4 Steps to Turn Email Leads Into Buyers

We make nearly 35,000 decisions every day.

So in a world where 67% of purchase decisions are made digitally, interacting with your audience is more important than ever.

Buyers Journey Chart - lead into a buyerAnd since email marketing is the most effective way to speak directly to your customers, you need to craft campaigns that educate, inform and most importantly… nudge your contacts towards that “buy” button!

We’ll show you how you can leverage the different stages of the customer buying cycle to make your email marketing even more successful.

But, first things first…

What is the Customer Buying Cycle?

The customer buying cycle is a blueprint for how to get your products or services in front of potential customers at the right time, in the right place and with the right message.

As a marketer, if you are able to identify where each of your leads are in the buying cycle you’ll know how to turn email leads into prospects and prospects into customers!

Let’s break down the 4 stages of the customer buying cycle to determine what type of content you need to be using, and when!

1. Need Recognition

The first step in the customer buying process begins when a lead realizes they have a problem that needs solving… or recognizes a need they have in their life.

How do they figure this out?

Through you educating them on how things will be better once they have your product or service.

The main goal here is to capture the attention of your audience, tell them what you can do for them and get them on your email list so you can nurture them to the sale!

In this opt-in from Simple Green Smoothies, site visitors are offered a FREE 7-day challenge:

Opt In Form - lead into a buyer

All a visitor has to do is provide their first name and their email address and they will start to receive recipes, tips and free downloads (just like this) on staying healthy right to their inbox.

Their end goal?

To get their opt-ins moving towards a purchase of one of their delicious smoothie packages.

In this next example, SmartBlogger offers an even simpler lead magnet, a “Cheat Sheet” for writing viral blog posts:

Smart Blogger Opt In Form - lead into a buyer

If you’re someone looking to drive more traffic to your own blog, this quick and easy cheat sheet will be right up your alley and most importantly, takes only a matter of seconds to receive!

By now you’ve heard time and time again how important it is to give and take with your subscribers.

But the key to this first step is taking the time to create something that is both free and of real value to your visitors.

This leads us to the second step in the cycle!

2. Information Search

Once consumers realize they have a problem that needs solving, they’re going to start searching for solutions.

In fact, 71% of customers shop with a specific scenario, not a product in mind.

At this stage, you already have them on your list and have offered a valuable piece of free content so it’s time to start providing even more information.

This should be information that shows them you know exactly what their problem is, and exactly what you’re offering that can help them solve it.

Why should they choose you?

In this example, the subscriber has already received their opt-in freebie and is now ready for deeper content on the subject:

Follow Up Email - lead into a buyer

As a follow up to to their free infographic, this company has sent across a link to a white paper that offers a more “detailed discussion”.

This keeps the information flowing to help their customer make a purchasing decision.

This doesn’t mean that every freebie you hand out needs to be followed up with something else free.

You can simply take this opportunity to better communicate to your new opt-in what it is that you do.

This time in detail.

This email from Jet is both a “Thank You” for signing up as well as a “Hey! Look at everything we can do for you!”

Follow Up Email - lead into a buyer

The key to this step of the process?

Give them all the information they could ever need without having to ask!

Why wait for them to seek the answers on their own? Deliver it directly to their inbox!

3. Purchase Decision

Despite the digital age, people are more likely to buy from a brand that has been recommended to them by someone else.

In fact, 77% of consumers read product reviews before making an online purchase.

When a lead knows they have a problem and what they need to solve it, it’s time to start sharing why they should use you and your product to solve it.

At this stage, you can share testimonials via email, or link to videos that capture how other buyers are already using the product or service with great results.

Here, Elegant Themes has included a photo and quick excerpt of their top customer stories:

Elegant Themes Testimonials - lead into a buyer

This gives prospects that extra nudge of purchase confidence while still giving them the opportunity to click and read more.

Want to go the extra mile?

Let your customers tell their success stories themselves.

Debt software company, ReadyForZero shares their customer success stories through video testimonials:

Ready for Zero Testimonials - lead into a buyer

Including a quick peek into the business’ and lives of customers you’ve helped through your product or service works wonders when it comes to persuading your lead to follow through and make a purchase.

74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.

So with these stats in mind, don’t underestimate the power of your own customers positive reviews and feedback.

4. Post-Purchase: Nurture after the sale

Though the customer buying process stops at the sale, your relationship with the customer shouldn’t end there.

In fact, consumers are more likely to buy from brands they’ve already bought from, so these leads are now super-hot prospects.

Using email, you can continue to nurture your relationship with them by sharing valuable content, offering discounts, and up-selling new products.

Bombas uses a simple 20% discount email to entice their previous customers to come back and purchase again:Bombas Discount Email - lead into a buyer

Engaging with your customers doesn’t always mean you have to offer discounts (although this is highly effective)!

Your post purchase messages can be as simple as sharing new updates or tips related to your product or service.

This email from venmo introduces their latest integration with Grubhub:
Venmo Email - lead into a buyer

This message is not only an exciting new update but also entices Venmo users to start making purchases again, this time through GrubHub.

No matter what your business is or what you’re selling, everyone wants a first time customer to become a repeat customer and hopefully… a forever customer!

Combining the customer buying process & email marketing

Though the customer buying process might seem a little overwhelming at first, email marketing helps bring it all together.

Instead of trying to reach customers on various platforms and hope that something sticks, nurture them through their inbox!

By providing an open dialogue, sharing valuable content, and showcasing the success of previous customers, you’re going to take prospects seamlessly from one stage to the next.

Sure, it’s not a walk in the park, but email marketing makes it a whole lot easier!

Are you ready to start implementing email marketing throughout the customer buying process?

Sign up with Sendlane today and get cracking!

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Kristen Dahlberg

Content ManagerSendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!