With virtual selling becoming the norm vs the exception, it's never been more important to understand how to leverage digital channels like email to nurture at scale. However, a quick Google search for "best sales nurturing email templates" quickly reveals a glaring issue in every nurturing template you'll find — none of them are truly sales nurturing emails — they're all just poorly disguised sales pitches.
So let's fix that today with these seven virtual sales nurturing templates that we've been successfully using over the last decade to nurture sales prospects, build strong, trust-based relationships and initiate conversations that eventually convert to clients.
Why Lead Nurturing Is Essential
A recent Gartner study projected that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. InsideSales found that 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact and Baylor University research says it takes 8 cold calls just to reach a prospect. While MarketingDonut found that 83% of prospects who request information don't buy for between three and 12 months.
And if all of that doesn't convince you, this brand new research from B2B Decisions Labs places the optimum number of touches at 14, producing a 39.5% conversion ratio vs a 13.2% conversion ratio for sellers that stop nurturing after only 3 touches. And their research went on to show that 8 touches are an inflection point, with a 57% increase in opportunities happening after the 8th touch and 61% of all conversions occurring after the eighth touch. Hmmmmm, that sounds familiar (Baylor Study).
The Problem With Most Email Lead Nurturing Templates
As I alluded to in the opening, if you do a search for lead nurturing email templates, you'll find lots of articles and posts describing them and many offering a free download of their "proven templates."
But when you dive into those templates you quickly find they're NOT designed to nurture. They're designed to appear to nurture while simultaneously offering a thinly disguised CTA. We've all seen them because we've all received them. And they simply don't work because they're selfish. The communication goal isn't building trust or strengthening the buyer/seller relationship.
Webster's Definition of Nurture says: To supply with nourishment, educate, or further the development of...
YES! That's what nurturing is all about, yet none of those cheesy email nurture templates offer that to you. 🙇♂️
The Solution: Use Help Based Email Nurturing Templates Instead
Use templates that GIVE. In some cases, literally. Remember, the goal of nurturing emails is to strengthen the buyer/seller relationship in order to set the stage for a future sales conversion when the prospect is ready to be saved by you and your solution.
The beauty of these templates is twofold. First, they're really short and easy to use. Second, when paired with a well-tagged CRM tool and a little bit of marketing automation magic, these templates allow any salesperson to nurture at scale using content that feels personalized and individualized.
So without further delay, let's look at the seven email lead nurturing templates you're gonna want to steal.
Email Nurturing Template #1: Thought You'd Find This Interesting
This is one of my all-time favorites because nobody ever asks to be taken off this list, even after hiring Converse Digital. It's a super easy template to create and use. BUT, (yes, there's always a but in life) it does require a few things on your part.
First, you have to do a bit of social recon on your sales prospects and properly tag them in your CRM. Second, you have to read, read and read so that you can curate the content you'll use to power this nurturing email template.
Then, as you find really helpful content you can search your CRM for all sales prospects that would value the content, and with a quick modification of the standard template you're ready to email merge it off to everyone as unique, trackable, personalized emails.
Email Nurturing Template #2: Have You Read This Research?
Another great one that quite often produces a "thanks for this" type reply. This is important for anyone using marketing automation because it signals "engagement", and your marketing automation platform tracks that variable. If a contact becomes "unengaged", many platforms will suppress future email marketing efforts to that person.
This is one of the most helpful nurture emails you can send because often your sales prospect should have read whatever research you're sending, but they didn't for any number of reasons. And the bonus plan with this email is that it sets you apart from other sellers, especially the ones using those cheesy CTA sales templates disguised as lead nurture templates because it shows you're paying attention to the sales prospects' industry and you are educating yourself. This helps build credibility and trust.
Email Nurturing Template #3: I Think You'll Like This
This template is actually three templates in one! If you run across a great book, podcast, YouTube video, Ted Talk, etc., that you think a prospect or many prospects would love too, this is the template for you. And here again, you can personalize it to your heart's content.
So far, in my examples, I've shown you versions where everyone receives the same email. BUT, you don't have to do that. For instance, let's say you finish an amazing sales book like this one. You could just send a simple "I think you'll like this book" email to everyone and highlight the same value point(s) to everyone, OR you could subdivide your effort.
For those folks that have small sales teams trying to cover large geographic territories, you might highlight Chapter 9 and point out that the Behavioral Segmentation approach could really benefit them due to the time savings created by cold calling with content.
For sales prospects struggling to understand and leverage social selling, you might suggest Chapter 5 and/or Chapter 10, and point out how these chapters really explain how to use social selling to help buyers realize they need you or how to use it to create a sense of attachment.
And if you do use this template to share a great book that you loved... offer to send the sales prospect a copy — especially if you don't have their mailing address OR you've determined they are now working from home vs an office. It's a sneaky way to get their home address, which can be useful for future efforts.
For those times you're recommending a podcast, send links to a couple of episodes you think they'd definitely enjoy. Here again, this is an opportunity to subdivide your list to create even greater degrees of personalization and intimacy.
Email Nurturing Template #4: This Is Hilarious
Never underestimate the power of a truly personal email. One devoid of even the hint of selling. Something like you'd send to your friends, but far too many salespeople forget they should also send to their sales prospects. WARNING: humor is a tricky muse. One person's joke is another's insult. So don't send this lead nurturing email unless you're sure you know the sales prospect's sense of humor.
The beauty of this email is it's strictly a relationship builder. You're just sending something funny and in doing so you give the sales prospect permission to see you as a human being, maybe even a friend, vs defining you singularly as a salesperson. This is also a really useful approach if you have the prospect's mobile number and feel that you have permission to text them.
PRO TIP: For this, and any other templates you're sending where the link you share takes your sales prospect to a digital destination other than your own website, convert the link into a MEDIA first. You'll need a marketing automation platform that offers this feature. If you don't have one, here is the one we use. Yes, it offers this feature and we use it a ton because it's the only way to track if the sales prospect actually clicks the link to the content, book, podcast, etc., that we've sent and record those clicks in their Life of the Lead.
Email Nurturing Template #5: What Do You Think?
I really like this format for two reasons. First, it creates that all-important engagement and helps me keep sales prospects on our "engaged" list so our weekly blog emails and automation emails aren't suppressed. Second, and honestly, more importantly, it helps us keep our finger on the pulse of what's important.
We're able to craft short, usually less than 5-7 questions, surveys and ask our prospects to fill them out. Then we can use the information to craft content — blog posts, webinars, guest posts — that helps create new prospects. But we also map their responses to their record in the CRM so that we have access to it when planning sales outreach.
And for the time-starved amongst you, this email doesn't have to push folks to a survey. It could just as easily (and I've done this myself) push a controversial article or report and ask them for their two cents on the topic.
Email Nurturing Template #6: Hope Your Trip Was Great
This template is mostly one-off. I use it when I get out-of-office replies to my emails, marketing automation emails, or our weekly issue of Insight & Information. So often folks will put some kind of personal information in their out-of-office notifications such as return date and where they will be while they're out. I make note of both and then a day or two after they return, I just send a quick "Hope the trip was great" note.
If I'm lucky enough to have a social media connection with them and they posted content while on their trip, I'll reference something to reinforce that I personally wrote this email AND that I'm also paying attention to them on social media. Like the "This is Hilarious" email, the role of this template is purely relationship building.
PRO TIP: Always email something to your sales prospects on holidays — especially holidays associated with travel. There's often CRM gold in those out-of-office replies such as names of assistants, secretaries, or other members of the department. Along with those names usually comes contact information like email addresses or phone numbers. You have to manually process it all, but trust me, well worth someone's time to do so. Just look at this redacted one I received a few weeks ago.
Email Nurturing Template #7: Congrats!
Ok, this one is easy. But again, it does require you to pay attention to what's going on with your sales prospects in both their professional AND personal lives. Look for opportunities to congratulate them on promotions, successful campaigns, children winning awards, or graduating.
Here again, like so many of these templates, you're not trying to sell or position yourself or your company. You're just acting like a human. And in doing so, you're giving that sales prospect another reason to like you and place you in a different category from all of the other salespeople that call on him or her daily.
To make this one easier to monitor use tools like Google Alerts, BuzzSumo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and platform-specific searches.
PROTIP: This only works on Facebook, but if you go to Facebook and type something like "excited" and then filter for POSTS and then filter for POSTS FROM FRIENDS or POSTS FROM GROUPS & PAGES, magic happens. Go try it. A sneaky way to quickly find anyone celebrating anything.
Want To Steal These Templates?
It's ok, we won't press charges or even report you to the authorities. Just go grab them here and start nurturing your leads to gain permission to have those great conversations that often turn into clients or customers.
Speaking of stealing, if you're a first-time reader, and you found value in this post, why not consider subscribing so you don't have to resort to stealing. Of course, you can cancel free of charge at any time 😉. Till next time.