Email marketing is powerful for sales enablement.
Because email marketing still has the single highest average ROI of all digital marketing channels, with an average of $38 for every $1 spent.
Growing an opt-in list of people that want to hear from you can be one of the biggest catalysts to revenue growth and developing trusted relationships with your brand.
Mercer-MacKay specializes in content marketing for technology companies. And we are firm believers in consistently communicating with opt-in subscribers with educational content that provides value with the occasional pitch.
Only a small segment of our leads may be ready to purchase today. The others, with some nurturing, could be ready in the future. It is a matter of getting in front of them and staying in front of them.
Related Read: Marketing Automation: Rethink How You Nurture Your Email List
Below are our top best practices for using nurture emails to build trusted relationships with an audience of prospects.
Facilitate 1-1 direct relationships with your brand
Relationships take time to develop. Your list may have prospects at different stages of their buyer’s journey. Nurture emails allow you to stay in touch at scale with contacts that may want to do business with you eventually one day. When you share on social, you do not know who in your audience sees your content unless they publicly engage. But with email marketing, you get detailed insights on their individual content consumption on every send.
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than both Facebook and Twitter combined 
Your email list is an asset that allows you to control interactions with your company. You can even take it with you everywhere you go.
Opt-in for the win
The days of buying lists and sending spam blasts are over. Cold emails turn people off. It is not how you want to start a new relationship with someone you want to do business with. We recommend having a gated lead magnet asset related to what you offer to attract new subscribers to your list. Opt-in relationships are valuable because you connect with people directly that have given you permission to communicate with them.
Set expectations up front with your audience
If you are using a lead magnet to get new subscribers, your confirmation email ideally should come from the same sender that will be the voice of the ongoing communications. Mention how often you will be reaching out and what kind of content you plan to share. Offer the reader the chance to unsubscribe if they decide they want to part ways at any time. Hopefully, your content provides enough value that they won’t leave, however, you will always want to maintain a clean and current list for deliverability. Be consistent with your words and actions and build brand loyalty in exchange.
Using personalization and analytics insights to inform content
Though trust cannot be measured, profitable relationships will reveal themselves in time. Sending educational and relevant content that solves their pain points or touches on their desires will keep them engaged. Use past data and industry benchmarks to know if you are hitting the mark or if it is time to do something else. You want to connect emotionally with the reader in hopes that they will eventually take action to buy your products or services.
Be sincere, don’t click-bait for vanity metrics
Optimizing subject lines so that emails are opened is one of the most important steps in the preparation for hitting send. However, sending misleading messages will disappoint your audience, and you do not want to do that. Be sure that the subject line matches the message and keep delivering what you say you will. Trust can be lost faster then it is gained.
Don’t be scared to share your best
Being personable and generously sharing valuable advice and information with your subscribers will always pay off over the long run. Whether you are making a joke, sharing a personal story, or your best advice, make it human and real to connect with your list.
Always send emails from the same person and reply-to
Showing up consistently from a verified domain with the same sender and reply will build trust for both the audience and your marketing automation provider. You want to make sure you land in the inbox and not junk. Also, changing senders will seem as though a stranger is reaching out.
If you misstep, own it
Mistakes happen. Owning and acknowledging them is a chance to build trust with your readers. It happens. Communicate it. Move on from there.
Improve deliverability by regularly cleaning your list
If contacts on your list are no longer opening your emails after a period of set time and sends, remove them from your list. You can reach out in an email telling them that they no longer seem interested and that you will be removing them unless they opt back in. If they have not opened your last 10-20 emails, they really do not need to be on your list anymore (impacting your KPI’s).
Engaging an audience with regular nurture emails remains a popular method for growing direct relationships at scale and generating pipeline for businesses. Get the opt-in, do what you say you will do, provide value, and do your best to clean and optimize your list and content for best results.