Having trouble getting your email marketing campaign off the ground?
This email nurture campaign guide will help you develop and execute an email nurturing program that turns cold leads into customers and brand advocates.
If you want to understand what is an email nurture campaign, what are its benefits to your business, and the best email practices to nail it in the game, we’ll answer all of these questions as we walk you through creating an email nurture campaign that works for you.
Table of Contents
What Is an Email Nurture Campaign?
B2B email marketing has become one of the most critical channels to drive customers to your business, whether you’re just starting out or you’re already established in your niche.
But where does lead nurturing fit into the equation?
An email nurture campaign is a series of emails that are sent over time to your nurtured leads.
A nurtured lead (aka buyer personas) is someone who has made an initial purchase but may be hesitant to make another one right away – or they may not have the budget to do so at the moment.
Email marketing agencies use an email nurture campaign is to build trust and keep in touch with leads.
Why Nurture Campaigns Are Important?
It’s crucial to continue building your relationship with your customers and this is how email nurture campaigns can help.
If you don’t reach out at all during this time period, it’s likely that your lead will no longer be interested in purchasing your product/service.
Nurturing your leads should be done before and after a sale because, once you have made that sale, you need to continue engaging with that lead so they will become repeat customers and brand advocates.
Keeping your customer engaged after they’ve made their first purchase can mean the difference between creating long-term customers and losing them to your competitors.
7 Best Practices to Create a Killer Email Nurturing Campaign
Before you send any email, it’s vital to do the legwork to make sure your emails are highly effective and relevant to the recipients.
Here are 7 best practices to create an effective nurture strategy.
- Personalize Your Message
- Time Your Campaign Right
- Segment Your Audience
- Keep Your Email Direct to the Point
- Develop Targeted Content
- Provide Valuable Freebies
- Use Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
1. Personalize Your Message
Personalization is one of the most important elements of a successful email nurture campaign. A Stackla report says 70% of buyers prefer a personalized experience.
Consider using their first name and ask them how their business is going, which will help improve your response rates.
You can also use their information and preferences to help personalize your emails, which will make them feel more like they are receiving a message specifically for them.
The idea is to personalize what you say and make it feel more like a conversation.
As tempting as it might be, avoid using an automated personalization system for email addresses or names. Oftentimes, these are inaccurate and can come off as spammy.
2. Time Your Campaign Right
Make sure you're sending your emails not only to the right person but also at the right time.
The right time to send an email is the same as the right time to send a text message: when they're most likely to be receptive. The wrong time is any other.
Think about your customers' habits and schedule. Send emails at times that make sense for them.
By knowing when they are most engaged with online activity, you can drive more leads and sales through emails while positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.
It’s also good to engage with them at all times - not just during business hours!
According to research by Sendinblue, the best time for software or SaaS businesses to send email campaigns is Tuesday or Thursday, between 2 PM and 3 PM.
Also, studies show that 50% of buyers choose the vendor that’s the fastest to respond. Use this to your advantage to seal those leads!
3. Segment Your Audience
As you start to build your email lists, segment your audience by gender, location, and where they’re at in the sales cycle. You can also use this as an opportunity to segment based on demographics and browsing history.
Additionally, consider using data collected during the opt-in process (e.g., other preferences set during lead generation). This will allow you to send more relevant emails because you know more about each person who subscribed to receive them.
This can help you identify what content resonates best with your audience.
From there, you can test and change your messaging depending on which parts of your offer are getting the most traction.
As with content marketing, if you find that a particular group isn’t engaging as much as others, test more frequently or try different formats, such as infographics or video content.
4. Keep Your Email Direct to the Point
Your emails should be short and sweet. Don’t try to cram too much into a single message.
It's better to have a few words that are relevant than a long-winded email that doesn't deliver what your prospect needs.
But if you do have to use a longer email, put the most important information at the top of the message rather than at the bottom.
Here are some quick tips to consider:
- Keep your subject line short and sweet. Too many prospects are flooded with email, and if yours is too long, it will be ignored. Your subject line needs to grab their attention so they’ll open it. That being said, a good rule of thumb is that the first 10 words of your email should tell them exactly what they can expect inside.
- Readability is the key. Use shorter paragraphs in your email body copy as well—not only does this help make things more scannable for people who don’t have time to read everything at once (or who might get distracted by an incoming text), but it also makes the emails easier on our eyes when we do take the time to read them fully!
- Don’t forget about the footer section of your campaigns: when you send an automated campaign series out over several days or weeks, these brief bits of info can serve as reminders about what happened previously in each message and/or serve as pointers toward where leads can go next if they want additional information
5. Develop Targeted Content
When crafting an email for leads or customers, you want to make sure your language is aligned with your target audience and persona.
When you know what kind of person you are talking to and how they want to be talked with, it makes it easier for them to enjoy interacting with your brand.
The content should also be written in a conversational tone that is typical for that industry. However, try to avoid using industry jargon as not everyone can get it.
Some quick tips to consider:
- Use the right tone and language for your audience. If you have multiple audiences with different interests, use different words in your emails to help them feel like they're getting something tailored for them.
- Use the right keyword density (the number of times a phrase appears). There's no way around this one: The more often people see an item on their screen or in their inbox, the more likely they will be interested in it when they're ready to buy something new—and that goes double when it comes to keywords!
6. Provide Valuable Freebies
If someone fills out a form on your website and leaves their contact information, you’re likely missing an opportunity.
Asking for a name and email address is great, but it doesn’t help nurture leads or get customers back into your sales funnel.
A smart way to build rapport with leads and increase repeat purchases is by sending them something valuable after they have already purchased.
You can give away:
- Free eBooks
- White papers
- Resource guides
- Other valuable content that will help them in some way
It will reinforce your business as an authority on their topic of interest and give them additional resources that can directly benefit them—all while keeping you at top-of-mind when they are ready to buy again.
7. Use Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
Using clear CTAs as part of an email campaign is extremely powerful because it gives prospects one specific action to take right then and there.
Avoid directive friction words like Order or Submit, because readers can easily become turned off by words with too much force behind them.
Your CTA needs a benefit statement, so instead of friction words, use “Get” or “Learn”. (For example: Get my free report on how you can save more money!) See the difference?
What Can Nurture Emails Do for Your Business?
In order to turn your website visitors into loyal customers, you need to do more than attract their attention and convince them to click on your lead generation forms.
With the right email nurture strategy, you can make your customers feel:
- Special, as they recognize the value of your products or services
- That you understand their needs and can help them meet those needs
- Confident that they’re making the right decision by doing business with you instead of one of your competitors.
This ultimately leads to increased sales for your business.
They now get comfortable with their purchase before feeling compelled into making another one just yet, which means they'll most likely come back later on down the line when they need more of your products.
Email Nurture Campaign: Final Thoughts
It all boils down to testing your content and analyzing data on who opens your emails (beside email design), who clicks through, and which offers are most intriguing to them.
Once you have all the relevant data at your disposal, you can tailor your next campaign based on that information.
As long as you stay focused on providing value, and not just making a sale, an email nurture campaign can be an incredibly powerful tool for converting leads into customers.