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automate-image-courtesy-freepikHow automated follow up emails nurture your leads to produce more clients

Lead generation is the life-blood of any business, but you know better than anyone else that not every lead is worth chasing. In fact, most of them are not ready to be a paying customer right away. That's why you need to qualify your leads before you start pitching the potential clients.

How to Increase Lead Generation

According to a study by Ascend2, rather than concentrating on the volume of the leads, companies are shifting towards focusing on the quality of their leads. Because the lead data quickly becomes outdated, it's important to have real-time lead information. You can obtain this through many channels, but here are the most common strategies to increase lead generation:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A study released by Ascend2 and Conductor indicates that SEO will continue to dominate as the top strategy for lead generation and increasing web traffic. The major challenge of SEO marketing efforts is that keywords have to be constantly researched and evaluated to see how well they perform.

2. Social Media

Social media in the beginning was more or less channels for companies to engage their customers and reinforce their brand, rather than being a lead generation platform. But that trend has shifted a while back; objective-based Facebook marketing and Twitter's lead generation cards allow marketers to tap into a big pool of consumer population.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing can range from blog content, e-books, infographics, white papers, videos, and podcasts. High quality content is more sought after than ever. If SEO and social media bring more eyeballs to your company, content marketing is what makes them stick around and discover more.

Lead Nurturing through Emails

Once you qualify the leads however, that's when the real work begins. All the activities in the world to help increase lead generation won't help a thing if you can't capture their lead data. One of the proven and most effective ways to obtain qualified leads is through an email list. Email addresses collected through the aforementioned lead generation strategies indicate that there are interested parties who would like to learn more. They are now in a limbo of discovering more and being converted to paying customers (moving through your sales funnel), and it is your job to turn prospects into clients. This process is known as lead nurturing.

The best lead nurturing is through a series of emails known as autoresponders. Email autoresponder services like MailChimp, AWeber, and Infusion Soft are crucial in helping you build and market to their email list. Autoresponders are great because you only have to write the emails once (a huge time-saver), the emails are automatic as well.  Sent at time intervals set by you. They keep your brand fresh in front of your prospects.

Here are some steps for getting the most out of your lead nurturing campaign through emails:

1. Setting a Delivery Schedule
You need to have a specific sequence of emails without spamming your email list. That will cause people to unsubscribe. A good measure is to send the emails at Day 1, Day 5, Day 10, and Day 15 and so forth, from 4 to 7 emails. It's still often enough where people will remember your company and services, but not so often that they'll feel spammed.

2. The Anatomy of Your Emails
Every email in your sequence should achieve a specific goal and end with a call for action. What do you want your readers to do? Buy a certain product or sign up for a service? Your emails should be tailored to each goal you want to achieve with your subscriber base. For example:

Day 1: You thank your subscribers and remind them of the opt-in offer (a freebie or a discount) if you had one. Remind them the reason they signed up for your email list – they might have a specific pain point or issues that your services solve.

Day 5: Dig into the problem that your subscribers might have. Write something about your special offer that solves the problem and a call to action for free consultation. This is a good time to use a blog post or video and link to it. Instead of actually introducing the offer at this stage, keep the writing to something "related" to the offer.

Day 10: Include customer testimonials that further prove the benefits of your service or product. Include long form content like an e-book or a white paper that illustrates those benefits.

Day 15: Introduce your offer and a call to action. Include a call to action to sign up before the reduced price for your special offer ends.

The length of the emails are often debated, but considering people are reading on the web, shorter the better seems to be the favored way. Some would even argue that the emails should be less than 100 words. Writing concise emails should be a skill you aim for anyway.

Tracking Your Automated Lead Follow Up

Many email autoresponder services work similarly, but the one worth your time should offer a detailed tracking ability in regards to your open, delete, and click-through rate. You need to know how many people opened your emails, and as painful as it is, how many people deleted them. At each step, you can isolate the problem and improve on them.

Low open rate or high delete rate: If people are not opening your emails at all or worse yet, deleting them, maybe it's time to tweak the subject line. A magnetic subject line is a gateway to having your emails opened more often.

High click-through rate but no conversion: If people clicked on the link included in your emails but didn't buy, you know your emails are working but the offer page is not attractive.

Again, the beauty of lead nurturing through autoresponders is that you only have to do the work once per offer, but that doesn't mean you can be completely lazy and not measure the metrics. You need to know how well your email campaign is actually doing, so you can tweak, adjust, and pivot as necessary.

Download our free resource and start optimizing your email marketing strategy today!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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