leads based on:
- Demographics (age, gender, location)
- Buyer’s journey stage
Your emails need to provide value to your leads. You can use lead nurturing emails to educate your leads on topics they’re interested in or tell them more about your company.
Think about what kind of content your leads would appreciate the most and then provide it to them. While it’s important to provide relevant content to your leads, it’s even more important to provide it to them at the right time.
When trying to use your lead nurturing emails to provide value to your leads, you need to consider at what stage of the sales cycle your leads are. Here are examples of content you can share with your leads at various stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness stage – blog posts
- Consideration stage – webinars, demos
- Decision stage – testimonials, reviews
Your email’s subject line is the first thing leads will notice about your email. It’s often the only thing that makes them decide between opening or deleting your email. This is why it’s crucial to take the time to get your subject line just right.
The From field is another important part of your email. It needs to reinforce trust and seem personal.
I suggest using something like “[Name] at [Company]” (e.g., Boris at Oaza.io) in your From field. It shows leads that there’s a real person behind the email (not automated software) and clearly states which company you represent.
According to research, 65% of people prefer emails written in a casual, friendly manner. Try to make your emails sound less formal – but always keep the context in mind. If you’re delivering some bad news to a lead, using a more formal approach would probably be advisable.
Personalized emails can generate six times as much revenue as non-personalized emails. The most effective emails are personalized for each specific lead.
Using your lead’s name, company, or location in the email body or subject line is the easiest way to personalize your emails. However, email personalization shouldn’t stop there. You should try to design a personalized email for each segment that you email.
Sometimes the simplest emails work the best. Try sending out a text-only email and see how that works for your specific audience.
Apart from simplifying the design of your email, you should also try to simplify the language you use. Don’t use complicated expressions or technical jargon but rather write your emails in a way that everyone can understand them. Using a tool such as the Hemingway Editor can help you with this.
If you decide to go with an HTML email, make sure to also include a plain-text version for people who can’t open HTML emails or simply prefer plain-text ones.
Not all of your recipients will be able to see the images you include in your email. Make sure to use alt tags for all the images so that everyone can understand what’s included in the email.
People don’t have time to read long emails. Try to keep your emails short and to the point, especially if you’re sending out a text-only email.
The best emails are five sentences or shorter.
More than 50% of all emails are opened using mobile devices. You need to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly or you might miss out on potential engagement from mobile users.
Try to send out high-quality, relevant emails to your leads on a regular basis to stay top-of-mind. However, be careful not to overdo it and annoy your leads. In most cases, I’d suggest sending no more than one email per week.
Now that you’ve learned how to write lead nurturing emails, you’re probably wondering what kind emails you should be sending. There are six main types of lead nurturing emails you should consider incorporating into your lead nurturing campaigns.
The welcome email should be the first email you send to your leads. It doesn’t have to be a single email; it could also be a series of emails of three or more emails. Use this email to introduce yourself or your company to your lead.
Remind the lead why you’re sending them the email and how you got their email address. Give them a hint about what kind of content they’ll be receiving from you in the future (and how often).
Most of the lead nurturing emails you send to your leads should be educational ones. Use educational emails to provide value to your leads and educate them on topics that interest them. Avoid trying to sell your product or service to your leads in these emails but rather use them to build trust.
Examples of content you can share with your leads in educational emails include blog posts, ebooks, white papers, case studies, infographics, etc.
If you haven’t heard from a lead in a while, you should send them a re-engagement email. These emails serve to remind the lead of your company and what they’re potentially missing out on by not visiting your website.
The re-engagement email is a great opportunity to provide your leads with an incentive such as a discount to nudge them into making a purchase.
You might also want to consider using the re-engagement email to ask your lead why they haven’t been responsive lately and if you could do anything to change that.
The holidays are one of the best times to send lead nurturing campaigns. Your leads are most likely in a buying mood so capitalize on that by sending them a holiday-themed email, wishing them happy holidays and perhaps offering them a discount on your product or service.
Email your leads every time you make a major update to your product or service or when you launch something completely new. Tell them why this new update is great and how it could benefit them.
This is the email you’ll be sending to your warm leads once they’ve gone through your sales funnel and are ready to buy.
In this email, you need to make it very clear what you want your leads to do and outline the exact steps they should take. Do you want them to get on a phone call with you, make a purchase straight away, or something else? Make sure to be explicit about what action you want them to take.
If done correctly, lead nurturing email campaigns are very effective in driving leads down the sales funnel. They are a natural extension of the lead generation process and should be a part of every business’ marketing strategy.
If you take the time to do your research and properly set up your nurture campaigns, you’ll definitely close more sales and skyrocket your revenue.