Lead Nurture – Emails that Work Emails that Don’t Work

During consulting the needs vary greatly.

Sometimes I am reminded of client needs from questions and their progress through strategy and training. Other times I am prompted by what arrives in my inbox. I’ve started a swipe file of effective emails. Some emails arrive that work well, other emails don’t work at all. In fact they alienate!

Lead nurture prospecting

Let’s look at 2 email examples.

One email that works.

One email that doesn’t work

Recently 2 emails arrived that each prompted me to download a report.

The next step was interesting.

One email jumped a few steps from my mind-set and stage in the sales process.

It was exceedingly uncomfortable as a recipient. The other got me onside.



The email that didn’t work for me

‘Hi Jenny,

Just following up on my email below.  Can we set up a quick call in the next week or so?

The email referred to was:

‘Hi Jenny,

Thanks for downloading our [name of ] eBook!  As I see that you are interested in [topic] and [another topic] in general, I would like to take this opportunity to set up a quick call to introduce [company name]. I think [company name] can be a great tool for helping you [company name] is the #1 [industry type] tool and helps over [number] websites to improve conversions, sales and revenue and optimize their online experience. It is trusted by some of the largest websites, such as [client names]. Our clients report great results such as 55% boost in conversion rate, 17% reduction in bounce rate and 39% increase visit duration. 

We’ve gotten great feedback so far and I’d like to hear what you think. I am pretty open, what time works for a quick call?   

Looking forward to speaking with you! 


[name and contact details]’

The email that worked and created rapport
Now compare that with this email from a completely different company I downloaded content from:

‘Hi Jenny,

I saw you downloaded a few ebooks and reports on [company name] just now, and I thought I’d say hello.

I realize timing-wise you’re probably just in the research phase, so I just wanted to learn a bit more about your company, and see if I can help at all.

Is there any information/research I can help put together for you?

[Name and contact details]’


What differences do you see

in their email marketing tactics?

The learnings

1. The Call to Actions are different: #1 asking for a call vs. #2 asking to help solve a problem. #2 is way more effective. #1 caused me to think ‘I don’t know you, I don’t recall your first email, I don’t want to talk with you. Why do I want to have an interest in your company?.’ #2 left me thinking ‘I like you, you are friendly and you care about what I think and feel.’

2. The Tone is different: friendly vs. formal. I appreciate informality and many business owners do too. #1 is formal.

3. The Tuning In is different: #1 wants to assert itself. #2 wants to understand me, tries to put themselves in my shoes. #2 recognises the stage in the sales cycle / buying cycle I am in. #1 is jumping from interest in a report, to interest in the tool and its company without feeding / nurturing my need, desire, interest or knowledge of them. They did not check to see if I’d got the first email. They jumped say too many steps into a decision making process. #2 has not thought about what it is like being in its prospect’s shoes.

4: The Follow up is different: #1 wants to jump a step or 2 and get in front of me before they earned the right to. #2 has not yet followed up but it tried to build a relationship readying me for the next stage in the sales funnel. #1 needs to add a few rapport building emails that follow also tune into the stages of the decision making process from rapport to problem recognition / needs to education to solution  leading to curiosity and enquiry.

5. Telling vs Asking: #1 just wants to tell their story! Where does the prospect fit with this communication? This mistake is layered upon formality.  If #1 still wanted to keep formality what they could do is ask me a question to break the informality and create a conversation. Such conversation would prepare my thinking and build desire for the phone call. They could even give me 2 communication choices – a call or email conversation.

6: You and I: We: #2 uses I as a first word. People of my age are taught not to do this BUT we should as it works!  ‘I saw…I realize…I want…I see’. Why does it work? While I read, I can ‘hear’ the person in front of me as if they are in the same room with me. It is like a nice ‘get to know you’ chat over coffee’. At the end of the email is a person who is not afraid to be personable, friendly and have a personality.

7. The Company / Product vs Email Reader: #2 wants me to know the company, not their product and I can not tell what kind of personality is behind the email. The email seems to be written as if the Company and Product are more important than the person receiving the email.


All markets differ. Each sales funnel will differ. The principle and planning behind each are similar.

Start by consider who your target market are. Know them more than their age, gender and location. Walk in their shoes.

What questions will they ask? How are the senses they will use? What will need to know as they go from low interest to product and company comparison to purchase, and all the little steps between? Be very human. Ponder how you might re-write your emails so they are more in tune with your market. Which emails will you start with?


PS Pay attention to your headline – it is a single line message to get people to open the email!

What are your questions about this topic?




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