• Emily Malone

The 7 commandments of lead nurturing campaigns

Nurturing leads is all about keeping people engaged with your business by showing them you understand their specific needs. Depending on where your contacts are in the buyer’s journey, you’ll want to give them quality, timely, and contextual content that’s related to what they’re interested in.

For example, if they’re not quite in the decision making-stage of their journey, but they’ve recently downloaded a free offer on your website, you can automatically send them further offerings that lead them closer to the purchasing stage; offerings specifically related to what they’ve shown an interest in. This helps to keep your prospect engaged, and guides them in their decision.

However, making an effective lead nurturing email workflow isn’t easy. To make sure your lead nurturing campaigns generate great results, you might want to avoid these common mistakes. We know traditionally there’s 10 of these, but if you can remember just these seven, you’ll be on your way to campaign bliss.

1. Thou shalt not lump all leads into one campaign

The most common mistake marketers make is creating one campaign of emails and send the same thing to each and every lead who fills out any old form on their website. It’s crucial to segment your campaigns based on lead intelligence. Tailoring emails to match the interests of the individual lead helps make sure you’re giving them stuff they want, so you’re not bothering them with meaningless and obviously generic offerings that don’t relate to their needs.

2. Thou shalt not email leads every single day

Your leads aren’t going to be eager to hear from you every day. Just like dating, it can be a bit weird and off-putting to get desperately prompt messages so soon into the relationship. Play it cool, and realise that a lead’s first conversion indicates a certain level of interest in your products and offerings, but it doesn’t mean they’re ready to put a ring on it just yet. If leads are hearing from you too often, it’ll likely be a big turn off.

Instead, set up a regular schedule for emails in your campaign, and space them out. We usually go for two days, then five. That way, your leads will pay more attention to each email, and your offerings won’t be diluted by sending too much, too quickly.

3. Thou shalt not forget, they’ve received your other emails!

Another big no-no is a lead nurturing series of emails that are written as if every one is the first that’s been sent to the contact. Don’t just send offer on top of offer. Instead, throw a few in there that ask if they need any more help or information, or ask them for some feedback. At the very least, make a mention of the content in your previous email, so the current email is more relevant.

4. Thou shalt not forget blog content

Re-using your blog content is a great way to get started with lead nurturing if you only have one or two content offers. Share two or three of your best blog articles in your emails to help make the most of what you can offer. Not only will it bring them back to your website, but it’ll show them how awesome your blog content is (hopefully!) The readers will also be re-exposed to your blog’s CTAs, offering opportunities for re-conversions.

5. Thou shalt not forget to let sales know about nurturing campaigns

Communicating the deployment of campaigns with the rest of your team is so important, especially if you have sales reps who might be talking to these leads at the same time your campaign is running, or after nurturing emails have been sent. The best way to stop salesfolk from being surprised by these kinds of things is to make sure your lead management and nurturing software integrates with a customer relationship management system (CRM) such as Salesforce (luckily, HubSpot is easily integrated with Salesforce!) This way, when an email is sent out to leads, your Sales team will have a record of it and be able to see what was sent out, and when.

6. Thou shalt not ignore analytics

A few weeks into your campaigns, you should check back on your emails to revisit the analytics. Specifically, to look at your click-through rates and unsubscribe rates. Looking at how many people clicked through to your landing page or other content will indicate whether readers are engaging with your business as you planned.  If your click-through rate is below about 2%, HubSpot suggests looking back at your emails to determine what you could improve to get that percentage up.

7. Thou shalt test!

This one’s a pretty obvious one on the checklist, and I’m not trying to teach you to suck eggs here, but it’s imperative to test your campaign workflows multiple times to make sure they work how you want them to. Test little by little, starting with the copy of the subject line, then maybe content offers, or the timing and frequency of the emails. It might take you two or three tries to get there, but this is the best way to optimise your emails so they drive the results you want.