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.
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 ideal because depending on the volume of email sign-ups you receive, emailing 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.
Leads need to be nurtured because 50% of the time, they’re not ready to buy. And when companies focus on lead nurturing, they generate 50% more sales.
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 lead nurturing campaign.
Welcome emails, like, “Thank You For Signing Up,” generate 320% more revenue on average than other promotional emails.
Now that you recognize the value of email marketing, would you be shocked if we 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.
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’t help your customer until you understand their problem. 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.
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 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 liked the shoes I was looking at but I got a call from a client and within an hour, forgot about Chaco and the shoes. A couple hours after I left Chaco’s 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 emailing once or twice a week for a set period. 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. Track and see what works best for your company.
Strong Subject Line
Leads need 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 and 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 you care about their problem and want to help them solve it. And since these are your first emails to a lead, try not to 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 gaining 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 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 you are the premier outdoor company by exceeding expectations.
Creating An Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign Can Lead To More Sales
A lead nurturing campaign 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 understand what they want and need. Show your customers you care through personalized, timely, and relevant content and watch your sales grow.
If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective lead nurture strategy, contact us today.
Originally Published: August 7, 2018
Updated: March 4, 2019