A Step-By-Step Guide to Building an Email Nurture Campaign

Email Nurture Campaign illustration with woman nurturing plants with a water can

Leads are integral to your business, and nurturing them will help you turn them into loyal customers. Lead nurturing is a strategy to build a relationship with leads and guide them through the sales funnel. 

As you tell them more about your brand, you have a chance to warm them up until they’re ready to convert. You’ll do this by sending a series of email messages based on your customer behavior called an email nurture campaign.

You can include any type of content in your nurture emails, but before we get into the specifics, let’s learn the basics of lead nurturing: definitions, importance, best practices, and take a look at email nurture sequence templates.

What is an Email Nurture Campaign?

A lead nurture campaign is a set of emails you send to leads based on the type of action they take with your marketing touchpoints. As soon as a lead signs up for your list or downloads content from your website, they become a part of your nurture campaign strategy.

These email sequences are an opportunity to introduce your uniqueness and show your leads why they should choose your brand. Send them content that educates, builds awareness, and increases trust in your business.

Your nurture sequences will be more effective when you add personalized elements. Personalization in emails improves click-through-rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. 

For example, customize the subject line with your lead’s name and the topic of interest, include relevant body copy, and send consistent messages based on their behavior and past actions. This will ensure they open your emails and increase the chances of conversion.

To effectively use personalization in your nurture emails, you must know what your audience wants and needs. So, let’s learn about the email nurture campaign process.

How Does Lead Nurturing Work?

Lead nurturing emails are part of inbound marketing strategy — a practice that lets you build lasting relationships with prospects. By providing valuable content, you ensure your leads succeed at every stage of the buyer’s journey. When you empower your leads, they’re more likely to share their success stories with others in their network. This can boost brand awareness and help you generate even more leads in the process. 

Lead nurturing helps you meet your leads’ wants and desires and provide them with the right information at the right time. Your potential customers can have different types of interactions with your brand. They may subscribe to your blog, add items to the cart, sign up for a webinar, or download a piece of content. 

To keep them engaged, you can send them cart reminders, coupon codes, or other relevant content to encourage them to make a purchase. 

You can also send them:

  • Welcome emails,
  • Onboarding email sequences,
  • Product or service information,
  • Case studies and testimonials, 
  • Follow-up emails,
  • Feedback requests.

Certainly, you can do much more with your lead nurturing emails if you have the right email marketing strategy for your business. 

Does Your Business Need a Lead Nurture Campaign?

The answer is: yes, your business needs it. Without an email nurture campaign, your potential customers are likely to forget about your brand. As you engage them with product information and offers, you build a strong case for why your leads must convert. When you send more personalized offers and signify your brand value, it eventually increases conversions and sales.

Lead nurture campaigns are a must if your business involves:

  • Highly competitive industry: Lead nurturing is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and be the first to offer solutions to your leads’ problems.
  • Long sales cycle: If you’re a B2B, and your product requires a lengthy decision-making process, lead nurturing can help you stay in touch until your leads are ready to buy.
  • Information-seeking audience: If your target audience researches and reads a lot, lead nurture campaigns can help them make informed decisions. You will also build an authority in your industry.
  • Multiple touchpoints: When your industry requires your leads to go through various stages of conversion before making a purchase, lead nurture campaigns are the best way to educate and engage them.

To accomplish these objectives, you can send your leads multiple emails, with the help of triggers; a certain action by the lead (such as signing up for your newsletter). This is called a lead nurture email sequence. 

How is a Lead Nurturing Email Sequence Helpful? 

Once a customer takes an action, you can send them relevant information in a series of emails. For example, when a customer signs up on your website, you can start with a welcome email and then move on to onboarding, product recommendations, and other useful content.

You can also do this in different ways, depending on the campaign type and objective:

Campaign Type ObjectiveKey elements
Welcome seriesGreet and onboard customersBrand Introduction
Educational emails Provide information about your productEducational blog posts, videos, or webinars
Product highlightsShow your products and unique featuresInclude CTAs to guide customers to take action
Case study seriesBuild trust with your customersHighlight challenges and solutions, show real-life customer stories, and testimonials and results.
Exclusive offers Drive conversions through promotionsShare limited-time deals and offers
Feedback emails Collect customer input for improvementProvide an easy way to submit feedback and ask for customer opinions
Examples of lead nurturing emails

Paying close attention to your leads’ behavior helps you filter the high-quality leads from the low-quality ones. When you educate high-quality leads through personalized content, it’s easier to move them to the last stage of the funnel — conversion.

To do that, you must know what elements to include in your email nurture campaign. Use the below pointers as a guide to help you design yours.

What to Include in Your Lead Nurture Campaigns?

Your goal is to contact your leads and provide them with informative content throughout their buyer’s journey. This process can be time-consuming and challenging without a plan. 

Hence, we recommend you prepare your strategy first by answering these questions:

  1. Who are your leads?
  2. What are their interests?
  3. Why do you want to contact them?
  4. What should your content contain?
  5. What do you want them to do next?

The answers will act as the foundation for your lead nurturing campaign. Once you’re clear on your motives, you can focus on the following elements:

1. Purposeful Content 

For every email you send, you must have a goal and a purpose. Is your email an FAQ, a promotion, an introduction email, or a reminder? 

Spotify personalized playlist email
Spotify personalized playlist email. Source

2. Personalize Subject Line and Content

To create an impact with your email, use an attention-grabbing subject line along with a personalized greeting —- it makes the email more compelling and relatable for the lead.

RESY personalized email
Resy personalized email. Source

3. Answer Their Questions

When you address a lead’s pain point even before they can ask, it shows that you have a genuine interest in helping them. Include answers to the most common questions that your leads have. Think about how your product can solve their problems and help them reach their goals.

Section Q+A email. Source
Section Q+A email. Source

4. Share Your Knowledge

Surf through your research and send your leads a useful piece of content. It could be a tip, industry news, or a product update. Whatever it is, it will help your leads remember this information through the next stage of their buyer’s journey.

5. Include Testimonials 

Showing your leads that you have a positive track record will help them trust you more. Include quotes from your past clients and reviews from your social media channels.

Below, Surreal does a wonderful job of including customer reviews to promote their cereal. It’s worth noting that they include customer stories instead of showing the star ratings.

6. Use a Clear CTA

Include a compelling and clear call to action that’ll encourage your leads to interact with your business. A well-done CTA holds the power to convert your visitor into a lead. Your CTA can be a button, a form, a banner, links, or pop-ups.

A compelling CTA will have action verbs and would like this: ”Sign up and save $20” instead of ”Click here to sign up”.

7. Add Unsubscribe Option

An unsubscribe option must be clearly visible and accessible to your subscribers. When leads have a way out, you reduce spam complaints and increase the chances of high deliverability and sender reputation.

8. Measure the Effectiveness

Track your email campaign metrics to understand how your leads react to your emails. Use this information to create tailor-made emails in the future.

Building a strong relationship with your leads takes consistent efforts, and the above is only a starting point. To fully engage your leads, you also need to know the email nurture campaign best practices. 

Email Nurture Campaign Best Practices

To help you foster meaningful connections with your leads, here are 8 recommended best practices and methods:

1. Qualify Your Leads

Qualifying your leads helps you identify potential customers close to your ideal customer profile. This gives you more room to target consumers who are most likely to convert. 

To qualify your leads, here are crucial steps to follow:

  • Verify your lead’s email address to know that you’re sending content to a real person who consented to receive your email communication.
  • Define and identify what type of leads qualify for your email nurture campaign.
  • Structure an ideal buyer persona to know that you’re investing your resources in the right place.

2. Lead Segmentation

An email segmentation strategy allows you to create more personalized emails since every lead has different interests, needs, and pain points. You can segment leads through various categories such as buyer personas, smart forms, or site analytics.  

You may also define key attributes about your leads: psychographic, demographic, sociographic, or corporate. Your landing page can give you more insights about your leads and help you follow up with email sequences. 

3. Provide Valuable Content With Expert Insights 

Your leads are looking for content to help them make informed decisions, and you’re the expert in your industry to deliver that information. Think of your nurture emails as a sales pitch — including critical information that can solve your lead’s problems or teach them something new.

For example, if you’re a SaaS business, tell them how to choose software that’s cost-effective and productive at the same time. 

4. Write One Topic Per Email

Your leads are likely bombarded with similar nurture emails all day long. Ensure you cut to the topic immediately and include a compelling CTA. For instance, if your lead downloaded an e-book on email marketing software benefits, it means they’re nearing the conversion stage. Your next email should focus on addressing the next aspect of this — telling them how yours can help.

5. Keep it Short and Engaging 

The attention span for email marketing has been increasing over the years, currently close to 12 seconds. While this may be true, your leads mostly skim through your emails for the information they need. Keep your emails crisp and use subheads and bullets to convey information quickly. Include one CTA that expands on your lead’s interests based on their previous interaction.

6. Ensure Your Emails Flow Naturally  

Your nurture emails must progress naturally. For example, your first email can be a welcome message, but your subsequent emails must educate and move the lead across the sales funnel. This is also an excellent space to provide a free trial or a demo to give your lead a sneak peek into your business. 

7. Maintain Brand Consistency

Familiarity creates a safe space for your leads and increases trust in your brand. Stay consistent with colors, fonts, and other collaterals that will help your potential customers distinguish your brand. 

8. Automate and Test Emails

Email automation allows you to send appropriate information to your leads at the right time. You can set up drip campaigns or trigger campaigns based on your leads’ journey, and measure email metrics to improve your future nurture sequences.

Tip: If you’d like to know more about collecting quality leads and converting them, we urge you to download the Lead Magnet Multiplier Course. The guide breaks down crucial strategies to increase your lead magnet consumption by as much as 8x. 

There are different types of email nurture campaigns you can send, but they follow similar structures and rules. So, let’s start with the basics.

How to Write a Nurturing Email Sequence?

The nurturing emails are more about what your subscribers need and not what you intend to sell. You can visit Facebook groups or research user intent on Google to find out a popular pain point you can solve through your emails.

Follow these tips to write effective nurturing emails:

StepDescriptionKey Considerations
Define objectivesDetermine the goals and objectives for your email campaignWhat do you want to achieve with this campaign? ( ex: educate, re-engage, or convert)
Identify target audienceSegment your audience for nurture email seriesDemographics, behavior, and interests
Plan sequence flowOutline the email content flowDecide the number of emails, timing, and content for each email
Write compelling subject linesCraft relevant and attention-grabbing subject line for each emailUse personalization and urgency
Address pain-pointsCreate content that resonates with your leadsUse a conversational tone, include images, and other interactive elements 
Include a CTAInclude specific CTAs aligned with email goalsUse action-oriented language – ”Learn more”, ”Get Started”
Automate sending Use ESPs to automate nurture emailsSet up triggers based on leads’ actions
Considerations to include in nurture emails

With an average open rate of 16.97%, you have limited time to capture your prospect’s attention. A solid way to attain that is to write engaging and conversational emails. Let’s look at nurture email templates to get you started.

Templates for Email Nurturing Strategy 

Out of your extensive lead list, only 3% of them are actively looking to buy. And that number can further decrease with your content performance. But you can use these tested templates to delight your prospects and increase conversions. 

1. Emails That Initiate Interaction 

Not every lead is ready to convert immediately. This is why we use nurturing emails to initiate interaction, and here’s a template to help you do that — see how Zoom invites their recipients to take part and follow the pattern.

ZOOM New Feature email
ZOOM New Feature email. Source

2. Direct Communication Emails

If you have resources and a skilled team, you can invite your prospects to communicate directly with you through chat options. These individuals are hot leads and are more likely to convert. 

Shopify Support email Los Angeles
Shopify Support email. Source

3. Content Suggestion Emails 

By sending content suggestions to your leads, you create a positive feeling by addressing their pain points and solving their problems through helpful content. 

Flywheel Free e-book email.
Flywheel Free e-book email. Source

4. Gift Emails 

Free giveaways are a great way to create interest in your leads and build an offer they can’t refuse. You can create a free playbook download, a free tool, or offer promotions.

Barista&Co Free gift email.
Barista&Co Free gift email. Source

Now, let’s take these templates and build nurture campaigns that will convert.

Build Credibility With Your Email Nurture Campaigns

Through your nurture campaigns, building credibility is key to turning a lead into a repeat customer. To smoothly guide your prospects through the sales funnel, you need to make all elements work in sync. 

Even experienced marketers could struggle at this junction, and that’s why we built Campaign Refinery — a sleek software, a single-view dashboard, a campaign library with pre-made campaign templates, and an automatic list-cleaning feature. With the built-in tools and features, you can add contacts to follow-up sequences and create smart nurture campaigns and exceptional post-purchase experiences.

We invite you to create your email nurture campaign with us.

Apply to become a client and shoot your email performance!

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