Looking for some B2B lead nurturing best practices for top-of-funnel (TOFU) email marketing leads? Then you’ve come to the right place. You can apply the B2B lead nurturing ideas and examples discussed here to users who have downloaded content, signed up for a newsletter, registered for a webinar, and more. Let’s dig in!

1. Set up the right cadence

Set up sending frequency caps to prevent excessive overlap between your nurture campaigns and promotional emails.

Deliver emails three to five business days apart, for approximately a month. Test your cadence: Check back after launch, and identify if your frequency is too high or low based on unsubscribe rates and open rates.

Part of setting the right email cadence is setting expectations. A user is less likely to unsubscribe if he or she is told beforehand how often you will email.

Once a user completes an onboarding workflow (a series of prepared steps for that contact when he or she joins), enroll him or her in a newsletter list for ongoing communication.

2. Optimize your content

Fancy templates may work well in other industries. But text-based templates perform best in B2B.

Test your templates. Before integrating “fancy” templates in your nurture campaigns, test them for webinar or event promotions to see which format your audience engages with the most. When possible, include 100% plain-text emails that appear to be sent from the sales or business development team.

Identify the goal (e.g., trial, demo, contact) of your campaign and include micro-copy in each email for that goal.

Promote middle-of-funnel (MOFU) content that is relevant to your top-of-funnel (TOFU) content.

Test your content. Start by promoting the highest converting content from your website. Continuously test the order and offer of your emails to maximize engagement.

3. Master micro-engagements

Specify an appropriate sender! Emails should generally come from one person. It can be beneficial to include the business name (Kim at Apple, Kim @ Apple.com, or Kim | APPLE, for instance).

Optimize subject lines

Short and sweet subject lines often get the best open rates (for example, “Looking Forward” or “But What’s Next?”).

Consider the case you want to use for your subject lines:

  • Camel Case
  • lower case
  • Sentence case

Be “point first” or “point last,” meaning “[Guide] Maximizing financial results awaits you” or “Get your free financial services guide.” You can even be in the middle: “Here’s a free guide to financial services for you.”

Optimize preview text

The preview text is important because users can see it along with the subject line before opening the email. Thus, it has an influential role in getting you those valued clicks.

Test your pre-headers extensively for rendering in different email platforms since some may show differently, and the last thing you need is for your work of art to render like it’s 1999.

Pro tip: Check your most recent email reports to see which email platforms your audience uses the most. Prioritize testing these above the others.

Connect the pre-header to the subject line

Here’s an example:

Subject Line: But What’s Next?

Pre-header: “You’ve gotten your free guide to financial services, but have you seen this eBook?”

Choose what to test

Your appetite for testing should generally depend on the monthly lead volume. If you’re sending emails to 150 to 200 leads per month, it will take longer to get statistically significant results.

Consider testing in broader strokes. For example, change the case of your subject lines in all emails at once.

4. Get sales and marketing to play nicely

Integrate your sales team’s emails with your marketing automation platform, and set up frequency caps to prevent excessive outreach.

Ensure that sales and marketing teams are aligned around cadence and type of outreach to avoid prospect burnout from over-communication. By making sure that both sides are aware of the lead nurturing content that the other party is sending out, you achieve better B2B sales and marketing alignment. Everyone can craft more respectful, personalized messages that reduce prospect annoyance.

5. Abide by technical best practices

Checking emails for technical compliance? Sounds boring, right? But imagine how relaxed and happy you’ll feel when you know that your emails aren’t going into the spam folder—because your competitors’ emails are bound to go there if they don’t follow these rules.  Ensure compliance with these DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) factors.

Conclusion

These B2B lead nurturing best practices can be applied quickly and easily to your campaigns to improve performance.

The best part is that this lead nurturing plan template is simple and memorable. Effective email nurturing optimization doesn’t have to be complicated.

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