A while back we posted some insurance lead stats that revealed just how crucial persistent contact plays into lead conversion. One stat that sticks out is that 80% of leads do not close on first contact. To take it further the average lead requires more than 5 attempts to even make contact.
In this post I want to cover a few ways to create an effective email nurturing plan for leads that are not ready to buy as well as those that never made contact. I am assuming everyone reading this already has some email contact system in place whether it is automated or manual. My goal is to help you improve what you are already (hopefully) doing.
In order to cover as many points as possible I am going to make this a 3 part series which will cover getting your message to the inbox, drip email marketing tips and timely messages to keep a lead warm and get action.
Getting Through To the Inbox
When it comes to having an effective email lead nurturing system the top priority is to ensure your emails are actually getting to the inbox. Seems obvious right? The problem we have is that most people just assume they are reaching the prospects inbox which is a BIG mistake.
There a numerous lead management systems and email marketing providers used by producers today and most of them work differently so I am going to try and hit the high points for everyone to work from.
Most lead management systems and marketing services will have some level of email analytics available. If your system does not then I highly recommend you find a way to incorporate stats or find a new provider. This is a crucial step and one that should not be glossed over. If you are emailing from your hosting provider or a free email service I strongly suggest getting setup with an external mailing service like Aweber or Get Response (more here). If you do not know what your open rate, click rate and complaint rate is for each email you send it will be very difficult to refine your message effectively.
Assuming you do have statistics it is important to keep an eye on them regularly and make adjustments. If an email in your drip marketing campaign is getting a lot of complaints that is a sign that you need to refine the message or remove it all together. Likewise if you have a message that is getting an incredible open rate or click rate try and analyze why it is so effective and add those unique elements to the rest of your series.
What I am about to tell you is considered sinful by many old timers but it is an important and effective practice for your ongoing efforts. Ready for it……? You need to scrub your list.
As shocking as some of your might find that statement, I am sure there are others that have no idea what it means. For the latter scrubbing a list is the process of removing contacts.
If you have the ability to analyze contact open rates it is a good practice to remove those who do not open after a certain number of emails. I would suggest 10. If a prospect has not opened a message at this point they are probably not going to open any. These contacts are lowering your overall open rate and if they do happen to open after this many sends it will likely be followed by a spam complaint.
Why Is This Important?
Answer: To get to the inbox consistently.
If you are working with an email marketing service and have a consistently high complaint rate and low response rate you are running the risk of getting booted. Email providers are only viable if their IP addresses are white listed so they will not let you drag them down.
If you are working on a smaller email server or from your own hosting provider and have a high complaint rate and/or a low response rate there is a good chance your IP has already taken a hit. If that is the case, all of your emails could be going directly to the junk folder. This would be a case where taking the lower cost option actually has a much higher price.
I am not saying you cannot work with your own hosting provider or a small email hosting service, but it is a very good idea to keep a close eye on your open rate if you do.
If you suspect your emails are getting flagged as spam the first step is to get a Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail/Outlook account of your own for testing. Sign each of these test emails up to your list and see firsthand if your messages are making it to the inbox. If not, you will want to move to another service….but not until you refine your emails.
In the next part of this series we will take a look at some tips to refine your drip marketing message for more conversions.