How to Nurture Leads with Email Marketing

We all know the internet is a wildly interactive and creative place. This is a bit of a double edged sword for marketers.

This interconnectedness allows you to deliver content in different many ways: social media, blogging, video, audio, and a host of other interactive platforms. Plus, let’s not forget email.

On the flip side, it allows all of your competition to do so as well. So you need to make sure your content and emails rise above the noise.

Email marketing is very much alive. It has withstood the test of time and remains a strong force to contend with in lead generation and management, as well as customer engagement. In fact, based on statistics from Oberlo:

  • By 2025, there is expected to be 4.6 billion email users. That’s more than half the population!
  • More than 330 billion emails are sent and received each day.
  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect a $42 ROI.
  • 90% of marketers use email marketing as part of their marketing strategies.
  • 81% of SMB’s rely on email marketing as their primary customer acquisition strategy.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines have 50% higher open rates.
  • Adding videos to your emails can increase open rates by 300%

This is your sign not to scale down your email marketing efforts. Its relevance in the modern online landscape is undeniable! You just have to figure out how to be better than everyone else. It’s not exactly as hard as it sounds. Read on for applicable tips and tricks to take home to your boss and increase your CTR.

Key takeaways:

  • Personalize your emails as often as possible through segmentation paired with well-tailored content
  • Automation is the key to optimizing your time and effort in marketing
  • Send emails that resonate with your customers by focusing on content that educates, connects or improves their job

Personalized Email Marketing

No one appreciates generic or template-style emails, that’s for sure. People want to feel like more than just another sale to your company. To stand out from all the inbox clutter from other brands, you need to get personal to attract and retain your customers.

If you want your prospects to take notice of your message, you need to do so much more than just push your content. Personalizing your emails means you know your subscribers well enough to know what they’re looking for. Be ready to give it to them at the right time and via the right channel.

Here are some ways to maximize your personalized email strategies:

Practice Segmentation in Your Email Marketing

Email segmentation means grouping your leads by their browsing activity, demographic information, and purchase history. This data can then be used to customize your email, making them more relevant to a specific group of contacts.

When you segment your email list, you can draw different conclusions by observing leads activity in each category. This information can help influence each of your different customer personas.  Your next move should then be to provide relevant content that’s valuable to each persona group.

different triggers to have in place for marketing automation

Image Source: GetResponse

You can segment your emails a few different ways. Send content specific emails by observing what section each lead views on your website. If you sell baked goods and they visit your cupcake page, you might want to send them content specific emails about your amazing cupcake services. Say they watched a video advertising your baking class. You’d focus on sending them more information about the class and its enrollment options.

Another useful idea to help tailor your emails is to use your customers’ time and location information. Have you ever noticed how emails arrive in your inbox usually at 9 or 10ish in the morning? Businesses have identified it as the best time to send out marketing emails. (P.S. think outside of the box and try sending your emails at a time other than a rounded hour, like 8:19 or 9:42.)

It goes without saying that the content should cater to what those prospects are looking for right then and there, which brings us to the next element in email marketing personalization.

Offer Well-Tailored Content

Creative content that’s both relevant and effective is one of marketers biggest challenges, but you’re already a step closer once you segment your email list. Now it’s time to create content specific to each group.

Your next best step is to ask as many questions as you can. Asking the right questions can give you good insights as to what your customers’ priorities are.

One of the most important questions to ask is why a particular customer visited your website.

If you’re an event organizer, and a lead checks out your “Party” page, they’re probably interested in getting you to organize their party for them. But there are a number of other questions you should be asking to get a more holistic understanding of their needs.

If it’s an anniversary party, for instance, you might want to know if it’s anything near the most cherished milestones like a silver or golden anniversary. You could use the answer to send out a targeted email with details about suggested themes or motifs that are most appropriate for the occasion.

Second, you can use personalized emails to direct your customers to a landing page on your website, which should have the same look and copy as your email, including CTAs. The idea is to identify your customer segments, write custom emails for each segment, and develop several landing pages for that particular segment. With this strategy, your leads will be able to recognize that you are giving them an integrated, personalized email experience and may feel more encouraged to convert as customers.

Automate Your Email Marketing

Nowadays as a marketer you’re expected to generate, nurture and manage leads simultaneously. This is where email marketing automation tools can help.

Such tools are not only meant to make things easier for you, but you’ll be amazed at how they can scale things up in the personalized email department as well. The segmentation we spoke of earlier is built into many automation tools to help make even that optimization easier to accomplish.

Automation can help you take steps never thought possible before. If you’re an online shopping addict (like me) you know about abandoned cart messages. Say you sell jewelry. Your customer adds a few earring options to their cart but eventually leaves the page. They either forgot or decided against their purchase. But with email automation, you can send that customer a reminder of their cart, and even a discount code to hook them back in.

pie chart showing that companies can increase purchases by 69% with 3 abandoned cart emails

Image Source: Oberlo

These trigger emails can be used for various purposes: as a welcome greeting, for up-selling or cross-selling pitches, or to send updates about your subscriber’s account.

Implement Marketing Automation

Marketers don’t have a million hours in the day to do everything they need to successfully generate business. Marketing automation is both a challenge and an essential part of a modern business. Through marketing automation, you can sift through a huge amount of data to get to know your customers better and to use that understanding to deliver useful marketing content to them.

A map of what marketing automation entails from web activity to reporting

Image Source: Medium 

Automation is marketing technology in action. It enables you to track the digital footprints of your leads, turn those interactions into insights about the customers’ sales journey, and help you craft better content to drive prospects towards a purchase decision.

However, automated marketing does not come without its challenges. Here are some of the major obstacles facing marketers and their brands:

  • Marketing automation isn’t a cure-all. It requires proper buy-in from various stakeholders including the sales and marketing departments. Marketers need to know their automation objectives, what metrics to track, and how to analyze data to provide valuable insights. They also need to know which data matters most, like using behavioral data to identify target buyers and influencers to create personas and personalize content for each.
  • Marketing automation doesn’t mean hands-off marketing. You have to continuously update and test automation tools based on your observations mentioned in the above point. If you just let automation go, your messages will quickly get stale.
  • Since marketers need to determine where ROI is coming from, there is a need to establish a good CRM model or system that will identify which campaigns are effective and which are not. Marketers should have a full understanding of how the marketing automation system and the CRM system work to help them predict which leads are the most qualified.
  • Budget restrictions may be forcing companies to move automated marketing to the backburner. The best antidote here is to remember that marketing automation platforms have lead scoring capabilities that show which leads are better than others—saving marketers tons of time, effort, and resources as they focus more on prospects who are more likely to convert, therefore earning more money in the long run

The bottom line on marketing automation is that it allows you to scale processes without removing the ability to segment and personalize. If you need more inspiration, check out this video featuring 10 successful email marketing campaign examples.

Best Emails for Nurturing Leads

Email is indispensable to marketers, as it’s still one of the most convenient ways to communicate despite the presence of new other modes of messaging. Brands are generating 3800% ROI with email marketing!

However, marketing emails may be unwelcome to some because there’s plenty of clutter getting sent around and it can be a pain to filter through dozens of emails to find something relevant.

You can enhance your email campaigns by knowing which ones resonate well with customers. As a rule of thumb, the best email types are the ones that:


People care most about what serves them. If your email can teach your prospects something about their pain points, or how exactly your products or services can help your customers deal with them, you’ve got a winning marketing tool in your hands.

By crafting educational content, you are asserting your expertise and value as a brand that people can trust and depend on. It might take a lot of time and effort to sustain the distribution of this type of email, but it’s the gradual, stage-by-stage process of educating your customers and earning their trust that makes this one special.

Establish Connections

The goal of any email marketing campaign should be to open a dialogue and create meaningful conversations between a brand and its audience. The closer you can get to your customer, the more engagement you can expect in return.

Be sure to give your customers the option of choosing other possible means of connecting with you. It may be via subscription to your newsletter, connecting on social media, or alerts to product development updates. Whatever the case, let the prospect choose the channel that suits them best.

Offer Something Relevant

Sending product offers to prospects may seem like a great idea, but you need to make sure that they’re getting more than that. If someone signs up on your website, for example, it means they are ready to explore your content, so you should give them what they want.

Instead of sending them a free trial offer for your product or service, you might want to first find out what pages or topics engaged them, and then send additional content that they might find valuable. As they consume more of your content offers, you can leverage the trust that you’ve established to deliver more brand or product-centric content, driving them towards a purchase.

Help Someone Improve

As you nurture your leads, keep in mind that one of your goals is to help them improve their everyday lives. Of course, you should keep your content consistent with your brand’s theme. For example, if you sell vitamins and your target audience is mostly made up of health conscious individuals, you could create content about how specific vitamins reduce the risk of specific diseases.

Your emails should have a similar slant that complements their goals and shows them how they can meet their objectives in a more effective manner.

Recreate Opportunities

You can’t expect things to always be rosy with your email marketing efforts. At one point or another, you will come across subscribers that aren’t responsive or those that just don’t click through.

To turn this around, you could request your subscribers to provide feedback regarding the emails you send in terms of frequency, content type, and quality, or anything about their experience with your brand or service. Whether or not you receive the feedback you were hoping to get, you’ll still be able to use these insights to address any areas of concern.

Have a Personal Appeal

This has been a prevailing theme in email marketing because knowing your customers’ preferences builds a special connection between your brand and your audience. A personal touch can be especially useful if you want to get past barriers in the sales cycle. Your customers will appreciate the extra effort you’re putting in.

Ways to inject a personal touch include checking in, saying thanks, remembering special events, and thinking ahead so that your customer doesn’t have to. One of the easiest ways to do this; birthdays! Find out a subscriber’s birthday when they sign up on your website and send a simple message to show you care.

Final Thoughts

All the signs are telling us that email will never bow out of the marketing game. People won’t stop using email as a primary communication channel, and we continue to see how it keeps growing.

On a less serious note, here are a couple of stats about when people check their inboxes (via Inc):

  • 70% of people check their email while watching TV
  • 60% of people check their email while in bed
  • 50% of people check their email while on vacation
  • 42% of people check their email while on the toilet
  • 18% of people check their email while driving (which we do not condone!)

People are checking their email everywhere! So don’t be afraid to ramp up your email marketing efforts when it comes to lead nurturing because chances are, you’ll be pretty happy with the ROI if you’re doing it right.

Is the content creation aspect of email marketing holding you back? If you need more stuff to be sending your subscribers, it might be time to ramp up your content marketing strategy as well. We’re here to help with that.

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