As discussed in our recent post on email marketing performance metrics, this “traditional” channel is increasingly providing an impressive return on investment and playing a central role in achieving business goals for marketers the world over. In this post we’ll go over three key tactics to realize the most ROI and better conversions from your email marketing efforts: lead nurturing, content repurposing and content personalization or dynamic content.
Tactic 1: Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing can be an elusive concept. Simply defined, lead nurturing is offering prospects a consistent stream of content that is helpful, useful, entertaining or otherwise engaging to encourage them to move forward in the sales funnel. By “warming” potential customers who have supplied their contact information (namely, their email addresses), lead nurturing lays the groundwork for facilitating actual sales conversations and conversions down the road. It’s a smart strategy to start off light with emails containing smaller bits of non-sales content, so subscribers aren’t overwhelmed or otherwise put off. Examples include a brief blog post or a short video clip on a relevant, trending topic.
As the nurturing program matures and leads become more engaged, the content shared can be more involved and graduate to including a call to action (CTA). In the meantime, however, the goals of lead nurturing are to establish rapport with prospects and build their trust in your brand by demonstrating its credibility and authority. As lead nurturing campaigns are ultimately intended to support business goals, the frequency of emails should be determined by the speed of your brand’s sales cycle. For instance, for relatively long sales cycles such as a consumer car purchase or a manufacturing equipment investment, the lead nurturing process may take up to a year or more. In this case, a monthly email may be the most appropriate. On the other end of the spectrum, if your offer is time-sensitive and the sales cycle is relatively fast, a bi-weekly email cadence may be in order.
Tactic 2: Content Repurposing
Closely related to lead nurturing is content repurposing. As the term implies, content repurposing means recycling significant, information-rich content, such as white papers, case studies, videos and presentations into email materials for lead nurturing programs. By repurposing time- and cost-intensive content assets, breaking them out into smaller bits of more “digestible” information for lead nurturing, brands can extend their longevity and realize a greater return on the initial investment. You can employ this cost-effective strategy using most any substantive content asset.
For instance, do you have a lengthy white paper? Slicing it up into several interesting factoids or translating them into an infographic will provide you with resources to share with prospects in your lead nurturing campaign. The same applies to longer videos; rather than email the entire video, consider chopping it into brief clips that can be consumed in under a minute. Given the relatively short attention span of consumers and the need to not tax their time and patience, abbreviating and repurposing content is a win-win solution for both your brand’s overall content ROI and email marketing performance.
Tactic 3: Content Personalization
Referred to as “dynamic content,” this email strategy allows for personalized, targeted emails based on user behavior, location and other key demographic data as well as the customer’s sales stage. This is a type of email marketing automation and greatly improves on traditional, generic email “blasts.” By sending targeted communications informed by essential subscriber data, your message become more relevant and will likely realize more engagement and higher conversions. Salesforce.com is a popular provider of this functionality. Keep in mind though that there are several software applications available on the market for developing and implementing dynamic content email campaigns depending on your needs, budget and capabilities. A simple Google or Bing search will display several options from which to choose. In an example of well-honed dynamic content, Salesforce (cited above) shows how an email message from Northern Trail Outfitters targeted towards women and featuring a time-sensitive sale appears:
Clearly, this email content would prove far more relevant and compelling than a generalized “blast” to all subscribers, regardless of gender. The more parameters specified in a dynamic content software application, the more targeted and effective the email message. By leveraging these three email marketing strategies, your business can achieve greater efficiency and better conversions. It’s a relatively small investment yielding superior results and clearly worth your while.