Email marketing is an essential tool for turning qualified leads into loyal customers. For every $1 spent on email marketing, outdoor companies can expect an average $38 return. If you’re marketing to businesses like we are, 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating. And contrary to popular belief, 91% of consumers want to receive promotional emails.
Now that you recognize the value of email marketing, would you be shocked if I said, welcome emails, like, “Thank You For Signing Up,” generate 320% more revenue on average than other promotional emails? Ok, we were a little shocked by this number too but it helps us prove to our clients that lead nurturing campaigns have a huge impact on sales. And creating an email lead nurturing campaign can help turn prospects into loyal customers.
Welcome emails, like, “Thank You For Signing Up,” generate 320% more revenue on average than other promotional emails.
Lead nurturing is similar to dating. Outdoor companies need to get to know their prospects before they can pop the question, “Will you buy this from me?” Creating an email lead nurturing campaign is one of the best ways to get to know your prospects and build trust. And didn’t your mom tell you trust is one of the key building blocks to a long-lasting marriage?
What Is A Lead Nurturing Campaign?
A lead nurturing campaign is a series of (ideally) automated emails that move a lead from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Automated emails are the ideal because depending on the volume of email sign-ups you receive, sending an email to each prospect can be timely. Hubspot has a free, automated lead gen tool we like to use for our clients. The campaign consists of 3-5 emails over a set period of time.
Outdoor marketers can capture leads through calls-to-action that take a visitor to a landing page where they can sign up to receive an offer or fill out a form. From there, marketers can start the dating lead nurturing campaign.
Creating A Lead Nurturing Campaign
An effective lead nurturing campaign needs 6 ingredients:
- Strong Subject Line
- Relevant Copy
- Exit Strategy
One of the main reasons lead nurturing campaigns are so successful is it’s a chance for companies to get to know their customer. The more they know about the customer, the better they can serve them. You can help your customer solve their problem when you know what the problem is to begin with. So if they’re looking for a camo jacket for hunting, you wouldn’t send them irrelevant information on rod holders for walleye fishing. Segmented campaigns have a 14% higher open rate and 100% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.
So how can you segment if you know nothing about the customer? In the very first email you send, ask! One of our clients has 2 different target markets: therapists and families seeking therapy. When they subscribe to the newsletter, we have them fill out a simple survey asking them to help us curate content that matters most to them.
The other day I was doing some online shopping on Chaco’s website. I signed up to receive their newsletter, clicked on some shoes I liked, and then left the page. I really liked the shoes I was looking at but I got a call from a client and within an hour, completely forgot about Chaco and the shoes. A couple hours after I left Chacos website I got the following email. What a nice reminder!
Lead nurturing emails need to be timely. You don’t want leads to forgot your product or service and how you can help them solve their problem. But you also don’t want to annoy them. For products, we recommend sending an email once or twice a week for a set period of time. Services take a little more time as you need to build greater trust before someone invests money into your guide service or wilderness therapy program. But these aren’t universal benchmarks. Make sure to track and see what works best for your company.
Strong Subject Line
Getting leads to open your email whether it’s a lead nurturing campaign or just a monthly newsletter. Personalized subject lines perform 29% better than non-personalized. If you can personalize it, do it. You also want to add urgency as well as relevancy. Avoid salesy, click-bait subject lines. And always test when you can! We love A/B testing so we can better serve our client’s customers.
When a lead clicks “subscribe” after reading a blog on best fly fishing rivers in Montana, the follow-up email should have something to do with fly fishing rivers in Montana. Send them an email with the best bait to catch Yellowstone cutthroat trout. If the lead filled out your survey saying they are a therapist looking for educational resources on wilderness therapy programs, send them an email about what to look for in wilderness therapy programs.
You want to show leads that you care about their problem and want to help them solve it. And since these are your first emails to a lead, try not sell them a product or service right away. Provide value and nurture the lead before you pop the question.
All campaigns should be tracked. Especially a lead nurturing campaign. Are leads opening the emails? Clicking through? What are they clicking on? What A/B tested subject line worked better? Keeping track of the success and failures of your lead nurturing campaign helps you improve. If no one is opening your third email, switch up the subject line. If leads are only clicking on one article in the email, delete the second one.
You turned a lead into a sale, now what? Attract more leads? Sure! But when we go back to Business 101, we know that acquiring new customers costs 5-25 times more than keeping an existing customer. So instead of rushing to gain more leads, follow our Inbound Marketing methodology and delight your current customers. Leads that turned into customers through your lead nurturing campaign are clearly engaged with your company so keep them engaged. If they bought a boat seat, send them an email on how to install the seat. If they booked a room at your lodge, send them an email with the best restaurants nearby. Show your current customers that you are the premier outdoor company by exceeding expectations.
Creating An Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign Can Lead To More Sales
A lead nurturing campaign simply guides your customer further down the sales funnel through a series of “getting to know you” emails. It’s easier for outdoor companies to solve a customer’s problems when they fully understand what they want and need. Show your customers you care through personalized and relevant content in a timely manner and watch your sales grow.