Relationships are living things. Think about friends, family, and colleagues—if you don’t feed a connection, it won’t grow or evolve. The same will happen to customer relations. In B2B marketing, lead nurturing is the process of developing and maintaining relationships with customers at every stage of their journey through marketing and communications.1
But the key isn’t constant contact, it’s quality contact.
When you nurture leads, you’re strengthening the sales process with value in the form of awareness-stage educational resources and consideration-stage content such as demos and webinars. Prospects have a long way to go from being interested to being invested—and you must repeatedly prove why your product or service is worthy of purchasing. You have your work cut out, but nurturing leads doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You’re probably already doing it to some extent.
Let’s look at statistics that prove the value of lead nurturing emails.
- Nearly 66% of marketers believe email nurturing is the best way to engage or re-engage leads2
- 77% of B2B marketers use email marketing to drive sales and website visits3
- The top metric B2B marketers use to measure content performance is email engagement4
- 99% of users check their email every day5
It’s critical to understand the dos and don’ts of email communication, so you can refine your email marketing strategy to nurture leads and move them along your sales cycle.
✅ The Dos of Lead Nurturing Emails
- Do educate your audience. People want information. What’s happening in the industry? What makes your offering unique? How can you resolve a problem? Tune into your leads’ interests and needs with related blogs, how-tos, latest trends, and other targeted content. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out this list of go-to blog format ideas.
- Do personalize the details. This goes beyond greetings and signoffs. Tailor email content to specific personas and use list segmentation tools to organize your audience base. You can also offer awareness-, consideration-, or decision-level content depending on where particular groups are in the buyers’ journey.
- Do be concise. The ideal email is 50-125 words long, which typically results in response rates over 50%.6 It may take some tries to get lead nurturing emails right, so A/B test different copy lengths. Generally speaking, business leaders are busy and appreciate brevity.
- Do include a strong call-to-action (CTA). Sign up, download, learn more, request a demo—the list goes on. Every email you send needs a clear CTA. The goal is to guide people along a path to more information or a valuable offering, such as an informative product demo.
- Do follow-up. The ultimate goal of lead nurturing emails is to generate interest and secure a sale, so it’s necessary to be consistent. Your first follow-up email in a campaign is the most effective, garnering a 40% higher reply rate.7 These emails help you stand out and show your audience that you care about their reaction.
- Do embrace automation. Automated lead nurture email campaigns are set up once and adjusted as you learn more about what works for your audience. Depending on the action they take in your initial email, they’ll go on a path that best suits them in your sales cycle.
❌ The Don’ts of Lead Nurturing Emails
- Don’t be irrelevant. Lead nurturing campaigns should be curated depending on your target market. When they aren’t, you give prospects an excuse to bounce or unsubscribe. Be sure to keep content and promotions relevant and exciting to your audience.
- Don’t use a do-not-reply email. People crave human-like experiences, so do-not-reply addresses often hinder the efficacy of lead nurturing emails. One-way communication indicates a one-way relationship. Avoid this by creating a more reputable sales or support company email.
- Don’t be annoying. 69% of people unsubscribe because they receive too many emails.8 While follow-up emails are essential, so are customer preferences. Take opt-outs as an opportunity to analyze data and better understand your prospects.
- Don’t focus on your company. Lead nurturing emails shouldn’t be all about your company and what you do. Use emails to address prospect and customer pains and gains. Then, weave your value in without forcing the message.
- Don’t try to sell. The sales-pitch approach to email marketing can feel like spam, turning people away and impacting brand identity. Solid lead nurture email campaigns prioritize value.
- Don’t ignore data. Email metrics reflect your audience’s desires. One of the biggest mistakes people make is sending emails without checking the open rate, click-through rate, number of unsubscribes, and so on. So, test different subject lines, content lengths, and media usage, then tailor future emails to successful tactics.
Take the Lead with Sagefrog
Sagefrog helps B2B companies develop comprehensive lead nurture email campaigns that educate and compel prospects, turning cold leads into warm leads and warm leads into clients every day. Get in touch to see how we can help.