7 Email Marketing Messages to Move People from Prospects to Customers

Email marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that is extremely effective for connecting with prospects and turn them into customers today. However, sending mass emails to every person you can won’t deliver the results you need. In fact, sending generic messages to one or many bulk lists is a recipe to land in the spam folder, and you don’t want that to happen!

To improve your email marketing results (and stay out of spam), you need to identify your target audiences’ buyer personas, segment your lists, and send personalized messages to each niche audience. This requires understanding the demographics of each target audience (e.g., state, license activity, license status, and so on for cannabis license holder audiences) as well as their behaviors.

When you track behavioral data, you can segment your audience based on those behaviors and send targeted messages that give recipients the right extra nudge they need to move through the marketing funnel from prospects to customers. If you subscribe to the Cannabiz Media License Database, you can use custom tags to identify key behaviors – such as opening your messages and clicking on the links inside – and target license holders with relevant follow-up content based on those tags.

Following are seven behaviors you can track to send targeted email marketing messages that move people from prospects to customers.

Top of the Funnel Messages

At the top of the marketing funnel are your coldest leads. These are people who don’t have a relationship with your brand yet, so you need to send them “low investment” email marketing messages – content that won’t take a lot of time or effort to consume but is highly relevant to them. Your goal at the top of the funnel is to try to determine which leads are viable and what those leads are interested in, so you can develop a strategy to nurture them through the later stages of the marketing funnel.

1. Contact Form Submitted

What happens when a prospect submits a contact form or completes another kind of form on your website? If they don’t receive a message from your brand in return, you’ve missed an opportunity to warm up that lead and make them more likely to turn into a buying customer. Therefore, people who submit forms on your website should receive an acknowledgement email on the same day.

Things are a bit different when it comes to any type of sales inquiry forms on your website. When someone submits this type of form, you should consider them to be a hot lead and a potential sale. That means you should have an autoresponder message set up to go out to them as soon as they submit the form. This message should thank them for their interest and set expectations for when they’ll get a response from a person and from whom.

If you don’t have a way to set up and send autoresponder messages, then someone on your team should be assigned the task of responding to these sales inquiries as quickly as possible and routing them to the right person to follow-up. 

Middle of the Funnel

Most leads are in the middle of the funnel. They’ve shown interest in your brand, products, and services, but they’re not ready to buy yet. These are leads you should continue to nurture with ongoing email marketing campaigns to keep your brand top of mind and to try to push them closer to wanting to make a purchase. Your goal at this point is to turn marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads.

2. Opened a Certain Number of Email Messages or Clicked a Certain Number of Links

When someone is very interested in your product, service, brand, or business, they’ll open a lot of the messages your company sends to them. They’ll also click on a lot of links within those messages. 

You should be tracking message opens and link clicks and set a threshold that identifies a highly engaged contact as a marketing qualified lead for continued nurturing or as sales qualified leads for sales outreach and conversion campaigns.

Use lead scoring to set points to thresholds based on their engagement with your messages, and use the points to rank leads as cold, viable, marketing qualified, and sales qualified. With those rankings, you’ll know where people are in the funnel and can send them the targeted messages and content they need the most (or follow up directly with a one-to-one sales call).

3. What People Do After Clicking Links in Your Email Messages

If you’re using UTM codes to track what people do after they click on the links in your email messages, you’ll gain a wealth of information that you can use to tailor future email marketing messages and sales outreach.

Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool to create unique UTM codes for each link in your email messages, which will enable you to track in your Google Analytics account not just where traffic to specific pages on your website comes from but also where they go and what they do while they’re on your site. In addition, you can compare your marketing investments using the Channels Report in your Google Analytics account.

4. Registered for or Attended an Event or Webinar

If someone takes the time to register for an in-person or online event that you’re having, it means they’re interested in your business, products, and/or services. It’s essential that you connect with them via email to nurture them and try to turn them into buying customers.

The trick to ensuring these email marketing messages drive action among recipients is to provide the next logical step after they sign up for or attend the event. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to take that step.

Stay focused and don’t try to introduce a lot of new information. Instead, keep follow-up messages succinct, and lead recipients directly to a clear call to action that allows them to complete the next step after the event or webinar.

Bottom of the Funnel

Leads in the bottom of the marketing funnel are very close to making a buying decision. Therefore, they need to receive very different email marketing messages from you than leads in the top or middle of the funnel. Sales qualified leads need to get content that helps them make a buying decision. Your goal is to send them content that motivates them to buy or contact a sales representative.

5. Opened Specific Sales-Related Email Messages or Clicked Specific Promotional Links

Every email message that you send gives you more information about the contacts on your list. Their behaviors can tell you what they’re interested in, where they are in the marketing funnel, and more. You just need to watch those behaviors and create strategies to leverage them.

For example, if you send a specific email message offering a discount on your product or service, then every person who opens that message or clicks the link in that message to visit your website is an important lead. If they weren’t thinking of buying, they wouldn’t open and click.

In this example, the fact that they took the time to open your message, review the offer, and possibly click the link to get more information tells you they’re interested. Don’t let them get away! Instead, follow up with additional email messages or phone calls to help them over the final hurdle they’re facing so they buy.

6. Free Trial Ended

Every cannabis business or cannabis-related business that offers free trials of their products or services should follow up with people via email if they don’t immediately buy when the free trial ends.

Your follow-up email messages should focus on the benefits or your product or service to tap into the psychological effect called the “fear of missing out” (FOMO). Additionally, offer easy ways for these prospects to get help so they can get over any obstacles that may be preventing them from buying.

Keep in mind, one follow-up email is not enough. Plan to follow-up multiple times before you move a lead from sales qualified back to marketing qualified.

7. Free Demonstration Completed

If you offer free demos of your product (e.g., a SaaS product or a complex product), then you should have email messages ready to go after the free demos end. Most people are at least somewhat interested in a product after seeing a free demo, so it’s the perfect time to try to push them through the funnel.

Think of it this way – when someone signs up for a free demo, they’ve shown that they’re very interested in your product and are actively looking for a solution to one or more problems they’re experiencing.

If the demo doesn’t convince them that your product is the solution, then you shouldn’t give up. Instead, follow up by phone and email and give them more information about features and benefits that will move them from prospect to customer. Focus on solving their problems, not just promoting how great your product or service is.

Key Takeaways

Your audiences’ behaviors tell you so much about their needs and how close they are to making a buying decision. Track their behaviors and pay close attention to how they engage with your email marketing messages. With this information, you can create highly targeted email marketing messages with hyper-relevant content that will successfully move people from prospects to customers.

Get started with the behaviors introduced in this article, and when you’re ready to take your email marketing to cannabis and hemp license holders to the next level, schedule a demo of the Cannabiz Media License Database and see how it can help your business grow.

Originally published 4/21/20. Updated 7/22/22.

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