How to Use Email for Next Level Lead Nurturing

Digital Marketing · Email Marketing

It may not be as glamorous as social media or as technically stimulating as search, but email marketing is an enduring, effective channel that can withstand the countless innovations and updates that happen within the digital industry on an increasingly regular basis. Emails have the power to drive targeted, meaningful engagement at a much higher rate. You can personalize and tailor your communications in a way that no other digital channel can, and gain direct visibility in the inboxes of the individuals that matter most.

As traditional methods continue to wane in their effectiveness, sales reps and marketers alike are turning to digital channels, prioritizing LinkedIn InMails and Tweets over cold calls and direct mail campaigns. Whatever your objectives, be they lead or revenue generation, or brand visibility – email can assist you in your success. In fact, 66% of internet users have made an online purchase as a direct result of email marketing, compared to 20% who purchased because of social channels. 

Lead nurturing is an integral component of any sales or marketing strategy; you could generate thousands of high quality leads, but it won’t matter unless you’re able to nurture them effectively. Email can help you to generate leads, but more importantly, it can facilitate next level nurturing

According to MailChimp, if you receive open rates of 25% and click through rates of 4%, your email efforts are doing well. Now that you can benchmark your performance, we’ve outlined 4 ways in which you can leverage email to maximize your lead nurturing success! 

1. Create a sense of urgency

Often, the smallest uplift or decline in conversion can be the difference between hitting and missing a target. Being able to employ explicit Calls to Action and succinctly convey the unique features and benefits of your product or service to a relevant audience are essential. But what approach will you adopt when this isn’t enough and you need an extra push? This is why the ability to create a sense of urgency, or impression of scarcity, is essential for any successful marketing or sales professional.

Limited time offers or discounts are a simple but effective method to incentivize your target audience segments to purchase. You can do this subtly by incorporating phrases such as “buy now”, “download today” or “don’t miss out” into your subject lines and email copy. Alternatively, you can choose to be more upfront by cultivating a more tangible sense of urgency through specific deadlines and statistics. Online retailers will often highlight an individual product page when stock is low, and list how many items are left in their inventory. Other ecommerce websites use countdown timers to increase their conversions. For example, Ticketmaster uses a timer on each landing page through the checkout process. This makes customers feel that if they don’t complete their purchase in a timely manner, they could miss out on securing their concert tickets altogether.

Ticketmaster uses a timer on each landing page through the checkout process.

After patiently nurturing your leads for a substantial period of time, you can escalate your efforts with more time-sensitive tactics, in order to increase those all-important conversion rates.

2. Use imagery

By 2018, 84 % of communications will be visual. The mounting success of online platforms such as YouTube and Snapchat, and the viral capabilities of video content provide clear indicators that visual mediums are more engaging and impactful than written ones. And although it is traditionally considered a text-based channel, this approach can be applied to email too.

Increased mobile device adoption rates (to the extent that Google recently announced that they would be prioritizing the indexing of mobile websites over their desktop counterparts) further demonstrate that in order to increase engagement, you need to ensure that content is as quick and easy to consume as possible. With this in mind, would you choose to use an eloquently written email that outlines your Unique Selling Points over the course of five paragraphs, or share a well-shot 30 second video testimonial from a happy customer? Be it a picture of a new product range or a video of your brand’s origin story, the use of imagery in your emails can seriously increase enhance engagement, and by extension, conversion rates.

Historically, marketers have avoided using imagery in emails due to deliverability and display issues, as certain clients don’t automatically show pictures, which can dramatically lessen an email’s impact. However, if you can implement an incentivizing subject line and a small amount of accompanying text to accompany the visual element, there’s no reason why you can’t employ imagery to great and positive effect!

3. Optimize your CTAs

It’s indisputable that Calls To Action are essential to optimize conversions via multiple digital channels, including email. According to WordStream, emails with a single Call To Action can increase clicks by 371% and sales by a staggering 1617%. This means that if you want to effectively nurture leads, you need to support your visual content with one explicit, strong CTA that is aligned to the stage of the customer journey at which your target audience is. 

To guarantee that your CTA is as easily discoverable as possible, and to make it easy for customers to follow through and convert, you can use button CTAs. These are distinct and eye-catching because of their design, and you can split test different colours, fonts and copy to find out which combination works best.

Placement is also important. CTAs that are positioned towards the bottom or right of content usually outperform other placements. In Western culture, individuals usually read text from left to right, top to bottom. Putting your CTA in the terminal area of a webpage or email will increase conversions because it’s a strategically placed natural progression, and requires minimal effort from recipients to take the next step.

By adhering to these simple principles, you can progress your customer relationships in an easier and more streamlined manner. 

Netflix use CTAs simply but skillfully: the color is distinctive and on brand, the copy is succinct and explicit, and the placement is prominent.

4. Schedule follow up emails

Emails can provide a direct, personalized channel of communication that can seriously enhance the quality of your customer relationships. The average buyer engages with more than 10 pieces of content before making a purchase decision, whereas the average sales rep makes only 2 attempts to reach a prospect. These statistics showcase the importance of taking the time to effectively nurture leads. But if you’re a sales or marketing professional with limited time and immovable targets, this level of effort may seem like an onerous prospect.

The answer lies in marketing automation, which will allow you to schedule and send multiple emails to each lead with minimal effort. You can automate the delivery of emails based on particular customer actions, i.e. if they register their interest on a particular product page or download a certain brochure. You can use these criteria to segment your subscriber lists and from there you can decide what you will send to them and where. This will enable you to nurture your prospective customers in a way that will guarantee the best possible level of responsiveness.

With scheduled emails, you’ll be able to follow up with more leads more quickly, in a more targeted manner, which will improve your overall performance and conversion rates.

How much time and effort do you invest in nurturing your leads? Would email be your channel of choice? Let us know your thoughts and share your experiences in the comments section below! 

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About The Author
Sophie Elizabeth Smith

Sophie enjoys creating content that connects with readers and helps them to better understand and practice all things digital. Sophie also enjoys guacamole and all films starring Nicolas Cage (but mainly Con Air).