Leads are the ABC of any business, and as marketers, you're supposed to feed the sales funnel with leads continuously. Although lead generation is a critical aspect of inbound marketing, it's not the complete story. In-between generating a lead and closing a sale, a lot happens.
Just because your customer filled up your signup form doesn't mean that your customer is ready to make a purchase decision or speak to your sales team. It's not realistic to think that you find a lead from some source, send an email, and close the deal – lead generation is not this simple.
This is where nurture campaigns or lead nurturing comes in.
Read to explore what lead nurturing is and the types of nurture campaigns to drive results you've always dreamed of.
What's the next step after feeding the sales funnel with leads? Do your leads automatically push themselves to the bottom and make a purchase? This is an unfulfilled dream of most marketers.
Just like everyone else, your leads require a little push in the form of effective follow-up to turn into loyal customers. And, that's precisely the job of lead nurturing.
In other words, lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with your leads and nurturing them throughout their buying process. It's lead nurturing that pushes the customer from the top of a sales funnel to the bottom.
With companies excelling at lead nurturing, spending 30% less, and generating 50% more sales-ready leads – you cannot afford to overlook nurture campaigns or lead nurturing.
If you're in the inbound marketing world, the saying, "Sales is from Mars and marketing is from Venus," rings true because both departments always point fingers at each other. For a sales team, a marketing team never generates enough leads, and for a marketing team, the sales team never follows-up on the leads. In this never-ending dilemma, it's your business that bears the brunt. With 79% of marketing leads never converting to sales due to low lead nurturing, nurture campaigns could make all the difference.
Let's understand it with an example,
From the above statistics, it's clear that not all leads you have (gathered from different touch-points) are ready to give you their money. They are thirsty for information, and unless they're satisfied, they're less likely to shell out a single penny.
Instead of telling them on their faces, "Hey, look, we have excellent products for you. Buy from us", you need to pitch softer.
Take one step at a time and follow an attentive approach. Send marketing material, share information, and do everything possible to get them interested in your product. This is what is lead nurturing, and it has the potential to take your business miles.
Read on to explore different types of nurture campaigns and how to effectively follow-up with your leads.
To push more customers to the bottom of your sales funnel, you need to nurture the leads as parents take care of their children. Apart from feeding the child, ensuring physical health, a parent nurtures them emotionally. From spending time with them to withstanding their tantrums, parents do everything to nurture them into good human beings.
The same applies to your leads. Unless you nurture your leads, you're less likely to see an increase in your sales.
We've listed 13 types of nurture campaigns to turn leads into returning customers.
All of us have grown up listening to the importance of the first impression. Wear a wrinkled shirt on the first day to the office. That's a bad impression. Go with messy hair on your first date; that's a bad impression too.
A good first impression is no longer restricted to face-to-face interactions. It has captured email interactions as well - first impression counts. The success of whether your customer goes beyond the first stage in the sales funnel depends on your welcome email.
You send welcome emails when a new subscriber completes their signup process. Irrespective of whether your customer has signed up to receive product updates, a weekly newsletter, or a blog post, a welcome email sets the tone for the first interaction.
As welcome emails are actionable, informative and precise, it enjoys an open rate of 50%.
The goal of a welcome email is to establish a relationship with your subscriber. It helps you make a first impression on behalf of your brand.
Furthermore, it's a great way to showcase your USP while introducing your brand. From the headline to the email's conversational tone, a welcome message should be friendly, simple, and talk about your brand.
Pro-tip: The more your welcome emails sound like one-to-one interaction, the better your conversion rate will be.
When to send the email: Every time you get a new subscriber.
Crayon uses its welcome email to give an introduction to all its tools. Along with an introduction, the company embeds a link to explore the tools. This welcome email uses a conversational tone, ensures one-to-one interaction, and uses interactive language to make you feel less pressured as a new user. In short, their welcome email is simple and sends a clear message.
Uncertainty kills every possible conversion, and MagicBricks nail their welcome email by providing clear guidelines on types of properties on their website. All sections have a concise description and actionable CTA. Furthermore, the brand does an excellent job of building trust by putting two individuals' happy faces with a home.
Free trials and downloads mean nothing if you’re unable to keep up with your customers. For SaaS companies with freemium models converting free trials to paying customers is a pain.
That’s where onboarding campaigns come into the picture.
Like all other email campaigns, these function as a part of your marketing strategy and helps guide a customer to your products. From frequently asked questions to providing essential training resources, customer onboarding increases sales when you use it as a part of a well-defined funnel.
Pro-tip: An onboarding campaign delivers value and educates your customers, which helps them advance deeper in the sales funnel.
When to send your email: Send it after your welcome emails when a customer signup for your free trial.
Sleeknote provides a solid customer onboarding example. The brand does double duty to invite new customers while providing useful training resources for customers to start their campaign downloads means nothing if you’re unable to keep up with your customers. For SaaS companies with a freemium model converting free trials to paying customers is a pain.
In the mid 19th century, a newspaper vendor used to shout 'news' to attract customers to buy the newspaper for any breaking news. With digitization, this marketing channel has evolved, and you no longer have to shout out loud on streets to tell your leads about a new product you just launched.
That's where new product announcement nurture campaigns come into the picture.
Your leads subscribe to your email to stay updated on information about your brand. Newsworthy content about your brand is crucial for your customers. These are usually aimed at active customers. Such nurture campaigns help nurture both cold and warm leads as you tell your customers that you're continually improving and innovating new products.
Pro-tip: When you introduce a new product to your customers, ensure they're excited about your new offering. You need to present your product to build a connection and drive the customer.
When to send your email: Every time you launch a new product or service.
The email is eye-catching and attractive. GoAir uses visual cues to send messages of their new service launch seamlessly. The girl's finger automatically takes your eye toward the key features. It's an informative illustration with a no-sense copy. The email is short, clear, impactful, and easy to digest at one glance.
Such an email is sent to tell your customers about a new webinar you're planning to host. Making your subscribers register for a webinar is an uphill battle. If you nail this lead nurturing right, you not only hype your webinar but also boost sales, increase web traffic and move one-inch closer to win a loyal customer.
The purpose of sending such an email is to make a promise of showing your leads how your product or service addresses their issues.
From using a short copy invitation to using animated GIFs – sky's the limit for such a webinar announcement. Tell your customers the importance of the webinar and why they should attend it.
With the average webinar attendance report hovering around 46%, sending a compelling webinar registration email could be the difference between leads and loyal customers.
Pro-tip: Include questions in your webinar announcement to trigger the interest of your customers.
When to send your email: Each time you host a webinar.
Asana uses the two-column layout for their webinar. One column shows the topic along with the date, while the other gives information on the presenters.
Instead of adding a CTA in the image, the entire image is clickable and leads to the registration form.
This is followed by sharing more information about the presenters and topic and includes a CTA in a different color.
Did you know that happy birthday emails generate 342% more revenue per message and 481% higher conversion rates?
Talk about a celebration, and numbers won't lie. Apart from increasing loyalty, greeting emails such as birthdays, anniversaries, or any other occasion is a great way to attract and re-engage inactive subscribers. Furthermore, you can go the extra mile by offering discounts and coupon codes redeemable during the entire birthday month.
Pro-tip: Leverage your customer's birthday to celebrate with personalized email offering discounts.
When to send your email: Customer's birthday or special occasions like an anniversary and childbirth.
Titan uses an intriguing format, elegant pictures, and stylish font to attract the birthday girl. The icing on a cake is when you reach the last section, which forecasts the coming year. Interestingly, Titan compares a customer's forecast with their diamonds. Titan effortlessly imbibes their product even in an email as simple as a birthday email.
Upselling is a lead nurturing technique where you offer your existing customers to upgrade to get more expensive services or products they’re currently buying. It can be an upgraded version, the next version of your product, even an extended plan. Practically, you sell the same product at a higher price and for added features.
The idea behind upselling campaigns is to make your customer spend more money than they initially spend. Acquiring a new customer is 5-25 times more expensive, making upselling a far more profitable way to grow your business.
From increasing profits to enhancing customer loyalty and increasing ROI, an upsell nurture campaign could be the perfect answer for business growth-related issues.
Pro tip: With the probability of selling to an existing customer as high as 60-70%, upselling could be a game-changer for your business.
When to send your email: Send upselling emails when your customer’s subscription is nearing or has ended if you follow the subscription-based business model company. Other businesses can send it after your customer places the order. Such emails help in re-engagement at later stages.
Sprout Social, a social media management company, offers a freemium SaaS model with three pricing packages. The product is the same, but businesses get extra features with every package.
Jio, a telecommunication company, offers different recharge plans. Using an upsell campaign, Jio tries to showcase all the plans it offers and the benefits of each. Jio mentions the benefits of using bullet points, which helps a customer glance through all recharge options without wasting time. Towards the end, it adds a CTA for an existing customer to update their subscription plan. Overall, their email is short, concise, visually attractive, and impactful in sending the right message across.
In sales conversion, upselling and cross-selling are used interchangeably, much to the confusion of marketers.
Let’s understand both with an example:
Upselling is when an airline customer upgrades from an economy class to a first-class. On the other hand, cross-selling is when a customer buys food, headphones, or other airlines’ accessories while flying.
Therefore, cross-selling is selling an additional product or service to a customer based on their previous purchase. Offering a laptop cleaning brush to someone who recently purchased a laptop is a cross-selling example.
Pro-tip: Always bundle related products and try offering discounts on these products.
When to send your email: After a purchase
This is a fantastic example of cross-selling from Go Air. For hassle-free flying in a pandemic, the airline leaves no stone unturned to make travel less stressful for its customers. It’s cross-selling a COVID-19 test to all passengers who have booked a flight with them. The image is powerful, and the placement of the CTA is just right. Cross-selling is an art, and this airline nails it with its nurture campaign.
If there’s one eternal nemesis of the ecommerce industry, it’s cart abandonment. Nothing can be more frustrating for marketers like you than moving a customer to the bottom of a sales funnel by creating enticing offers, only to lose them right at the point of purchase inevitably.
The main aim of such types of nurture campaigns is to bring back lost shoppers to your website. The rule here is simple if a customer or shopper spent time adding products to your cart, they’re showing high purchase intent.
Pro-tip: Cart abandonment campaigns sent within three hours of a customer abandoning products in their cart witness an open rate as high as 40% and 20% CTR. Create a sense of urgency in your tone for a customer to take immediate action.
When to send your email: Each time a customer abandons items in their shopping cart.
Unlike cart abandonment email that retargets customers with products they want to buy, browse abandonment emails are different. Such email campaigns work on the simple assumption that customers are interested in your products but had to leave before filling their cart. Such customers only require a small reminder to continue their purchase process.
Browse reminders use technology to track the browsing behavior of your customer.
This enables a business to send automated emails which include personalized content based on products a customer views.
Browse abandonment campaigns are more about keeping the ‘window shopper’ customer involved with your product. With 89.1% of customers not adding anything in their cart at the first website visit, a browse abandonment email campaign can help get your sales statistics right.
Pro-tip: Such emails are easy to template and results in a higher customer conversion rate. As a result, brands which make it a part of their nurture campaigns are the one which builds long-term customer relationships.
When to send your email: Each time a customer searches for a product and leaves without adding it to their cart.
For browse abandonment campaigns, it’s the subject line that makes all the difference.
Subject line: Liked What You Saw?
Calvin Kelin uses website data to send browse abandonment emails based on what a customer recently searched on their website. The company highlights a product a shopper was shopping for and gives a curated list of related products within 24 hours of browsing.
Nothing can be more frustrating than sending emails with different subject lines at different times, only to see that your subscribers don’t engage with your emails.
That’s where re-engagement campaigns come into the picture.
With 63% of marketers agreeing that re-engagement campaigns are beneficial, you’re probably living in the dinosaur age if such a campaign isn’t a part of your lead nurturing campaigns.
When you send re-engagement campaigns to inactive subscribers who still want to purchase from your brand, you generate immediate sales.
Like ex-lovers, once a loyal customer could haunt you for a variety of reasons. Irrespective of the reason, you need to rekindle your relationship and remind them one-last time about your brand before bidding goodbye.
A re-engagement campaign serves the same purpose.
Pro-tip: Before removing inactive customers from your list, send a re-engagement campaign to win-back a customer. Such campaigns result in qualitative results and improve your marketing statistics. Furthermore, it’s the subject line of your re-engagement campaign that triggers the interest of an inactive customer.
Subject line: Poonam, we’ve got something exciting planned for you!
This re-engagement campaign from Rewardme is a winner because the email doesn’t sound like a comeback plea. It uses a striking format, which asks a customer where they were and what they get on re-engaging. Following up with their contest, the brand makes a customer wonder about activities and rewards they’ve missed and makes them feel guilty for not clicking through their CTA.
Not all types of nurture campaigns are promotional. Customer engagement converts a lead into a loyal customer.
Always talking sky-high about your product or services may bore your customer to the extent that they prefer to switch to your competitors.
That’s why sending non-promotional emails for educational purposes once in a blue moon keeps your customer engaged and active. You can send data-sheets, educational material, educational videos, new eBooks, and tips from industry experts in a sales enablement campaign.
Sharing information content protects you from cluttering an already overloaded inbox.
Pro-tip: It’s your content that leads to contracts, signup, and eventually sales. Use sales enablement campaigns to generate value and build lasting relationships with your customers.
When to send your email: Once every month or quarterly.
Swiggy, a food delivery company, does something in their lead nurturing, which is informational and educates customers on how to socialize after COVID-19. By teaching readers, they’re providing value in exchange for a customer reading their email. Notice how the brand places the CTA at the bottom, asking you to share it with others. As a single CTA enjoys sales increase by 1617% and emails, click increase by 371% - Swiggy nails their sales enablement campaign in every possible way.
If there’s one type of nurture campaign that’s hard to nail and master – it’s the reminder. The balance between timing, content, and frequency is tricky. Keep your customer’s in a loop without annoying them constantly with reminder emails.
You can send reminders about the trial period, subscription renewal, discount, or voucher coming to an end.
The goal is to bring back a customer to purchase or perform the desired action before becoming inactive.
Pro-tip: A reminder email that doesn’t add value is right to go in the spam or trash folder.
When to send your email: Each time a customer’s trial period, subscription, discount, or voucher comes to an end.
PayPal hits the nail right on the head with the above reminder email. It’s direct, to the point, sends the right message, and above all, is useful for a customer.
Such types of nurture campaigns are more about differentiating your brand from your competitor. Apart from highlighting your advantages, mention the disadvantages of not choosing your product over your competitor.
Pro-tip: Never mention disadvantages while differentiating as it comes out as distasteful.
Drift leverages customer stories and gives compelling reasons as the face of their nurture campaign. It not only acknowledges it’s a competitor but also positions itself as Intercom’s best alternative. Such a competitive nurture campaign tells your customer why they should choose you above other similar brands.
In a buyer-driven market, with reviews and information at fingertips, the buying cycle is inadvertently elongated, much to marketers' frustration like you.
Whether the buyer's journey is short or long, keeping them familiar with your brand throughout their journey is the ultimate goal of a nurture campaign.
Irrespective of what the subject is and how basic the campaign is, building a successful nurture campaign takes time. However, the benefits it offers to your sales pipeline far outweighs your hard work.
These 13 types of nurture campaigns listed above help your brand take advantage of its unique voice and value proposition. It lets you creatively engage your customers instead of directly trying to sell your products. From welcome nurture campaign to upselling, these lead nurturing methods turn leads into paying customers.
What’s more interesting is that nurture allows your prospect to choose their path, enhancing their experience and reducing the chances of leads disappearing midway from your sales funnel.
In every changing digital landscape, nurtured lead campaigns are effective and a must-have for any marketing strategy.