Dragster Engine Optimizing Now, you are almost ready to press the go button for that powerful lead nurturing campaign that will revolutionise your business marketing efforts. Just a few more tweaks to consider. Optimising your emails is about setting them up in a friendly, personal way for your readers.You want your leads to feel like they are interacting with a real person, not some intelligent software, even though that might be the case. This optimisation looks at content style, format, and the timing of messages. These are not new ideas for email marketers, but are sometimes overlooked by those new to lead nurturing.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and certainly not a list of do’s on don’ts, but just a few ideas about how to improve your campaign.

Develop a writing voice

Let a personality come through in your auto responder emails. Don’t hide beyond anonymity, like sales@ or marketing@, but send your messages from Amanda@ or Tim@. People like talking to people, not auto responders.

Match your writing style to your customers. Professionals might go with a formal, stuffy style, but gadget and technology lovers want something brighter. Kick out Dear Sir in favour of a first name – so leave a field in your email collector for title, first and last name as well as email address.

Keep to the point

Say what you need to say and stop. Web writing is about short, punchy copy. Long, rambling articles are ignored. Break up the flow with crossheadings and bullet points. Serve up bite-size nuggets of information.

Journalists call the style ‘inverted triangle’ writing. The key facts come in the first 30 words and the rest adds more information in order of priority.

The quick and the dead

Timing your response is crucial. Remember, most leads buy from the web site that responds first – so the race is on and if you lose, you are dead in the water. Frequency is another issue. How often your business sends out lead nurturing emails depends on the sales and marketing cycle. Leave the response gap too long and the lead could go elsewhere or forget you. Make the gap too short and you risk annoying them and consignment to spam.

Look at your web site analytics and see what time your browsers visit your site and time your mails to coincide.

Don’t ignore social media

Friends, fans, pokes and tweets make marketing personal for your leads. Do not under estimate the power of FaceBook or Twitter to build or demolish reputations. Social media is more labour intensive than lead nurturing – someone who has opted to put your business on their wall or follow you on Twitter expects some personal attention and interaction.

Tell them what they want to know

Match the content to the persona. Giving the lead information they want to know in a format they want to take is so important.

Links and navigation are also up there – if someone clicks a link they expect to go to where they want, not some in between landing page playing ads or even worse, a broken page link.

Make your content easy to read, informative.

Always include a call-to-action

Add clear buttons and calls to action for those who want to move from lead nurturing to talking to your sales team.

Don’t forget to offer related articles, because the more leads click around your site, the more you learn about them

A good call-to-action should clearly inform the user what they should do and why. Think about placing a call to action at the top and bottom of messages as many leads do not read to the end.

Write compelling subject lines

Subject lines are the hooks for your content in the same way as headlines grab a reader’s attention on a web page or in a newspaper.

Good headlines tease and are neither too long nor too short.

Listen to the expert

Toby Murdock, CEO and Co-founder of content company Kapost

has spoken about the value of content marketing.

“The Internet has put buyers in control,” said Murdock. “Around 70% of the buying is completed before sales are contacted.”

He explained that marketing teams take prospective customers through the sales cycle with lead nurturing campaigns. Traditional advertising no longer helps leads move forward.

“The average click-through rate on paid Internet advertising is .01%,” he said.

Marketing thinkers like Murdock claim the way forward is speaking directly to leads through lead nurturing linked to strong call to action.

 “When we do this, we see click-through rates that exceed 20% and that figure is based on working with hundreds of clients,” he said.

“I click through because I am very motivated. I see something that will help me; I look at the content and say, ‘Yeah, these people get me.’ When you have a need and the content meets it, you’re very eager to move forward.”

Murdock suggests businesses should drop pushing products or services and should concentrate on giving information and solutions that help customers.

The bonus is this content will also help web sites rank higher in search engines.

Now it’s your turn

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences below.

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