The purpose of lead nurturing is to build a relationship with qualified leads so you can eventually convert them into sales. One of the best tools for building that relationship is an email nurture campaign.
A nurture campaign is a series of automated emails that aims to educate and build a relationship with the reader. Why? Because like it or not, the vast majority of subscribers within your email list simply aren’t ready to convert.
Sales experts estimate that it takes eight “touches” to generate a conversion. Before marketing automation, this meant your sales team was forced to make cold calls, one by one. However, now you can harness the power of email marketing to create a scalable workflow that guides potential customers from brand awareness all the way through to the point of conversion — while still personalizing your message to the individual.
Below, we’ll explain what an email nurture campaign is and how to use it. Plus, we’ll share a few must-have tips for launching your first campaign.
What Is an Email Nurture Campaign, Anyway?
An email nurture campaign is a type of email sequence that seeks to educate, inspire, and build trust with your email list.
Here’s a hard truth: The vast majority of subscribers on your list will never purchase from your business. In fact, research shows that 80% of new leads will never convert to sales — and that’s OK! The purpose of an email nurture campaign is to move subscribers down the sales funnel, thereby educating the 20% who will buy from your company.
To do this, a lead nurturing campaign takes potential customers through the typical marketing funnel:
- Awareness: Here, you introduce your company and explain what types of information they can expect from you in the future.
- Interest: In the second stage, you introduce your products and services.
- Consideration: In this stage, consumers compare your product or service to other competitors in your industry. Try sending external research, case studies, or testimonials to set yourself apart.
- Intent: Now, your lead is one step closer to making a purchase. Invite them to a free webinar or offer a 15-minute consultation to better explain your services.
- Evaluation: Here, the lead will make last-minute decisions about whether or not to convert. Consider sending them a coupon for 20% off their first purchase to push them over the finish line.
- Purchase: Congrats, your lead has converted into a sale! But the work isn’t over — follow up with a survey asking them how they enjoyed the product, ask for a Google review, or send them a list of other products they might enjoy.
When to Use an Email Nurture Campaign: 4 Examples
As you just learned, very few leads will instantly be ready to make a sale. In fact, research shows that 96% of website visitors are not ready to buy. However, you don’t want to simply ignore these leads — instead, you’ll send them an email nurture sequence to help move them through the sales cycle.
While the goal of a nurture campaign is always the same (convert leads to sales), you might use lead nurturing emails in any number of scenarios, including:
- Welcome series: A welcome email sequence is a series of emails sent after someone joins your email list (e.g. after they download a free white paper, sign up for a workshop, or opt for that initial discount). Here, you’ll introduce your company name, establish clear expectations on the type of information you’ll send, and link to valuable content (e.g. popular blog posts or a popular infographic).
- Re-engagement drip campaign: Sometimes, you’ll have a customer who’s this-close to converting, then disappears. After 3-6 months of radio silence, send a “We miss you!” email, giving them several updates on your company (by sharing new product lines or new content, for example).
- Competitive nurture series: Has a direct competitor recently launched a valuable product or new piece of technology? Launch a competitive campaign educating your subscribers on why or how your service is superior.
- Long-term drip campaign: If you’re a B2B company, your sales cycle could take up to a year (or more!) to convert leads to sales. In this case, you may want to decrease your send frequency, sending an automated email once a month to stay top-of-mind with potential clients.
4 Tips for Launching Your First Email Nurture Campaign
Now that you know what an email nurture campaign is and when to use it, you’re ready to launch your first campaign — right? Not so fast.
Before you start drafting your marketing campaign, we want to give you a few tips:
1. Don’t Be Too Salesy
Yes, you read that correctly.
Approach a lead generation campaign the same way you’d approach a potential customer walking into your store for the first time. Would you run up to the person and start screaming about promos, shoving your latest products in their face, and asking if they’re ready to check out? Absolutely not!
Instead, you’d (calmly) introduce yourself, welcome them to your store, and ask what they’re searching for — which is precisely how you should write your first email. This is as much your opportunity to learn about them as it is for them to learn about you.
2. Remember Timing Is Everything
When launching an email marketing automation campaign, you need to be hyper-aware of the cadence of your emails. Space your emails 3-5 days apart, giving ample time between each email.
If you send three emails spaced just 24 hours apart, your unsubscribe rate will skyrocket. Again, remember there are real people behind your email list, and no one wants to be bothered by a company three days in a row — no matter how much they might love your service.
3. Offer Valuable, Relevant Content
Every time you send an email, ask yourself, “Would I want to read this?”
As fascinating as digital marketing is, you’re not sending these emails for fun. Instead, you have a clear objective of moving leads throughout the buyer’s journey — which only happens when you send valuable content.
Research shows that 70% of people buy from brands they trust. One of the best ways to build trust with your target audience is to continuously offer educational content that solves one of their pain points — even when it doesn’t directly lead to a sale.
4. Personalize Your Emails to the End User
One of the biggest benefits of email nurture campaigns is the fact that you can convert leads at scale while still offering a personalized experience.
Research shows that sending personalized emails can increase conversion rates by 51%. To do this, segment your list by geographical location, user behavior, or demographic data, then build buyer personas based on top segments. You can personalize your subject line, salutation, body text, and your CTA (call to action), thereby guiding readers toward your sales landing page.
Use Gumbamail to Launch Your First Email Nurture Campaign
As a business owner, lead nurturing should play a central role in your overall marketing strategy. With an email nurture campaign, you can move new leads down your sales funnel, leading them toward a conversion.
When you launch your email nurturing strategy, remember that the purpose is to build trust with your audience — rather than to go directly for a sale. Space your emails several days apart, always send valuable content, and personalize each email to the subscriber.
To launch your first campaign, make the switch to Gumbamail. With Gumbamail, you can schedule emails in advance, thereby building an email sequence to move subscribers down the sales funnel. Plus, you can choose from 800+ pre-designed email templates, and use merge tags to personalize each email to the end-user.
Ready to see how Gumbamail can transform your inbound marketing strategy? Download the free plugin to get started.