We are told that lead nurturing, at least as far as email marketing is concerned, is similar to starting out on a social relationship. At the start there is nervousness and a reluctance to commit. There is a requirement for nurturing when two people are getting to know one another over a period of time.
It doesn’t do to carry an analogy too far but let’s run with the idea you have met someone at a party. They have shown a certain interest in you by sharing their contact details, perhaps a phone number or social media presence.
You will have had a certain degree of previous experience so you know the pitfalls and opportunities of the early stages. You haven’t got the benefit of email marketing software metrics, but you are aware that everyone is slightly different so you approach with care.
The other person will have certain ideas about you, given the circumstances of the initial contact, and you realise that, at the start, you should base any further contact on their expectations.
You do not want to appear too intense no matter how much you want the relationship to build, so don’t pressure them in any way. However too long a delay in contacting them might mean they lose interest. So perhaps you merely thank them first of all, but add a little teaser, something that might interest them.
You might mention, almost in passing, an event that they would like and leave information about it. You recognise that they might be wary initially so you give them the time and space to decide whether to pursue it or not. If they ignore it you could try something different a little later.
You are aware that agreeing to the offer does not mean that they are fully committed. You still have to work on the relationship.
In other words, to convert a lead to a subscriber to your email marketing list requires care. The first contact should be light, with perhaps an offer of an ebook. You should have plenty of calls to action, but should allow them to make the decision. Once they have subscribed you still need to nurture the relationship.