A company can´t force someone to buy, but at the same time they can´t afford to lose the future opportunity. More than 50% isn’t ready to buy at the time of capturing/subscribing, so it’s important to resourcefully guide them towards the ‘ready to buy’ phase. This is what we call lead nurturing and what can span the whole path from first contact to first revenue.
You understand that lead nurturing is different in many ways than just sending out a newsletter. But even if a marketer isn’t yet actively sending lead nurturing campaigns or doing full-fledged event driven email marketing, they can still mine some golden nuggets of lead nurturing knowledge. So what can we learn from lead nurturing to integrate in our email newsletters?
Welcome to the world of Lead nurturing
Congratulations! A website visitor just signed up for your email program. Many brand marketers have a very large portion of their email marketing targeted devoted to a newsletter or a newsletter that is segmented based on user preferences and interests. After the signup it is time for the next step.
Like Alan O’Rourke says in his book 30 days to sell: “You have 30 days to activate a user to a paying customer. The clock is ticking. What will you do?”
Front loading contact frequency
The email frequency, the number of emails and timing of those emails you send in the first period will really depend on your business and the behaviour you expect from your subscribers. Lead nurturing campaigns in general are front loaded. More emails are sent during the first week or two after the capture / subscription. The fresh subscribers still have your product and service top of mind and are generally more interested in learning more at the start of the relationship.
Lead nurturing Takeaway 1: Get in touch with them right away and start off with a higher email frequency.
Not everybody that knocks on your door is actually an interesting prospect. They might be outside your service area, a competitor, not able to buy based on their budget, or already a current customer. Actually, a big part of lead nurturing is about scoring leads and (dis)qualifying them. The reason is simple, know how to treat them, who to give more attention to whom not to pay attention to (yet). It is best to find out quickly, at the moment of sign up.
Lead nurturing Takeaway 2: Ask the right qualification questions at sign up. Good questions can be “Are you a current customer” and “I am considering this product within X period”. This is still something that is often overlooked, with the consequence that everybody is treated the same, and for instance current customers getting offers for product the already have. This also is input for an amazing welcome email program.
Mix it up with personal requests and actions
What you do see in lead nurturing is that often a mail is sent in the name of a account manager or service representative. More often than not, these are also automated emails, just like any other in the sequence. Surveys, polls, or other service requests can do very well next to the run of the mill newsletter and especially if they are formatted in a different way, looking less like a marketing message. So why not add one or two of those into your regular email program? It mixes things up and that keeps your email marketing fresh, plus you can add a personal reminder and create a short sequence.
Lead nurturing Takeaway 3: Look outside your regular email types and see if you can engage through personal type emails.
Takeaways from lead nurturing you can use right now
As you can see, there is a lot to learn from other types of email programs, even if they are not directly the tactics you were planning to work on. Look at some examples for inspiration, take them in and use what you can.