How to map out your email marketing efforts to nurture leads

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You might believe email marketing is no longer effective – or becoming too difficult – to generate new customers.

You would be wrong.

Yes, we are receiving more emails than ever, and your current email marketing efforts may end up being less effective. However, if done correctly, it is a powerful tool to nurture leads into paying customers!

Tools such as Mailchimp, Getresponse, Aweber, etc. make it easier for businesses to send an email blast, but that is partly the issue. Sending emails are too easy, and people are not paying enough time to map out their email marketing efforts.

Today, I will discuss how you can map out your email marketing to nurture leads.

The smart way to send emails

According to Wikipedia, the purpose of email marketing is to “enhance the relationship” with “current or previous customers”. Most of the emails are:

  • Not relevant
  • Not interesting
  • Not informational
  • Not for me

In an ideal world, each email should have a time, place, and target audience. Instead of firing off your next bunch of emails, have a think about mapping out a lead nurturing email campaign.

The whole idea of lead nurturing is to develop your relationships at each stage of the sales journey.

How frustrating is it when a salesperson tries to sell you something when you are just browsing?

Understand your customer's lifecycle

Before we talk about what to include in your email marketing campaign, we first must address the customer’s lifecycle. What you send to customers depends largely on where they sit in the marketing funnel, so you will have to figure this out to ensure that you send the right thing.

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Source: Brewing Hot

To successful nurture leads into paying customers, you will need to map out each stage of the sales process at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.

Top of funnel (Awareness Stage)

At this stage, your prospects have realised they have a problem or opportunity. They want you to provide valuable information to help them solve their problem. You want to avoid talking about your solution i.e. features.

Examples of what to include in your top of the funnel/awareness stage emails include:

  • Sympathise with their problems
  • Quick tips
  • Share your theory
  • Ask a question

I’d highly recommend you provide additional information and links to resources such as:

  • Whitepaper / Guides
  • Relevant blog articles/posts
  • How-to videos
  • Checklists

When emailing prospects who are at the top of the funnel in the awareness stage, it is especially important to send the right types of emails. Your goal is to get prospects to open your emails and nurture them down the marketing funnel. If you try selling too soon, you will end up turning customers away, so tread lightly in the early stages of email marketing.

For example, if your business is a travel agency, you could provide a free packing checklist, a blog post on the best places to visit in Europe, or an eBook on unique day trips in Peru.

Middle of the funnel (Consideration Stage)

Once you have nurtured leads from the top of the funnel to the consideration stage, you can start providing them with more in-depth information.

Prospects in the middle of the sales funnel are already aware of their problem and looking for solutions. At this stage, you can provide them more information about the solution and address specific questions or concerns your customers may have. It is now a great time to demonstrate how your solution can help them get what they desire.

Just as with top of the funnel emails, you want to avoid coming on too strong. Speak naturally, do not try to sell, and it’s probably not the best time to talk too much about your business.

Examples of content to include in middle of the funnel/consideration stage emails include:

  • What experts say
  • Features and benefits
  • Product literature
  • Tutorials

Now is a great opportunity to send them links to more technical resources such as:

  • Advanced eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Webinars

For example, an inbound marketing agency could provide a case study on “How inbound marketing techniques increase website leads by 300%” or a webinar on “What marketing channels are the most effective”, which showcases their solution.

Bottom of the funnel emails

Once you have nurtured leads through the middle of the funnel/consideration stage, they will be aware of your solution and how it can help them.

At this stage, the intent is to convince leads to purchase from you. Bottom of the funnel emails will be more about why they should select you. Use benefit-orientated content that clearly communicates your unique value proposition (USP).

Here are some email ideas to encourage prospects to make a purchase decision:

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews

Content to include in bottom of funnel emails to entice customers:

  • Free trials/samples
  • Free assessment
  • Discounts

Let’s say you run a software company. Some options you can offer leads at the intent and purchase stage include a free one-month trial or 20% off their monthly subscription for the first six months.

How to move customers through your marketing funnel

Now that you know how to nurture leads through the sales funnel, it’s time to implement these tips.

The best way to nurture leads through the sales funnel to become customers is with workflows and email automation. Workflows and email automation allow you to automate your email sequences to be sent at specific times, without requiring extra effort on your part.

For example, you can set up a workflow to send a top of the funnel email when a lead subscribes to your newsletter or fills out another call to action on your website or social media. You can establish emails to be sent when a lead downloads a resource, clicks a link, or visits a specific page on your website.

Software like Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Infusionsoft allows you to set up email automation easily so that you can nurture leads through the sales funnel with minimal effort. Need help to implement your first workflows and to manage your marketing campaigns? Get in touch with Inbound Marketing Agency today and we’ll do the hard work for you.

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