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Principles for Developing a Successful Email Lead Nurturing Campaign

Principles for Creating a Successful Email Lead Nurturing Campaign

Category:  Demand Generation  B2B Sales  Qualified Sales  Lead Nurturing  High-Quality Leads  Content Marketing  


Email lead nurturing

What do you do with your leads that aren’t yet ready to buy? If the answer is let them languish in your database, learn how to turn them into sales-ready leads with an email lead nurturing campaign.


Many of my high-tech clients use email for nurturing their “not yet sales ready” leads. They typically set up an auto responder-type campaign in their email system to regularly send relevant, high-value information to their B or C-level leads for a specific time period.

Each of the emails addresses one of the prospect’s pain points and has a call-to-action that links to useful information on their website, such as a white paper, brief product video, case study, etc.

If you'd like to do something similar, here are principles that will help you create a successful lead nurturing campaign:


1. Define Your Target Audience and Frequency of Email Delivery

Start by defining your target audience, their pain points, content you can offer them that addresses those pain points, and how often they should receive emails from you.

Let’s say a SaaS company wants to nurture its B & C level leads. These leads haven’t scored high enough to warrant turning them over to Sales yet, but they do want to nurture them and stay top of mind in case the prospect starts actively evaluating solutions like theirs.

First, they tightly define the target audience for the campaign: VPs of Information Technology who have indicated some prior level of interest in their service – either by signing up for something on their website or stopping by their booth at a tradeshow.

They decide to send prospects one email per month for six months. Each email focuses on one of the prospect's most important paint points and includes a call-to-action to additional helpful information like a white paper, blog post, etc.


2. Build Nurture Campaigns for Specific Sales Stages

It's important to build nurture campaigns around the sales cycle stage for the prospect. For instance, if a prospect is in an early sales cycle stage, such as Awareness, the information you can offer in your emails should be high-level and educational – maybe a link to an analyst’s article or a blog post discussing industry trends.

If the prospect is in a later stage, like Evaluation, you might want to offer comparison-type information that helps them compare your solution against your competitors, such a white paper focused on ROI or case study discussing benefits their customers received from using their product.

This is an important step as it helps address your prospect's current pain points. If you do this well, it's far more likely your emails will be read and acted upon.



3. Integrate Sales Touches with Your Email Campaign

Although we don’t want to scare prospects off, I think it’s a good idea to integrate touches from your sales team with your email nurture campaigns.

We typically have the sales team send a personalized email to a prospect after the first three automated emails are sent. The email sent by Sales is friendly, non-threatening and helpful – it asks if they’d like more information about any of the topics we’ve already sent, or if they have questions Sales can answer.

You can also integrate phone calls from Sales into this campaign – but be careful not to overdo it. You don’t want to turn prospects off if they’re not ready, or interested, in talking to you.


4. Track Results and Tweak

The goal is track the action the prospect takes with each email. It’s easiest to do this a marketing automation platforms like Eloqua or Marketo.

Based on the prospect’s actions, you can get a pretty good idea if a lead seems sales-ready or if it needs more nurturing. For instance, if a prospect opens email #2 and clicks on the link, we can easily track that action. If they also download the white paper that was the call-to-action in the email, then we can assume they have some level of interest in the white paper’s topic.

If our prospect opens subsequent emails and downloads additional information, we can start to understand what topics they’re interested in.  After a pattern of downloads, the sales team can intelligently reach out to our prospect to start a discussion on any of these topics.

On an aggregate level, if your emails aren't being opened or garnering any clicks, some tweaking might need to be done to the copy or the message. Evaluate each email's performance - if one isn't holding it's weight, re-evaluate what changes need to be made.

Learn More About Lead Nurturing

Here are more popular articles on lead nurturing:

"How to Ensure Your Webinar's Success with Lead Nurturing"

"How Lead Nurturing Helps You Close More Deals"


Need Help Building an Email Nurture Campaign?

There are two important steps to building a successful email nurture campaign where I often see companies stumble:

1. Sending out high-value, helpful content
2. Writing concise emails that are persuasive and powerful.

If you need help creating a nurture campaign or copywriting emails, contact me. I’ve built these types of campaigns for high tech audiences and can plan the email strategy, frequency of delivery, content themes, and copywrite the emails.

I'll show you email samples I’ve written for other companies, and we can discuss how to turn your B &C level leads into A’s.


Have you used lead nurturing for your not-quite sales ready leads? What's your approach and how has it worked for you?


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