By Andrea Moxham

Businesses that nurture their leads experience a 45% increase in lead generation ROI when compared to businesses that don't. Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with your leads and moving them down your sales funnel until they are ready to become a customer. Email is the most common lead nurturing tool that's scalable and inexpensive. In fact, emails that use lead nurturing strategies get up to 10 times more responses compared to single email blasts.  While email is a convenient way to build relationships with leads, there is no "one size fits all" of lead nurturing emails. Each campaign or series of emails look different for every company, every industry, and every stage of the buyer's journey , or the active research process a potential buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. Comprised of three stages--awareness, consideration, and decision-- the buyer's journey presents a unique opportunity for marketers to tailor their lead nurturing emails, depending on where the contact stands in the buyer's journey. 

First, let's take a look at lead nurturing tips for all stages of the buyer's journey. 

Email Tips for All Stages of the Buyer's Journey

1. Set up workflows.

The best way to automate your lead nurturing emails is to use a marketing automation tool with a function to create workflows. This allows you to draft the content based on what you'll learn in this article, and schedule when the emails should be sent, based on specific trigger actions in a workflow. 

2. Set one goal for each email.  

Avoid linking to multiple offers or pages in your emails. Stick with one so that the goal is clear to both you and the reader. 

3. Provide value in each email. 

Building a relationship with your buyer can't be a one-way street. In order to gain their trust (and eventually a sale) you need to provide something in return. Before scheduling any email in your workflow, put yourself in your persona's shoes and ask yourself "how will this help me?"

4. Keep it short.

If you have to ask yourself if your email is too long-- it probably is. Stick to 1-2 paragraphs so you don't lose your reader's focus. 

Email Tips for Buyers in the Awareness Stage

The fact that you have a contact's email address, doesn't necessarily mean they have moved out of the awareness stage.  At this point the buyer is just on the brink of recognizing their problem and the need for a product or service to solve it. If you've segmented your list appropriately and know that the contacts fit the goal of your lead nurture campaign, emails at this stage should be neutral. The content  should be focused on your buyer's pain points-- not your product or brand.  Share content that's relevant to their problem in the form of a free eBook, a roundup of recent blog posts, an external industry report, or any unbranded content that will nudge your buyer into a more through research process, the consideration stage. 

Email Tips for Buyers in the Consideration Stage

Now your buyer has clearly defined their problem and have begun looking for available options. However, this transition does not mean your buyer is ready to purchase (yet). During this crucial stage, it's important that your emails lay heavy off the sales pitch. Instead, establish your company as a reputable source of information by sharing how to videos that solve their pain point or a more thorough piece of content like a comparison guide.  

Email Tips for Buyers in the Decision Stage

By now, your leads are well aware of your company and they are ready to buy a product or service to solve their pain point. The buyer is now thinking about the full spectrum of the purchase: implementation, start up costs, and customer support, so it' important to incorporate those elements into your emails. Share an installation guide or offer your support to chat through any questions your buyer might have. Help them see the value in your product by speaking their language. If your persona is looking for specific results, use terms like "return on investment" rather than an overused proposition like "cutting-edge product". Share testimonials in your emails to buyers in the decision stage and now, it's okay to inject more personalization into your emails. Ask questions that require them to reply so they don't feel as if they're receiving an anonymous blast email. 

Email Tips for Buyers Post-Purchase

Psych! The journey doesn't end when a buyer makes a purchase. Lead nurturing should continue afterwards as this is your opportunity to build a long-term relationship with your buyer. Sending relevant emails after a purchase builds trust and helps buyers understand that you're interested in a relationship with them, not just a sale. Post-purchase nurturing can also help encourage the buyer to make referrals. Share links to complimenting products/services, make a polite request for a testimonial, or provide an incentive to join the community on social media and be sure to periodically ask for feedback on the product/service and level of support. 

 Once you understand the types of content to include in your lead nurturing emails, you'll be well on your way to increasing the number of leads that convert into customers.  

How do you customize email content based on where your personas are in the buyer's journey?

The Anatomy of a Marketing Email Guide

 

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Andrea Moxham

About the author

Andrea Moxham formerly was an Associate Consultant at SmartBug Media. She takes an eager and proactive approach to digital and inbound marketing methods, to help clients grow their businesses. Read more articles by Andrea Moxham.

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