Best Practices for Lead Nurturing Emails

Vladislav Podolyako
Mar 01, 2022
Reading duration
14 min

Not all leads that you reach out with your offers make purchases. But the chances that they will buy later are still high. Provided that you'll stay in touch with them, delivering valuable content, building rapport, and stressing your product value. Developing relationships with your potential buyers is called lead nurturing. In this article, you'll learn more about its most popular component –– lead nurturing emails.

Choosing the Most Effective Lead Nurturing Strategy 

Lead nurturing tactic assumes interaction with your potential clients at every stage of your sales pipeline so that the number of drop-offs is minimal. Nurturing leads is the next step after lead generation, and there are several ways to motivate your prospects to buy from you and, hopefully, buy again. 

1. Personal Communication

There's probably nothing more effective and personalized than a one-on-one conversation with your prospects. And this is what your sales reps do every day. However, this way of lead nurturing is quite time-consuming, and your salespeople obviously won't be able to devote even as little as five minutes a week to each of your leads.

You can also reach out to your potential buyers and keep them engaged through social media or even meeting them offline. Asking your lead for a cup of coffee works better for building relationships than a hundred emails, but you can afford to do so only with the most significant leads.  

2. Retargeting 

Retargeting campaigns are the ads you see about recently visited brands. Like most internet users, you leave a website without making a purchase after your first interaction with the brand. And business owners know that we will. That's why after you visit a website or a social media page, you see its ads on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other ad platforms.  

Retargeting makes the company more visible to you. And marketers believe that you'll gain enough trust to buy from them after the seventh ad you see. Moreover, this approach is more cost-effective than other ad campaigns.

3. Content Marketing 

Inbound lead generation works, and you can nurture your prospects with the content on your blogs and social media. And the more valuable users find your content, the more engaged they will be. Prospects get used to your brand when they appreciate your expertise and desire to offer them solutions. And often, they naturally grow your leads community by sharing your content.

Your brand awareness grows once you promote your articles, case studies, ebooks, and other materials through relevant channels. In some cases, such an approach can be even more effective than paid ads because it circulates among highly-qualified prospects. Still, lead nurturing with content exists in more targeted and personalized form –– emails. 

4. Lead Nurturing with Emails

Emails allow the delivery of the most needed content to potential buyers. And marketers can do that at the right moment because they leverage multiple analytics to learn their buyer persona. Though not every company nurtures its leads, this is a great way to build trust and establish your authority among your audience. 

Once lead nurturing is approached professionally, your potential clients become more loyal with each email you send. But what are the peculiarities of such emails, and how do they work? 

Defining a Lead Nurturing Email 

A lead nurturing email is pretty much every email you get from a business before buying its products or services. And they will differ depending on the phase of the sales funnel you're in. For example, if it's just the beginning of your buyer's journey, you can get a thank-you email after subscribing or getting the lead magnet. And in this message, businesses usually promise to send more valuable content

Once you pay, the post-purchase email will be automatically triggered. This can be a cross-selling or upselling message. The first one, for instance, will offer to buy additional accessories to your device, and the other email type will try to increase the price of the purchase –– like offering a Pro subscription plan instead of the basic one. 

But if you made a purchase some time ago, the seller will probably send you retention emails. They aim to turn you into a repeat customer and increase your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) –– the total revenue you bring to a company.

This way, depending on your interaction with a business, you get emails with relevant content. Whether you add products to your cart and abandon it, use the promo code you saw in a Facebook ad, or want to book a demo, the marketing team will try to make each message engaging, helpful, and guide you to purchase. 

Lead nurturing emails aren't something you create once; they need to be regularly reviewed and thoroughly personalized. So, this process requires a lot of marketing efforts from your team. It has to analyze each customer segment, craft engaging texts and catchy subject lines, choose an email test tool to ensure the email deliverability, etc. But what are the advantages of lead nurturing emails?

5. Email Nurturing Benefits 

1. You have your sales pipeline full and balanced. Each nurture email reminds prospects about your brand and its value for them. With consistent communication, you can keep the interest of your target audience and stimulate its engagement in your products, services, or content. Someone will go to your website to check for new proposals, and others will finally book a demo with your sales team.

So, creating messages that help prospects move through the pipeline help keep your sales funnel healthy. And evenly spread leads are crucial for consistent revenue generation. So, by adjusting the content and sending the schedule of your emails, you can influence each buyer's journey.

2. You get lower CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). Email marketing is much cheaper than Facebook and LinkedIn ads, especially when using marketing automation software. So, acquiring new customers with emails that offer timely solutions is cost-effective. When you stay consistent with your communication, prospects gain trust in your brand. And once they need an answer, they will probably think of you. 

In addition, once you nurture your prospects, you benefit from a shorter sales cycle. Since leads get highly personalized and, thus, valuable communication at the right time, they move from one stage of your pipeline to the next faster. This way, you can convert them into customers and get revenue much quicker. 

3. You get more qualified leads. Though you send nurturing emails to the final number of contacts, you can get more high-quality leads and even customers if your content brings value. Your potential clients' colleagues, partners, connections, and friends can become your new leads through social media sharing, email forwarding, and referrals. 

And, vice versa, nurturing sequences eliminate low-quality leads with time. The closer you take your prospects to make a purchase, the less attractive your emails will become for non-relevant contacts. For example, users just needed to get some advice from your lead magnet and never planned to buy from you.  

4. You improve your sender reputation. Since nurturing campaigns boast higher open and click-through rates, these emails are a great and natural way to build your email address's domain reputation. Email providers' spam filters count for every interaction with your messages, determining if they are relevant for their service users. 

So, growing interaction with your recipients will show anti-spam algorithms that you're a reliable sender. And such authority is crucial for helping each lead nurturing email get into the inboxes of all mail providers. Otherwise, some messages might not reach your prospects at the most appropriate moment, landing in their junk folders. 

5. You get to know your audience. With email sequences, you can better understand who your potential clients are. You get a more detailed ideal customer profile by trying various content types, asking different questions, and offering multiple choices. You can also qualify leads and get a more engaged contact list, letting non-relevant users unsubscribe. Besides, you can better personalize your messages. 

That's possible because lead nurturing emails let you split the audience into smaller segments and, thus, address the pain points more effectively. Moreover, properly segmented emails have higher click-through rates, which means that a relevant call to action can turn your potential customers into buyers. 

But what are the best practices for creating effective email nurturing copy? Which principles should you follow to engage your audience and turn prospects into customers? 

Crafting a Lead Nurturing Email 

Here are the main features of emails that will help you convert leads into customers and do that within a minimum of time and money. That's what you need to do:

  • Qualify your leads. 

You'll need to score your leads to effectively address your prospects' pain points. Scoring means evaluating the sales funnel stage this contact currently belongs to. Your sales team or sales operations reps can qualify leads with questions in the opt-in form. However, keep the balance and don't overload newcomers with numerous fields on your opt-in form. Two to four lines are enough for the awareness stage. 

For example, you can sacrifice the last names of your subscribers to get their company names and the reasons they visited your web page. And, your sellers will know whether the lead is at the problem identification, information gathering, assessing offers, or purchase phase of the buying process.  

  • Include helpful advice or insights from experts. 

You can engage your audience only when every message of your email nurturing campaign helps potential buyers solve their problems or shows them some action plan, shares some expertise, or valuable insights. Your top managers are industry experts for your potential customer, so you should use your brand to gain their trust and build relationships. 

Give your prospects reasons to associate your company with bringing value rather than aggressive selling. Your email campaigns can refer to any relevant information within your niche, so it mustn't always be only your CEO's insights. Helpful tips, timely advice, major considerations, and top mistakes can be precious for your readers. 

  • Make your emails personal and timely.

Personalization of lead nurturing emails is essential for motivating your potential buyers. And calling them by their names and mentioning their companies aren't enough to help leads feel important and believe you didn't come to sell right away. And though it won't probably be possible to find out and refer to relevant events for each contact, there's another source of information –– their behavioral data. 

Analyze users' engagements with your product and services in detail. How long ago did you send your last email to this group of users? Did they subscribe to other newsletters or unsubscribe from some of your email campaigns? Even minor interaction can give you a good reason for personalization. 

  • Try to keep your message up to 130 words long.

Though marketers rely on emails because they're among the most effective communication channels with potential buyers, messages in your email campaign shouldn't overload prospects with information. Unfortunately, we see many examples of emails that are too long and hardly readable, and recipients have to figure out the value proposition. 

Eliminate all irrelevant CTAs (Calls To Action), keep the message focused on one topic, and not longer than 130 words. Also, ensure that the subject line is tied to the recent action, so users can quickly remember you. Multiple email marketing campaigns land in our inboxes daily, so help your leads understand the purpose of your email within several seconds. 

  • Send consistently.

Each lead nurturing email should be sent regularly to arrange smooth and continuous transfer of qualified leads through the sales funnel. This way, you'll keep your prospects engaged and interested in your content. Moreover, they should always have a possibility to convert: book a demo, download a free trial or make a purchase.

The reaction to your messages will help you create effective lead nurturing emails and keep the leads moving further. But if you send emails now and then, and their content isn't connected and relevant, readers will have to think back on who you are and why you write to them. 

  • Monitor the metrics.

Lead nurturing refers to building relationships with your potential customers, and some metrics can assess the effectiveness of your interaction. How many recipients opened your nurture email? Does this subject line work better than the previous one? Or did the click-through rates grow after you changed your content marketing approach?

Your marketing automation tool will probably keep track of all these metrics, so you'll have access to them in real-time. It's also vital to monitor the negative feedback to your email marketing campaigns, like the number of unsubscribes. That's because if the unsubscribe rate is higher than 5-6%, you need to reconsider your lead nurturing campaign

  • Follow your brand's tone of voice.

Every communication with your nurtured leads should not only bring value to them. Its other function is to represent your brand. From the subject line to the email signature, logo, pictures, wording, and your communication tone –– all these features create the image of your company. And these "details" are crucial for the success of your lead generation and nurturing. 

So, you shouldn't address your B2B audience too familiarly. On the other hand, sounding too official in lead nurturing campaigns can turn some future customers away. You need to know your prospects better and check best practices to avoid this. 

  • Adjust the email copy regularly.

A nurturing strategy isn't something you re-evaluate once a year. The economic situation changes quickly, and new products enter the market every day. So you need to reconsider email marketing approaches, try different subject lines, craft various copies, and test sending schedules. Sales teams will help better identify the stages of your customer journey and determine which leads refer to each segment. 

So, every lead nurturing email you craft has to follow the logic of your email marketing strategy, meet your prospects' needs and requirements, and offer solutions to their current and future problems. And all of these will never stay the same! 

Tech Stack for Launching a Nurture Email Campaign

Now you know what to consider when creating your lead nurturing email copy. You can segment your audience and craft relevant content for each group of leads. But you'll also need a couple of instruments to automate your email campaign and ensure your prospects won't have to take your messages out of the spam folder.  

Employ Automation Tools to Send Your Marketing Campaigns

In 2022, you probably don't have any doubt that digital marketing is impossible without email marketing automation. Luckily, many businesses already incorporate email sending tools into their best practices. And here’s why. 

Benefits of email automation

  • You can embrace more leads. There’s no difference between sending 10 or 300 emails a day for your tool, for it doesn't have to make 300 clicks. 
  • You can add personal details in seconds. Due to placeholders or dynamic tags, AI can automatically add personal data to every email.
  • You have better control over your outreach. Even the most responsible worker will never be as organized as an AI-powered tool. They never forget or misspell.
  • You can track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Most instruments offer decent analytics for you to measure how well-targeted your outreach is. So, your next decision will be 100% data-driven. 
  • Your sales and marketing teams work on other essential tasks. Automating routine email marketing tasks is a real treasure for your salespeople, marketers, and sales operations reps. 

Test Your Email Deliverability 

Email deliverability test 

Even seasoned businesses can sometimes learn that a lead nurturing email landed in the junk folder of their prospect. This results in decreasing engagement rates and lower conversions. So, you'll notice a fewer number of email openings and clicks on your links. And, with time, your revenues will also go down. 

But there's another bad news about going to spam. Your email address can get into blacklists if you don’t take action. And one day, your domain, despite the superior dynamic website content, will be blocked too. To prevent this, use email deliverability services to test your mailbox regularly.

Warmup tool

Newly registered email addresses aren't even ready for massive lead nurturing. So, you'll need professional assistance to gradually grow your daily email volume. This process is called email warmup, and it usually takes 6-8 weeks to get your mailbox ready. This time is necessary to prove to spam filters that your campaigns are authentic and engaging for the recipients. 

Email warmup tools imitate outreach activity, crafting relevant messages and sending them to the mailboxes of all popular email providers. And a team of professionals opens these emails, follows the links, sends back the replies, sets appointments, etc. Once your email appears in spam, they take it out and mark it important. This way, they can ensure your nurturing messages reach your audience. 

Wrapping Up

Every business needs to incorporate a lead nurturing plan into its email marketing. And to make it effective, you'll need to classify your leads, segment your audience, create a valuable and personalized copy, and pick up the right sending time. Moreover, you'll need to use a marketing automation instrument and an effective email testing tool like Folderly. Use the industry best practices to maximize your conversion rates and grow revenue. 

Do you need to grow your email deliverability right away? Try Folderly!

Vladislav Podolyako
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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