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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Jan 27, 2016 7 min read

Inbound Marketing: How Often Is Too Often When It Comes To Email?

Delight – Not Disturb – Your Prospects With Inbound Marketing-Designed Nurturing Campaigns

Inbound Marketing Nurtures Prospects With EmailInbound marketing uses email marketing, just like every other marketing methodology. Email marketing is so efficient in its ability to deliver ongoing messaging, educational offers and reminders about a business’s value proposition that it must be part of any company’s marketing tool kit.

But, how much email is too much? Can we overdo it? The answer is yes. You can over-email, incorrectly email and poorly structure your lead-nurturing campaigns to the point at which you’re actually turning prospects away. Today, we’ll help you try to avoid turning leads into losses.

View the world from your prospect’s eyes to create a better ongoing marketing experience with email. Here are some best practices for you to consider.

Understand Your Prospect’s Priorities

Let’s face it, just because your product or service is the most important thing to you doesn’t mean it’s the most important priority for your prospect. While you might be desperate to get them on the phone or get a return email, it’s very likely they have other fires they’re trying to put out. Keep that in mind when you craft your email marketing program and your lead nurturing campaigns.

Create Three Tracks Based On Pain

Speaking of priorities, it might make sense to create three tracks based on the pain of your prospects. Clearly, prospects who are in acute pain and might be ready to move more quickly are going to be open and accepting if you email them more frequently.

Those that are not in as much pain but still expressing serious interest could be placed in a track that sends a more modest number of emails in a slightly longer cycle. And finally, prospects who need to be nurtured but have expressed a low level of immediate interest can be emailed at an even slower, more casual pace.

This approach allows you to tailor the ongoing nurturing to fit their level of pain and interest.

Use Standard Air Cover Emails And Personal Nurture Emails Together

There are two ways to use email marketing to stay connected with your best prospects: the lead nurturing emails like the ones we discussed in the section above, and the more generic “air cover” emails you’re probably most familiar with (you might even be using these today).

You need to look at both of these at the same time. These two types of email don’t exist in a vacuum, and to your prospects, these emails come from the same place and carry the same weight. You can have a brilliant lead nurturing workflow and blow it with a weekly email that is disconnected and overlapping, making prospects feel like you’re over-marketing to them.  

Instead, make sure that these two types of email marketing are seamlessly integrated to provide a wonderful experience for every prospect.

Resist The Urge To Sell Or Push Your Prospect

I know this is hard, but you have to resist the urge to sell. Your prospects don’t need sales, discounts or special promotions in their email box. Any discount you’re providing is coming right out of the profit anyway. Instead, focus on proving you understand their pains, issues and challenges.

By continuing to educate them, you’ll be getting more and more connected to them emotionally, and this is the big first step to getting the sale. Once they move from emotion to rationalization and the technical questions start coming in, you’ll know that you’ve got a new customer for the company.

Track And Test Everything

Don’t take my word for anything. As I’ve said, every client, every business and every industry responds differently to inbound marketing tactics. You have to track your own open rates, click-through rates and opt-out rates. You have to be prepared to respond accordingly, as well as build the processes and systems you need to keep tabs on these tactics daily, weekly and monthly.

Set goals for the performance of your lead nurturing and more generic email marketing tactics and then hold your team or your inbound agency accountable. Keep in mind that email stats are probably one of the less relevant data packages when compared to website visitors, conversion rates, leads generated, percentage of leads that are sales opportunities and close rate. Regardless, they need to be monitored.

In the end, no matter what you do, people won’t make a purchase decision until their pain becomes acute. With that in mind, keep close tabs on your email and lead nurturing initiatives. The proof of their success lies in the results. Are sales opportunities closing? Are they closing faster than before you started your nurturing campaigns, and are they coming on for higher averages or not? These are the business results you should be looking for. Don’t worry so much about open rates or click-through rates.

Quantify Your Inbound Marketing Program With The Inbound Lead Calculator Start Today Tip – If you’re sending emails out today, take a look at your opt-out rate. If that rate is less than 1%, there’s a good chance you're not over-emailing your prospects. Now, you might not be emailing them enough, so you’re still going to have to go through the experience-mapping exercise to see what you’re sending, when you’re sending it and how your audience is responding. This will give you a much better picture of what your email marketing efforts look like to your prospects, as well as an excellent road map of what changes to make to improve your business results.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.