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  • Nick Bhavsar

How to create a lead nurturing email campaign that converts

Updated: Oct 20, 2020


In a recent 2019 Hubspot marketing research, marketers revealed their top two greatest challenges. 63% of marketers reported that generating traffic and leads is the biggest challenge they face with 40% reporting that proving the effectiveness of their marketing spend and ROI on b2b marketing activities is their second biggest challenge.


As a marketer, I wholeheartedly understand their challenges. Marketers are constantly challenged to prove the value they bring to the table. Their contribution and effectiveness are measured by the plethora of quality leads they acquire and their influence over conversion rates.

While these top two challenges are undoubtedly big challenges, they are challenges that can be overcome. One effective strategy to generate quality sales-ready leads that convert is to create a lead nurture email marketing campaign along with email newsletters. With the right email marketing strategies in place you can dramatically improve your customer conversion.

Case in point, while leading several marketing teams at a B2B company, my marketing team tested a lead nurture email marketing campaign and tracked the engagement level with each market asset. In doing so, we ran some data to determine how effective the email nurture campaign would be in converting potential customers based on the number of inquiries the prospective contact made.


An inquiry is defined as engaging a contact with a relevant marketing asset. Examples include watching a webinar, reading a report or an article, or any other form of successful interaction between the prospect and a marketing asset.

In reviewing the data from the test, the data revealed that when a contact participated in only one inquiry such as consuming a gated marketing content, we saw a 0.30% conversion from prospective contact to a buying customer. However, we found that with just one more inquiry, the conversion jumped up to 2% - a 566% increase in conversion!


While there were fewer prospects who participated in two inquiries versus one, it gave our marketing team the proof point they needed to reset its marketing strategy and goal to drive higher engagement with new leads. These automated emails should be included into your broader content marketing strategy and robust testing should be done on elements such as subject lines.

As we increased the number of inquiries each contact engaged with, we continued to see an increase in conversion. At four inquiries, we saw customer conversion jump to 6.3%. In other words, one out of 15 prospects that interacted with four or more inquiries became a customer!


We saw this conversion throughout the funnel as expected. This meant prospects converted through the pipeline much faster and better as they engaged with more relevant marketing assets.

The increased conversion rate is especially true for larger B2B transactions which typically take much longer to convert and require even more engagement with subsequent inquiries. While lead generation often gets all the glory in marketing, we can see that much of the real demand is generated after the first inquiry. This is where effective lead nurturing begins.

Save Time Using a Template to Create a Lead Nurturing Campaign

So, how do you go about creating an effective lead nurturing campaign that engages prospective contacts from the initial touch point to the point of converting them to a buying customer?

Email.

Email marketing still reigns king as the primary lead nurturing strategy. Despite loads of new social media platforms and channels to reach and engage your prospects, email still rules them all. With an average ROI calculation of $44 return on every $1 spent, email remains one of the most effective ways to engage prospects and get them to convert to those loving paying preaching customers!

One of the most effective email marketing tools is email nurturing. With modern marketing automation, it’s easy to pull your email list together and tailor the message your prospects receive based on where they are in their buying process. Email personalization improves your open rates and click-through rates and ultimately your customer conversion rates.

Creating an email nurture campaign however can be cumbersome, complicated, and tedious so we’ve made it easier for you here with a base template to help you get started in building your own email drip campaign. There are changes you should make to adapt the template to your use case but this template should give you a framework to think about when creating your own. For example, if you market to different personas, consider creating a different nurture series for each persona.


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The email nurture template walks prospects through each decision stage of the buyer’s journey. We start with the top of the funnel, move them from a place of Awareness and Consideration to the bottom of the funnel to Decision and Advocacy. In this example, we use a fictitious SaaS company, Cookie Monster.


Cookie Monster has a cloud-based platform where employers can schedule rewards such as cookie delivery to recognize their employees. Before taking on any email nurturing, you should carefully evaluate your sales process to personalize what messages your prospects should receive at each stage in their sales funnel.

In the first stage of the template (Awareness), Cookie Monster’s goal is to educate prospects about the challenges in employee recognition. Most likely, the prospect was added to the database from some relevant content download and we want to frame the problem of employee recognition in a way that positions Cookie Monster as the best option.


Consider what category your B2B offering plays in and how to best position your solution. At this stage, it’s important to simply educate your prospect about the problem that your solution is solving. For many Saas solutions, the primary goal of this stage is to get the prospect to start a trial of their solution. Your solution may have a different call-to-action at this stage.

Once the prospect has started a trial, in our next stage (Consideration), we want to make sure they log in and use the trial. The content in this stage is designed to give the prospect reasons to log in and test out the solution. Ultimately, we want to convince the prospect to accept a meeting with a sales rep who can connect the challenges that they have (employee recognition) to the solution that we have (Cookie Monster).


If your marketing automation does not have a way to recognize when a user logs into the trial, consider simply driving towards the initial meeting occurring with your sales team at which point an opportunity is typically opened.

Once a sales meeting has occurred, we now want to help the salesperson communicate that Cookie Monster’s solution is THE solution to solve their challenge. Why is Cookie Monster the best option to solve employee recognition? Who else is using Cookie Monster, how do they make their purchase decision, and how do they justify spending money on it? (Decision)


After they become a customer (Advocacy), it’s important to continue the conversation and follow-up with your new customer. We need to think of these new customers' long term impact on our business and develop their customer lifetime journey thoughtfully.


Our goal is to minimize the number of unsubscribes, grow our opt-in, and for our customers to become raving fans. Consider nudging your new customer to share how they are using Cookie Monster with other prospects. Get started with using this powerful lead nurturing email campaign template to boost the conversion of your funnel today!

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