Answer: First, my advice is not to spend time and money creating graphic-rich HTML e-mails. A lead nurturing strategy is based on a relationship-building approach. Therefore, the best way to integrate e-mail to your existing telemarketing strategy is to develop plain-text e-mail templates that can be quickly customized and sent from your nurturing agent to the appropriate prospects. It is important that your e-mails are perceived as relevant, one-to-one communications and do not come across as mass marketing or advertising pieces.
The most effective nurturing e-mails are personalized, tie to a business issue that the prospect has previously communicated and include an invitation to respond. When it comes to nurturing, it is very important to keep the text short and relevant’make it readable from the preview window.
In terms of timing, there are four keys ways to integrate e-mail with calling: sending one-to-one follow-up immediately after a conversation; sending information prior to a scheduled call; sending scheduled one-to-one e-mail between phone conversations (especially effective when the time between calls is greater than six weeks); and sending one-to-many messages delivered to strategic groups based on business issues.
Finally, make sure to pay attention to your e-mail bounce-backs. A bounce-back may mean that one of your key prospects has left the company. Turnover can mean a change in priorities, new projects or new challenges. You should be able react to a hard bounce-back with a telephone call to check the status of your nurtured prospect.
Kathy Rizzo is VP-marketing at TeleNet Marketing Solutions (www.telenetmarketing.com), a lead generating and market nurturing company