email-marketingAt the heart of an inbound marketing campaign is its ability to attract website traffic and convert these strangers into new leads. What happens next is where inbound marketing, powered by marketing automation software, excels, by nurturing leads through their sales process and helping to close new business.

Automated lead nurturing, sometimes called “drip” email marketing, provides additional, helpful information to new contacts over time. This series of emails is a way to connect with the prospect throughout their buying cycle, from their initial awareness of your company, through their research and comparison of several vendors, and ultimately to their final decision to purchase.

Once someone has indicated an interest in your company by downloading an eBook or registering for a webinar, you can start nurturing that lead by providing him with relevant information via email.

Here are ten guidelines to follow when nurturing leads:

  1. Instead of renting a list of email addresses, build your own email list naturally over time. Put a subscription box on your website that allows visitors to sign up, or create an online tool that visitors can use in exchange for their contact information.
  2. Use the contact information that your subscribers provide to segment your email list. Several smaller, targeted lists are usually better than a large list of people who don’t want your newsletter
  3. Keep emails or newsletters concise. Instead of sending a list of entire articles, send short excerpts with links back to the original, full article on your website or blog.
  4. Include a Call-to-Action to promote new offers and link to landing pages to get your email subscribers to raise their hand and opt-in to your sales process.
  5. Create valuable newsletter content that keeps in mind your business goals and buyer personas.
  6. Make sure the “From” name is one your audience will recognize.
  7. Use attention getting subject lines.
  8. Test your email marketing campaigns. Send a test message to yourself before sending to your list. Check every link to make sure the page it links to is correct.
  9. Measure click through rates to determine how effective your content and offers are.
  10. While basic email marketing metrics, like opens and click through rates, are interesting and helpful, the real measure of success is the campaign’s ability to produce revenue. Use tracking URL’s, like, or create tracking codes in HubSpot to tie links to referral sources and measure how effective your campaign is at driving subscriptions.

Email marketing campaigns are an essential element of an inbound marketing strategy. Lead nurturing using drip email campaigns help move prospects through the sales funnel from their first visit to signing on as a new customer. Done well, these highly focused, intensely personal, automated email messages maintain the connection your website visitor initiated.