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Date

16th February 2024

Email lead nurturing is one of the most effective methods of pulling your prospects through the marketing funnel, and one of the best ways of utilizing email in B2B. 

With a steady stream of thoughtful, creative and educational nurturing emails, you can gently persuade your new leads to consider more content from your business, cementing your brand in their minds when they're ready to make a purchase. 

In this guide to lead nurturing email marketing, we'll look at: 

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What Is Email Lead Nurturing? 

Email lead nurturing is the process of supporting your leads through the marketing funnel towards purchase-readiness, specifically through email. 

In fact, lead nurturing and email marketing go hand in hand: email is a direct but non-intrusive method of B2B communication, and if you get it right, it can resonate effectively with your leads. 

The purpose of an email lead nurturing campaign is to show your leads that you can provide the services and solutions they're looking for, at the point when they need them. 

The best lead nurturing emails aren’t pushy. A new marketing lead is highly unlikely to buy your product as soon as they become a lead.

However, they are much more likely to consider you in the purchase phase of their buyer's journey if you've been consistently helpful and shown your brand to be trustworthy, educational, knowledgeable and likeable through your lead nurturing email campaign.  

Different Types of B2B Lead Nurturing Email Campaigns 

There are several types of lead nurturing email, serving slightly different purposes. To see what sort of content a good lead nurture email contains, let's first look at those different types. 

The Welcome Email 

This is an excellent tool for connecting with leads. 

According to DotDigital, a welcome email has a 50% chance of being opened, much higher than other marketing emails, so they're generally a great way to cement your brand in your lead's head. 

Send them fast, ideally within 48 hours. The longer you leave your first interaction, the more likely you are to experience data decay or lead amnesia. 

The Information/Education Email 

You should aim to serve up lead nurturing email content that you know is relevant to your leads’ interests.

The way they became your lead is your first and best clue.

For example, if they downloaded a piece of your content, perhaps via an external content syndication platform, you already have a head start on what your next educational email could be. Typically, more information on the same topic has a good chance of catching their attention.  

In addition, if you included audience profiling questions on your content download form, that information might hold further clues.  

You can also use intent data to find out more about what they're interested in, to continue feeding them relevant information. A company newsletter also counts towards email marketing lead nurturing, and is a great way to ease your new leads into your brand.

The Invitation Email 

This is a winner if your team is attending an in-person event, or if you're hosting a webinar. It's an opportunity to engage on a personal level and works particularly well if you use content as a hook. 

For example, inviting yours leads to watch a relevant webinar or see you speak on a panel at a trade show is more likely to tempt them than simply asking them to meet for a chat. 

The invitation email approach also helps build your brand up as a thought-leader. Your new leads may not attend the webinar or talk this time around, but it'll help to add to your credibility in the market. After all, if you're giving a talk on a particular subject, you must be an expert! Don't disregard the impact this can have over time. 

Invitation lead nurture emails also work really well for product demos and free trials. The trick is to make the lead feel assured that it's obligation-free – no one wants to sign up for a free trial if they feel like they'll be bothered about it for a long time afterwards. 

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What Goes Into a Good Lead Nurturing Email? 

So now we know some examples of lead nurturing emails: how do we know what to put into the email? 

The answer is by understanding why the lead became a lead. If, for example, they became a lead via content marketing or content syndication, ask yourself: 

What did the content they downloaded say?: You can go deeper than the topic or the title of the content, picking out key themes and turning them into B2B lead nurturing emails. 

Why was the content developed?: Was it a specific need or subject gap in the market? You can share more relevant insights on this topic. 

How does it help the reader?: Understanding the purpose of the content can help you understand what stage of the buyer’s journey your lead could be in – and what they may need next from you to move forward. 

Lead Nurturing Email Best Practices 

Before we look at real lead nurturing emails examples, here are a couple more points to consider. 

Personalization

The first is personalization. Not just for your lead – such as knowing their name, job title and business needs – but for yourself, too!

Sending lead nurturing emails from a named account, whether it's you or an expert within the team, and introducing yourself by name and job title, can both help to cut through the more generic messages in your lead's inbox, and help to build a relationship. 

This approach is best used sparingly – if you send every newsletter and generic communication like this, it can weaken the effect. Use it for welcome and invitation lead nurturing emails. 

Timing

The second email lead nurturing consideration is timing.

It's important to get the balance right in email lead nurturing – too many and you can make your leads feel bombarded, too few and you risk lead decay.

Lead decay is the process of a strong lead becoming colder through lack of nurturing. With that in mind, we think sending around one email per week on average is a good frequency. 

Lead decay is also more likely to happen if your leads haven't been generated in a transparent way. You can use our Quality Lead Generation Checklist to help you find a reputable lead generation company

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Lead Nurture Email Examples 

Hi <First name>, 

Paragraph 1: Greet your new prospects and cite where you first ‘met’ them. 

Thank you for downloading '6 Vital Reasons to Update Your Cybersecurity Software in 2024' via IT Corporate. We hope you found it useful for your current research. 

Paragraph 2: Highlight something from the content e.g. a key theme, stat or challenge. 

We’ve found a lot of our clients are researching new cybersecurity solutions due to the rise in more sophisticated phishing attacks on many small-medium businesses over the last year. 

Paragraph 3: Share a call to action. This could be an additional piece of relevant content or an invite to a webinar, product demo or free trial. 

I'd like to invite you to our webinar on Tuesday 16th March, covering the new types of phishing attacks emerging in 2024.

We're very excited to have Rick Harris from CyberSecs Inc. as our guest. He and our founder, Liz Smith, will go through several real-life examples of modern phishing attacks, and how viewers can protect against them. You can sign up here: [link] 

Alternatively, you might find this ungated whitepaper [link] on the subject interesting: it's co-authored with Rick Harris, and has lots of expert insight you might find useful. 

Sign off: You may choose to sign the email off from the whole company or a team member. We’d recommend choosing a subject expert at this stage as opposed to a member of your sales team. 

Hope to see you there! 

Lana Beaumont 

Head of Innovation 

LockByte Inc. 

OR 

The LockByte Team 

Lead Nurturing Email Sequence 

The below five step email sequence is a good guide for how to structure your B2B lead nurturing email campaigns. 

The lead nurturing email sequence we recommend is: Segement > Welcome > Educate & Warm up > Score > Send to Sales.

1. Segment 

Depending on your lead delivery method, your CRM and the additional intelligence you’ve received with your leads (such as profiling questions, intent data or multiple content downloads), aim to segment your leads into relevant lists for nurturing where possible. 

2. Welcome 

Prioritize a welcome style email within 48 hours of your leads being delivered; acknowledge where they’ve come from and what content they previously downloaded. 

3. Educate & Warm up 

Set up a lead nurturing email workflow designed to educate your new leads.

We recommend sharing ungated and educational content to warm your new prospects up. The number of lead nurturing emails and the content will depend on your products and solutions. 

4. Score 

Create a lead scoring system to understand when your new leads are ready to be passed onto your sales team. 

5. Send to Sales 

When your leads reach the criteria you’ve set, pass them onto your sales team. Test and learn from this process and adapt your lead nurturing strategy based on your results. 

Bonus Step: Send Back to Marketing

With a successful lead nurturing email sequence in place hopefully you won't need to do this sixth and final step, but it's there if you need!

Within your lead nurturing email sequence it's a good to have this step in place in case you need to send your leads back from your sales team to your marketing team for further nurturing.

Many B2B technology buyers will not be in market when you're lead nurturing sequence is running, so it's important to have a process in place that can continue to nurture your leads if you need. 

Want to know more?

Read our complete guide to lead nurturing to find out more.

Alternatively, for more information on our B2B lead generation services, or for more nurturing email templates and lead nurturing email sequence examples, contact the team at Headley Media - we’d be delighted to help! 

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