When executed correctly, email nurturing campaigns can help push potential customers along the sales funnel. It can take some time for a consumer to recognize and trust your company and its products; lead nurturing emails can help keep your products or services front-of-mind.

These kinds of campaigns can help your company develop and maintain a stronger relationship with your customer at every stage of his or her purchasing journey. All you need to get started is an email list and one of the many email marketing systems available.

Five Email Nurturing Best Practices

For best results, make sure that your email list is opt-in, meaning people have agreed to receive your notices. Furthermore, in order to comply with FTC laws, you must make sure that you always have a clear "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of each email.

Here are five tips to help you ensure that your email nurturing campaign is as successful as possible:

  1. Be Relevant
    Make sure that the emails are relevant to your target audience. It's best to send information, ideas, tips and other non-sales materials early on in the nurturing cycle, as this will will help: (a) raise awareness about an issue or opportunity they were not aware of; (b) raise their curiosity about new ways of doing things; and (c) make them understand your products or services are more relevant to them than they might have realized.
  2. Keep Your Messages Short
    An email nurturing message differs from a customer newsletter in its brevity and focus; strive to keep your messages short and sweet. Highlight an important product benefit or a useful fact, but don't cram too much information into each email.
  3. Don't Ask for the Sale (Yet)
    In order to close sales, a nurturing sequence should cultivate desire over time. As such, you should avoid making your call-to-action too prominent in early emails. By the end of the sequence, customer desire for the product will hopefully be increased by the prior emails.
  4. Measure It
    If you are using content offers (such as free downloads, articles about your product, recipes or videos) in each email, you should measure the open and click-through rates for each. By comparing the metrics, you can determine which type of message your customers respond to the best, which can help you to better plan for the next sequence.
  5. Test It
    Part of the beauty of email marketing lies in its ability to provide data, and the ease with which you can use this data to test ideas. You should test new subject lines, content, downloads, offers and more by sending an equal number of emails to a control group and a test group to see which performs best. This is often called A/B testing.

These email nurturing best practices can be implemented manually, but you also have the option of using an autoresponder to send a pre-programmed set of messages automatically to your email list at specific intervals you set in advance. Make sure you are in compliance with any applicable laws. When in doubt, check with your legal counsel.

Email nurturing can be an effective way of turning leads into sales. With these ideas, you can use your email list to its full potential.

Tags: Email market research Marketing Campaigns Business Strategy Sales