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[Leadership Nuggets] Overlooked to Overbooked – 3 Email Nurture Tactics That Increased Our CR from 2% to 15%

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Leadership Nuggets

First, let’s rip the bandaid off. 

B2B nurtures don’t sell. 

They inform. They delight. They educate. And the best they can do is help prospects work up an appetite for a solution like yours. 

But unless you do some voodoo on your campaigns, you won’t close a deal straight from a nurturing email even if your email nurture ideas are as brilliant as Hemingway

Here’s why: 

  • There’s not enough space for all the context needed to drive a decision
  • Leads frequently lack intent and aren’t ready to buy
  • Leads engage you through other channels when they’re sales-ready

When done right, nurtures serve as a bridge that complete strangers take to become problem-aware and solution-aware folks. 

We used these 3 simple email nurture tactics to fast-track leads to MQLs. And by delivering a value-driven experience, our email nurture click rate grew from ~2% to ~15% in 6 weeks.

TLDR

  • The goal: Improve email click rate
  • The tactic: (1) Structure your emails as multiple chapters connected by one overarching theme; (2) add CTAs for different intent levels; (3) drive value through CTAs; (4) add a fun visual as an icebreaker. 
  • The outcome: The click rate of nurturing emails grew from ~2% to ~15% in 6 weeks 

Step 1: Structure emails like chapters in a book 

Every email should be a separate story, yet these stories need to come together and form a streamlined narrative. 

When standalone emails are disconnected from one another, the experience you deliver also becomes fragmented. 

Here’s what we did to fix it: 

  • Pick a quarterly overarching theme for emails. Bonus points if the theme covers all activities across multiple channels (e.g. Make every outreach conversation count towards business growth with AI) 
  • Select the content you have and structure your email to address different angles of the theme you picked
  • Just like a story, make sure each email has:
    • A hook (the opener that keeps readers reading)
    • A problem (the pain point you address) 
    • A climax (the value you provide that answers the question “What’s in it for me?”)
    • A resolution (the call to action)
  • Put all emails side-by-side and see if you can organize them into a larger text. Remove repetitive content, fill in the logical gaps, and check that all important steps get covered

Step 2: Add CTAs for different intent levels

While some leads might still be browsing, others are ready to learn more about your solution. 

Yet all of them have short attention spans, so it’s best to hook them by giving them multiple options to choose from before they leave. 

For our top- and middle-of-the-funnel nurtures, we added a higher-intent call to action that was contextually linked to the email’s main story (i.e. the primary content, such as a guide or video).

This CTA offered leads a chance to engage with our product by sampling a workflow with an immediate reward and no commitment. 

Although the workflow was the same across every email, tying it to the email’s context caused our CR to jump from 1.3% to 4% on this tactic alone. 

Step 3: Drive value through CTA copy

People are growing increasingly blind to generic “Learn more” or “Read blog” buttons. 

Yes, these might look shorter and better in the design, but what does it matter if no one clicks? 

As we’re writing our CTAs, we now ask ourselves “What will readers be empowered to do?” or “What value will they get?” We then try to package the answer and fit it into the button. 

Even though buttons usually end up becoming larger, the value is clearly visible. Also, by adding extra symbols or emojis, the button oftentimes looks more tantalizing to click (and when people do click, you’ll see the results of your email marketing nurture campaign skyrocket 😉).

Here’s an example of a CTA that could have been a plain ‘Download ebook’. Instead, we took a different route. 

BONUS: Perk your emails up a notch

Emails have to delight the reader to convert well. 

By mixing in some entertainment closer to the middle or end, we got more people to click on banners at the bottom of the email. (We should also mention that the entertainment has to somehow be connected with the main topic.)

Here are a few ideas for you to spice up your emails: 

  • Screenshots of funny/informative tweets and posts that relate to your message 
  • Quotes regarding your topic
  • Gifs
  • Comics
  • Memes (as you might have guessed, we’re in our meme phase these days) 

The Result

Within six weeks of implementing this email nurture strategy, our email performance metrics were up practically across the board:

  • The click rate on our emails climbed from an average of 2% to 15% and higher. 
  • Our website traffic from emails increased by over 300%.
  • The number of good-quality behavior-based MQLs also doubled. 
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