Lead Nurturing Emails: Everything You Wanted to Know
A new lead is a big win, but it’s also just one of many steps to converting that prospect into a paying customer. The way to keep leads moving through the sales funnel? Lead nurturing. The best method for doing it? Lead nurturing emails.
While we all complain about our crowded inboxes, email remains the heavy favorite for the most preferred method of communication from brands. Given that most people check their email multiple times per day, it’s also one of the surest ways to get in touch with your leads after their initial touchpoint.
But lead nurturing emails require a certain amount of finesse to get right — timing, tone, content, and frequency of communication can all make a big impact on whether a lead keeps moving forward or sends a big old “no thanks” in response.
In this article, we’re going to cover what you need to know about lead nurturing and best practices for sending lead nurturing emails that always win.
Let’s get started!
- Companies that nurture leads effectively generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a fraction of the cost.
- Lead nurturing emails are typically sent as part of larger lead nurturing campaigns.
- Both marketing and sales teams typically have a role in sending and managing lead nurturing emails.
- Quality lead nurturing emails are personalized, emphasize value, focus on one topic at a time, and include CTAs.
What is lead nurturing and why is it important?
Lead nurturing, by definition, is the process of growing relationships with prospective buyers as they move from the consideration to decision stage of the sales funnel. It happens through a series of communications that can occur across multiple channels — phone calls, in-person meetings, and of course email. Research shows that effective lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at just two-thirds of the cost.
Lead nurturing is more important than ever in an environment where buyers are moving through much of the sales process without ever actually speaking to a company. B2B buyers conduct anywhere from 57-70% of their research on their own. Even once they’ve indicated interest and become a lead, they likely have several other options they’re considering.
Lead nurturing can be the key to putting yourself ahead of the competition, moving your leads through the sales cycle more quickly, and converting leads at a higher rate.
Let’s dive deeper into lead nurturing emails and how you can leverage it to see results.
Your guide to lead nurturing emails
Lead nurturing email campaigns and workflows
Lead nurturing emails are sent as part of a lead nurturing email campaign — a series of emails that cover a range of topics meant to engage your prospects in different ways and move them along in the sales funnel. Individual lead nurturing email campaigns are typically part of a larger lead nurturing workflow, which your marketing and sales teams should work together to develop.
Here’s a simple lead nurturing email campaign example as it would fit into a workflow:
This email campaign takes place in the awareness stage, and as you can see several emails are planned to be sent five days apart. The exact number of emails and their cadence can vary. Best practice is to be consistent but careful not to overwhelm your lead with too many emails.
Once a lead takes action after receiving an email (guided by your calls to action — which we’ll cover shortly), they advance to the next stage of your nurturing process. This could mean a different email campaign with new content and messaging, or it could mean a new channel of communication, like a phone call or quick demo.
What content should lead nurturing emails include?
Benefits over features
At the end of the day, your leads care about getting their problems solved. Your strategy, then, should be to focus not on listing features about your products, but on emphasizing the benefits your solutions will provide and the problems it will solve for your customers.
In other words: focus on outcomes and results. Here’s a simple example that shows what we mean:
There’s a reason lead nurturing emails are sent as part of a larger campaign: you can’t fit everything in a single message. If you try, you’ll lose a lead (or several) along the way. Like we mentioned already, people’s inboxes are crowded. If they don’t quickly see the point of your message and why it matters to them, they’ll likely hit the delete button.
Some quick advice: make your topics progressive. One topic should build on the next. Your first email, for example, could be a quick welcome and introduction. Your second email might dive more into how your solution will solve the problem your lead is experiencing. Your third email might include testimonials and even a quick case study . . . and so on.
The point is, all of that content in one email would be way too overwhelming. Take your lead nurturing emails one focused topic at a time.
This one’s easy but important — be authentic. Lead nurturing emails are a great opportunity to show your company’s personality, culture, and approach to customer relationships. Feeling connected to a company or like it’s “the right fit” for them is a big reason why buyers choose a particular solution provider. The best way to ensure your working relationship succeeds in the long term is to be authentic from the start!
Call to action (CTA)
Don’t leave your leads guessing about what comes next in the sales process. Tell them what they should do! Make your call to action clear and prominent. Calls to action could be anything from downloading content to scheduling a consultation to replying directly to your email.
Whatever it is, don’t leave it out. Remember the workflow graphic we looked at earlier? The action that advances leads to the next stage of the funnel rarely happens without a CTA to guide them.
3 lead nurturing email examples to inspire you
This lead nurturing email from Groove does a good job of making an automated email seem personal. There are no frills here, but Groove has packed tons of smart tactics into this one introductory message. The email is from an actual person (Groove’s CEO, Alex) and starts out with a personalized salutation, making it feel more meaningful.
Benefits are emphasized (Groove helps small businesses grow) and the email includes two simple and clear CTAs: answering a quick question about why they signed up for Groove, and watching a short demo video. The first CTA gives Groove important insight about customer motivations, and the demo video gives them an easy engagement metric to track: click-through rate.
In this lead nurturing email, litmus smartly uses an upcoming event invitation as their primary CTA to drive customers to take action. It opens with a strong solution benefit (advance your email workflow) and uses concise, relatable copy that reflects their brand voice throughout. The offer of a free webinar invites people to experience the value of Litmus firsthand before they make any actual commitment.
Drift leverages their most popular existing content to pack lots of value into one introductory lead nurturing email. This quick, no-pressure message assures new leads they won’t be inundated with long emails while giving them a variety of content choices to engage with. It’s a really smart way to demonstrate brand expertise, build trust, and set up a means to track action (through long clicks) on the email. Not to mention it maximizes the ROI on content Drift has already worked to create!
Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.