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Email marketing is arguably the most profitable inbound marketing tactic – newsletters and email blasts are often simple to create, don’t cost anything to send out and can reach thousands of people with one click. That being said, careful consideration still needs to be taken when generating and nurturing leads via email – it’s much more of an art than it once was.
Advancements like CAN-SPAM and email filtering have made downloading email lists and sending unsolicited emails very dangerous. To truly communicate with their leads, marketers must slowly build an opt-in list over time and send emails that they will be happy to receive.
Most B2B marketers define a lead as someone who fills out a form or downloads a resource, like a brochure or whitepaper. But just because someone has taken that action doesn’t necessarily mean that they are planning on making a purchase or signing an agreement. They are probably just satisfying a curiosity. Think of all the times you’ve browsed a website for the first time – were you actively interested in their product or service right away?
When it comes to sending lead nurturing emails, one size doesn’t fit all. Many of your leads are in different stages of the buying cycle and therefore should receive different information. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to send pricing information to a first-time visitor.
Nurturing leads takes a lot more finesse than simply sending them a sales-y email as soon as they fill out a form. Instead, take that curiosity that they came to your site with and shape it into an interest. How? Send them resources similar to the ones they downloaded so that they can become more knowledgeable about your products or services over time.
However, if a person has filled out a form or downloaded something from your website, then the reality is that they have probably done so on several other sites as well – especially if they are a B2B professional. So how can your emails stand out against all of the other nurturing emails they receive in a week? The second part of effective lead nurturing is email design.
Here are five email design elements that will help your business stand out and increase communication with your leads:
A vague, uninteresting subject line can keep people from even opening an email, much less reading it. There are a few ways to write a good subject line:
- Include exciting, action-oriented words that grab your leads’ attention
- Include subjects that speak to their challenges or pain points
- Make it apparent that there is an offer waiting for them inside (i.e. a free eBook)
- Personalize the subject line with the leads’ first name
As mentioned, your business is probably not the only one sending them lead nurturing emails. To make sure yours isn’t the one that bores them to death or causes them to opt out, keep it short and concise. Remember: your emails are not like blogs – they do not aim to inform. They aim to point your leads in the direction of content and resources that inform.
Like I said, yours shouldn’t be the most boring email in their inbox – it should be one they look forward to getting. Use colors and images that match your company branding and reinforce your ideas.
4. Social links
Now that you know what your emails should look like, let’s talk about what to put in them that will help your leads move further down the sales funnel. Give them a way to share your content and engage with you through other media by including social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
5. Call to action
To guide your leads to the next step in their learning or information-gathering process, provide them with a call to action (CTA) linking them to the next blog post, eBook, whitepaper, webinar related to the same topic they were initially curious about. They will be thankful for these helpful resources and begin to see your business as a valuable source.
Email marketing is still considered one of the most effective marketing tactics to move leads further down the sales funnel, but for the best results, make sure you use it wisely.