The first true rewards you get in an inbound campaign are email addresses. All of your content is designed to build trust between your brand and your prospects in order to elicit a response—that prospect volunteering their contact information to you.
Giving you their email address is a signal of their interest, an invitation to interact more. That gives you a valuable direct channel to prospects, which must be used intelligently and cautiously. The name of the game is nurturing these leads, which implies having patience and applying a gentle touch to your email marketing efforts.
Following up with prospects through email should take many forms, the variation allowing your emails to be relevant and valuable without being redundant. You don’t want your brand to wear out its welcome in a prospect’s inbox. Here are a handful of examples that can effectively nudge them along the sales journey.
Give them your thanks
Building on the trust you’ve earned through your content, let the new additions to your email list know you’re grateful for their willingness to interact.
Thank them, ask for their feedback, listen to them and give them something for signing up. Doing so sets the tone for a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your prospects. Allow them to be specific in dictating what they want to receive from you and give them plenty of opportunities and channels for them to tell your brand what they like and dislike.
- Right off the bat, thank prospects for signing up and give them a voice by asking them what they’d like to see in their emails from your brand.
- Give them something as a token of gratitude, whether it’s exclusive content, a special deal for your product or service or something else simple but valuable.
Give them the news
Most prospects sign up for an email list to stay in the know—it’s about fulfilling their informational and educational needs. Your brand’s email list is the best way to quickly update prospects on what’s new with your company.
It’s also a great way to highlight your content and alert those prospects of pieces that will be of particular interest to them. Use the feedback they’ve given you to hone in on their interests, concerns and desires, then tailor your content to hit those points effectively.
- Provide intricate, insightful pieces, going deep into the pressing topics of your industry with an accessible but academic tone (akin to the long form reporting of This American Life).
- Compile a best-of-the-week list of relevant and interesting articles (either entirely your own or a mix of those with partners or trusted sources).
- Share the successes your company is having and how your brand plays a part in shaping the world around it.
- Give glimpses into your corporate culture and the good your brand does (like philanthropy or charity efforts and community partnerships).
- Weigh in on the topics of today when relevant—take trending stories and tie them into your brand’s own story while staying within your brand voice.
Give them something special
Incentivization is an important concept for maximizing your inbound marketing efforts. Prospects seek motivation for being an active participant in their relationship with brands. The more unique the offerings you provide your prospects, the more incentivized they’ll be to engage with your inbound content and share it.
- Allow exclusive access to for email recipients, whether that means specialty pricing, notifications of a pop-up sale or membership in an elite club only for the most active fans of your brand.
- Encourage the early adopters in your audience by offering them a chance to try your new offerings before anyone else.
As always, your brand voice will dictate how your company should execute these ideas. Staying focused on your buyer persona and your company ethos and then expressing those things through your email marketing will build a meaningful relationship with those prospects who share your values.