Have you ever received an e-mail that piqued your interest? Perhaps it spoke to a relevant business conundrum you were facing, or contained an offer that came just in the nick of time. Despite what you may assume, this is no coincidence. With segmented or “trip-wire” e-mail marketing, it is possible to deliver targeted messages that directly meet the unique interests and needs of prospects. Here are a few steps you can follow to develop lead nurturing e-marketing campaigns that transform prospects into clients.
1.) Create Offers: Last week I was listening to a business mentor give a presentation, and was really interested in one piece of advice he gave: “if you want people to do something for you, do something for them first”. This advice is the foundational premise of e-mail marketing. Give your prospects something that is of value to them. Offers come in many forms, and in order to create effective ones, you have to know a little bit about your target audience. What are they interested in? What do they want to learn about? What are their goals? What problems do they face? Here is what you may consider offering:
- An e-book download
- A whitepaper
- A free consultation
- Access to free calculators
- A free weekly newsletter with information of value to them
2.) Develop Call-To-Action’s (CTA): Once you’ve created some offers, you must somehow entice your audience to access them. This is where the CTA comes in. A CTA creates a sense of urgency and direction for your audience. An example of a CTA would be “Download our FREE Retirement E-Book!”. Alongside the CTA should be a form. The form is where the prospect must (at least) submit their e-mail address to access the offer. It’s up to you if you want them to provide more information, like their name or company. Here are some avenues you may consider for your CTA:
- Download buttons (like the one shown above)
- Forms on your website
- CTA’s on social media
- Landing pages that specifically prompt people to take advantage of the offers.
3.) Funnels: Let’s say that Sally, a 45-year old widow on the brink of retirement, signs up to access a retirement calculator on your website. Once she signs up, her e-mail address should be segmented into a drip e-mail campaign. A drip e-mail campaign is a sequence of e-mails that prospects receive over a fixed amount of time. The content in the e-mails should relate to the offer they opt in to. For example, if Sally opts in to access to a retirement calculator, she should start receive emails pertaining to retirement planning.
4.) Automated E-Mails: So we know Sally opted to access the free retirement calculator, so how many e-mails should you send her? How should the emails be organized? How often should you send them? My recommendation is to send five emails over the course of 1-2 months. There are various schools of thought when it comes to how you should schedule the automation, but this is what I’ve found to be the most effective. Here are some additional pointers for the e-mails:
- Always give direction: What actions do you want the prospect to take? Do you want them to visit your blog? Do you want them to opt into your weekly e-newsletter? Getting your prospects more and more involved with your company is one of the many goals you should have with e-marketing.
- Be conversational and keep it concise: Would you read an e-mail that was super long and boring? Probably not. Neither will your prospects.
- Start Soft, End Strong: The first 2-3 e-mails that your clients receive should be somewhat soft (from a sales perspective). In other words, don’t ask the prospect to come visit you in your office for a one-on-one in the very first e-mail. Instead, establish some credibility and comfort first. Direct them to your blog or video library so they can learn more about your firm. After they’ve already received several e-mails, you can then consider requesting a consultation or meeting.
5.) When the campaign ends: When the drip e-mail campaign ends, you have several options for how you proceed.
- If you haven’t heard from Sally, you may consider giving her a call to see if she has any questions or is interested.
- If Sally is not currently interested in your service, do what you can to stay in front of her in the months to come. Do this by sending e-mails to her one or twice every month or prompting her to sign up for other offers you have. According to MarketingSherpa, 70% of your leads will end up buying something from you or one of your competitors, but they won’t do it right away!
- Evaluate the analytics of your campaigns. This is essential for being successful with e-marketing. In essence, see what people are engaging with and clicking on the most and re-work your campaigns according to what gets the most traction and conversions.