Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. Learn how to engage with and nurture your prospects and customers.
This is the second in a three-part series, courtesy of Hatchbuck Marketing Automation Software.
Measure for Success
Let’s track a few baseline email marketing metrics that you can measure against down the road to track your growth and success.
- On average, how many emails do you send each month?
- What is your email open rate?
- What is your email click-through rate?
- What is your email bounce rate?
- What is your email unsubscribe rate?
- What is your email spam rate?
- What is the length of your sales cycle? (how long does it take to close a deal?)
- How many touch points does it take to close a deal? (emails, calls, etc.)
Learn Email Marketing Basics
Before reaching out to your contacts with email, let’s cover some of the basic terms and principals of email marketing.
Bounce: An email that is not accepted by the receiving server. An email can bounce from having an unknown username, nonexistent domain name, or full inbox.
Bulk Email: Also known as an “email blast” and also as a “mass email,” a bulk email is one email sent to an entire list of contacts, not taking into account their unique traits or interests.
Call to Action: Each email you send has a purpose, and you should be thinking about the action you want your contacts to take when they open and read your email. Your call to action could be to download a guide, check out a blog post or contact a sales rep. You can use click-through rate to measure the effectiveness of your call to action.
Click-Through Rate: The ratio of the number of contacts who clicked the call to action link in your email divided by the number of contacts who received your email. Clicks/Emails Sent.
Deliverability: Of total emails sent, how many actually make it to the inbox without bouncing or being blocked by an ESP.
Subject Line: The subject line is the first impression of your email and determines whether your contact will open the email or not. Your goal is to write a compelling subject line that increases your open rate.
Open Rate: The ratio of the number of contacts who opened your email divided by the number of contacts who received your email. Opens/Emails Sent.
Opt-Ins: Contacts, or subscribers to your list who have granted you permission to email them.
Email Campaign: A series of emails sent over a period of time that are tied to a specific marketing goal.
Email Nurturing: The alternative to sending a bulk email, email nurturing sends the right email to the right person at the right time. By communicating with leads with relevant email over time, you create more sales-ready opportunities.
Email service provider (ESP): The ESP is the organization that allows businesses to send marketing emails and send emails in bulk.
Landing Page: A page on your website that is linked to from an email’s call to action. This page can have a form that contacts can fill out to receive additional information directly related to products or services promoted in the email.
List Segmentation: Filtered selection of contacts for whom your email message is relevant. When send to a segment of your list, click-through and open-rates increase, while bounce rates and spam complaints decline.
Personalization: Using information you already know about your contacts to send them a more relevant message. Personalization can include refering to the contact by their first name, referencing a previous purchase, or addressing a pain-point specific to them.
Spam: Unsolicited, unwanted emails – you know the kind.
Spam Complaints: Contacts who marked your email as spam.
Unsubscribers: Contacts who opted-out of your emails. Email marketing best practice is to not email these contacts again unless they resubscribe.
Getting The Most Emails to the Inbox
The more your contacts engage with your emails, the more likely your emails will reach the inbox and generate sales. To increase the impact of your marketing emails, your focus should be on:
- Increasing open rates
- Increasing click-through rates
- Decreasing bounce rate
- Decreasing unsubscribes
- Decreasing spam complaints
That may seem like a lot of metrics to impact, but the good news is, starting off with a clean list of good contacts makes a positive impact on each of these metrics.
Attracting your ideal customers with Hatchbuck forms is a great start to building a solid email list, but you want to be careful about any old lists you imported into Hatchbuck.
To start off on the right foot, you want to make sure your list is fresh and clean. The worst thing you can do is to blast a bulk email to an old, cold list of contacts. Here’s why:
- Contacts who did not opt-in to your email list may mark you as spam.
- Old contacts who opted-in a long time ago, but haven’t heard from you in a while may have forgotten that they opted-in, causing them to unsubscribe or mark you as spam.
- Old email addresses may no longer be active, causing your email to bounce.
- Contacts on your list who never open your emails have a negative impact on your overall engagement rates.
So before you press “send” in Hatchbuck for the first time, we strongly recommend that you take these steps:
- Send a re-engagement email to old contacts, re-opting them into your list to decrease spam complaints.
- Remove people from your list who have received several emails from you, but are not opening them to increase engagement rates.
- Remove any bad or faulty email addresses from your list to decrease bounce rates.
A clean email list is a giant leap toward reducing bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints. At the same time, because you’re sending to a list of clean, engaged prospects, your open rates and click-through rates rise.
Personalize and Nurture
Now that you’ve got the email marketing basics down and your list is clean, you’re headed in the right direction to boost engagement with your emails. The next step is to nurture leads over time with the right content delivered to the right person at the right time.
When it comes to modern marketing, personalization is key. In fact, personalized, relevant emails drive 18 times
more revenue than broadcast emails? (Source: Jupiter Research)
When you communicate with your prospects in a way that applies to them personally, open rates and click-through rates improve, while unsubscribes and spam complaints decline. With better email metrics, overall deliverability increases, meaning you can reach even more inboxes with your message and your brand.
Right Person. Right Message. Right Time.
Previously, you may have sent email blasts or monthly newsletters to tell all of your leads and customers about new products, services, and special offers – regardless of their unique interests or the customer snapshot they fell into.
Hatchbuck excels at helping you go from the one-to-many email blast to one-on-one personalized email nurturing.
With email nurturing, instead of reaching everyone at once with the same message, you reach out to the right person, with the right message, at the right time.
The Right Person
In part 1 of this series, you took the time to map out your customer snapshots. This is such an important step to sending personalized email. Now that your list is segmented by the customer snapshots your contacts fall into, it’s much easier to create messaging that feels like it was meant just for them.
For example, say you’re a travel agent and one of your customer snapshots is “Retired Ruth.” Think about Retired Ruth, her motivations and her challenges as you write an email for contacts that fall in your Retired Ruth segment. Instead of sending a generic newsletter with all of your popular destinations, you can get much more personal, tapping into this segment’s pain-points and eliciting a bigger response to your email:
Wish you could get the family back together again for the holidays?
Take the kids and grandkids on an Alaskan cruise!
The Right Content
Not every contact on your list is ready for your sales pitch. Building unique, value-added content for your email communication helps leads and customers solve their greatest challenges, building trust and loyalty in your brand.
Developing content sounds like a lot of work, right? But it can actually be pretty simple if you think about the biggest challenges your prospects face. It can be as easy as listing the most frequently asked questions you receive. Address those challenges to create value-added content that can include any (or all!) of the following:
- Blog Posts
- Case Studies
- Personalized follow-up emails
- Reports and surveys
- White papers, guides and ebooks
- Social media posts
The Right Time
Everyone is at a different stage of the buying journey (Just Looking, Shopping, Buying). Consider this: Stats show that on average, 50% of your leads are qualified, but just not ready to buy. (Source: Gleanster)
Say you’re into urban farming and have a backyard chicken coop. You wouldn’t just start cracking eggs and expect baby chicks to come out. Nope, you’d nurture each one until it was ready to hatch.
Your leads are the same way. A few are ready to buy today. But the big opportunity is with the rest of your leads who aren’t ready to buy today, but will be ready to buy down the road. If you carefully nurture your relationship with them over time, you’ll be first in line when they are ready to buy.
To drive home the point: Only 20% of your leads are sales-ready when they come in. Of the remaining marketing leads, 79% never convert into sales, often due to a lack of nurturing and follow-up. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
Imagine if you could turn even a portion of the remaining 79% of leads into customers. You can, if you nurture your contacts over time with targeted email nurturing campaigns.
Build an Email Campaign
An email nurturing campaign is simply a series of emails that are sent over time. With Hatchbuck, you can create personalized email nurturing campaigns that are relevant to your contacts.
Any time a contact visits a page on your website, fills out a form on your website, or clicks a link in your email, Hatchbuck can add tags to that contact to indicate which customer snapshot they fall into and what they are most interested in.
Now that they are tagged, you can put them on a relevant email campaign and nurture them until they are ready to buy. To get them closer to the sale, think about their journey as a buyer:
Just Looking: At first, your leads are just doing a little window shopping. Your goal is to introduce them to your brand by sending them content on a general pain-point they may have.
Shopping: Eventually, your leads will be ready to shop around. Now that you’ve been introduced, you can increase their interest by offering a solution to a common problem they face, building their trust.
Ready to Buy: It’s decision time for your leads! You’ve increased their trust in your brand by helping them address an issue. Now help them explore the solution set your business offers.
Closed: They’ve become a customer – bingo! But nurturing doesn’t stop here. Continue to nurture your customer by helping them tackle the next problem you can solve, up-selling and cross-selling your products.
Bringing It All Together
Let’s go back to our travel agent example. You have a form on your site where visitors can download, “10 Best Group Tours for Seniors.” Contacts who fill out that form fall right into your “Retired Ruth” customer snapshot. You can automatically start a “Retired Ruth” email campaign for anyone who fills out that form.
Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (Source: DemandGen Report). Nurturing leads with relevant emails over time increases sales and marketing efficiency so you can increase revenue without adding more team members. It’s scalable growth that pays.
Download the PDF – Engage with Prospects and Customers.