The holiday shopping season is a boon to online sellers. You probably sold a bunch of stuff and (hopefully!) you grabbed email addresses from all those buyers.
Christmas is just about behind us, but this is not the time to go quiet.
In fact, now is the time to plug those buyers into email nurture and gently nudge them toward their next purchase.
OK. Fine. You can take a little break.
Alright, now back to work!
Meet Small Business Email Nurture Expert Greg Jenkins.
Email nurture (aka, lead nurture) is the process of converting existing leads into first-time buyers and first-time buyers into repeat customers with (usually automated) emails.
Few know as much about email nurture for small business than Greg Jenkins. Greg introduced the concept to hundreds of small businesses over a three-year tenure with Infusionsoft and is now the head of his own consulting practice Monkeypod Marketing.
Way back in 2015, we shared Greg’s six lead nurture tips that turn shoppers into buyers.
I recently met with Greg and asked what was new. He said that even though email nurture concepts long ago filtered down from MBAs at large enterprises to the small business world, he was still hearing three lies that held his clients back.
Greg and I both hate lies and the lying liars that tell them. Here are Greg’s rebuttals.
Email Nurture Lie #1: Nurture is Too Hard to Set Up.
Early email nurture proponents worked for large enterprises selling high-cost items with long sales cycles. We’re talking about IT equipment and heavy machinery.
As a result, those early email nurture campaigns were complex with dozens of emails delivering dense whitepapers, boring case studies, and even boring-er technical documents. Snoozeville.
Someone buying a crochet monkey on Scott’s Marketplace probably doesn’t need a lot of education in the buying process. In fact, the buyer may decide on impulse… and never think about the crochet monkey seller again.
You don’t have to build a complex campaign to remind the buyer that they loved your crochet monkey. In fact, you could start with three basic customer retention emails and grow from there with a quarterly inventory update (new monkeys!) and an annual thank you discount code.
Email Nurture Lie #2: I Need More Leads First.
There are two ways to sell more stuff. You can (and should) seek out new leads using pay-per-click ads and selling platforms like Scott’s Marketplace. But, first, you should ensure that you’re selling as much as you can to existing leads.
After all, converting existing leads into first-time buyers and first-time buyers into repeat customers is just way more cost-effective. It just takes a bit of elbow grease in the form of setting up email nurture.
Greg has said that the primary revenue problem facing small businesses is not awareness. The primary problem is process.
In other words, it’s not getting customers through the door once. It’s a consistent commitment to communicating to convince those customers to come back. It’s discipline … or automation.
Email Nurture Lie #3: Nurture is All About My Business.
Obviously, when we communicate with customers, we do so in order to keep them as customers. We are in the business of making money after all.
That said, a simple shift of perspective toward giving rather than taking can have a big impact on the success of our email nurture efforts. We should be delivering actual value – and I don’t mean discount codes – to a customer’s inbox.
Look at your own email inbox. We ignore, delete, or report emails that are self-serving or overly-promotional. We read and respond to (with a click or an actual reply) emails that come from someone we like, pertain to a fun or interesting topic, or contain something helpful that we can use.
Before you send your next email, consider its content by asking yourself if it’s convenient, informative, and useful. If not, try again.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with a closet full of excess crochet monkeys. Ain’t nobody got time for that.