Ever build 20 email marketing campaigns to find out only one works?

The key to a successful marketing campaign is segmenting your target audience correctly and being customer-obsessed. But your job is not just to drive people to websites and have them fill out a form to become a lead; it’s to be responsible for the entire customer journey. In fact, 56% of high-performing marketers actively map the customer journey across their company. To successfully join this effort, you need to properly nurture customers.

Say goodbye to running email experiments that will waste your time — here are three email nurture journeys your small business marketing team needs to build now.


The top-of-mind nurture

B2C companies are experts at the top-of-mind nurture. My local wine shop sends me a weekly update of their tasting events and featured recipes on food and wine pairing. Nordstrom sends me daily reminders about exclusive sales “just for me.” These brands know it’s possible to stay in touch with a prospect who may be a good fit, but is not yet sales-ready.

To create a top-of-mind nurture campaign, your small business should use educational and research-based content that establishes your company as a trusted advisor. You can include offers like webinars that explore trending topics in your industry, or content that shows how others are using your product. Don’t have the time or talent to make a webinar or demo? No worries — any free resource, whether an ebook, blog post, or how-to guide, can work. All you have to do is think of what free content your audience will find valuable.

At Salesforce, we sometimes share thought-leadership content to help our audience become better at their jobs or in their industry.

Once you feed your customers content that’s helpful and not salesy, create this drip nurture and sprinkle in secondary or tertiary call-to-actions (CTAs) like demos or trials to entice them to want more. Then, send an email every 7-9 days — an email every week is too frequent and every two weeks might not be enough.


The in-trial nurture, triggered by product actions

Most B2B companies have a trial period so users can take a test drive before making their customers buy their actual “car.” For example, at Salesforce, we have a 14-day free trial for small businesses to use our CRMSalesforce Essentials.

Before our team creates content for an in-trial nurture, we did a ton of research. As a marketer, you want your product’s action triggers to connect to your marketing automation. This will help you send triggered emails based on users’ actions versus a time-based email journey.

Here’s how we ensured we had a successful in-trial nurture campaign:

  1. Consulted our data science team:

    • We learned that by performing an X action, the user will have an X% higher probability to buy

    • We learned our users are more likely to convert if they login more than once in their first two days of the trial

  2. Collaborated with our support team:

    • We found what blockers prevent users from taking a specific action

These learnings helped us adjust our email cadence, our content, and hone in on creating videos, how-to articles, and content to feed our in-trial nurture.

If you don’t have a data science team or a customer support team, don’t fret! You can easily gather customer feedback by setting up focus groups with customers. Talk to your trialists. Talk to people who have never bought from you. Get on live chat. You get the point — talk to your customers!

In addition to finding high “propensity to convert” actions, make sure you’re looking for features that create habit loops for your customers. Which features will make users want to login more frequently? How do you use emails or even in-app messaging to encourage those actions? Asking yourself these questions will help you craft a successful in-trial nurture triggered by product actions.


The upsell or cross-sell nurture

Want to improve your customer’s lifetime value? Upsell and cross-sell nurtures can help. All you have to do is create a nurture campaign targeted to existing customers, then provide them with information and incentives to expand the list of products they currently use.

With upsell and cross-sell nurtures, your goal should be to inspire and show (not tell!) customers how to reach maximum potential with your company’s products and services. The best part about this type of nurture? You’re already at an advantage because you’re talking to your biggest fans — not cold leads. 

Make sure you’re intentional with your content, send relevant information on specific products or services that would be beneficial to a specific segment of clients. Personalized recommendations within this nurture type are the key to success — use variable tags or dynamic content to ensure the right customers receive the right content. Also, make sure you explain the value of a new or existing unused product without being overly aggressive. 

Since your target list will include current customers, the timing for this program can be less aggressive — you can space emails out between 10-15 days. 

Feeling inspired by these three email nurture campaigns? Get a headstart on your next email marketing campaign with these seven inspiring email templates.

Salesforce can help you find customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions, follow us on Twitter at @Essentials, or keep up with us on LinkedIn at Salesforce for Small Business. Join the conversation using #SMBTrailblazer.