Does your business have salespeople whose job it is to convert new leads into customers?

If so, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that over 50% of leads generated by businesses are qualified but not yet ready to buy.

So what are you supposed to do with those leads? You’ve spent valuable time and money getting them, so you need to do something.

Enter email marketing.

In this post, we’ll show how you can set up a simple email workflow that can help convert more of those leads into customers over time.

How email can help convert leads into customers

For illustration sake, let’s imagine you sell carpet cleaning services.

You have a great website where people can read about your services, and you generate leads through a ‘Request a Quote’ form on the site.

You get 15-20 people submit that form every week, and the people in your sales team get back to every one of those enquiries with quotes based on the information they submitted.

Unfortunately though, only about 50% of the people you spend time crafting quotes for ever become customers. The other 50% you never hear from again.

So how can email help you?

By setting up an automated email workflow to deliver specific content and messages to these leads, you can keep in touch with them and help convince them they need your product or service.

The best part about it is, it can all be automated. So while you’re busy generating more enquiries, these emails can be working to close your existing leads in the background and increase revenue for your business.

A simple 5-part email workflow to convert leads into customers

While it can be tempting to just continually send these people promotional emails for your service, that approach isn’t likely to get you the best results.

For whatever reason, these people have shown strong initial interest but not yet chosen to go ahead with using your product or service, so just continually promoting your business to them won’t change that.

Instead, what you need to do is educate them on some of the key things you’d want them to know. The kind of things that if they knew, they’d be purchasing your services right away.

In the case of our example carpet cleaning company, that might be the hidden health dangers of having unclean carpets, and the advantages of using professional carpet cleaning services over doing it themselves.

The best way to achieve this is to set up an automated series of emails that go out to leads who make an enquiry but don’t go on to become customers.

The early emails should be mainly focused on adding value and educating your leads, and as time goes on and you build a relationship with them then your emails can become more promotional.

Continuing using the fictitious carpet cleaning company as an example, let’s dive in and see how each email could look.

1. The Educational Email

The first email in the series should be focused solely on providing valuable information to your leads.

As they have expressed interest in carpet cleaning services, it’s probably safe to assume they’re interested in getting their carpets looking good again.

So sending them an email with a link to a blog post on 6 ways to make their carpet look like new is the perfect way to engage them.

By providing them with valuable information related to your business’s area of expertise, you build a sense of authority around your brand that shows potential customers you know a lot about making carpets look great.

2. The problem email

The second email in the series should still be focused on providing valuable information, but this time your goal should be to educate leads on why the problem they came to you about in the first place is worth solving.

A good example for our fictitious carpet cleaning business would be a link to an article on the dangers of not regularly cleaning your carpet, and the risks this poses to your family’s health.

Although still educational, this email demonstrates to your leads why their problem is important and helps create a sense of urgency that compels them to seek out a solution.

3. The solution email

Now that you’ve convinced your leads that their problem is important and worth solving, it’s time to convince them that your product or service is the answer.

For our fictitious carpet cleaning organisation, it would be great time to send leads a link to an article on the advantages of using professional carpet cleaning services over doing it yourself.

Although still educational, this email helps convince your leads that they need a professional service like yours and gets them thinking about who the right provider might be.

4. The case study email

Now that you’ve convinced leads that their problem is important and that they need to find a proper solution, it’s time to prove that you are the right provider for them.

Continuing our carpet cleaning example, now is the perfect time to send them a case study or some testimonials that outline how great your business is to work with and how amazing the results have been for your customers.

This email, combined with the sense of expertise you have built around your business by continually sending educational content, should give your leads confidence your business is the right choice and compel them to respond to your quote and purchase your services.

5. The hail mary email

If at this stage in the series you haven’t convinced your leads to purchase, then your chances of converting them are looking a little slim. It might be time to throw the Hail Mary pass.

In the case of our fictitious carpet cleaning business, this means offering something like a 20% off the quoted price as a last ditched incentive to get them over the line.

Although this may reduce your margins a little bit, this is the last email in the series and likely your final chance to convert them into a customer, so it’s probably better to get them at a slightly discounted rate then to not get them at all.

Setting this up for your business

The series of emails above are a great way to turn leads into customers. They demonstrate to your leads the importance of fixing their problem and position your product or service as the ideal solution.

So how can you get them setup and working for your business?

Your best bet is to integrate your CRM or website with your email marketing software and setup a series of automated emails using Automation.

Emails tools like Campaign Monitor integrate easily with popular CRM systems like Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho CRM, Pipedrive and more. You can set up tags or rules (depending on your chosen system) that automatically send leads that haven’t purchased into a specific list in your email marketing software.

From there, you can use Automation to automatically send the above series of emails to new leads as they get added to your list.

By setting it up like this, these emails can be automatically sent to new leads as they enter your list and can be working to increase revenue while you focus your time and energy on other parts of the business.

In conclusion

If your business acquires new customers by generating leads and having salespeople do quotes and close them, then it’s an unfortunate fact of life that 50% of those leads aren’t going to be ready to purchase upfront.

However, by setting up an automated series of emails that educate leads on the significance of their problem and why your business is best positioned to solve it, then you might have a shot at converting some of those leads into customers over time.

So set up an integration between your email marketing software and your CRM or website today and start sending this automated email series to that will grow your business.

Your turn: What other types of email campaigns do you send to help convert leads into customers? Share your experience and best practices with our readers so we can all learn together.

  • Simon

    This post is providing excellent procedure for email marketing. Thanks for post

  • Leo

    Thank you for sharing these tips. Especially on the “types” of email you can use for your campaigns. Effective email campaign will convert leads into customers.

  • Prabhu Tharmarajan

    A good read on what is “best for what” for a successful email marketing campaign. I can’t wait to try these out. Thanks for the great article!

  • Henry

    How far apart should these emails be spaced? A week?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi Henry, it all depends on when you feel the information would be most relevant. For example, if someone has signed up for an account, but not say, updated their profile &#40and that’s important&#41, you might want to email them sooner to encourage them to do so. But otherwise, if you’re looking to check in with a regular cadence to say, educate them, weekly is not bad at all – not too regular to be annoying, yet not enough time between emails to fall out of their memory. Does that help you in your scenario?

  • Aqif Azizan

    Thanks for sharing.

    Based on my experience, the hardest part is to create a valuable “Educational Email”.

    This is the most critical element in email sequences. If you fail to capture interest and provide valuable insight to your potential customers, then it is hard to get their trust and make them pay for your product and services.

    How do you make sure that your Educational Email can provide valuable information to them?

  • Danel

    This was enormously helpful. Thank you! Question: do you have a call to action at the end of each stage email…or just some of the later ones?

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