Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels to nurture prospects due to its low cost, and the willingness of buyers to receive email from companies with whom they already have some kind of relationship. According to DemandGen Report, nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. The following lead nurturing best practices will help you build relationships with your prospects:
- Get their permission. Before sending marketing messages to your prospects, be sure to ask for their explicit permission, preferably via double opt-in, so they do not see it as unsolicited email or spam. This shows respect by giving your prospects a choice, which will set the tone for relationship building and partnership. The success of your email marketing campaign depends on this more than anything else.
- Automate your lead nurture strategy. Implement automatically triggered campaigns (a series of automated emails called a “drip” campaign) that deliver consistent brand messages at specified time intervals and when leads reach certain milestones. Drip marketing is a strategy that will help you keep your company fresh in your recipients’ minds until they’re ready to buy. Over time, as prospects respond, you’ll learn more about their needs and interests.
- Tap into prospect data. Find creative ways to capture information from your prospects so you can provide them with content that is relevant and tailored to their specific needs and interests. Offering leads what they need and want, instead of guessing what you think or hope they want, will guide them through your buying cycle and bring them closer to being sales-ready.
- Understand and segment your prospects. Don’t send the same emails to every prospect that has joined your list, since these subscribers could all have significantly different levels of interest in your brand. Some might be ready to buy now, while others may have just become familiar with your brand and require much more information before making a decision.
Lead nurturing is all about proving to your audience that you understand them, have the knowledge and expertise they’re looking for, and legitimately want to help them. Just because someone clicks on a link from an email doesn’t mean you should start sending them content. You need to nurture them through the sales funnel first to get them closer to the purchase cycle. Provide your prospects with valuable information about your company in the form of webinars, videos, blog posts, and white papers in such a way that keeps your brand in the forefront of their minds. Nurturing your leads is essential for winning the attention of undecided prospects. Even high quality leads can go dormant if they are not properly managed and nurtured. When done right, lead nurturing can build a strong brand and solution preference long before a prospect is actively engaged in a buying process. Tailoring your email to the needs of the prospect will surely lead to higher the conversion rates.