The Accomplished Solopreneur

Issue 22.33

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The perfect email lead nurturing sequence

Email is by far the most effective method of nurturing your leads. Over 60% of people prefer email for promotional material (vs only 20% who like social media), and the conversion rate (from lead to client) is more than three times higher.

But if you do invest in email marketing, how do you decide what to write about?

Here’s how you can get close to the perfect sequence.

The 3-phase email nurturing sequence

The ideal email nurturing sequence has three parts, delivered one after the other:

  • Follow-up from joining your list
  • Letting them know what to expect next (the bridge)
  • Stories and helpful advice

Here is what I write in each part.

Follow-up from joining your list

There are three common ways people get on your list:

  • Downloading a lead magnet from your website.
  • Attending an event you host.
  • Adding them manually.

Most email marketers make the mistake of sending just one email after a new subscriber joined their list. But the way they joined is an easy opportunity for follow-up emails:

They downloaded a lead magnet
Send 3-4 follow-up emails highlighting key points in your lead magnet, expanding on sub-topics or even introducing new topics related to the lead magnet.

They attended an event you hosted
The obvious first follow-up email is your presentation material—either a PDF of the slides (which I do most of the time) or a summary of the take-aways. Follow this up with 2-3 emails highlighting key points or how to apply the learnings.

You added them manually
When I meet someone and they ask for some of my material (or I offer to send it to them), I add them to an automated sequence that a) sends what I promised and b) follows up with more goodies or expanding on what I sent.

Timing of the follow-up sequence

I usually send the first follow-up email (a brief thank you) immediately after the download. The remaining 2-3 emails can be sent over about a week.

Letting them know what to expect next (the bridge)

We don’t want people to be surprised at receiving emails after the initial sequence is complete, so we need to build a bridge.

This “bridge” is usually one or two emails. I craft these emails so that there is a smooth transition between the way they joined, and giving them a heads up that they’re going to get more. For example:

Hey Joe,

I hope you enjoyed The (no more) Overwhelm Manual.

There’s a lot more where that came from, so I’ve taken the liberty of adding you to The Weekend Solopreneur. This is a weekly newsletter with an actionable hint or tip—and each is less than a 4 minute read.

If these emails are not helpful, please unsubscribe (there’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email).

Best regards,

Short and sweet, they now know what to expect from me.

Timing of the bridge

Depending on the follow-up sequence, the bridge can be sent anywhere from two to three days after the last email in the follow-up sequence. You don’t want to delay too long, because it may seem to come out of the blue.

Stories and helpful advice

Now we’re into the long-term lead nurturing sequence. There are two guidelines that will help you craft these emails:

  • People love stories
  • Helpful advice is always welcome

People love stories
The people who join your list are there because they have something in common with the people you serve. One of the best ways to engage these newcomers is to tell stories of others you’ve helped.

This is engaging, because we can relate to stories where we see parts of ourselves. At the same time, these stories showcase your expertise, which builds trust that we can deliver the goods.

Don’t make these stories all about you and how great you are. Make it about the client you’ve helped—tell their before and after stories and highlight some of the key discoveries that made the transformation work.

Helpful advice is always welcome
Remember this:

What seems obvious to us is news to our audience.

Every little technique, bit of knowledge, best practices and things we take for granted is going to be helpful to someone. You can turn each of these little things into an actionable email—and almost be guaranteed that someone is going to find it useful.

So don’t worry that you’re offering advice that seems obvious; take those nuggets of wisdom and share them with the world.

Timing of your stories and helpful advice

Mix and match your stories and helpful advice using the following timing:

  • 6-8 emails, one per week
  • 6-8 emails, one every 2 weeks
  • 6-8 emails, one per month

This gives you 18 to 24 emails delivered a period of 42 to 56 weeks. After that, you can add one email per month to the end of your sequence, and extend your lead nurturing for as long as you like.

Is this the perfect sequence?

People will stay engaged with your content as long as it’s relevant. The more value you have in your emails (telling real-life stories and freely sharing your knowledge), the better, and if your emails are entertaining, even better.

For me, this sequence is a balance between:

  • how many emails I have to write, and
  • how long the sequence will run.

I don’t sell in these long-term nurturing sequences. But do include a Call To Action—something like this:

When you’re ready, I can help you deal with overwhelm forever. Schedule a free call for us here.

To me, this is the perfect sequence. Share your knowledge and wisdom freely. When they’re ready, they will come to you.