Great, you’ve got a list of contacts. Now what? Send them a generic promotional email and hope for the best? Good luck with that. In B2B marketing, the fact of the matter is, if you don’t email your leads something suited to where they are at in the buyers cycle, specific to their business problems, they won’t be interested. So how do you know where they are in the buyers cycle and what to say to them in order to generate some significant sales? I’m about to reveal!

What is an email nurture campaign?

It’s not a set of e-mail blasts to bombard your potential customers and whoever else with your latest promotion. It is a strategic set of email communications targeting each stage of the buyers’ cycle, with the aim of moving the buyer along their journey to the point where they have their hand in their wallet!

What happens if I don’t have email campaigns as part of my strategy?

A new contact does not want to be reading the same material as a sales ready lead. This means that if you are just emailing product centric emails and special offers, you will only capture the sales ready leads. Additionally, you will be passing a lot of bad leads over to sales, wasting a lot of time. You will lose your prospects to your competitors. In sum, you will make a heck of a lot less money! And here is the proof!!

  • 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy (Gleanster Research)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost (Forrester Research)
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads(The Annuitas Group)
  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts (SilverPop/DemandGen Report)
  • 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified (MarketingSherpa)

How do I create a successful email nurture campaign?

B2B email strategy

What you will need:

  • Detailed description of your target personas and their problems
  • Pre-determined lead scoring to indicate what stage the contact is at (ideally)
  • Marketing automation system
  • A good content writer to create compelling emails

Top of Funnel

Who is a Top of Funnel (TOFU) contact?

Cold leads who don’t yet know you, e.g. a bought list or a new blog subscriber. The majority of your leads in your database will have just opted in for a one off reason, such as to download an e-book or you may have met them at an exhibition. Basically, you just have a long list of names and email address, and even if they have heard of your company, they haven’t necessarily shown a great deal of interest yet.

What is the goal of my TOFU emails? 

The goal of the email nurture is to remind them about the business problem that you solve, and provide them with educational information in order to gain trust. To do this you need to produce educational, non-salesy content that addresses their problems. An email that grabs their attention, educates them, provides useful information and shows them you understand and remind them of their specific issues at work. Great examples of this would be an educational eBook or some top tips to help them out at work. Providing tempting CTA’s for your leads to click such as some more really useful educational information will help determine if the lead is more committed.

Remember: TOFU = Educate

Useful tips for TOFU emails:

  • Make your emails and content educational NOT salesy
  • Try and segment your emails to be relevant to different personas and their problems
  • Example educational topics: How do I do x, or get y, or increase my z?
  • Provide your leads with the latest industry news and trends that are relevant to them
  • Keeps in touch with leads on a regular basis to make sure you are top of mind
  • Provide CTA’s and links to encourage them to engage more and move further along the buyers cycle

Middle of Funnel

Who is a Middle of Funnel (MOFU) contact?

A MOFU contact has a clear idea of their business problem, and knows that they need something to fix it. They don’t yet know what it is they need, but they need something.

What is the goal of my MOFU emails? 

The goal of your MOFU emails is therefore to demonstrate to the prospects that your solution is different to other solutions. Provide useful information detailing how to decide what the best option is for their business? Should I be looking at X or Y?

Remember: MOFU = Demonstrate and differentiate

Useful tips for middle of the funnel emails: 

  • Do (your company name) keep up with the industry/know what they’re talking about. What is their methodology?
  • Think about your buyer personas and the content a lead has previously converted on
  • Provide more detail about what your company does, what they offer and most importantly, how this can help the recipient
  • Demonstrate your problem solving skills.  This can make a lead ‘believe’ in you even before you’ve started your sales pitch
  • Think about who the email is from- try to choose someone that could be dealing with the potential lead
  • Invite them to social gatherings, such as webinars.  This is based on the social proof theory: if leads can see others doing it, this will build their trust in your company

Bottom of Funnel

Who is a Middle of Funnel (BOFU) contact?

Now we are down to the bottom of the funnel, left with much more qualified leads than before! These leads have engaged, interacted and are almost ‘sales ready’.  BOFU leads are often determined by clicking CTA’s such as product demonstrations, free trials or request a call back.  These leads are almost ready to be passed to the sales team, however this nurture email can make the sales teams job even easier.

What is the goal of my BOFU emails? 

At this stage you should have a strong relationship with the lead and they are almost parting with their cash. Providing some final validation will speed this process up and make the lead feel more comfortable to make that final decision. Answer questions like: How much experience do they have? Is company x a legit business? How much experience do they have solving MY specific problem? How satisfied are past clients? How do I know they will be good at it?

Remember: BOFU = Validate

Useful tips for middle of the funnel emails: 

  • Demonstrate that the product / service works
  • Show leads that other customers are using it
  • Provide results data such as ROI
  • Give them access or snippets to case studies
  • Send them reviews and testimonials

Does your B2B marketing strategy need a boost? Take our free marketing health check to find out where you need to brush up: