While some might think email marketing is inherently an “outbound” medium, it truly is the backbone of Inbound Marketing. The goal of an Inbound marketing campaign is to capture the interest of website visitors and turn them into email subscribers who become marketing qualified leads (MQLs) who become sales qualified leads (SQLs) who become customers.
The journey from the subscriber to marketing qualified lead depends on email, and of course, the best way for marketers to manage email nurturing is through automated workflows. To get your creative automated juices flowing, we listed five strategies for email nurturing that are very Inbound friendly!
Inbound Marketing Email Strategies
Strategy #1: Welcome Email Series
When your content is so dang terrific you’ll gain subscribers. Subscribers are never more engaged than when they opt-in to your email list, so be sure to take advantage of that interest and provide content to keep them engaged. While your competitors might follow up with a link to their content in an offer, you can wow your subscribers with emails welcoming them to your marketing world and providing the education they crave. You can send new potential customers a number of short and relevant emails that educate them not only about your product and services, links to resources, information about your industry and how they can be successful when selecting a partner (presumably you!).
Strategy #2: Provide Value for the Subscriber
So how do you keep content engaging? The golden rule of email content is to provide value to the subscriber. It might seem easy enough but too often companies concentrate on the content they think makes the company look good and not so much the content that the subscribers care about. Of course, valuable content could be different depending on the type of subscriber (lead vs. customer for instance) but it should never be self-serving. Does your potential customer care that your in-house dodgeball team won the city-wide championship? Maybe, but more likely when they’re further in the sales cycle and making a vendor selection based on culture and relationships. Does a new subscriber want to know the 5 ways software can make their lives easier? More likely.
Strategy #3: Break Email Content Into Digestible Chunks
Sometimes we marketers get a little wordy. We’re good with words and have a lot to say. The problem is that we don’t have the time or patience to ingest as much content as exists. Content that includes bullets, scannable text, and video show higher engagement rates time and time again. So why not do our subscribers a favor and make our content easier for them to ingest? By taking longer form content and breaking into digestible smaller content pieces, you give your subscribers the opportunity to read the whole email quickly and not scan for relevant content. You also create an opportunity to send multiple emails over the course of days or weeks that can help create brand affinity when coupled with strong branding elements.
Strategy #4: Form Abandonment Campaigns
Retail companies know the power of “Cart Abandonment” campaigns to re-engage shoppers which have bounced from their site before finishing their purchase. A similar tactic can be used to engage website visitors who bounce before completing a form. The conundrum, of course, is that if a website visitor hasn’t yet converted on a form, then you haven’t captured their email address. However, if you are emailing a current subscriber who you're hoping to engage with on a deeper level, you can use analytics to track which subscribers click through to the form but don’t complete the form. Another tactic can be to use multi-page forms or one field email sign-ups to capture email address early and re-engage through email if they don’t complete an offer form during the current session or within a specific period of time.
Strategy #5: Marketing Email Should Support Sales
The keyword here is SHOULD, but often times marketing and sales teams are working in silos that don’t overlap when in reality our subscribers and customers don’t always keep themselves siloed. Customers often revisit your websites to learn more about products, services or your industry, while leads are still interacting with your marketing content while having one on one conversations with your sales team. As marketers, we have the tools at our fingertips to support sales by supplementing their efforts with valuable content. The key is to get sales on board with your efforts and show them how you can target their current opportunities where they are in their lifecycle so marketing communication is valuable. Often times Sales want to control the conversation they're having with their opportunities, so if you can get buy-in on how marketing can be valuable to those opportunities and even shorten sales cycles it’s a win for everyone. The key is to close the loop on lifecycle stages and product interest categories so content can be relevant to the potential customer
While there are major differences between strategies that are effective for B2C vs B2B emails, the general rules of thumbs apply: keep content engaging, use data to inform that content and always remember to provide value for your email subscribers.
If you're ready to implement an email marketing program as part of your inbound marketing strategy, we can help you get started!Give us a call at 972.815.1070 orcontact us onlinetoday to set up a consultation!
Not quite ready to connect with us? Check out these valuable resources to get moving in the right direction with your email marketing efforts!