When your company gains a lead, this is great news for your firm, but it doesn’t just stop right there. HubSpot studies show that the majority of newly converted leads are not ready for sales yet and are caught somewhere in the middle of showing interest in your firm but don’t feel as if they’re willing to become fully committed just yet. This is where lead nurturing emails comes in.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with prospects, with the goal of earning their business once they are ready. Unlike traditional, outbound marketing efforts which often try to push content at people and expect them to be sales ready shortly afterwards, lead nurturing recognizes that prospects are more drawn to companies they trust and in order to build trust, a relationship has to be created first between them.
After a prospect has been converted to a lead, it’s important to grow and cultivate the relationship by getting into further contact with them, educating them, providing any resources they may find helpful, and help them move forward organically through the process to purchase. This can be done through emails with the intent of nurturing your leads.
How Email can be used in Lead Nurturing
When following the best practices for email marketing, email is one of the most important tactics a firm can use to nurture leads and better form relationships with prospects. Unlike other marketing channels which each person will view the exact same, emails can be customized for individual prospects so that the content they receive is best suited for them and where they are along the buyer’s journey.
Once you’ve converted a lead, now comes the time to assess if they are a good fit for your firm and if they are interested in engaging further with you. In this way, lead nurturing via emails can be used as a tool to learn more about newly converted leads and help them with their needs until they’re ready to be ushered into sales.
3 key practices to nurture your leads using emails
1. Map out a lead nurturing workflow
A lead nurturing workflow is a series of emails that you send to a group of people in order to move them towards a clear goal. There are 2 points to keep in mind when building a lead nurturing workflow for your firm:
1. Deciding who you would like to nurture
The first step is deciding who exactly you want to nurture - a segmented group that you want to target your emails with. The key to using email effectively is to send messages that actually address the recipient’s needs at the specific stage they’re at in the buyer’s journey.
2. Selecting a goal
What is the purpose of sending this email? Are you trying to build trust, educate them and provide information, or having them click on an included CTA as a goal? You’d be surprised how common it is for businesses to send emails just for the sake of sending out a specific number for their workflow, without really knowing the actual result they want out of each email. As we learned about SMART goals from a previous blog article, it’s important that each email you write has clear, measurable, and intentional goals that will actually provide value to your leads.
For example, a goal-oriented email could include wanting 40 leads out of the segmented group to attend a webinar you’ve mentioned in the email, download an eBook you’ve provided, or request a free consultation.
2. Decide how many emails should be sent
When it comes to the number of emails you should send, a reliable guideline would be 3-4 emails per lead nurturing workflow. If you send too little emails, leads may start forgetting about your firm, but if you send too many, your emails may come across as spam and you run the risk of leads unsubscribing. This number can always be adjusted to fit your own firm, but it’s all about finding a balance.
When thinking about the frequency and timing of your emails, remember to look at email in the context of all your other marketing efforts too, such as your website’s blog posts and social media where your leads are also consuming information.
3. Communicate with your leads based on their behaviour
Traditional emails are infamous for their often impersonal, spam-like nature as they pop into our emails at abrupt and unexpected times. Anyone can tell you that the level of engagement these type of emails produce is frequently minimal to none simply because people are not attracted to things that don’t seem helpful to them and just come across as a sales pitch.
The most effective way to truly meet leads where they’re at is through something called behavioural emails (maybe we can link to one of the blog articles that talks about behaviour… something to think of), which send targeted emails to your contacts based on their actions and behaviour across multiple channels, like social media, website activity, downloading a resource, etc.
What makes behavioural emails so unique is that they’re client-driven in that because emails sent out to leads are directly based on their own actions, the role of the decision-maker shifts from the marketer to the client. Who else knows what a lead needs and when, better than the lead themselves?
When it is the lead’s own actions and behaviour triggering the emails that are being sent out to them, they are much more likely to engage with such emails on a deeper level because they have already shown a sign of interest on their part. Your role as the marketer is to be there and help empower the leads with helpful, relevant content when they’re ready for it and have shown adequate interest, building trust with them, and helping them move along the sales process.
Here are 3 ways to create the most effective behavioural emails:
1. Track how people interact with your business online
Using a database to track and collect important insight on all your contacts through your firm’s various marketing channels is crucial to understanding the needs of your leads, and how they may vary with where they’re at in the buyer’s journey.
2. Determine the important actions a lead might take
It’s your job to recognize which specific actions a lead may take that you should react to. Examples of such user actions may include them downloading resources such as an eBook, viewing your firm’s pricing page, commenting on one of your blog posts, or actively engaging with your firm’s social media.
So let’s say if a lead goes on your website and clicks on a CTA to download an eBook about wealth management, it would make sense to then send them an email mentioning a webinar on different investment options, which would be relevant and likely helpful to them given their initial interest in the eBook.
3. Treat your lead like a person, not a statistic
Behavioural emails work best when they are not only action-based, but also personal. The biggest turn-off when receiving an email is when you, as the recipient, can tell it was written as the exact same mass email sent out to millions of other people.
Remember that on the other side of the emails you send out is a person who appreciates being acknowledged as an individual. A firm building block to nurturing a great relationship with your leads is showing them that you care and that you’re considerate of their individuality.