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What is an email nurture campaign?

Most of your email recipients won't become customers until after the second message you send. Here's how to build the journey from lead to sale.
Feb 6, 2020 • 6 minute read
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Learn how you can use your email sequence to turn leads into sales

Email marketing is still one of the best tools to make digital sales. However, consumers are increasingly getting wary of advertisements and sales attempts, and are utilizing tools to block off distracting advertisements. That can include your emails. Expecting a single, one-off email to turn a cold prospect into an immediate sale isn't realistic anymore. That's where nurture journeys come in.

Marketing on a personal level

Marketing is a bit more complex than just telling a customer, "Buy Now," and expecting them to follow through. There's an intricate process that goes into customer acquisition and making sales.
Effective marketing is a slow process that's all about building trust. It's about forming meaningful relationships that are based on value. To make great sales, your customers should be able to relate to you on a personal level, and to successfully do that, it's important to provide them value and show them that you're trustworthy.
A great way to do that is by having a step-by-step process to communicate with your readers and slowly foster a bond.

Before getting into further details, let's address an important question.

What are email sequences?

Unlike one-off marketing emails, email sequences are designed with multiple contact points in mind to eventually close out a sale. These emails are generally created to have a structured approach. The initial emails are introductory and intend to provide value and share information. The follow-up emails increasingly emphasize the urgency to take prompt action. Sequences are used to have a pre-planned approach in place to consider marketing as an ongoing activity instead of a simple, one-time action.
A study by CRM platform Nutshell found that up to 70% of all email responses are generated between the second and fourth emails.
Email sequences provide you with the opportunity to have multiple points of contact with your client. This allows you to ensure that your message is read by the prospective customers and builds a foundation for putting forward your value proposition.
However, creating an email sequence is not as simple as simply sending out multiple emails. It takes a targeted and meticulous approach.

Writing an email sequence that connects with the audience

Crafting an effective email sequence is about creating a journey that builds trust and establishes a bond. To have a strong bond, you need to introduce your brand and its value proposition to customers and then reinforce that value proposition in a way that emotionally connects.
Here are some tips that can help you have the maximum impact with your email sequence.

Have a warm introduction

First impressions are often lasting impressions. Your very first email is extremely important in creating the first impression your customer will have of you. It's also going to play a major role in the way your follow-up emails are received. To make sure that you make the best impression, keep these guidelines in mind.
Avoid sales-oriented undertones
Offer personal details
Share insightful ideas
Set future expectations
By having a personalized approach, you'll be able to initiate a personal relationship with the reader and lay out a smooth path forward for the follow-up emails.

Provide meaningful affirmation

It's really important for the readers to know that the effort they are putting into reading your emails is appreciated. Whether it's a simple “thank you,” or a virtual pat on the back, this little extra step goes a long way in forging meaningful new relationships.

Experiment with styles

To have an email sequence that truly stands out from the crowd, don’t be afraid to experiment and add your own personal flair to it. From the subject lines to the narrative tone, make sure that the emails tell your brand's story in a personal way. The worst thing you can do is sound generic. Customers receive hundreds of emails a day. You can't risk sounding like a template and being ignored. Try some humorous emails. Try some inspirational emails. Try some straightforward sales emails (but not until you've already sent an introductory email). No matter what style you choose, though, be warm and personable.

Have strong follow-up emails

As we mentioned before, the second to fourth emails are the most important emails out of the sequence. They are usually the ones that get the reader to take action. Make sure that you use strong tones and content to create follow-up emails.
One of the best ways to create a strong follow-up email is to capitalize on the fear of missing out. You could offer a limited time discount or an upgrade, and remind the reader to make use of it before time runs out.
Another great idea for a follow-up email is to offer customer testimonials. Show your readers what their peers think about your product or service. A review from a peer is far more powerful than anything you could tell a customer about yourself.
One more email to work into your sequence is the objection handling email. This one takes common objections people could have to using your product or service and addresses them in a positive way.

Capitalize on urgency

We simply cannot emphasize this enough. Creating urgency can be the biggest game-changer for your email sequence. It's important for your customers to know that the offer you're making them has an expiration date. This prompts customers to take action and follow through on the actions they were thinking of taking.
You can even use tools like countdown timers in your emails to make that sense of a bit more concrete. You can also use dates like Christmas and Valentine's Day to prompt your readers to action.

Maintaining a connection

It's really important to remember that you're not sending out standalone emails. Every email sent out in the sequence needs to be interconnected to have the maximum impact. You are not simply sending out emails highlighting different areas. You are telling an interconnected story.
To have a steady connection, you can cite the copy from the previous emails in the next one. You also want the design of the emails and the creative theme to have a consistent aesthetic.

Providing multiple opportunities

A major part of sequencing the aspect of providing customers with multiple opportunities when it comes to making the decision. Some recipients might actually take action on the first email. Others might wait until the fifth or sixth. But they need to have the opportunity to take action in every single email. That means every email needs a call to action.
It also means that after one nurture sequence is completed, you can start a whole new one with a different theme, different offers and different content. You can also extend certain promotions or notify your customers about approaching deadlines. It's all about making the best use of the available resources and giving customers multiple opportunities to purchase.
There's no infallible formula on what makes an email sequence effective, but it's really important to view the process as a long-term journey. Even if your current promotion is limited to 4-5 emails, your customer relationship is going to last for much longer. It is important to devise your strategies for the long term, and adapt your tone to match the occasion.
Having different variants of emails for different audience groups is also a great way to maximize impact. There are certain tones that prove to be much more effective on women compared to men, and vice versa.

Get some help

Crafting the perfect email sequence is definitely not an easy task. When you receive a marketing email from another company, we can assure you, someone agonized over every single word, and a designer spent hours putting together a template with just the right layout and imagery. And that's for a single email, let alone a sequence of five or six.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you might want to get some help. A freelance copywriter can help you hit just the right tone, and weave together a narrative that turns your emails into an actual journey. A graphic designer can take those words and put them in a stunning template that captures your recipients' attention and makes them want to keep reading.
Knowing that the vast majority of your customers are going to need two to four emails from you to be comfortable taking action, it's clear how important it is to create a cohesive journey for them. That first email you send could be the start of a long and lucrative relationship.
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