11 minutes, 11 seconds.

5 Steps to Create an Email Nurture Sequence & Best Practices

Let's get to the point: The right email sequences can significantly boost your business. 

This guide is your go-to resource for creating lead nurturing email sequences to get your target audience to prioritize your company when considering their options.

Whether your goal is to increase ecommerce sales or strengthen B2B connections through effective nurture sequences, we've laid out all the practical steps and insights you need.

What is Email Sequences and Types Of Email Sequences In Marketing

Email sequences in marketing are automated emails sent based on specific triggers (for example, the visitor abandons the cart or completes the purchase) and time intervals.

These email sequences are designed to guide prospects through the sales funnel, provide them with valuable information, build relationships, and ultimately lead to conversions.

Image shows the email sequence journey through he sales funnel.

Here are various types of email sequences commonly used in marketing:

  • Welcome Email Sequence: Welcome new subscribers and introduce your brand.
  • Lead Nurturing Email Sequence (Email Nurture Sequence): Engage potential customers by offering value through content.
  • Abandoned Cart Email Sequence: Address abandoned Ecommerce transactions.
  • Onboarding Email Sequence: Guide new customers to utilize your product/service effectively.
  • Post-Purchase Follow-up Sequence: Enhance customer satisfaction and gather feedback post-purchase.

What Is An Email Nurture Sequence (Lead Nurturing Email Sequence)?

The lead nurturing email sequence, also known as an email nurture sequence, is a series of automated emails aimed at delivering valuable information to potential customers who are not yet ready to buy but have shown interest. 

This sequence is particularly valuable in the context of building a connection and guiding potential customers through their buying journey, turning them from interested leads into loyal customers.

#Purposes of Lead Nurturing Email Sequences:

Images shows purposes of lead nurturing email sequences
  • Educates Your Audience: The nurturing sequence is like a learning journey. It lets potential customers get to know your brand, your products or services, and industry insights.
  • Builds Trust: Just like nurturing a plant 🌱, you slowly build relationships with your potential customers, nurturing them with knowledge, trust, and interaction.
  • Helps Customers Make Decisions: When customers know more, they feel more confident about buying. The nurturing sequence gives them the information they need to make informed decisions.
  • Guides Prospects to Buy: Instead of pushing hard for sale, the nurturing sequence gently persuades potential customers to buy.
  • More Focused Sales: The nurturing sequence helps determine which prospects are most engaged and ready to buy, allowing you to develop more focused sales efforts.

Email nurture sequences involve several steps, including identifying a target audience, segmenting that audience based on specific criteria (such as the buyer's stages in their journey or past interactions with your brand), and developing a series of valuable emails that appeal to each segment's interests and needs

Then, without further ado, let's get started with creating your email nurture sequence:

5 Steps to Create Lead Nurturing Email Sequences for Ecommerce & B2B

An image shows that four colorful mail on the yellow backround.

Step 1: Identify Prospect Signals & Segment Them Accordingly

Start by identifying actions or behaviors that indicate the prospect is in the "interest and consideration" stage.

For B2B, such signals could include downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar. 

In the Ecommerce context, signals can include actions such as viewing multiple product pages, adding items to a cart without completing a purchase, and spending significant time on specific product categories.

So, how do you identify?

  • Set Up Tracking: Implement tools and software to track engagement signals. For B2B, CRM systems like Salesforce or HubSpot can track downloads and webinar attendance. For Ecommerce, platforms like Shopify or Magento offer analytics for tracking product views, cart activity, and more.

Well, you've identified your audience's behavior; what should you do now?

  • Create Audience Segments: B2B and Ecommerce reflect how your potential customers interact. Consider the following segments:

📖Content Engagers (B2B): Prospects who have downloaded content, attended webinars, or engaged with in-depth articles.

🕵️Active Evaluators (B2B): Prospects who have reached out with questions, requested demos, or initiated contact, showing a high level of interest.

🎯Solution Seekers (B2B): Businesses that have engaged with case studies, testimonials, or service pages, indicating a deeper interest in solutions.

🔬Product Researchers (Ecommerce): Visitors who view product details, specifications, or comparisons without adding items to their cart.

🛒Cart Abandoners (Ecommerce): Shoppers who added products to their cart but did not complete the purchase.

🏷️Category Browsers (Ecommerce): Visitors who explore specific categories without engaging with individual products.

🌟Note: Ensure your segments are dynamic, allowing prospects to move between segments as their behaviors and interactions evolve. This fluidity ensures that your communication remains relevant to their current stage in the buyer's journey.

Step 2: Plan Your Email Nurture Sequence

When you're planning a lead nurturing email sequence, you're basically crafting a series of targeted emails for your potential customers on their buying journey. 

From the point they learn about your offering to the point they decide to buy, you're there with them. Now, let's talk about how to lay out a practical, actionable lead nurturing email sequence.

🌟It is worth noting that the Ecommerce email nurture sequence and B2B email nurture sequences are different from each other, so I will add separate flows for both:

Lead Nurturing Sequence for B2B

The B2B nurture sequence usually has a longer sales cycle and more decision-makers involved, so the emails must be tailored accordingly.

Lead nurturing email sequence for B2B

Email 1: The Introduction

  • Timing: Immediate (within 24 hours of signup)
  • Content: A warm welcome and an introduction to what your brand stands for, the journey ahead in the email series, and what they can gain from being a part of your company.

Email 2: The Insight Share

  • Timing: 2-3 days after Email 1
  • Content: Deliver valuable insights or a short analysis relevant to their business challenges, showcasing your understanding of the industry without a direct sales pitch.

Email 3: The Case Study Spotlight

  • Timing: 5-7 days after Email 2
  • Content: Share a case study or a customer success story that aligns with the prospect's industry or needs, highlighting the tangible benefits your clients have gained.

Email 4: The Solutions Guide

  • Timing: 7-10 days after Email 3
  • Content: A targeted discussion about common industry problems, with a segue into how your services or products address those issues, positioning your offerings as solutions.

Email 5: The Feature Focus

  • Timing: 2 weeks after Email 4
  • Content: A deep dive into one or two specific features of your product/service, explaining how these features translate to benefits for the prospect's business.

Email 6: The Objections Address

  • Timing: 2-3 weeks after Email 5
  • Content: A Q&A email that addresses potential concerns using a reassuring tone and clear, factual information.

Email 7: The Exclusive Offer

  • Timing: 3-4 weeks after Email 6
  • Content: Present an exclusive, time-limited offer tailored to the prospect's interest level, encouraging them to take the next step in the sales process.

Lead Nurturing Sequence for Ecommerce

Ecommerce typically involves shorter sales cycles and more direct decision-making paths than B2B. Therefore, the sequence is more oriented towards rapid interaction and transformation.

Lead nurturing email sequence for Ecommerce

Lead nurturing email sequence for B2B

Email 1: The Warm Welcome

  • Timing: Immediate (within an hour of sign-up or first action)
  • Content: Express thanks for the sign-up or first action. Introduce them to your brand, including your value proposition and what they can expect from your store, such as new product alerts, exclusive deals, or insider tips.

Email 2: The Showcase Hit

  • Timing: 1-2 days after Email 1
  • Content: Highlight your best-selling products or current promotions. Include high-quality images and direct links to the product pages, making it easy for the customer to take the next step.

Email 3: The Value Proposition

  • Timing: 3-4 days after Email 2
  • Content: Provide valuable content related to the products the customer has shown interest in. This could include style guides, usage tips, or how-to videos that help customers use your products.

Email 4: The Social Proof

  • Timing: 5-6 days after Email 3
  • Content: Share customer reviews and testimonials, user-generated content, or press mentions that build trust and validate the quality and popularity of your products.

Email 5: The Incentive Nudge

  • Timing: 6-7 days after Email 4
  • Content: Offer a first-time purchase discount or a limited-time offer to incentivize immediate purchase. This email should create urgency and encourage the customer to act quickly.

Email 8: The Feedback Loop

Timing: 14 days after a purchase or last engagement

Content: Request feedback on their browsing or shopping experience. Offer a discount on their next purchase in exchange for completing a brief survey.

Step 3: Create Email Nurture Sequence Content with Best Practices

Creating an effective lead nurturing email sequence involves developing a series of emails that engage the reader at various stages of their journey with your brand.

Let’s look at the best practices for lead nurture sequence email together:

🟣 Subject Lines for Email Nurture Sequence

  • Curiosity Gap: Craft catchy subject lines that pique curiosity without giving everything away. This compels the recipient to open the email for more. For example: "Introducing a New Way to Think About [Product/Service]”
  • Personalized Questions: Use questions that resonate personally with the recipient based on their past interactions or interests. Example: "John, is this the [solution/product feature] you've been searching for?"
  • Urgency Without Spamminess: Utilize FOMO subject lines genuinely, not spammy. Example: "Ends Tonight: Exclusive Access for Our Subscribers" 

🟣 Email Opening Lines for Email Nurture Sequence

  • Empathy and Understanding: Start with a line that shows understanding of the recipient's challenges or desires. Example: "Managing [specific task] can be overwhelming, and you're not alone in feeling that way."
  • Intriguing Facts or Stats: Lead with a surprising fact or statistic related to their industry or interests. Example: "Did you know that 70% of [target group] overlook this crucial [aspect]?"
  • Storytelling Teasers: Begin with a compelling story hook that relates to the content of your email. Example: "Last month, [Name/Company] faced a make-or-break decision that many of us dread..."

🟣 The 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Email

  • Inspired by interactive storytelling, this innovative approach allows subscribers to tailor their email journey. Incorporating interactive elements like buttons or links lets the user decide what they want to learn about next.

🟣 Create Email Nurture Sequence Based on Behavioral Segmentation

  • Advanced & Behavioral Segmentation: Go beyond basic demographic segmentation to utilize examples of behavioral segmentation, including behavioral data, predicting future actions based on past interactions.

🟣 Strategic Content Repurposing

  • Not every piece of content needs to be created from scratch. You can efficiently create engaging emails by repurposing and restructuring existing high-performing content across different formats. For instance, a popular blog post can be turned into an infographic or an interactive quiz for your email sequences.

Step 4: Test and Optimize Your Email Nurturing Sequence

Testing and optimizing your email sequences are crucial steps to ensure they resonate with your audience and drive desired actions. You can approach this like this:

  • Utilize Feedback: Implement feedback loops (like surveys or direct response options) in your emails to collect qualitative information from your subscribers about what they find valuable or where improvement is needed.
  • Segmentation Refinement: As you collect more data about subscriber behavior, refine your segmentation to ensure your content remains highly relevant and personal. This may include creating new segments or adjusting criteria for existing segments.

Step 5: Start, Monitor, and Adjust Your Sequence

Now that your emails are prepared, tested, and optimized, it's time to launch your sequence and monitor its performance for further adjustments.

  • Timing: Use data from your email marketing automation platform to determine the best times and days to send emails to your specific audience. This can vary significantly between segments.
  • Frequency: Balance the frequency of your emails to maintain engagement without causing fatigue.
  • Automation: Set up your email sequence in the email marketing software of your choice and automate sending based on triggers and periods you define.
  • Engagement Analysis: Look for patterns like what types of content drive the most engagement or at what point subscribers tend to leave.
  • Improvements: Make necessary adjustments to your emails based on performance data. This may include changing the content, changing the queue flow, adjusting segmentation, or changing the timing and frequency of emails.

We've built this sequence together, and I appreciate your time exploring it. 🙂 By implementing these steps and continuously adapting based on insights and feedback, you can create effective and engaging email nurture sequences.

To Sum Up

In wrapping up, creating effective email nurture sequences is essential for guiding prospects through their buying journey, from initial interest to final purchase. 

By identifying key prospect signals, segmenting your audience, and planning targeted email content, you can build trust, educate, and engage your potential customers. 

Whether for B2B or Ecommerce, the right sequence can turn leads into loyal customers, boosting your business's growth. 

The process involves continuous testing, optimization, and adaptation to your audience's evolving needs, ensuring your nurturing efforts remain relevant and impactful.

An image with happy business people and multiple mails everywhere

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Lead Generation And Lead Nurturing?

The difference between lead generation and lead nurturing lies primarily in their objectives and where they fall in the sales process.

Lead Generation is the initial stage of attracting prospects to your business. The goal is to gather contact information from potential customers with lead generation forms interested in your products or services. 

Once leads are generated, lead nurturing comes into play. This process involves building relationships with potential customers even if they are not currently ready to buy. It's about providing valuable information, maintaining communication, and engaging with them through tailored content, emails, social media interaction, and other personalized experiences. 

How Many Emails Are In A Nurture Sequence?

The optimal number of emails in a nurture sequence can vary based on your industry, audience, and specific goals. However, a common and effective approach is to start with a sequence of 4 to 8 emails. This range allows you to effectively introduce your brand, provide value, address potential objections, and guide the lead towards a decision without overwhelming them.

What Is The Nurturing Stage Of A Lead?

The nurturing stage of a lead is a critical phase in the customer journey, where potential customers are provided with targeted information and engagement to increase perceived value, trust, and credibility with your brand. 

This stage comes after initial contact or expression of interest and before the conversion or sales stage

Further Reading:

16 Must-Know Lead Generation Automation Solutions in 2024

How to Build an Email Marketing Funnel Effectively

How to Create a Welcome Automation Email on Shopify?

How to Create a Marketing Automation Strategies (10 Steps)