Digital marketing involves plenty of moving parts: Facebook pages and advertisements, ranking in search engines, creating and promoting content from your website, staying in contact with your loyal followers, so forth and so on.

And let’s not forget that the rules, trends, and expectations change on nearly a daily basis.

According to Reuters, businesses spend about $100 billion on digital marketing globally annually—a figure that increases every year.

Keeping track of all the pieces of your email marketing strategy is a challenge, but with the right tools of online marketing, you can reach the right audiences and improve your ROI.

Vital social media tools of online marketing

Organic social media reach may be continuously declining, but as long as your audience uses social media, so you should use it, too. However, that doesn’t mean using every single channel indiscriminately.

Instead, study your ideal audience and find the social media channels they prefer. Take a smarter approach to social media with these tools of online marketing.

Facebook Audience Insights

The Facebook Audience Insights tool helps you drive the best results from every paid post you run on Facebook.

You can choose unique demographics or even create a look-a-like audience to target people similar to the followers your page already has.

To top it off, the Audience Insights tool can help you learn more about your own audience to create content they’ll love. By clicking over to “Page Likes” on the Insights tool, you can see the top pages your followers Like in different categories.

Facebook audience insights tools of online marketing

Source: Facebook

Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s Advanced Search will have you rethinking using Twitter for business. You can easily search by date, phrase, hashtags, location, and more to see what people are talking about.

It’s an excellent tool for identifying future trends before you write your social media posts. You can also find new accounts to follow and interact with in your industry in order to build brand awareness.

WhatsApp Business

Let’s be honest: People today would rather text than write an email or pick up a phone.

Sure, you could add a live chat to your website and take full advantage of Facebook messenger, but many people prefer to text on channels with better encryption like Telegram and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp’s more than 1.5 billion active monthly users send a whopping 60 billion messages per day.

Setting up a WhatsApp Business account can help you communicate with your audience and answer questions instantly if that’s where your audience is.

Vital email marketing tools of online marketing

How long do you spend checking out each post in your social media feeds? Probably a few seconds at the longest. The truth is people are averse to advertisements: Reuters found that roughly half of all internet users have installed ad-blocking software.

Email marketing is different. 61% of people prefer email marketing over other channels like social media because, by providing an email address, people have granted you explicit permission to contact them and they can end the conversation at any time by clicking “unsubscribe.”

Here’s the catch: You have to earn your place in each subscriber’s inbox through consistent valuable and relevant content. These tools of online marketing can help you do just that.

Automated customer journeys

Automating your emails really works: Automated campaigns like ones made through Campaign Monitor have an 86% higher open rate and a 196% higher click-through rate.

Why? Automated emails are highly relevant, and they show up in each subscriber’s inbox at the right time. Whether your automated campaign gets triggered by the subscriber’s place in your sales funnel or a specific milestone, you’ll create content tailored exactly to their interests, concerns, and questions.

You’ll start by mapping your customer journey and creating unique content for each stop along the way.

Your goal is to demonstrate value and earn your place in the inbox with interesting, educational, and valuable content.

Welcome emails, onboarding, birthdays, behavioral triggers like viewing product pages, transactional emails—these are all examples of automated campaigns with exceptionally high open rates, and engagement potential.

Campaign Monitor customer journeys and tools of online marketing

Source: Campaign Monitor

Insights and metrics tracking

With social media, your insights are limited. Sure, you can see reach and engagements, but that only answers a few questions about your audience and can only inform your strategy so much.

With email marketing, you can essentially put names and faces to online behavior.

When you check your advanced metrics through Campaign Monitor, you can see exactly who opens your emails, who clicks your links, who your best customers are, and so much more.

There’s no veil between you and your audience, and all the information you collect belongs to you—not Facebook or Google.

Surveys and audience feedback

Email is much more personal than social media. You can use this to your advantage with surveys and requests for feedback.

When people subscribe to your email list, you can prompt them to answer a few multiple-choice questions about their expectations for communication and the topics they want to learn about in your emails.

You can—and should—break your subscriber list into segments to create personalized surveys in addition to the personalized content you usually send your individual segments. For your most engaged subscribers who always open and click your emails, you can ask them what they love in your emails. For subscribers who open your emails but haven’t converted into customers, you can ask what’s holding them back.

You could also send out automated review requests a few weeks after a customer purchases a product in order to build that relationship with your subscribers.


When you choose a comprehensive email service provider like Campaign Monitor, you can use it to integrate your marketing efforts across multiple platforms easily.

With Google Analytics, Salesforce, and similar services you can keep track of your customers, keep track of each platform’s results, and find new areas for improvement.


Personalized emails provide 5.7 times more revenue than generic campaigns. Email marketing provides countless hyper-personalization opportunities through dynamic content, segmentation, and behavioral data.

Segmentation is a perfect place to start. Instead of sending the same email to your entire subscriber list, break it up into segments based on age, gender, location, job title, parental status, and any other information you have that’s relevant to your content. You can then create relevant campaigns for each group.

Here’s an example of a highly personalized and automated survey campaign from Adidas that went out five days after the customer completed her purchase.

 Adidas review email personalization tools of online marketing

Vital search engine optimization tools of online marketing

Don’t get frustrated if your Google rankings aren’t amazing right off the bat. It takes time to prove that your content is worthy of making the first page of search results.

The tools of online marketing below can help in your pursuit of that coveted first spot.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a must-have for monitoring your organic traffic—but simply logging into your account and checking stats isn’t enough.

You also need to take advantage of Google’s advanced API capabilities by integrating your Google Analytics account into WordPress, Campaign Monitor, and all of your other digital marketing channels.


A comprehensive keyword research tool like SEMrush or KWfinder is crucial for optimizing your search engine presence.

These tools can also help you track your position, backlinks, and keep an eye on your competitors.


Every WordPress user needs the Yoast plugin on their website to support their SEO efforts.

Without a plugin to help you track your SEO potential as you write, you’re really just making a lot of guesses. Plus, you can preview how your post or page will look on social media or in search results.

Vital content marketing tools of online marketing

Content marketing isn’t just important for SEO; it helps demonstrate your value to website visitors and current customers.

Use these tools of online marketing to build your authority and gain a loyal following online.

Authoritative and relevant blog posts

Pumping out as many blog posts as possible without giving much thought to quality or nuance won’t help your Google ranking or your business.

As a general rule of thumb, check out the top-three ranking pieces for your keyword. Use these to draw inspiration and figure out how you can add a new angle or update information.

Google rewards websites that create content people want to read. And that content should be well-researched, over 1,000 words, interesting, and mobile-friendly.

Guest posting and syndication

Platforms like Medium or industry-specific blogs provide a much longer half-life for your content than social media. Plus, you have a chance to reach fresh audiences that otherwise may not come across your thoughts or website.

Multimedia content

One-third of all online activity is spent watching videos, and 51% of people say they listen to podcasts at least once each month.

Think back to your schoolhouse days when the teacher explained different learning styles: Some people are visual learners while others learn better through listening.

Instead of investing in audio, video, and visual format and hoping something sticks, figure out which format your audience prefers by keeping an eye on your engagement.

Wrap up

The right tools for online marketing can help you stay organized while building relationships with leads and current customers.

  • Use social media to your advantage but not as a final solution.
  • Prioritize channels you completely control like email and your website’s content.
  • Personalize email marketing content as much as possible.
  • Use automation to save you time and resources.

At the end of the day, you want to stay in contact with your customers and build your brand. With digital marketing, you have two choices: spend a ton of money on flashy tools or build a comprehensive strategy focused on long-term growth.

Ditch social media algorithms and start building your email list. Check out how Campaign Monitor can help you create personalized customer journeys for every stage of the sales funnel.

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Travel is becoming a more important aspect of life in today’s global economy. In fact, consumers are becoming more likely to spend their money on trips rather than physical items.

Plus, families are also increasingly using vacations as a way to bond and share experiences. According to search by Expedia Group, families with children less than 9-years old now take at least three trips per year.

Marketers need to have an email newsletter strategy in place to engage with travelers, whether your audience has just booked their trips or they’re still considering where they’ll take their next vacation.

To help you make the most of your email marketing, here are eight things marketers should include in their travel newsletter to keep their audience engaged and convince their subscribers to convert.

How a travel newsletter can help you engage with your customers

A travel newsletter is an effective way to nurture your leads while providing useful and relevant information. Not all leads are ready to make a purchase, so newsletters allow you to remain in touch with your customers without constantly pressuring them to buy.

There’s definitely room for marketers in the travel, hospitality, and leisure space to improve their newsletters. Our data shows that emails in this industry are opened about 16.6% of the time on average, which is less than the average for all industries. Click-through rates are also comparatively lower.

Some of the biggest challenges marketers say they face when nurturing leads are creating relevant content and delivering it in a way that their customers want.

Here are eight things you need to include in the design, content, and execution of your travel newsletter to be successful.

1. Mobile-optimized design

A faulty design can ruin the best travel newsletter. It’s no secret that travelers are on their mobile devices more than ever before. People use their cell phones for anything from checking in for a flight to researching activities.

In fact, by 2021, it’s estimated that more than 77% of travel will be booked on cell phones.

You need to format your newsletter where your audience will be reading it. Consider a responsive or even mobile-first layout to ensure it looks good when opened on a cell phone.

Mobile email from Southwest Airlines

Source: Southwest

This email from Southwest looks great on a cell phone. Southwest employs a mobile-first design so travelers who open the email on their phones are treated to the best viewing experience possible.

2. Personalized and dynamic content

Email marketers are already familiar with personalized content and how well it performs.

However, they might not know just how important customized emails are in the travel industry specifically. According to Smart Insights, 85% of people receiving travel emails want an experience that’s custom for their needs.

Airbnb excels at this type of message:

 Airbnb email with an itinerary for a trip to Berkeley, California

Source: Really Good Emails

Once a traveler books a place to stay, the company sends them newsletters with information that’s relevant to their specific trip and travel dates.

3. Videos

Breathtaking images are almost mandatory in a travel newsletter to grab attention and draw in viewers. You can do even better if you include videos in your email.

66% of travelers already watch videos online when researching their next vacations. It only seems natural to incorporate that behavior into your travel newsletter.

Take a look at how airline KLM does it:

Email from KLM in French with videos showcasing travel destinations

Source: Really Good Emails

The newsletter is in French, but despite the language barrier, you can clearly see how the email highlights videos destinations where travelers might be interested in visiting.

4. User-generated content

These days, travelers rely less on a brand’s photos than they did in the past. That’s because we’ve all been to a hotel where the images online look nothing like the real thing.

Instead, vacationers turn to user-generated content for a more accurate representation of what the experience will really be like at a specific location. Nearly 75% of millennials admit that user-generated content inspired a travel decision when booking over professional photos.

Include user-generated photos in a gallery to showcase where some of your customers have visited. You can also request submissions from your contacts, like this example from Hotel Tonight.

Email from Hotel Tonight asking travelers to share photos of recent vacation stays

Source: Really Good Emails

You can also cross-promote with your social channels with user-generated content. Use a custom hashtag and encourage your customers to post with that hashtag and you can showcase the best in an upcoming travel newsletter. This strategy is a great way to encourage engagement with your followers and build up your photo library with new, free images.

It’s also an effective way to encourage your customers to follow your social channels where they might be more inspired to make a purchase. For example, Pinterest claims that 3 out of 4 pinners act brand travel posts, often booking unplanned trips.

5. Blog articles and educational content

Educational content is a staple of all successful newsletters. If you don’t provide how-to information or blog articles, your newsletters will appear more like promotional messages and won’t be as successful at nurturing leads.

Adding blog articles to your newsletters can help improve your email metrics, and it may also help your blogs as well. More than 60% of content marketers drive traffic to their pages using emails, and nearly a third of those marketers report strong engagement as a result. Those marketers also say emails are more effective for article engagement than social media and have roughly the same result as SEO.

Take a look at how National Geographic incorporates educational information into this email about photography:

Email from National Geographic that includes links to educational content about photography

Source: Really Good Emails

The focus of this message is the travel photography winners, but the brand also includes content about how to take the best pictures, stories behind the images, and information about photography workshops.

This content is relevant to the user and answers questions readers might have about how they can improve their own photography skills after seeing the contest winners.

6. Special deals and discounts

Most of your travel newsletter should focus on insights and helpful tips instead of being promotional, but you should still try to highlight some of your big deals or discounts.

If you position the deals in the right way, your customers likely won’t mind. Socialnomics discovered that more than half of customers actually look forward to discounts and offers if they are specially tailored for them.

Email from Fiji Airways with flight deals from Nadi to Australia

Source: Campaign Monitor

This email from Fiji Airways promotes specials from all across Australia to Nadi. While this example is more of a promotional email, you can use the same philosophy in your newsletter.

7. Testimonials

Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most powerful tools to convince a lead to make a purchase. More than 90% of travelers say their decision to book a specific vacation was influenced by online reviews. You can subtly incorporate this tactic into your newsletter by adding customer testimonials.

Fairmont Hotels uses reviews from its satisfied customers in emails when writing about a specific hotel location:

Email from Fairmont Hotels with traveler testimonial

Source: Campaign Monitor

The testimonials provide a link to read more about the review or the property. You can add something like this in a newsletter when highlighting a special deal or simply providing information about a featured vacation destination.

8. Clear and compelling calls to action

Your calls to action (CTA) are what really encourages your readers to click. This small, yet important feature needs to be clear, actionable, and concise so customers understand the benefit of clicking and will want to learn more.

In promotional or other lead nurturing emails, you would only want to include a single CTA so the focus is on the main action you want your customers to take. However, in newsletters, you are trying to provide a variety of different options for your reader, so it’s alright to include multiple CTAs to a number of different pages on your website. makes its CTAs clear and stand out in this newsletter example:

Email from with clear call to action buttons

Source: Really Good Emails

In addition to the clear text and easy-to-spot locations, this brand does a great job utilizing buttons for their CTAs rather than in-line text. Our research found that using buttons for CTAs can help increase clicks by up to 28%.

Wrap up

Marketers should consider travel newsletters when developing digital strategies to engage with their customers. All brands and their customers are unique and will respond to different things, but you should consider some of these features to improve your chances for success:

  • Personalized and dynamic content based on your customers’ interests or bookings
  • Videos and user-generated content to improve engagement and interactivity
  • Special deals and discounts to encourage customers to make a gut travel decision
  • Educational content that provides helpful insights and information relevant to travelers
  • Mobile optimized design for everyone opening your newsletter on their cell phones

If you follow some of these suggestions, you should notice an increase in your email metrics. Just be sure to A/B test as you go to determine what resonates the best for your audience.

Add a little excitement to your travel newsletter! Talk to an expert today to learn how you can optimize your email marketing for success.

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Article first published April 2016, updated March 2019

Email marketing is a powerhouse tool for retailers, as it’s affordable, effective, and well received by customers.

Research shows 28% of subscribers sign up for a company’s email list to stay informed, and another 27% subscribe to save money.

Once you have these leads secured, you want to keep them interested by using excellent marketing strategies.

You have to make sure the content you provide is valuable, the offers are noteworthy, and the subject lines are immediately enticing.

Without a robust subject line, you’ll lose most of your potential sales, because the subject line is the first line of contact—for retailers, this is where you can compel users to click or leave them to keep on scrolling.

What should I write as my email subject line?

All brands are different, so the language that works for one retail brand won’t work for another, but it is important that brands invest in compelling, creative, and captivating subject lines to draw users in—new and old.

A subject line needs to make an impact and capture a brand identity and, most importantly, it needs to give consumers a reason to read on.

How do you write a catchy subject line?

From clever emojis to play-on-words, the possibilities are endless. What’s important is that marketers innately understand their audience so they can craft subject lines that resonate with the ideal consumers.

As email use grows, retailers must hone their marketing skills, and that includes creating subject lines that convert subscribers to loyal customers.

To create a truly catchy subject line, take into consideration who your target audience is. You can always look to your competitors to see what they’re doing.

We scoured through hundreds of emails and pulled out 75 stellar retail email subject lines and provided some helpful tips to help inspire your next email campaign.

75 retail email subject lines to inspire your next campaign

The list of subject lines has been broken down into six categories:

Discounts and deals

  • Sephora: You’re invited: 10% off for Beauty Insiders
  • Nissan: Weekend sale. Inventory you need to see.
  • Rip Curl: Two for two
  • Pizza Hut: Friday night discounts you don’t want to miss
  • HP: Flash. Sale. Alert.
  • Guess: 25% off your favorites
  • Pizza Hut: Feed your guests without breaking the bank
  • Sephora: Ends today: Get 10% off all purchases
  • Rapha: Last chance to get 25% off all base layers
  • Guess: Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream
  • IKEA: Deals for a fresh new look
  • Guess: Last chance to earn $100 to shop
  • Converse: Hundreds of new markdowns added today
  • IKEA: Save with this week’s flyer
  • La Mer: Exclusive offer: Free samples of award-winning facial masks
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs: Enjoy a birthday gift on us
  • HP: Save big on ink
  • Topshop: Shop now. Save big.
  • Guess: Free shipping extended
  • La Mer: A little luxury at a great price
  • Rapha: Complimentary gift wrap on all purchases

Last chance

  • Birchbox: Last chance to get in on this hot deal
  • Jaybird: Last chance to save big this holiday
  • Pizza Hut: Tonight only. Save $5 on your order.
  • Sephora: Last day: Pick your 5 faves
  • La Mer: Get it while it’s in stock
  • Converse: Ending in 24 hours: 25% off sitewide
  • HP: Time is running out…Save up to $300
  • Rapha: Your savings code expires today
  • Guess: Don’t wait. You’ll miss out on the sale of the year.
  • Sephora: 3 Days only – 10% off and free shipping

Problem solvers

  • Sephora: Your beauty issues, solved
  • IKEA: Where do all these toys go?
  • Guess: Don’t wear last year’s styles.
  • IKEA: Storage problems solved
  • De Beers: Uncover your bridal style
  • HP: Stop wasting money on ink
  • Le Mer: 8-minute miracles. Try these products.
  • HP: Solve all your printing problems
  • Guess: Wanted: Cute and affordable fashions
  • IKEA: Get more kitchen space with these easy fixes
  • Topshop: Meet your new jeans
  • Rapha: Gift inspiration for the discerning cyclist
  • La Mer: Age-defying beauty tricks


  • Rapha: As worn in the World Tour
  • Topshop: Beyoncé’s Ivy Park is here
  • Topshop: New Beyoncé line is just two days away
  • Guess: You won’t believe who’s partnered with us
  • Sephora: Products the celebs are wearing
  • Seafolly: Swimsuits of celebrities

Socially savvy

  • Converse: See the best deals on Facebook
  • Sephora: Get insider tips on our Facebook page
  • Guess: Stay in the know. Follow us on Twitter.


  • Sephora: Psst! You’ll want to pass this one on…
  • Rip Curl: Pass on the savings
  • Guess: Refer a friend and save big
  • Nissan: Bring a friend to our event and save
  • Birchbox: Tell a friend. Get a month free.
  • Sephora: Bring a friend to our VIP party

New arrivals

  • Topshop: Minimal and cool, the new collection is here
  • Nissan: Go green in 2016 with a new eco-friendly car
  • Topshop: Get a head start on summer
  • HP: New must-haves for your office
  • Nissan: Sign up to be notified when Titan XD arrives
  • Converse: Converse custom prints for spring
  • Seafolly: A new product you won’t pass on
  • Nissan: Your inside look at the all-new 2017 Nissan Armada
  • Mercedes-Benz: Luxury awaits
  • Pizza Hut: New toppings. New dinner plans.
  • De Beers: Her style awaits
  • Rapha: The new Brevet Windblock Jersey


  • Jersey Mike’s Subs: Lisa, Earn double points today only
  • Pizza Hut: Bob, try our new treat
  • Seafolly: Hot new summer arrivals just for you
  • Guess: Lindsey, check out these hand-picked looks

Subject lines 101: 6 tips for retailers

We have some suggestions to help you write catchy email subject lines that sell. What works for some won’t work for all, but keeping these tips in mind can help you craft the subject line that drives sales.

Here are the six tips:

1. Optimize your subject line length for your subscribers

Research indicates subject lines that are about 65 characters in length are best, but it’s best to look at your subscribers and what email clients and devices they use so you can optimize your subject lines to fit. To get this information in Campaign Monitor, for example, you can look in the Reporting section of your account under Email Client Usage.

Here are some great retail email subject lines examples from three Campaign Monitor customers:

retail subject lines

2. Personalization works

Personalized messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

You’ll notice that only a handful of the retail email subject line examples listed have a personalized element, which shows how few businesses are using this feature.

As a business, make personalization a goal. Add a subscriber’s first name to a subject line and consider curating products for certain segments of your list based on buying behaviors.

3. Show a sense of urgency

There are a fair amount of subject line examples in the “Last Chance” category that encourages subscribers to take advantage of last-minute deals. These examples all show a sense of urgency, which is something you should strive to do in every subject line.

Provide a deadline and remind people of the limited time left, or rely on “fear of missing out,” or FOMO.

Be sure to add urgent words and phrases like “act,” “today,” “don’t miss out,” or “last chance” to dial up the urgency in your subject lines.

4. Don’t be repetitive

Every email should have a different subject line—even if you send out a regular email that covers similar topics, like a deal of the week or monthly style picks. Seeing something repetitive subject lines like this in an inbox is an instant turn-off:

amazon repeated email subject line

5. Add numbers to your subject line

When you’re staring at a long list of emails and scanning the subject lines, numbers really stand out. The eye is automatically drawn to them. Research shows that people read blogs with numbers in the title 45% more often than those without, and it stands to reason that the same would apply for email subject lines.

If you’re hosting a sale, state the savings in percentages. If you’re offering a limited-time deal, mention the number of hours that subscribers have left to take advantage of it. Try to weave numbers into your subject lines when you can.

6. Add an emoji

Just as numbers stand out, so do emojis. Whether you opt for a heart or smiley face, 56% of brands that use an emoji in the subject line see higher open rates.

However, there are a few tips to keep in mind when adding an emoji to your email: make sure the emoji you use is appropriate and relevant to your message, don’t overuse them, and, if an emoji doesn’t fit with your company’s overall tone, don’t force it.

Email subject lines for 2019—what to know

Subject lines are more important now than ever before. These simple lines of text can make or break an email marketing campaign for retailers.

It’s important that you’re sending the right message right off the bat. This can take time and skill, but here are some helpful things to keep in mind when creating subject lines in 2019, in addition to the tips listed above.

Be creative

Consumers want creativity. They want a subject line personalized to them and they also want to know that a brand has a personality and a heart.

Marketers can provide these kinds of subject lines by using fun and flirty language that grabs attention instantly and leaves a lasting impression.

Keep it simple

To get users engaged, you must give them short bits of information at a time. They don’t want to read through a novel’s worth of information in a retail email subject line.

People have short attention spans and, in 2019, this is has become even more of an issue. Technology makes it harder and harder for people to pay attention to content the way they used to. Therefore, simplicity and concision in subject lines are extremely click-worthy.

Be direct

Consumers want transparency from brands, and transparency comes from being extremely direct with your audience.

Brands should always let their personality shine, but they should also be direct and true in their intentions. If you’re selling something, sell it. Be direct and be sincere, as this will win over the hearts of more consumers instantly.

Wrap up—how to craft a retail subject line that sells

Retail email subject lines are meant to sell, so they’re different from other emails. Don’t rush forming a subject line to get an email out the door. Take some time to think about it before sending an email out.

Brands must take the time to understand their audience, find out what messaging resonates, and build an email campaign and subject line that really drives their messaging home.

When it comes time to craft the right subject line, retailers should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Find the right subject line length
  • Play with personalization
  • Create urgency
  • Drop the repetition
  • Use numbers
  • Try using emojis

The tips here are designed to help and entice subscribers to open an email and act. With a little more practice and out-of-the-box thinking, you’ll be one step closer to a successful retail email marketing campaign.

If you’re a retailer looking to improve your email marketing campaigns, check out this guide specifically for retail marketers!

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Lead nurturing is a highly effective way to generate more sales for your business. When you combine lead nurturing with marketing automation, your results can be even better.

For digital marketers, a step-by-step lead nurturing process can turn a haphazard effort at lead generation into a well-oiled digital marketing machine.

What is lead nurturing and how can it improve sales?

Lead nurturing is a way to cultivate and build relationships with leads in order to encourage conversions.

Far too often, a business might be generating a substantial number of leads, but then it fails to follow through with them. Those leads just languish. Instead of being converted into sales and customers, the leads are left as missed opportunities.

Lead nurturing is a way to cultivate and build relationships with leads in order to encourage conversions.

Image Source: Pixabay

An example of where you could use lead nurturing

For example, let’s say you have a website where you give people a free ebook in exchange for signing up for your email list.

Those people are leads: potential customers.

The worst thing you can do is do nothing. That certainly won’t get you a sale, unless by serendipity, luck, or accident. And that, of course, is not lead nurturing.

If all you do is send out a generic newsletter once in a while, you also aren’t engaging in lead nurturing.

But if you send leads too many hard sales pitches, you may end up encouraging them to unsubscribe, and quickly. So that isn’t lead nurturing either.

On the other hand, if you develop a comprehensive lead nurturing program to engage these people through your sales funnel properly, then you have a much better chance of closing an actual sale.

Lead nurturing should be a planned process

A well-thought-out lead nurturing program can help convert those otherwise languishing leads into sales.

Digital marketing is a great way to leverage lead nurturing. Unlike traditional marketing, before we had email tracking and marketing automation, lead nurturing was a manual process. As an experienced digital marketer, you have drip marketing tools that can keep your leads engaged without a lot of overhead costs.

A step-by-step process to build relationships with potential customers is key. If you follow your plan and give potential customers something they want, then you can more easily get them to convert. Using digital marketing tools and techniques, you can quickly and easily adjust your lead nurturing campaigns to target your desired customers better.

8 lead nurturing steps to follow for a successful campaign

We have outlined the following lead nurturing steps for you in your campaign planning.

This process assumes that you will be using email for your lead nurturing. You might find you need more or fewer steps for your own business needs. But this is a great place to start:

1. Get clear on your sales cycle timeline.

How long does it typically take for a lead to become a sale?

For example, if your sales cycle is typically a month from initial contact to close, you might create a lead nurturing timeline that contacts your leads once a week for four weeks.

Takeaway: Adjust your timeframe based on actual testing, once you start running your lead nurturing campaigns.

2. Determine specific goals for your lead nurture campaigns.

How many leads can you reasonably convert? Do you want to set a goal to generate more leads once your nurturing process is in place?

For example, you are promoting a new online course. You set a goal to bring in 20 new students each month.

Takeaway: Your goals should be realistic and measurable.

3. Set up a lead nurturing database, email list, and CRM system.

Your leads need to be collected in some sort of database or system. Ideally, your system will include a way to send out email newsletters and engage in drip marketing.

For example, with Campaign Monitor, you can integrate your mailing list with Salesforce CRM, getting the best of both worlds.

Takeaway: Make sure any automated lead generation tools that add people to your database are opt-in.

with Campaign Monitor, you can integrate your mailing list with Salesforce CRM, getting the best of both worlds.

Image Source: Campaign Monitor

4. Define your audience into segments based on personas.

Segmentation is all about grouping your leads into sections that help you better target your customers. User personas are an example of “people” that would represent a specific segment of your market. By getting clear on your target audience and segments via user personas, you can better reach them with pertinent information and marketing tactics.

For example, let’s say you sell widgets, and some of your customers want brass widgets, some want silver, and others want gold widgets. They would each get a separate persona to describe them.

Takeaway: Base your personas on actual research if you have it available. Otherwise, you may need to contact some customers and conduct a few surveys to better understand their wants and needs.

5. Choose some content of value to offer your prospects.

When engaging in lead nurturing, you aren’t trying to close the deal (just yet). You are building a relationship with the customer. Therefore, you need to give them content and information that they might appreciate, no strings attached.

For example, if you were selling an online course, you might provide some free information related to the course, without actually promoting the course. “Three free ukulele lessons” sent via email would be an example of what to provide when your ultimate goal is to sell a comprehensive online ukulele course.

Takeaway: Your content should not be a sales pitch.

6. Email this content to your prospects, following your timeline.

At the lead nurturing stage of the game, remember, we aren’t sending out blatant sales pitches. You will now start your drip email campaign by sending out your content on the schedule you created in step 1.

For example, you would send out a new free ukulele lesson once a week for three weeks. Once that lead nurturing process is done, you can then send out a final email to close the deal and offer your prospects a special discount on your full online ukulele course.

Takeaway: Use email list management software like Campaign Monitor to automate this process.

7. Measure and track results.

All of your drip marketing campaigns should be tracked and analyzed. How effective were they really at convincing your prospects to convert? Were certain emails more effective than others?

For example, with the free online ukulele lessons, you can track and monitor how many people opened the emails. If you find that people started with the first lesson, but ended up dropping off before lesson three, you may need to rework your campaign a bit to keep people interested.

Takeaway: Make sure you are tracking more than just final sales. Look at every step of your campaign.

8. Re-evaluate and adjust your efforts based on those results.

Once you have some data, you can see where your email nurturing campaigns may need to be improved. Refine and update these campaigns to get better results in the future. Additional research such as surveys may also be completed to help with this process.

For example, you might find that week 2 of your free ukulele lessons campaign is losing a lot of people. Upon further evaluation, you discover that the lesson is too technical, and a more fun approach does better.

Takeaway: Run A/B testing with your emails to see which specific emails, along with design and wording, get the best results.

How marketing automation helps with lead nurturing

As you can probably see from above, launching the right drip marketing campaign to nurture leads works best with the right tools. Technology and marketing automation helps the lead nurture process by providing standardized, trackable methodologies to engage customers consistently.

When using the right technology, getting the data you need is easy since it will be embedded in the software. Campaigns can be easily scheduled and monitored in real-time to see what is going on.

When using the right technology, getting the data you need is easy since it will be embedded in the software.

Image Source: Campaign Monitor

Once you have tools like these in place, you simply need to create some great content to send to your leads.

Wrap up

To summarize:

  1. Get clear on your sales cycle timeline.
  2. Determine specific goals for your lead nurture campaigns.
  3. Set up a lead nurturing database, email list, and CRM system.
  4. Define your audience and segment based on personas.
  5. Choose some content of value to offer your prospects.
  6. Email this content to your prospects, following your timeline.
  7. Measure and track results.
  8. Re-evaluate and adjust based on those results.

By using email automation with the right tracking tools, you can create, launch, and manage highly effective drip marketing and lead nurturing campaigns that get great results.

Campaign Monitor is a leading provider of email marketing automation, including drip marketing and lead nurturing technologies. Contact us for more information.

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