You have the subscriber. They’re in your email funnel. Now, it’s up to you to not leave them hanging!
Using email, you need to gradually transition your reader from a subscriber to prospect and, ultimately, to a customer. That might sound like a lot of work, but you have all the tools you need in your arsenal already. Now is the time to use all of the content you’ve already created to support your brand’s online presence in a new capacity as part of your email nurturing campaigns.
Understanding the nurturing process
According to Audience Ops, the general email nurturing process consists of five primary steps:
- Website traffic
- Lead magnet
- Education and nurturing
Let’s assume, for the purposes of this article, that you’ve already captured web traffic and converted them into email subscribers through the use of a lead magnet.
In that case, only three steps remain—and you can use your existing content to help move subscribers through these stages.
Education and nurturing
Goal: Your goal at this stage is to drive positive sentiment for your brand and maintain top-of-mind awareness with subscribers in order to make them more receptive to pitches that’ll happen further down the funnel.
Understand this stage by putting yourself in the place of your new email subscribers. Intense, salesy pitches are likely to having you hitting the “unsubscribe” button. Instead, you want to see genuinely helpful content that proves the brand’s value proposition before you’ll be responsive to their pitches.
Here are three ways to do it:
Introduce your other lead magnets
In an ideal world, you’ve created more than one lead magnet (often in the form of content upgrades) for your site in order to target different readers, different funnel stages, and different sales angles. Your email subscribers likely won’t have seen them all, which means you can get more mileage out of your lead magnets by introducing them to subscribers as part of your autoresponder sequences.
According to Audience Ops:
“Remember that Content Upgrades are unique to the blog posts they’re offered on. That means you’re creating more entry points for readers to join your list and enter your funnel. As you work Content Upgrades into your routine content publishing process, you’re continuously adding more and more of these entry-points. That means more and more leads over time.”
Just be sure to make use of tags to ensure subscribers don’t receive messages promoting the lead magnet they requested initially to enter your funnel.
Leverage your blog posts and guest posts
Similarly, if you’ve invested in content marketing as a brand, you should have a number of valuable blog posts (as well as guest posts published on other sites) that can be used to round out your email nurturing sequences.
When adding blog content to your email autoresponders, you have two options:
- Include an excerpt of the post with an introduction and a link back to your website or to your guest publisher’s website
- Include the full text of your blog post or guest post in your email message
Keep things fresh for your subscribers by mixing up these formats from message to message. Here’s an example of a newsletter-style message SurveyMonkey sent to share helpful blog content with its subscribers:
Share your brand’s story
If you’ve written a killer “About Us” page, use this in an email marketing message to help build affinity for your brand. Complement it with additional helpful, informative messages that build trust without incorporating promotions. While you can use your existing content for this purpose, sharing exclusive content via email that can’t be found elsewhere can also provide a powerful incentive for new readers to subscribe.
Goal: Once subscribers have been warmed up with your education and nurturing content, your next goal is to get readers to take action on an offer. Essentially, in terms of the classic consumer buying process, you’re attempting to move readers from the “Problem Recognition” and “Information Search” steps to the “Evaluation of Alternatives” and “Purchase Decision” stages.
As a result, content supporting the “Pitch” stage of the funnel must achieve two things: 1) It needs to prepare subscribers to receive the pitch, and 2) Actually deliver it.
Apart from the messages, you’ll create to introduce your offer and any associated bonuses, you have two opportunities to use existing content to support this stage of the funnel.
Differentiate your brand from competitors
A key question prospects have when evaluating your pitch is, “Why should I buy from you instead of another company?” If you’ve created any case studies for use in your content marketing campaigns, you have the answers at your fingertips. Incorporate them into your email sequences to set your company apart from others in your industry.
Here’s a sample message from Perfect Audience introducing subscribers to case study data:
Answer your prospects’ objections
Few purchase decisions are made simply. No matter what the price point of your offering is, you’ll need to overcome the objections your prospects have that prevent them from opening up their wallets.
Your case studies can help accomplish this purpose—seeing others experiencing success with your product or service naturally overrides many objections. If you have white papers as well, deploying them here serves the dual purpose of providing the answers prospects need while also conveying the sense that your company is dedicated enough to the success of its customers to support them with helpful content.
Goal: Customer relationships aren’t over at the sale. In fact, they’ve only really just begun. Your final goal, therefore, is to use content to get readers who have taken action on your offer to feel confident in their decision. Happy buyers are less likely to request refunds and are more likely to refer others and advocate for your brand.
Support buyer success with post-purchase content
Have you created content that helps onboard your customers and trains them on how to use your product or service successfully? If so, that’s content that belongs in your email nurturing sequences.
Possible formats could include:
- Training courses
- Knowledgebase articles
- Podcast or video trainings
Set up email automation rules that place a customer into a special “post-purchase success” sequence immediately following a purchase. Tailor the content of these messages to answer questions new customers are likely to have and to point them in the direction of any helpful resources you’ve already created.
This sample post-purchase email from Innovee proves that you don’t need extensive graphics to make a powerful impact on new customers:
When you leverage these 11 types of content in your email nurturing process, you save creation time while also ensuring your prospects’ and customers’ needs are met. Give them a try today, and be sure to test, test and test some more to see the impact on your email conversions.
Sujan Patel is a leading expert in digital marketing. He is a hard working and high energy individual fueled by his passion to help people and solve problems. He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency, and a partner in a handful of software companies including Mailshake, Narrow.io, Quuu, and Linktexting.com. Between his consulting practice and his software companies, Sujan’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and marketers scale their businesses.