Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on the needs of leads by providing them with information and answers.
To practice lead nurturing, start with the most common form: email marketing. Email marketing has a bad reputation of being spammy and invasive, but if practiced correctly it can make for a very effective lead nurturing campaign. How can you write lead nurturing emails? Here’s how:
Send emails to lists you know will perform well
If you’re emailing to lists with low open rates, you don’t need to continue emailing them. Instead, concentrate your efforts on lists you know have high open rates. The lists with high open rates are most likely qualified leads. They may have a genuine interest in what your business has to offer, so they may be good recipients of lead nurturing emails.
You want to empathize with leads. Don’t pester them with continuous emails you know they won’t open. Doing so can hurt your company image and tarnishes potential relationships. If you do want to continue emailing lists that have low open rates, try a different type of email. Leads that aren’t qualified should be met with top-of-the-funnel content, so send them helpful information that they can use on their own.
Be eye catching
It’s not that easy to just be interesting. But if you want lead nurturing emails to have high open rates, you need to find a good voice. Start with the subject line. Use active and concise language about topics you know recipients will want to read about.
Also, try to personalize your emails when possible. This can be as simple as using the recipient’s first name in the subject line or by appealing to their interests. You also want to align your subject line with the copy. Always deliver on what you promised in the subject line. In the copy, be clear and precise. Speak with a voice that’s entertaining yet informative.
Engage with contacts who’ve submitted forms
Leads who filled out a form want to hear from you, that’s why they provided you with their contact information. Concentrating on those you know are interested makes for a high open rate. Contacts that you imported, or worse, bought will almost always be less engaged. Plus, making contact with those who filled out forms is a way of improving existing relationships rather trying to create them from scratch.
Set goals for your lead nurturing emails
As with any campaign, it’s important to set and measure goals. With lead nurturing campaigns, those goals can help you determine what content is most useful to contacts by identifying where they are in the buyer’s journey. For example, if contacts are showing signs of being in the awareness stage, then a goal could be to get them into the consideration stage.
Metrics you should measure are open rates, click rates, and open-to-click rates. If you’re promoting an offer on a landing page, you can even measure how many of the leads sourced from your email actually engaged with the landing page. All of these metrics give you insights into the effectiveness of different elements of your lead nurturing emails. For example, a good open rate means your targeted effectively and had a strong subject line. High click rates mean the content of your email was appealing to those that opened.
Identify content based on where a contact is in the buyer’s journey
Knowing where a contact is in the buyer’s journey is a tremendous help with lead nurturing emails. This information tells marketers what content is most relevant to a contact’s needs as well as what content could potentially move them closer to a buying decision.
For instance, if a contact is in the decision stage, some good content to push via email could be the About Us page, product overviews, client testimonials, case studies, and so on. This content is relevant because those in the decision stage are most likely comparing vendors to make a purchasing decision. Therefore, providing content more specific to a company’s product or service will translate to higher open rates.
On the flip side, if you have a long list of leads that have only engaged with one of your content offers, they may only be turned off by an email about a product overview. You’ll need to send more helpful content, or qualifying content, to determine which ones are truly interested in your business.
Use your persona research
If there’s one thing all of these tips have in common, it’s the use of buyer personas. Paying attention to the goals, challenges, and objections of your buyer personas can help you tailor the content of your lead nurturing emails to the right people. Buyer personas simply give marketers a clear representation of who they are marketing to and enable them to better meet the needs and expectations of leads.
For example, if you sell directly to CEOs or VPs, your lead nurturing emails need to speak their language and focus on the things they care about. They will probably be more interested in high-level figures like overhead and ROI rather than hands-on, how-to information.
Your leads need nurturing. It’s important to develop relationships with leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Email marketing is a common and effective form of lead nurturing and, if done efficiently, can help leads move forward in the buyer’s journey. In fact, email still provides the best ROI of any digital marketing method.
One last thing: Make sure your lead nurturing emails are viewable on mobile devices. More people are reading emails on their smartphones than ever before.