Email marketing: are you nurturing your leads?

Email marketing nurturing leadsDo you have an email list?  Is it bringing you much business?  I admit that I probably don’t do enough to look after my subscribers so if any of you are reading, sorry!  I’ve resolved to get better at using email.  For one thing, I want to be helpful.  If there are people on my subscriber list who just want to know about blogging, there’s no point me writing to them about time management.

At the moment, I send out a monthly update which has the same content for everyone.  I know I should do things differently so I’ve resolved to improve.  If you’re just sending out a newsletter once a month (or less), read on.  I’m learning from my mistakes so you can too…

What I do now

In my monthly update I tend to tell people what I’m working on or about any events I’ve been to.  I also share links to blog posts that I think my readers might find useful.  Of course, I always include a bit of service promotion but I try not to make it too overwhelming.

Why do I need email marketing?

Email marketing is all about reaching your potential customers direct.  As we all know, social media is fickle.  Your posts could reach thousands of people one week and zilch the week after.  If you have someone’s email address and permission to get in touch, the only thing in your way is their spam filter.   Your contacts can choose to unsubscribe but at least they have to make the choice, rather than just missing your content completely.

The real power behind email marketing is knowing what your audience are interested in.  If you’ve signed people up by offering a freebie, that tells you something about them.  For example, if you’re a photographer your freebie could be a guide to taking better photos of your children.  The only people who will download that are the ones with kids who are interested in great quality family photos.  That helps you to niche down your marketing so you only contact them about family photo shoots.

How do I look after my subscribers?

The best way to nurture a lead is to show them they’re appreciated but also encourage them to take action.  That means that when they give you their email address in exchange for a freebie you need to offer them something valuable in return.  It also gives you the opportunity to show your expertise and how your product or service could benefit them.

For most businesses, that will take the form of an email marketing nurture series.  You can start off by thanking them for downloading and telling them a bit about yourself.  Your next two emails can give them a bit of useful background.  For example, if I were sending out a freebie with blogging tips I could supplement that with some links to blog posts giving a bit more background or a different perspective.  A further email could include a case study about someone you’ve already worked with and what they achieved.

Finally, make them an offer.  It could be a consultation or a discount on a product or service.  If you’ve used your nurture series to show them the value of your services they could be ready to buy or at least to find out more.  The important thing is that you haven’t badgered them with the hard sell.  You’ve taken time to build trust.

Do you use email marketing?  How’s it going?  If you have any advice for me, I’m all ears!

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