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  • Brand Authenticity: Why It’s Important and How to Build It
    TriMark office space

Authenticity is a bit of a buzzword in the marketing world. Even if you’re not a marketer, you’ve probably heard influencers and content creators talk about being more authentic or “real” with their audience. While you can’t measure or calculate authenticity like other metrics, it’s arguably one of the most important ways to build trust with your audience.

But what does it really mean for a business or brand to be authentic?

What is Brand Authenticity?

In individuals, psychologists say that core traits of authenticity include being realistic, accepting, open to learning, having a good sense of humor and being able to express emotions clearly.

A lot of these traits carry over to the business world. Simply add transparency and consistent messaging and brand values to get the perfect recipe for an authentic brand. So, how do you make sure your business has all of those traits? It’s not as tricky as it might sound.

Increasing Your Brand’s Authenticity

1. Get Clear About Your Brand Values & Messaging Pillars

If your brand is a house, the brand values and messaging pillars are the foundation. And you can’t build a house without a solid foundation. Start building by clearly outlining what your brand stands for. Answer these questions to help you identify and build out these points:

  • Why does your brand, product or service exist? In other words, what problems does it solve?
  • What makes you different from competitors?
  • How do you want customers to perceive you?
  • What type of experience can customers expect from your business?

By having solid messaging pillars and brand values, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with your audience while staying true to your mission. For more information on separating your brand strategy from your marketing strategy, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

2. Audit Your Website

We all know how important a good website is, so this is the best place to start in your quest for authenticity. In addition to great design and user experience, the content on your website is an opportunity to be transparent. Here’s how:

  • On the homepage: Tell viewers who you are and what you do upfront. They shouldn’t have to scroll far to learn what they can expect from you.
  • On the About page: Dive deeper into who you are, what you do and–most importantly–why you do it. This is also where you let people know what you stand for.
  • In your FAQs: A well-rounded FAQs page has answers to your customers’ most burning questions and is where you can be the most transparent. Whether it’s shipping, returns or manufacturing, you should give as much information as possible without releasing your business’s secrets to the world.

Making these changes to your website boosts your brand’s authenticity and instantly sends trust signals to your customers.

3. Add a Human Touch

While you know real people are behind your brand, it’s important that your content has a human touch. First, make sure your website copy reads like it was written by a real person. Typically, this means making your voice more conversational and writing the same way you would talk to a friend while also speaking your audience’s language. This includes the right amount of formality (or informality), nomenclature and even colloquial language.

For instance, using insider lingo builds trust and helps your audience feel like you really understand them. On the other hand, Gen Z slang isn’t going to go over well if your audience is older. 

When it comes to visuals, use stock photography sparingly and instead opt for photos and videos featuring your team or user-generated content whenever possible. Clothing brand Pact regularly features customers wearing and styling their clothes, making them feel more trustworthy and real.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by pact (@pact)

These subtle changes set your brand apart from competitors and make your business feel more authentic to readers, viewers and potential customers. 

4. Make Your Customer Feel Understood

Everyone likes to feel understood, and as consumers, we’re more likely to purchase from a brand that demonstrates an understanding of our problems. We pay a little extra attention when an ad promises to fix an issue we’ve been dealing with.

But as marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in the features of a product. After all, the features are likely what set us apart from competitors. Resist the urge to focus solely on features by giving the benefits plenty of time to shine. How will your product or service improve your customer’s life? How will it solve a problem they encounter?

For instance, a common issue when your home loses power is simply the disruption of everyday life. KOHLER Generators spoke directly to that pain point here:

Power outages disrupt your life, which is inconvenient. You can’t enjoy a hot meal or a hot shower, and the outage may even interfere with your livelihood if you work from home. But a KOHLER generator provides backup power, ensuring your life isn’t interrupted by outages. Life going on as usual is a key benefit of having a generator, and this ad successfully speaks to that.

5. Form a Connection With Your Customers

Wait, isn’t that the same as making them feel understood? Sort of. 

Forming a connection is more about the two-way communication you have with your audience. Here are some ways to forge strong relationships with your customers:

  • Interact with them and answer their questions on social media. Nearly 80% of people said that when they contact a brand through social media, they expect a response within 24 hours, making these social interactions vital to a brand’s reputation.
  • Rethink your customer service strategy. Are there ways you can provide quicker service or policies that you can revise to serve your customers better?
  • Show appreciation to your existing customers. A special promo code in their inbox, a gift or even a handwritten card all go a long way in making your customers feel appreciated.

Chewy is known for its excellent customer service, and this includes birthday cards for pets. In addition to making the brand more genuine, this gesture makes customers feel appreciated and fosters brand loyalty.

How Can You Make Your Brand More Authentic?

Authenticity isn’t something that happens overnight. It may take months or even years to truly build a reputation as an authentic brand. Ensure you’re working toward that by keeping authenticity in mind when creating your content plan and social media strategy.

  • How to Get the Most From Your Email Marketing: What Consumers Want (Part 2)
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Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase customer loyalty and retention, and it drives 40% more conversions than social advertising. Of course, that all hinges on your execution. If you’re not delivering what your customers want, you won’t get as much as you could from your email marketing efforts.

But what do customers want? We set out to learn just that.

To learn more about consumer email marketing preferences, including the interactive features they like to see, what makes them stop reading and how often they like to receive emails from a single brand, we surveyed 700 adults in the U.S. Read on to see what they had to say about email marketing to better inform your own campaigns.

Stop Signs

Your email lands in someone’s inbox, they open it and start reading. While we hope they’ll read to the very end, there’s a chance they’ll drop off. Quite a few things might make someone stop reading, but here’s what our respondents said makes them call it quits in the middle of an email (respondents were asked to select all that apply):

  • 54.7% said the content is too long
  • 47.5% said the content is not relevant to them
  • 44.5% said the headline causes them to stop reading
  • 39.1% said the subject line was misleading
  • 36.6% said the design
  • 18.7% said they typically read emails all the way through

Key takeaway: To keep people reading, make sure your emails are short and sweet with content that is as relevant to your audience as possible.

More Information, Please

Delivering information to your readers’ inboxes is the entire reason you send marketing emails in the first place. But are you giving them the information they need in the email, or are you asking them to visit your site to “Read More”? When we asked if respondents prefer getting their information from the email or if they want to go to the site to learn more, here’s what they said:

Key takeaway: Don’t rely on users clicking through. Put the bulk of the information you want recipients to read in the email. This may sound counterintuitive to our advice of keeping emails short and sweet, but it will allow you to explore ways to provide all the necessary information while still being succinct.

Caution: High Frequency

Marketers know that sending too many emails will cause people to unsubscribe. In fact, in part one of our email marketing survey, over 77% of respondents said that’s why they hit the “unsubscribe” button. 

So how often should you send emails? Here’s what people said when we asked how often they want to receive marketing emails from a single brand:

Key takeaway: Customers are comfortable hearing from your brand weekly or even daily! But before you rework your email marketing calendar to send more frequent emails, think about whether you can deliver relevant, quality content that often. If not, sending less frequently is perfectly fine—and in most cases, preferable to more frequent, low-quality emails.

Make it Fun

It’s no secret that interactive features can keep people engaged and on a website longer than text alone. While interactivity is a little more limited in email, it’s not impossible to incorporate it. Here are the interactive email features that appeal to survey takers the most (respondents were asked to select all that apply):

  • 46.7% like to see new product preview
  • 43% enjoy leaving a product/service review
  • 42.7% like taking polls
  • 39.6% like seeing countdowns in emails

Key takeaway: Any interactive element is likely to be a hit, so experiment with different ones to find which one resonates with your audience the most. For example, a countdown is a great way to create a sense of urgency around a sale ending.

countdown in an email

Step by Step

When making a large purchase like an appliance, furniture or car, the process isn’t always quick. With manufacturing time, shipping delays and order backlogs, it may be weeks or months before your customer gets what they ordered. When faced with a long buying cycle, we were curious to know if customers wanted an email at each step of the process. The answer? A resounding “yes.”

  • 90.1% said yes
  • 9.9% said no

Key takeaway: If customers are making a big purchase, they want to be kept in the loop. Look at your purchase journey and identify key points where an email would be useful for a customer. Even if it’s just a status update, identifying messaging opportunities during the sales process will only strengthen brand affinity.

Picture This

Every marketer knows that an email’s design is important. But when it comes to the assets used in the email, do readers prefer still images or videos? Here’s what they said:

  • 57.8% prefer images
  • 36.5% prefer videos
  • 5.7% have no preference

Key takeaway: Don’t force videos in your marketing emails. If you only have images, that’s fine! Images can work on their own, or they can be combined to make a gif for an easy way to add motion to an email.

Click Here

Button design is a big part of UX, and we were curious to see which buttons people would be most likely to click. Users chose one button from two different sets. Here’s what they chose:

Key takeaway: Cool colors like blue, green and teal were chosen more consistently than warmer colors. Four of the five button designs that users ranked the highest had sharp, not rounded, corners. Both of the top-ranked had multiple colors. When designing your next CTA button, try incorporating one or more of these elements and track any changes in click-through rates.

Get the Most Out of Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best ways to nurture your customer base, so don’t neglect it! Contact us to learn more about our work and how we can elevate your business.

  • A Three-Stage Lead Nurturing Strategy Anyone Can Use
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If someone has reached the lead nurturing stage of your sales process, they’re aware of your business or service, but they don’t know everything about you. In fact, they may not know much aside from your name and a general idea of what you do.

Lead nurturing is how you educate prospective customers or clients about what you do, why you do it, how it works, and, most importantly, why any of it matters to them. It’s an extremely important part of turning a prospect into a loyal customer.

While it’s important, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ll break down the three stages of lead nurturing and how to turn a “maybe” into a “yes!” at each step. (This approach was created by Ken Krogue, co-founder of Inside Sales. We have expanded on it.)

A Lead Nurturing Strategy in Three Steps

These are the stages in which someone interacts with your business. In the first stage, they don’t know a lot about you. Your goal is to provide more and more information with each stage, allowing them to make an informed decision. Here are those three stages and what you can do for prospective customers at each one to nurture them to a sale.

1. Interest

At this stage, people are interested in your business, but they may not know very much about you. They don’t have enough information to make a purchase yet. They want and need to know more.

This is your chance to explain your offering, including the benefits of your product(s) and service(s). In short, why is what you do important? You can answer these questions on a variety of platforms in a variety of ways: social media, website content, email marketing, print and more.

Consider creating a series of social media posts, videos, animations or emails about the basics of your business and a few benefits. This could also be a blog post or page on your website where you point people who need a “crash course” on your business.

This social ad from KOHLER Power Reserve does a great job of answering a frequently asked question in a quick clip.

Important Dos and Don’ts During This Stage:

  • DO use vivid language. As the saying goes, paint a picture for your customers.
  • DON’T use jargon. Jargon and industry-specific terms only confuse people who aren’t in the industry, like your customers.
  • DO talk about the benefits of your product, but keep those benefits concrete. Use numbers and statistics when possible.
  • DON’T overwhelm your audience with information. At this stage, stick to the top 2-3 benefits. You’ll have the opportunity to tell them more later.

2. Understanding

At this stage, people know what you do and are aware of your product, but they probably don’t fully understand it. They may know you paint homes, install windows, or make high-quality handbags, but they aren’t sure what sets you apart from your competitors.

This is your opportunity to explain what makes your business special.

Here are some examples of questions to answer to better help people understand your business:

  • Do you offer free consultations?
  • How do you help customers decide which service/product would be best for them?
  • What is your delivery timeline? How long does it take to start using your product/service from the point of purchase?
  • What are your qualifications/certifications? Are you licensed/insured? (If applicable.)
  • What is your return/refund policy? Do you offer a warranty?

This video from Window World of Colorado takes a complex topic (energy efficiency) and explains it in a way that is easy to understand. It’s also versatile enough to be used across their website, social, or email campaigns.

Important Dos and Don’ts During This Stage:

  • DO listen to your customers. Create content that answers questions that real people have asked about your business. If one person has asked it, there are likely many more who kept their question to themselves.
  • DON’T get too bogged down in details at this stage. Give prospective customers the information they want, but don’t provide information that doesn’t serve them yet. For example, prospective customers might not need to know what installation of your product entails at this stage.
  • DO get creative with the way you present this information. How can you tell – or better yet, show – your audience what you’re all about and what they can expect?
  • DON’T put this information in just one place. You will likely need to repeat key information in several places across your website, ads and customer communications.

3. Relevance

Customers care about you, but they care about themselves a lot more. They want to know how your service or product can solve a problem for them

This is where your communication gets more personal. Speak directly to your customers and address their pain points.

Are they a busy parent with no time to wait around for a contractor who might show up between noon and 4 PM? Stress that your technicians always show up at a previously scheduled time.

Maybe they’re a college student who needs a durable bag to carry around campus. Highlight your bag’s reinforced seams and strong waxed canvas material.

In this email from Closets by Liberty, the customer testimonial takes up almost the same amount of room as the sale announcement. The combination of a sale announcement followed by a testimonial instantly bolsters a prospective customer’s confidence in the product.

Important Dos and Don’ts During This Stage:

  • DO use customer testimonials or reviews to reassure prospective customers that your product or service is the right choice for them. A little social proof goes a long way.
  • DON’T focus on the same things you did in the understanding phase. Dig a little deeper into what makes you unique to really hook prospective customers.
  • DO segment your email lists and create content tailored to each segment. This will ensure that you get the most from your email nurturing efforts.
  • DON’T try to speak to every individual. Use your audience personas to speak to broader key demographics (parents, college students, homeowners, etc).

Nurture Your Leads the Right Way

With the right lead nurturing, prospective customers will turn into loyal customers and brand ambassadors.

Need help putting this plan into action? We’re here.

  • 5 Reasons to Incorporate Video Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
    TriMark office space

If you’ve spent any time online, you know that video is everywhere. From endlessly scrolling TikTok to rewatching that incredible play from last night’s hockey game or watching your friend’s Instagram stories, it’s hard to not watch videos online. They’re eye-catching and entertaining!

But for businesses and digital marketers, video is a huge marketing tool. 

Why Does Video Marketing Matter?

Put simply, video marketing is versatile and effective. It can be used by nearly every industry on a variety of platforms to serve many audiences and purposes, from long-form videos on YouTube to short-form videos on social media. Whether you want to educate your audience, show your process or simply talk to your customers, video can do it. 

One of the things that’s so great about video is that it can do all of that at any stage of the funnel. Video marketing builds trust, shows your product or service in action, and is incredibly shareable on social media. From explainer videos to nurture someone who is becoming familiar with your brand to testimonial videos that push them to convert, video marketing is a powerful tool no matter where someone is in the marketing funnel.

Let’s take a deeper look at these reasons, plus a few more.

5 Reasons to Start Video Marketing

1. Your Audience Wants Videos

Whether it’s via YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, blogs, emails or your homepage, people want—and consume—video content.

Some interesting stats about consumer behavior and video:

65% of people turn to YouTube to help them fix something in their home or car. (We’ve all headed to YouTube for help to fix a leaky sink or change a headlight, right?) How-to videos, also called “self-directed learning,” are a huge marketing tool for service-based industries or even ecommerce businesses that may need to provide extra instruction for their product.

Emails with video are shown to improve click-through rates by 65%. This doesn’t mean that you need to put a video in every piece of email marketing, but it does mean that when you really want your message to make an impact, video can help.

2. It Drives Conversions

People are 144% more likely to purchase if there is a video associated with a product or service. For ecommerce businesses, this could be as simple as a short video showing your product being used or worn. If you’ve done any online shopping recently, you’ve probably noticed that many retailers include videos of real people wearing their clothes or shoes on their product pages. When customers can get a clear idea of what an item looks like on someone and how it fits, they’re more likely to buy. On landing pages, videos can increase conversions by 80% or more.

For service-based businesses, explainer videos are a great way to inform customers and increase conversions. Explainer videos are exactly what they sound like: videos that explain a service or product. They’re short, typically 30-90 seconds long, and give a high-level overview of your service and how it works. It’s essentially your elevator pitch.


3. Videos Create Connection & Credibility

Part of the reason video performs so well is that it allows you to create a connection with your audience by putting a face and a voice to your company. (Or multiple faces and voices.)

Video marketing also helps establish credibility and trust. Whether you create explainer videos, how-tos, or even video testimonials from clients and customers, video marketing goes a long way in proving your business is trustworthy.


4. Videos Can Help Improve SEO

Video can improve your site’s SEO in two ways:

Adding video to your website decreases the bounce rate and keeps people on your site longer. In fact, people tend to stay on a page with video 1.4x longer than pages without. Since time on page is one of Google’s ranking factors, video, along with proper optimization, can help boost your site in search results.

In addition to increasing time on page, optimized videos can rank on Google, giving you another opportunity to get a featured snippet spot. Featured snippets appear at or near the top of search results, which means instant eyes on your content.

5. Videos Are a Hit on Social Media

With the rise of TikTok during the pandemic, other social media platforms have tried to mimic the video-only platform. Facebook and Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts were created in an attempt to capitalize on TikTok’s popularity and hopefully bring a little of that non-stop scrolling to those platforms.

And there’s no shortage of ways to share videos on social media:

  • Facebook – in posts, stories and on Facebook Live
  • Instagram – in posts, stories and Reels 
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • TikTok (need TikTok inspiration?)

The Key to Video Marketing

There is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to video marketing: like most forms of marketing, it’s only effective if it’s authentic.

Authenticity is key on social media, thanks in part to TikTok’s popularity. That means you no longer need a six-figure budget to produce great video content. You just need useful, informative or entertaining content (preferably all three!)

  • What Do Consumers Want From Your Marketing Emails? We Decided To Find Out. (Part 1)
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By Megan Burgess, Content Strategist

It’s no secret that email marketing is an effective strategy with one of the highest ROIs ($36 return for every $1 spent). 

But how can you make the most of your email marketing efforts? By better understanding your audience and what they want. And luckily, we’ve done some of this research for you.

To better understand consumer email marketing preferences, we surveyed 1,760 adults worldwide. Read on to see what they had to say about their email marketing preferences, including exactly what they want in their inbox and what warrants hitting the “unsubscribe” button.

Small Business vs. Big Business

Do customers want to hear from your small business? Or are they only interested in emails from their favorite chain stores and restaurants? The answer may surprise you…

  • 37.8% reported subscribing to marketing emails from both small, local businesses and nationwide or regional chains
  • 34.8% said that they are only subscribed to marketing emails from local businesses
  • 27.3% reported only being subscribed to marketing emails from nationwide or regional chains

Key takeaway: It doesn’t matter what size your business is; customers want to hear from you! You’re never too small, or too large, to invest in email marketing.

What a Customer Wants

When creating marketing emails, it’s easy to create the ‌content you want people to receive. But sometimes that doesn’t line up with what the customer wants. When that happens, your marketing efforts aren’t nearly as effective.

So, what do customers want in their inbox? We gave them three options and told them to choose all that apply:

  • 82.4% said they look for special offers or discounts
  • 53% said they like to receive brand news
  • 14.5% said they like to see behind-the-scenes content

Key takeaway: Customers like when something is in it for them, especially a discount. If you can’t give discounts regularly, brand or product news is also engaging for many customers.

This email from Closets by Liberty gets right to the point: announcing their summer sale. And if you’re wondering what to do for lunch, this Guasaca email lets you know where you can get one of the hottest lunch deals in Raleigh.

Do Emails Equal Sales?

Does email marketing drive sales? Yes! When asked if they had made a purchase as a direct result of a marketing email…

  • 81.6% said they have made a purchase from a marketing email at least once

When we break it down by age group, we can see that the age groups with the most buying power report making more than one purchase from email. Here’s the breakdown of 35- to 64-year-olds that reported making at least one purchase as a direct result of email marketing:

  • 40% of 35-44 year olds
  • 45% of 45-54 year olds
  • A whopping 47% of 55-64 year olds

Key takeaway: Email is an effective way to drive sales—including repeat sales—for direct-to-consumer and ecommerce businesses. This is especially true for demographics with the most buying power.

Tailor-Made Content

If you segment your email list, you may think you’re doing enough to tailor your marketing emails. But according to our respondents, it may not be enough. When asked how often they feel like marketing emails are tailored to them, here’s what we found:

  • 65.5% of respondents said that emails never or rarely feel tailored to them

To explore this a bit more, we asked people what brands could do to make marketing emails feel more customized. Responses fell into a few categories:

Content Based on Behavior

When it comes to customization, many survey takers want companies to use their browsing and shopping behaviors to tailor content. Here are some of the things they had to say:

  • “Send emails about things I have browsed on their website, give special discount code for things I currently have in my cart.”
  • “The business should look at my search history and purchases and send me information or deals related to those items or similar items.”
  • “Notice that I buy on sale so send me an email about a sale that begins in a day.”

This Airbnb email with a San Francisco itinerary is a great example of content based on user behavior, while West Elm does a great job of reminding people what they were shopping for.

Sales & Deals

It’s no secret that people love saving money! And as we mentioned, people love getting sales and discounts sent right to their inbox. From our respondents:

  • “Send coupons or sale info, I am a bargain hunter!”
  • “Go through your purchasing history and give offers based on things that you tend to buy”
  • “Send coupons for the items I normally purchase.”

Content Based on Past Purchases

While concerns about privacy on the internet are increasing, plenty of people reported wanting businesses to use their shopping history to create hyper-tailored email content. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • “Send marketing emails based on my purchases and interests with discounts.”
  • “Remind me of an old purchase and suggest a related new purchase.”
  • “Sending announcements for expansions/add-ons to products I already own. Recommending other products, similar to what I’ve already bought or shopped for. Notifications for sales on items I’ve shown interest in, or on items related to previous purchases.”

Key takeaway: There is always room for more email personalization. Think about how you can make your emails feel more customized and less like mass communications. Are you using personalization fields? How about segmenting your emails by location or by purchase frequency so you can deliver more customized content? Any one of these goes a long way in making your emails feel more personalized for the customer. (Check out our blog post about email nurture strategies for more ideas!)

Unsubscribe Here

We don’t like to think about it, but we all lose subscribers now and then. While we can’t often pinpoint an exact reason, our findings shed light on the motivation behind unsubscribes. Here’s what we learned:

  • 77.4% said the business sends too many emails
  • 52.3% said they unsubscribe because the content isn’t what they thought it would be
  • 43.2% unsubscribe when they no longer shop/dine there or use a business’s services

Key takeaway: Sending emails too frequently is a surefire way to lose subscribers. We recommend sending no more than once a week, although twice a month tends to be the sweet spot. And always be upfront about what kind of content you’ll be sending. For example, don’t promise exclusive deals just to get sign-ups if you know you won’t be sending deals!

Email Habits

In addition to learning about consumer preferences, we wanted to gain more insight into email preferences and behaviors. By learning more about how people check their email, we can better understand our own email marketing statistics. To help us get there, we asked about email notifications and the devices people use to check their email most often.

Email Notifications

Do people have their email notifications turned on? The answer is a resounding “yes!”

  • 80.7% of people reported having email notifications enabled on their mobile devices

For those that utilize email notifications, we wanted to know if they wait to open the email, or if they do it as soon as they see the notification.

  • 47.3% of people said they open the email as soon as the notification appears
  • 35.1% said it depends on the sender
  • 17.6% of people said they don’t open emails immediately

Key Takeaway: The majority of your audience will be notified of your email as soon as it lands in their inbox—and there’s a good chance they’ll open it when they see the notification come through.

Mobile is King

When asked what device they check their email on most often, it was no surprise that most people check email on their phone:

  • 64.6% said they check their email on their phone most often
  • 29.8% reported using their desktop or laptop to check their email the most
  • 5.6% said they check their email on a tablet most of the time

Key Takeaway: Design your emails with mobile in mind, but don’t neglect the desktop experience.

Make the Most of Your Email Marketing

Ready to invest in email marketing services for your business? TriMark is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our work and how we can elevate your business.

And if you enjoyed the information here, stay tuned for part two of our email marketing research!

  • How to Create an Email Nurture Strategy
    TriMark office space

As much as we’d like customers to purchase our product the first time they see it, we know that’s not the case. In fact, the “rule of 7” states that, on average, people need to see an ad or message at least seven times before they take action. Those messages could come in the form of advertisements, social media posts and emails. 

The most effective way to get your message across? Email.

It’s the best way to nurture your leads, and it consistently provides the highest ROI of any marketing tactic.

gmail home screen

What is Lead Nurturing?

At its core, lead nurturing is building relationships with potential customers.

The messaging that your company puts out establishes, strengthens and maintains that relationship. A successful lead nurturing campaign makes your brand more memorable and increases sales.

Why Nurture via Email

Email is just one way to nurture leads. You can also retarget them with ads on social media, display or search and even send mailers. But email marketing has the highest ROI, generating approximately $42 of revenue for every $1 spent.

That makes email marketing the most cost-effective way to nurture leads, but that’s not the only reason to create a lead nurturing strategy. Here are three more reasons that nurturing with email is king:

  • Email is 40X better at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
  • Nurtured leads tend to make larger purchases (47% larger, on average) because they have more trust in your brand. 
  • People want to hear from you! When surveyed, just over 60% of people said they want to hear from companies they do business with at least weekly. 91% said they want to receive promotional emails at least monthly.
person online shopping with credit card

How to Build a Lead Nurturing Email Strategy

Whether you’ve never built a lead nurturing email campaign or you’d like to revamp your current campaign, you’re in the right place! Here’s our step-by-step guide to building an effective email nurture campaign:

1. Set a Goal

Like any marketing initiative, the first step is identifying your goal. What do you want from this campaign? Higher sales or conversions and increased website traffic are two common, concrete goals, but an additional goal could be to educate your audience about your unique product or service.  

2. Understand Your Buyer’s Journey

Understanding the way your audience interacts with your brand and purchases your product is key, especially when creating a lead nurturing strategy. Here are some questions to consider to better understand your buyer’s journey:

  • How long does it typically take someone who becomes aware of your brand to become a customer?
  • How much information do your customers need before they purchase?
  • What kind of information do they need to become a customer?

For service-based businesses, letting customers know what they can expect at important points throughout their buying journey is a great way to nurture them:

3. Identify Your Audience(s)

The most effective campaigns have a clearly defined audience. And in some cases, it’s most effective to have more than one audience. 

Segmenting your audience—or dividing it up based on factors that impact their buyer’s journey—is a surefire way to improve the effectiveness of your emails. In fact, segmented campaigns can lead to as much as a 760% increase in revenue. Even simply personalizing the subject line can result in a 50% higher open rate. 

There are nearly endless ways to segment your audience, but here are some common segments:

  • Geographic location
  • Purchase history
  • Browsing behavior
  • Gender
  • Stage of the sales funnel
  • Email engagement, like those that regularly click links in your emails

There is no best way to segment an email audience; it all depends on your product or service. For example, KOHLER Generators segments its audience based on geographic location to better speak about the factors that may lead someone to need a generator:

For your business, it may make more sense to segment based on purchase history or browsing behavior. It’s all about what allows you to best speak to your customers.

4. Create a Schedule

In a lead nurturing drip campaign, you’ll probably send emails every few days for a limited time. From there, we recommend sending weekly, bi-weekly or monthly emails to keep your subscribers engaged and your brand top-of-mind. Sending emails too frequently can be annoying, leading customers to unsubscribe.

To determine how frequently you should send marketing emails, think about how often you can realistically create good, valuable content and how often your customers really need to hear from you. Sending subpar emails just for the sake of appearing in someone’s inbox isn’t an effective strategy. In addition, sending more information than your customers need will only leave them feeling overwhelmed rather than educated.

woman with calendar

5. Create a Content Calendar

Your content calendar will combine your schedule with the topics your emails will address. Here are some things to consider when choosing email topics:

  • What type of content does your audience need to move through the purchase funnel? What product or service features can you highlight?
  • What are the most visited pages on your site? This will help you understand the type of information people are looking for.
  • What insights can you use? Your community management and sales teams can provide valuable insights into your customer’s mind.
  • What are some of the most searched keywords in your industry? Although keywords don’t impact email marketing, it’s a great way to create content that people are actively searching for.

When brainstorming content ideas, think about the marketing emails you receive that appeal most to you. See if you can apply these findings to your own email campaigns.

Part of creating your content calendar is creating enticing subject lines. 47% of people say they open an email based on the subject line alone, so it’s important to spend time on your subject lines instead of making them an afterthought.  

6. Send!

Once your emails are written and designed, it’s time to send! Most email marketing platforms allow you to create drip campaigns and customer journeys that will automatically send emails based on certain “triggers.” For instance, you can automatically send a follow-up email a few days after a purchase or an email with a coupon code for an abandoned cart. For monthly newsletters or one-off emails, send them manually or schedule them according to the calendar you set.

Want More Marketing Tips?

Step up your campaigns with our guide to user-generated content and our tips on how to successfully launch a new product.

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