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4 Lead Nurturing Email Best Practices for Inbound Marketing Success

Written by Becky Armstrong

May 18 2016

lead nurturing email best practices

Lead nurturing emails are a crucial tool for building relationships with your leads. But what key principals must you understand before launching an email campaign?

Nurture With Workflows

A prime lead nurture activity, automated email workflows exist to help you nurture your leads through their purchase journey, and build strong relationships with them by sharing timely, relevant content.

But in order to be effective and appropriate, there are a few key considerations to make before implementing an email workflow strategy.

4 Email Workflow Considerations For Inbound Marketing Success

1. What Is An Email Workflow?

An automated email workflow, at a bare bones level, is a series of automated emails used to nurture a lead through their purchase journey. In an Inbound campaign, these can be precisely segmented and targeted to particular leads in your database to ensure you always send timely, persona-relevant and Buyer’s Journey appropriate content.


The premise of Inbound marketing is that you don’t push or interrupt your client, but instead nurture them with advice and challenge-solving content. Automated emails work to do just that, and are the first step in creating a solid relationship with a lead.


An email workflow will typically trigger after a prospect makes a particular action (such as an ebook download, or sign-up), and will continue to trigger in series based on that lead’s unique engagements with each email’s content.

2. What Is Lead Nurturing?

In Inbound marketing parlance, email workflows nurture a prospect by cultivating their interest, encouraging them to read/request further information, providing solutions to key problems and supporting them through the sales cycle to closure.


It can take time to set up a nurture workflow, but once established it will provide continuous benefits; from contributing to more efficient sales efforts (as prospects will be well educated, and far along the purchase journey before speaking with sales), to increased ROI.

Additionally, with a closed-loop marketing automation platform (such as HubSpot), Inbound lead nurture campaigns can benefit from access to complete historical lead data. This means marketing and sales teams always know exactly what content/site activity any one lead has undertaken, so can adapt action and workflow content appropriately.

3.  Considering Appropriate Email Workflows

Before starting an email workflow campaign you must be confident that you can maintain a valuable, non interruptive correspondence with your leads.

To achieve that, you must first have control of your database. So before starting an email workflow campaign, ask yourself:

  • Is your database clean and updated regularly?
  • Have you qualified the leads on your mailing lists to ensure you focus nurture efforts on good-fit persona relevant prospects?
  • Are you tracking the stage of the Buyer’s Journey each lead has reached?
  • Have you segmented your list to selectively share content (by lifecycle stage, or persona)?
  • Does the content in your workflow accurately address the challenges of the leads you are sending it to?
  • Have you mapped the length of your nurture workflows to the length of your sales cycle?

4.  Make it Personal!

Successful nurture emails make prospects feel that each message is meant for them personally; through a combination of relevance, and personalisation.

Emails will be more effective if they are:

  • Addressed personally (by first name). Avoid using generic terms like “Dear Sales Director”.
  • Not generic. When setting up the email template, ensure the ‘from’ field shows your name so that your prospect can identify you, the sender.
  • Clear. Make sure the message, content and desired action is clear to the recipient. If you want them to read a piece of content, state that. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, make it clear!

Of course, workflow emails should always be mapped to suit lead purchase stages and challenges, and must be carefully tested and planned before the workflow is set.

Continued Success

Considering these steps is the just the first stage in developing a successful, long-term strategy. Like any email campaign, testing, monitoring and review must always be at the core of automated workflows to ensure messages remain relevant, and are positively received.


Keep KPIs in mind, keep content fresh and of interest to your target personas - and improved lead relationships will follow!

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