Are you seeing the desired results from your email campaigns? If you answer “no,” you’re not alone. Check and see if you’re missing any of these best practices in your marketing strategy:
- Create lead nurturing programs, not email marketing.
“Email marketing” oftentimes translates to sending one-off emails to customers, when companies want to promote activities such as product promotions, an event, or sales.
“Lead nurturing” is a process through which a company develops relationships with buyers at each stage of the buyer’s journey to educate and push leads through the sales funnel and eventually connect qualified leads to sales.
Lead nurturing programs encompass but are not limited to strategic email campaigns. These campaigns may last weeks, or even months. It’s important to keep the channel of communication open with prospects, even if they’re not looking to purchase immediately. According to Marketing Donut, “63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months—20% will take more than 12 months to buy.” A lead nurturing program allows you to keep your brand top-of-mind for the prospect, and can potentially accelerate the decision process.
- Make sure you are targeting the right audience and segmenting email recipients by the stages of the buyer’s journey.
Generic emails that are sent out to broad audiences generally do not perform well, in terms of both CTRs and conversion rates, because of a variety of factors. Users are less likely to interact with email blasts, with content that may not be relevant to them.
Lead nurturing programs address this issue by identifying and creating targeted content for different industries and/or different personas, for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Leverage all of the information you have—for existing customers, use purchase history, buying preferences, and past behaviors to segment your audiences.
- Improve your campaigns with personalized content.
Every effort should be made to send relevant information to your prospects. Personalized content, based on information such as your prospect’s industry, role, or other profile attributes will increase your campaign’s likelihood of success. According to Salesforce, “personalized emails improve click-through-rates by 14%.”[i]
- Include one clear call-to-action per email.
Each email should have one and only one call-to-action (CTA). Having a singular CTA increases the chances that your lead will engage in the right activity and progress to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
The CTA could be a webinar sign-up, a white paper download, a click-through to a blog post, or another interaction with other types of content marketing assets.
When appropriate, personalize your calls-to-action. According to Hubspot, personalized CTAs drive 42% higher conversion rate than generic CTAs. [ii]
- Track all lead activities, not just email clicks.
Email opens and click-through rates do not accurately indicate the success of an email campaign on their own. Your campaign should not only track email activity, but also use those activities to score your leads to identify the prospect’s stage in the buying cycle and determine whether or not the prospect is sales-ready.
Key metrics to track for lead nurturing include: unsubscribe rates, conversion rates, time-to-customer conversion, cost of customer acquisition, and customer lifetime value.
By creating lead nurture programs with targeted audiences, personalized content, and clear calls-to-action, your email campaigns will be more likely to resonate with your audiences. In addition, tracking your lead throughout your email campaigns will enable you to identify when to pass leads from marketing to sales.
Interested in learning more? Read our whitepaper on how to transform leads into customers with next generation lead nurturing.