Follow up has a hard core role to play in the sales process.
The marketing term ‘follow up’ can cover everything that happens from the moment someone joins your list all the way through to when they buy your product or service.
It’s a bit of a catch-all term, but we can broadly describe it like this:
Follow up is all the nurture you give someone to get them ready for the sale.
Let me do a little drilling down for you here… I say just a little because of this blog: ‘What is short term nurture marketing?’ by the fabulous Ashton. It will give you the detail and clarification you might be looking for on follow-up emails, especially around Short Term Nurture vs Long Term Nurture campaigns. Go read it!
There are four different types of specific follow-up, plus a ‘general follow up’ category… Seems like follow-up is just so big a thing that it’s pretty hard to separate out. But we can categorise it as follows:
- Lead magnet follow-up (aka short term nurture) - sent after the delivery of a lead magnet.
- Sales emails - triggered by sales engagement.
- Sales supporting nurture - to go alongside longer sales cycles.
- Outreach follow up - often manual, e.g. trying to book someone in for a call.
And then we have ‘general follow up’, which is the bucket that everything else belongs in.
General follow-up may be relevant when someone has not consumed a specific lead magnet, but they have interacted with something of yours/ asked a particular question, and in this case, your follow up would be to provide more information and share some value added nurture. Aka the yummy stuff.
In this blog, I’m going to show you 3 examples of great follow up, from 3 different companies. These emails sure did work their magic on me - I felt compelled to purchase. They are quite varied examples of email nurture best practices - because variety is the spice of life, right!
What are good lead nurturing examples?
What was my criteria when I was picking out these good nurturing follow up emails to share in this blog?
Let me run you through my list…
- Follow up should be sent pretty soon after the lead magnet delivery email.
- The email should follow up on the thing signed up for - specific to that, rather than generic.
- If the follow up consists of more than 1 email, it should be a short campaign - one which doesn’t push on and on and on.
- The follow up should add value.
- It should educate.
- It should teach me a little about who the company are and what they do. (but not tooooo much. That kind of thing belongs in your Welcome Campaign)
- The content shared should be of a brilliant quality.
- If it’s lead magnet follow up, there should be encouragement for the consumption of the thing they signed up for - e.g. hyping the free .PDF download/encouraging to use the coupon code.
- The content should be relevant to the reader’s awareness stage. It’s all about sending the right kind of information to the right people, moving them up through the awareness stages. (More on this later in the blog)
- The follow up should gently address objections I may have: it should help me see how their solution to my pain is appealing and will work for me.
- The follow up should feel nurturing. I want to feel a relationship being built.
- It should NOT feel ‘salesly’.
- The follow up should provide segmenting opportunities. (i.e. link-click tracking to gather valuable insight on the consumer)
In the main, nurturing follow up emails are sent at the beginning of your relationship with your lead.
These nurturing emails have got a lot riding on them and it really pays to get them right. Creating world-class follow up is something we teach in our Marketing Automation Academy - if you’re interested to know a little more about that.
It’s important to really consider how much sales messaging is appropriate to include in your follow up emails. You don't want to bombard your lead at this stage with sales messaging. The aim of follow up is to nurture. The real sales messaging can come later, be patient!
Onto the examples!
Lead Nurturing Example #1
I loved this one from the Newspaper Club. This follow up email was sent as a result of me signing up to their newsletter list. There was just 1 email in this follow up campaign, and I obviously went on to receive their regular newsletters too.
Here’s the contents of the email and the main things which stood out to me:
My feedback on this follow up email
I really recommend you create a follow-up email to send to your new email newsletter subscribers. This email does some hard work on new leads, and in a pretty effortless way. I feel like I’ve got to know the brand better, that the Newsletter Club is a great source of inspiration as well as a strong possibility for a company I’d use for printing.
I love the value they’re giving me. Each of those resources they share in the email are great quality inspirational pieces. I get to see their products showcased in a non-salesy way, and I’m hoping that the Newspaper Club has the automation in place to track my link clicks and gather useful insight into what I’m interested in - all useful stuff for when it comes to sales campaigns.
They really know their audience - creative people who want to see and read about tangible customer stories. The PS they have included is so powerful. I hadn’t noticed that this is something they offer until now, and who doesn’t love free samples!
To get those samples sent out to me and hold them in my hand will develop my relationship with the brand in a very powerful way. (Plus it’s a great way for a brand to get off-screen and into the physical lives of a lead. I once requested free samples from a printing brand and they’re still in my in-tray two years down the line!)
Lead Nurturing Example #2
I’m looking at Function of Beauty for my second example of a great follow up email. In my previous blog; ‘A detailed Dissection of 3 Welcome Email Examples’. I looked at their Welcome email because it was a CORKER - a very near-perfect example of a welcome email.
Following on from that initial welcome email, I completed their ‘hair quiz’ to find out what customisable hair care I could do with, and this is the email I received after seeing my results of that quiz… it’s a real short and sweet one.
Wanting more protection for my hair was one of the things I specified I wanted in their 'hair quiz' so this content feels unique to me and my needs. This was also one of four emails which I’m assuming are part of the one follow up campaign, so each email felt quite bite-size, which I liked.
Remember in my list above of what makes great follow-up, I mentioned the awareness stages? We talk about awareness a lot with our clients and in our Marketing Automation Academy.
Here’s a little graphic of the awareness stages:
Awareness stages are a key part of our ethos as buyer psychology focussed marketers.
For me, I was at the ‘Solution Aware’ stage before I opened this email. I knew that looking after my hair, protecting it specifically - especially in the run up to Summer - is important for its health. I also know that Function of Beauty has products which can help me with that (I found that out from doing the hair quiz).
What those quiz results did was to push me up to the ‘Product Aware’ stage, and this email is reinforcing that - it’s sharing the types of products they have which might work for me in terms of protecting my hair.
In the future follow-up emails, I imagine they will be taking me up to the ‘Most Aware’ stage. There will be more education on the solutions to my hair problems, clarification on their products, testimonials to share, and I’ll have the objections and questions met and answered.
That there is top notch follow up!
Lead Nurturing Example #3
Ooof have I got a lovely example here! Kenda (the head honcho of Automation Ninjas) showed me this email - it blew her socks off.
It’s from a lovely little South Indian inspired takeaway and catering company local to her in Frome called ‘Lungi Babas’. She received this email after ordering her first takeaway with them. “But that makes her a customer already, not just a lead” I hear you shout… well, my friends, read on because follow up ain’t just for leads who haven’t purchased yet, it’s also very relevant to getting that sweet repeat custom.
What struck me about this was how kind the email felt. You can feel that the recipe is shared with genuine warmth. And it’s useful too, huh. I read this and immediately wanted to 1. Make the raita, and 2. Order a takeaway from them.
It’s follow-up emails like this which create valued repeat customers who come back time and time again. This is an important thing about follow-up - it shouldn’t JUST be for your leads, it’s also for your current customers who you want to keep happy and to become repeat purchasers.
Get strategic, use these nurturing follow up email examples to spur you into action
Get your follow up emails written, or take a good look at your current follow up and optimise it.
If you’re working your butt off to get leads and drive traffic to your excellent content or offerings, it’s just dumb if you’re not following up.
Follow-up is too big an opportunity to miss out on. Take those leads by the hand and nurture them.
And remember, follow-up is not just for leads, it’s a tool to utilise to turn your one-time customers into repeat customers and raving fans!
Do you need to get your follow up written and live? We can help! Not only is this something we teach in the Marketing Automation Academy, it’s also something we offer as a full blown Ninja managed project.
Follow-Up Campaign Project
A strong automated follow-up campaign is a super effective way to create a happy, engaged mailing list & increase conversion rates. This project is designed to help you get an enticing, strategic and expertly crafted follow-up campaign implemented in your automation platform.