Build a B2B lead-nurturing email sequence

1. Choose a primary metric that is closely aligned to your business goal and will help you measure your campaign’s ROI.

Good KPIs include gross customer adds, marketing-qualified leads, time-to-close, revenue, and new users.

2. Choose your “Big Ask” — what you want your lead to do and the offer that will drive your primary KPI.

For example, if your primary metric is revenue, your Big Ask may be to make a purchase. Others may include: Start a free trial, schedule a call with sales, watch a product demo.

3. Figure out your leads’ awareness gap based on what they opted into to get on your list.

Problem Aware prospects sense a problem but don’t know there’s a solution. Solution Aware prospects know the desired result but not that your product provides it. Product Aware prospects know what you sell but aren’t sure if it’s right for them. Most Aware prospects know your product is right for them, and just need a prompt and a path to convert into a customer. For example, a prospect who joined your list by downloading an e-book called ‘How to Cut Acquisition Costs’ is likely to be Problem Aware. A prospect who downloads an e-book called ‘The 5 Best Tools to Reduce CAC’ is likely to be Solution Aware.

4. Create a table with 2 columns and list your lead’s current thoughts, beliefs, pain points, desires, objections and questions in the first, and the desired change in the second column.

Use your existing customer research whenever possible. For example, for a free trial, column A could contain, “I want to solve my problem, but I don’t think switching software is the best solution.” Column B’s desired change might be, “Changing software might actually be the best way for me to solve this problem.” Here are some questions to get your brainstorm started. Does your prospect know: That you understand their problem? What your product is? How your solution solves their problem? That your product can give them an outcome they desire? That your solution has been proven to do what you claim it will? That companies they trust get results with your solution? That your solution might be better than the alternatives? That your company aligns with their values? Where their current solution might be falling short? What will happen if they don’t take action soon?

5. Find or create content to build awareness for your sequence.

Take your existing content such as blog posts, videos, case studies, etc. and start sorting them by Stage of Awareness, from Problem Aware to Product Aware. If you don’t have enough content to cover all the mental shifts covered in step 4, brainstorm what content you can create to move leads from Problem Aware to Solution Aware to Product Aware to Most Aware.

6. Structure your email sequence and include confirmation, awareness-building, and Big Ask emails.

Confirmation email: Reinforce their progress towards meeting their goal or solving their problem. Link to the content they requested and remind them why they shouldn’t ignore it. Awareness-building emails: Use the content from step 5 to provide value and build awareness. You can also write emails that address the mental shifts you wrote down previously. Present your Big Ask: Give prospects a reason to accept your Big Ask. You may present the Big Ask multiple times in a sequence — there are no hard and fast rules about that.

7. Test your tactics on a small scale to see how they work in the field, and refine as you get results.

Note that higher-effort offers like booking a demo may need more nurturing than lower effort offers like starting a free trial, and slow-payoff offers like booking a demo may need more nurturing than offers that pay off quickly, like a free trial. If there’s enough ROI, consider using trigger campaigns to segment and personalize emails based on your lead’s behavior.