Inbound marketing is an effective way to increase lead generation and create new business. You can generate more leads with inbound marketing by creating and sharing relevant, informative and engaging rich content.

However, in order to make all of your content worthwhile, you need to take advantage of marketing strategies – including email lead nurturing.

Email lead nurturing is a process by which leads are tracked and developed into sales-qualified leads through the process of using content rich emails. The objective of lead nurturing with emails is to guide prospects on an educational journey that moves them to a qualified state, in which they are sales- ready, to be shipped off to your sales team.

More Lead Nurturing Tips

Our series on lead nurturing is designed to help you get the info you need to effectively grow your business through tested and proven techniques. Turn more of your prospects into sales with the information here.

Best Practices for Email Lead Nurturing:

  • Process and Approach – In order to build a proper email lead nurturing strategy, you need to hone in on your buyer’s cycle. You will need to map out your typical buyer in the form of a persona, giving you the framework to lead prospects through the proper sales cycle. Your approach moving forward will reflect what you learned in your typical buyer’s research.
  • Personalization – A real person should be designated to handle all incoming emails for your company to ensure that prospects can actually reply and start up a dialog. If not done manually, there is software available that can assign or forward leads to a real person which can take some of the time and labor out of the process. In addition to assigning a real person, you want to also personalize each email before it goes out. A “personalized” email can still be a bulk email. The customization comes into play by sorting your prospect lists prior to sending.
  • Tone – The first set of emails that go out to a prospect should have a friendly and authentic tone. They should not be pushy, salesy or too informative.
  • Content and Message Consistency – The key to nurturing success is great content and message consistency. Great content urges a response and gets one. The content needs to be inviting yet informational, which can be a hard balance to find. In order to create consistency, a developmental content plan should be put in place to map out your entire thought process before you begin. This way you will be certain all campaign efforts align.
  • Timing and Frequency – This aspect is crucial to the overall success of your email lead nurturing campaign. You need to find a balance between “too much” and “too little” when lead nurturing. You don’t want someone to get overwhelmed with emails, yet you don’t want them to forget about you either. There is a delicate balance to find and it could take a few tries to maximize your results.

5 Vital Email Marketing Statistics:

  • Open rates for triggered emails hit 49.8% in the second quarter of 2012 – almost 95% higher than the mass email send rate.
  • 40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated and nurtured by email marketing as high quality.
  • 58% of people say receiving discounts and special offers was the top reason for subscribing to emails from businesses or non-profits.
  • 78% of U.S. email users will also access their emails via mobile by 2017.
  • Only a mere 2% of marketers rated leads generated from email marketing as “high cost, “representing the lowest cost channel.

Getting Started with Lead Nurturing Emails:

  • Email lead nurturing can be, and often is, implemented incorrectly. The number one rule in any lead nurturing campaign is that “It’s not about you,” – it is about the buyer. Develop and analyze your buyer’s cycle, set up the framework and then evaluate with your sales team. All of which should be done with the buyer in mind, not what is best for the business or bottom line.
  • Focus on content and what your buyer wants to see and learn. Good quality content that is delivered in a timely and dependable fashion will be taken more seriously. It will also help you develop a level of trust and rapport with your prospect.
  • Finally, marketing automation software can offer you a great deal of flexibility and configurability when it comes to designing and implementing an email lead nurturing program. However, with that said, you need to develop your pipeline and framework ahead of time. Technology can be an enabler, and if your due diligence isn’t done ahead of time, it is not of any use to you, your sales team or your prospect.

Final Thoughts

Email lead nurturing is an important part of your overall lead nurturing campaign and should be used along with other tools such as text messaging and phone calls. Develop a campaign that fits your business model and your typical buyer’s persona. Do these two things right and you will begin to see success and an increase in sales-ready leads.