Image credit: http://www.themoatblog.com/2013/11/closed-door-opportunities/

From Cold to Closed: 5 Types of Email Nurture Programs That Work

Let’s talk about spam. No matter how many times you unsubscribe, the emails keep piling up. How can you make sure your email nurture campaign doesn’t end up as just more spam?

Well thought out nurture programs won’t start a nervous twitch in your prospect’s face when they open their inboxes. A good email nurture is almost as good as a Christmas present — but delivered to your prospect’s inbox…a couple of times a month.

So let’s get to it. Here are the 5 types of email nurture programs that are bound to nudge your prospects along the funnel without getting on their nerves:

Basic cold lead nurture

Introduce your company and product to fresh new prospects with no more than 5 emails. If they don’t respond to the first 5, chances are they won’t respond to any others either.

A good sequence to follow looks like this:

  • Intro to the company and the product
  • A research report/press article
  • What customers say/case studies
  • Product brochure/free trial/demo
  • Break up email

A best practice is to target a few different segments (2 or 3) with slightly personalized content specific to industry use cases or specific titles — case studies, examples, etc.

  1. 2–3 streams targeting 2–3 segments with slightly personalized content (i.e. specific industry use cases and case studies, if you are targeting specific industries)
  2. Secondary CTA could be white papers, e-books, any other assets that people wouldn’t mind exchanging their email address for

On-demand email series:

These assets can also be marketed in paid advertising programs, promoted on the website, and are a great lead gen vehicle.

  1. Choose a topic that people want to learn about and put a short timeline on it (i.e. Learn about email nurturing in 2 weeks)
  2. Build a landing page with the opt in form describing what this program will give them (i.e. Subscribe to this email series and learn how to build the best nurture programs, outbound emails, and newsletters) and a form
  3. Set up a program in your marketing automation system dropping them into the email drip campaign once they fill out the form
  4. Schedule the stream to send an email to participants every 2 days or so
  5. Include upcoming topics at the end of each email so that people knew what to expect and look forward to

RSS-based digests:

RSS based digests are a great way to nurture leads that opt in to your updates. At BetterWorks, we use Perkuto’s Digesto for this.

Start by putting up a form up on your blog for people to sign up for updates with the latest content. An email will be triggered automatically every couple of weeks (or whatever cadence you decide on) to those who subscribe.

Auto-responder nurture flows

This is for people downloading your key assets, visiting key website pages, showing any other type of behavior that matters to you.

These trigger-based drip campaigns listen for the behaviors that you decide on (i.e. visits pricing page, downloads an e-book, clicks on an ad, etc.). Choose 3 things you think the prospect needs to see after completing these behaviors, and set up a cadence of 3 emails to go out to the prospect every 3 or 4 days.

Inside sales text email nurture

This is a different approach that works well with cold leads. Set up text emails from the inside sales rep that looks like a direct note from them.

Collaborate with your inside sales reps to come up with some outbound messaging, as well as a follow up a few days later. Drop the prospect into a basic nurture campaign afterwards if no response.

These are just a few ideas to try when setting up email nurture campaigns. Marketing is a multi-channel, multi-touch business though, so think about syncing your messaging across different channels to your target personas, but that is a whole different post… stay tuned!