Question Page

What are your top performing email strategies you’ve used historically?

4 Answers
Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingAugust 17

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.

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.

4285 Views
Moon Kang 🚀
Moon Kang 🚀
Showpad Director of Digital Marketing & ABMDecember 8

I can share two particularly successful campaigns. One is a bit boring and obvious and the other was an interesting and fun one for me. 

1. The boring one: It was a product launch for a consumer electronics brand. The product was a Bluetooth headphone launching in 1 week and we sent an email blast to the entire customer list minus those who had recently purchased a headset less than 30 days ago. The header image was a beautiful image and the reason why I say this one is boring is because I didn't do anything fancy -- it just followed the best practices. Subject line contained the what and when. The copy of the email contained the Why and the How. New headset launching in 1 weeks. Best noise cancelling headphone we've ever made, order directly through this link. In an effort to convert, you simply need to create demand for the item for a user. We used beautiful imagery along with brief, concise explanations of what job the item was meant to do -- offer a quiet environment anywhere you went -- long-lasting battery for every flight your business takes you, etc.

2. The more interesting one was a survey collection and an opt-out campaign to clean up our list. The subject line was a simple one: "Can we ask you something?" but the body of the email was an A/B test. 

Version A: Typical company header image and template along with branded template. 

Version B: 100% plain text email like it came from your dad. 

The email asked a few things including why they joined our email list, what they want to see more of, etc. and finally, a very clear to opt-out. Both emails' CTA was to simply reply to the email and send us a response. Version B had a very statistically high amount of responses compared to the theme'ed email and way fewer opt-outs. We learned a lot about our audience with this email test. 

755 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadMay 23

I'm going to take a slightly different angle on this question compared to some of the more proven approaches, such as onboarding flows and nurture sequences.

In my experience, the more you can personalize the message, the better. For example, you can ask profiling or qualification questions during onboarding and tailor the email messages based on the user's inputs to make them more relevant. The top email strategies are the ones that are most useful, and personalization allows you to elevate your approach.

500 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadAugust 16

I'm going to take a slightly different angle on this question compared to some of the more proven approaches, such as onboarding flows and nurture sequences.

In my experience, the more you can personalize the message, the better. For example, you can ask profiling or qualification questions during onboarding and tailor the email messages based on the user's inputs to make them more relevant. The top email strategies are the ones that are most useful, and personalization allows you to elevate your approach.

426 Views
Top Demand Generation Mentors
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing Lead
Matt Hummel
Matt Hummel
Pipeline360 Vice President of Marketing
Sheridan Gaenger
Sheridan Gaenger
Own VP of Growth Marketing
Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field Marketing
Micha Hershman
Micha Hershman
JumpCloud Chief Marketing Officer
Sheena Sharma
Sheena Sharma
Heap Vice President, Marketing Acquisition & Growth
Kayla Rockwell
Kayla Rockwell
Databricks Senior Group Manager, Demand Generation
Mindy Servello
Mindy Servello
Calendly Head of Demand Generation
Kanchan Belavadi
Kanchan Belavadi
Snowflake Head of Enterprise Marketing, India
Laura Lewis
Laura Lewis
Addigy Director | Head of Marketing