Okay, so if they are interacting with your website, but they aren’t ready to buy, what are they doing? They are likely researching solutions to solve their problems and considering several options prior to making a purchase decision.
The way that we as marketers help leads through the buyer’s journey, is by leveraging email nurture sequences, also known as lead nurturing. Lead Nurturing by definition is the process of building effective relationships with potential customers throughout the buying journey.
One to one direct communication with all B2B leads isn’t scalable, but strategic email lead nurturing is, and it’s effective. The caveat? Email nurturing must be strategic.
Here are 8 B2B email nurturing mistakes that will tank your conversion rates and leave your leads dead in the water.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Lead Nurturing Campaign at All
Every B2B company needs lead nurturing one way or another. Not convinced? Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do you have content available for download?
- Do you have a chatbot?
- Do you have a ‘Contact Us’ form on your website?
- Do you offer a demo or webinar?
- Do you a newsletter sign up?
If you answered yes to any of the above, email nurture sequences are for you. They do some of the heavy lifting by giving the potential buyer the information they need to help themselves, yet still provide them with the opportunity to easily raise their hand for sales.
And let’s face it, if you’re not nurturing them, another company likely will and they’ll be drawn elsewhere.
Mistake #2: Forgoing Strategy and Research
Nothing can turn your leads away faster than poorly targeted random marketing emails. Let strategy and research fuel your persona development and help you craft your marketing plan at large. Email lead nurturing should roll up nicely and be aligned across teams.
Mistake #3: Not using personalization
Make sure your emails sound like they were written by a human being for another human being to read.
If you’re using a marketing automation software like HubSpot, you’ve likely collected data that can be easily inserted into your emails to add a personal touch. It can be as simple as addressing the email with their first name or you can take it a step further. Do you know their role? Their job title? The more insights you can glean from your leads, the more tailored you can make your emails.
Also, here’s a fun fact.
Mistake #4: Death by sales pitch
Not all leads are ready to buy the second they begin interacting with your brand, so hang tight on transcribing your elevator pitch.
It’s important to meet personas where they are at in the buyer’s journey by providing relevant, helpful content. Videos, blogs, additional resources, case studies, and customer testimony are perfect tidbits that can be shared via email nurture campaigns.
Are sales pitches ever appropriate? Absolutely. There comes a point in the nurture sequence, which should be determined by user engagement, where you absolutely ‘ask for the sale’. Here are some ways to do that.
Mistake #5: CTA Overload
Every email should have at least one clear call-to-action (CTA), but too many CTAs can be a distraction. Not to mention, it makes for an ugly email.
Pro Tip: If you’re unclear about the purpose of your email, the lead likely will be too. Take a step back and list out the email subject, primary CTA and secondary CTAs if you have them, in a doc prior to building out your sequence.
Mistake #6: Radio Silence When Leads Engage
This one seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised how often email replies go unanswered. If a lead replies to your nurture sequence, where does it go? Who checks the inbox? Whose responsibility is it to reply? Make sure to have a game plan in place prior to launching.
What’s worse than silence? Any of these mistakes!
Mistake #7: Thinking Lead Nurturing is One and Done
The more blogs I write, the more I feel like a broken record that’s stuck on research and optimization. But it’s so true. Lead nurture emails are perfect candidates for optimization and should be based on research.
Not sure where to start the optimization process? Let the data be your guide vs intuition. Subject lines, CTAs, and email timing are all great optimization candidates if the data points are lackluster.
Mistake #8: Keeping Sales in the Dark
Lead conversion is a team effort and often a result of both the sales and marketing team working towards the same goals
When it comes to workflows and email nurture, it’s especially critical that sales and marketing align and have a system in place to signify when a lead is actively talking to sales or vice versa. Nothing can confuse or in some cases, annoy your leads more than emails from several people at the same company. Not sure if you’re aligned? Here are some tips to check.
The good news, this can be easily avoided if you’re using HubSpot by leveraging enrollment criteria, lists, and lead status.