How to Use Email Automation to Nurture Prospects

As a B2B marketer or sales professional you have a number of things battling for your attention at any given moment. 

Though email is an extremely effective communication channel that’s ever-evolving, it’s one of the most time-consuming.

So how can you scale communications with prospects and leads in the space between nurturing and closing a deal? Email automation takes more tedious tasks off your hands so more effort and resources can be put into impactful brand messaging.

What Is Email Automation? (Especially In The B2B Realm?)

Automated emails are great for showing possible buyers relevant and personalized information in a timely manner. They are a component of campaigns where individual readers (who could be possible prospects) are sent crafted messages after they set off a configured trigger.

Compared to B2C marketing strategies, B2B marketers and sales professionals rely on educating their audiences to gain more leads and conversions. 

B2B business is also solution-based instead of problem-based (compare household cleaning commercials to an industrial cleaning advertisement).

What Are The Benefits Of Email Automation?

Besides cutting down on time spent on manual tasks, email automation also offers:

  1. Personalized customer experiences – The act of nurturing builds a positive relationship with your lead. It’s all about appealing to their specific interests and needs. In fact, over 20% of marketers in a HubSpot survey say that personalization improves their engagement.
  2. More scalable marketing strategies – Email automation enables Integration with other digital tools, making touchpoints trackable. Even with low conversion rates, you can increase lead volume at little cost.
  3. Improved lead flow and qualification Automated touchpoints makes the lead qualification easier with emails acting as a screening tool. 
  4. Shorter sales cyclesSales cycles are already long for B2B organizations, and automated emails serve as a virtual sales rep to nurture them.

How Do You Set Up Email Automation?

Automated emails encourage leads to move from the product research phase into the buying cycle. The main component of email automation is creating a drip strategy specified by segmented target audiences.

Basic Steps

  1. Identify email campaign goals that pertain to your organization.
  2. Pinpoint your target audience and segment them (for more specific personalization).
  3. Understand each stage of your customer’s journey for these audiences.
  4. Craft educational content for each of those stages.
  5. Pick out the right email automation tool

Technical Steps

  1. Set up behavior-based triggers that notify sales teams of prospect engagement.
  2. Create auto-responding emails to those triggers with specified conditions.
  3. Build capture lists of audience members via forms, subscriptions boxes, and trial signups.
  4. Test and continuously adjust your nurture flow based on results.
  5. Set up retargeting emails specifically for non-email openers.

As far as frequency goes, (45.1%) of Databox survey respondents say that one email per week is ideal for email lead nurturing.

Email Automation Tools

Email marketing is one of the best methods for sending the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

ZoomInfo offers a powerful tool for this messaging: Engage.

Engage scales campaign activities with customizable email templates, automation, and other features including:

  • Salesflow – Sales reps and marketers can combine email templates with follow-up reminders to prospects, so no possible lead if left behind.
  • Campaign Mode – This allows users to oversee email activity while personalizing their messages.
  • Contacts Page – The Contacts Page provides a hub for all prospects that sales reps and marketers have reached out to.

Aligning Sales And Marketing

One of the main points in lead nurturing is creating opportunities for sales teams. Teams have to think about nudging leads to a close without spending too much time on them. Campaign goals, whether they involve nurturing or not, should be reflected in sales and marketing collaboration.

Tackling every stage of the buyer’s journey throughout the sales process also involves marketers. Feeding prospects relevant content throughout the journey is a major part of nurture sequences.

In the midst of this sequencing, audience members are in between the problem, solution, and product awareness stages — and they need both sales and marketing to encourage them along.

Email Nurture Sequence Template

It takes several touchpoints with a prospect to convert them into a qualified lead. Nurture emails bridge the gap between problem, solution, and product awareness.

An email sequence is a distribution of resources to your prospects. Email drip campaigns are triggered by certain engagement points (landing pages, surveys, etc), which set off a sequence of automated emails.

If you spend enough time on these sequences, creative outreach could actually become a fun, easy process.

A nurture email sequence should have individual emails that include:

Acknowledgment – Acknowledgement emails let your audience know that you’ve noticed their engagement with your materials and, as a kind of reward, reveals possible problems a prospect faces.

Solutions – At this point your audience is aware of their pain points, but not completely aware of solutions. Solution emails highlight desirable products or services from your organization.

Demo – If a prospect is still engaging at this stage, you can consider them a warm lead. Sending over a demonstration of your product or service gives a slightly more aggressive nudge toward the buying stage.And if your lead isn’t impressed with your demo, it’s time to turn to a retargeting strategy.

Social Proof – Social proof includes content like customer testimonials to seal the deal on being a trustworthy brand. 

Self-Promotion –  The “Big Ask,” to get your lead to purchase. Self-promoting emails should be short and impactful, and possibly include an offer like a discount.

[Learn more] Email Subject Line Spam Words to Avoid in Your Next Campaign

Email Automation, The All-in-One Communications Streamliner

Automated emails are a crucial tool in customer engagement and audience discovery. Better yet, automation runs in the digital background while sales and marketing professionals focus on other tasks.

Email marketing with automation drives results without spending large amounts of time individually, manually responding to prospects.