How to Nurture Email Subscribers to Turn Them into Loyal Customers

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Email Marketing | 0 comments

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Most people think that pumping out informative content is enough to turn email subscribers into buyers.

“I’ll educate them until they’re ready to spend money!”

Sure, education establishes awareness and trust. But alone, it rarely leads to sales.

There are crucial gaps between getting someone to understand solutions exist and getting them to believe “This solution is right for me.”

Here’s why education in isolation backfires:

  • It’s passive. You push information out but don’t pull people in emotionally. Dry facts and figures don’t fire up buying urges.
  • It ignores internal barriers. You might be clearing up knowledge gaps but not dismantling limiting beliefs stopping action.
  • It lacks the proof people crave. Understanding principles is different from believing something works specifically for your unique needs.
  • It’s incomplete. Knowing part of the puzzle doesn’t mean someone believes all pieces will fit for them.

If education cleanly led to sales, every self-help guru would have an endless client waitlist. The truth is far messier. People hold onto beliefs that conflict with what they learn.

Your job is leading people from current beliefs closer to desired action beliefs. This means combining education with belief-shaping storytelling.

How do you do that?

Cut the Guesswork – Research Your Subscribers

Before you start bombarding people with emails, you need to understand what makes your subscribers tick. Don’t assume you know what they think, feel and need. That’s a rookie mistake.

Here are key questions you should dig into:

  • What are their main frustrations, anxieties and problems they want solved regarding your topic area? And we’re talking deep emotional and social frustrations – not just surface-level issues. Empathise and walk in their shoes.
  • What false or misleading beliefs might they have about solutions in your niche? Society and brands cloud perceptions. Find the gaps between reality and their current beliefs.
  • What barriers and limiting mindsets stop them from buying when they know they have a problem? We all convince ourselves of reasons why “solutions won’t work for me”. Uncover these mental obstacles.
  • Where are they on their journey from being aware of an issue to actually seeking and purchasing solutions? Don’t assume everyone is ready to buy instantly. Meet them where they are.

The Research Techniques You Need

Dial back on far-off demographics and statistics for a minute. To fuel your subscriber nurturing strategy, dive deep into the thoughts going on inside their heads with:

  • Surveys – Ask about pain points, desires and beliefs that influence decisions
  • Interviews – Have candid back-and-forths to find emotional drivers and barriers
  • Customer Conversations – Support emails, calls etc provide insight into the inner workings
  • Review Mining & Social Listening – What kind of reviews are they leaving? What are they talking about on social media?
  • Competitor Research: How are your competitors positioning themselves? What emotions are they tapping into?
  • Supplement all your research with AI

You might be recoiling from all this extra work right now.

But trust me, when you know your subscribers on such a deeper psychological level, you hold the power to captivate and convert them over time.

I cover 5 of these strategies in depth in my free customer clarity kit.

Stories That Reshape Beliefs

Facts open minds but stories open hearts.

To nurture subscribers, you need to move beyond informative content. You need narrative-building emails that reshape beliefs.

Craft Captivating Stories

What makes a subscriber-nurturing story excel?

  • Relatable characters. Flawed, familiar protagonists readers empathise with.
  • Immersive worlds. Environments with captivating situations, stakes and obstacles.
  • Strong arcs. Clear desire lines, escalating conflict and satisfying resolutions.
  • Belief-shaping plots. Stories strategically engineered to challenge assumptions and replace them.

Master Narrative Building Blocks

Shape subscriber beliefs across a narrative arc with:

  • Inciting incidents disrupting the status quo of limiting beliefs.
  • Rising action introducing desire lines, growth opportunities and your solution.
  • Climactic transformations where readers adopt the new beliefs you desire.
  • Final acts reinforcing why those transformed beliefs matter for their needs.

This narrative arc engineering helps guide readers from false assumptions preventing action to being ready to buy into your offers over time.

Stories That Stick With Readers

Beyond sparking one-off emotion, great stories continue resonating with readers long after they finish them.

So make your stories impossible to forget using elements like shocking revelations, cliffhangers, mysteries and bold characters who readers love, hate or find inspiring.

When you wield the true power of strategic narratives, you captivate audiences while incrementally reshaping what they believe.

Back up Stories With Facts

Stories capture emotion – but don’t expect readers to shift deep-seated beliefs based purely on them without hard evidence.

Balance captivating narratives with research, stats and social proof reinforcing your messages at every turn.

Cement Ideas With Logic

What fuels a believable storyline?

Airtight logic that makes sceptical subscribers think “This makes total sense”:

  • Expert insights explaining why your solution credibly resolves reader pain points
  • Objective research quantifying outcomes from addressing issues with your approach
  • Case studies proving how real people with readers’ goals achieved success
  • Flowcharts demonstrating step-by-step how or why results happen

Weave factual credibility builders into your unfolding narratives to help convince readers solutions align with their needs.

Use The Power Of Social Proof

Peer influence drives decisions. Our brains are wired to follow the herd – especially in uncertain situations.

Show don’t tell people your solution works by spotlighting real users. Types of persuasive peer proof include:

  • Glowing testimonials from satisfied customers describing in-depth experiences
  • Before and after snapshots quantifying impressive improvements
  • Reviews sharing both raves and critiques for authenticity
  • Success stories featuring relatable “people like me” overcoming obstacles faced

This real-world proof cements beliefs that if it worked for others similar to readers, solutions can transform their reality too.

Back every twist and turn in your storytelling with compelling logic and social proof.

This is how to guide subscribers from doubt and hesitancy to belief and commitment.

Merge Education With Narrative

Earlier we covered why plain old education isn’t enough. But that doesn’t make informative content useless.

The key is combining education with storytelling instead of keeping them separate.

Where Education Fits In

There’s no question you need educational elements to:

  • Establish thought leadership and credibility early on.
  • Address knowledge gaps holding readers back initially.
  • Back up story claims with expert perspectives over time.
  • Showcase how your solutions generate results.

The Trick? Make Education Entertaining

Boring blocks of facts make readers bounce faster than a dropped bowling ball. Counteract denseness with creativity:

  • Boost engagement with cliffhanger chapter endings in email courses drawing people to the next lesson.
  • Organise training into a story arc built around resolving some burning issues.
  • Use the hero’s journey framework having protagonists learn and grow through educational adventures.
  • Make even dry topics fascinating by focusing on intriguing secrets, overlooked shortcuts and revealing case studies.
  • Insert interesting origin stories of discoveries, controversies surrounding ideas throughout history, and more to liven things up.

But, do this with care.

Aim for balance while integrating educational pieces into narratives instead of awkwardly forcing disconnected content together.

Wrap educational elements around narrative anchors. And ensure plot developments, tension and characters remain central instead of taking a backseat to info overload.

Craft a Unified Subscriber Journey

Now that we’ve covered specific nurturing building blocks, let’s look at assembling them into a cohesive subscriber journey.

Map Major Milestones

Chart target audience beliefs throughout key phases:

  • Initial beliefs based on assumptions or society’s views
  • First exposure to your content sparking curiosity
  • Early education addressing knowledge gaps
  • Ongoing nurturing challenging assumptions
  • Adoption of new beliefs aligned with buying from you
  • Final cementing of beliefs driving conversions

Build in Triggers

With milestones mapped out, identify triggers prompting transitions between phases:

  • Inciting incidents disrupting the status quo of limiting beliefs
  • New educational concepts conflicting with current assumptions
  • Story climaxes transforming beliefs
  • Social proof and logic eroding doubt
  • Offers and incentives rewarding growth

Use these triggers to progress readers across belief thresholds strategically.

Unify With Narrative

Now wrap nurturing touchpoints together into a cohesive narrative arc:

  • Personify the audience and map their transformation
  • Craft characters who guide readers on their journey
  • Showcase escalating conflict between old and emerging beliefs
  • Make climax the “aha moment” of belief change

This narrative threading ties together your nurturing seamlessly so it feels like a natural progression rather than disjointed randomness.

Evolve With Feedback

Treat initial subscriber journeys as flexible frameworks. Analyse response metrics and optimise pathways based on engagement, conversions and audience needs.

Build your roadmap block by block.

Shape beliefs email by email.

Guide readers from narrow assumptions to passionate brand loyalists ready to purchase.

Sprinkle In Strategic Offers

Nurturing subscribers is about more than nonstop education and narrative. You need occasional calls to action to facilitate conversions too.

Match Offers To Milestones

Asking readers to leap into high-commitment offers too fast backfires. Instead, align offers to their mindset at key nurturing stages.

Entry-level offer examples by subscriber phase:

  • Building Awareness: Lead magnet, content upgrade, sample download
  • Sparking Initial Interest: Free trial, low-cost introductory product
  • Cultivating Desire: Generous guarantee, financing options
  • Cementing Beliefs: Backend upsell based on results achieved already

Flipping The Offer Script

Savvy marketers don’t endlessly pitch offers. They warm audiences up first before ever talking specifics.

So rather than random stand-alone offers, try reverse positioning:

  • Start by naming common myths, misconceptions and flawed assumptions on a topic
  • Call out risks readers likely worry about
  • Tee up how you’ll solve issues for people willing to follow along

This primal framing taps into emotions, THEN logically transitions into why your offer smartly relieves mentioned anxieties.

Time Sensitive Urgency

Steer clear of hype and pressure. But demonstrating time sensitivity boosts webinar sign-ups, product launches and events by 2-3X easily including:

  • Enrolment closing soon
  • Limited seating available
  • Access ending after X date
  • Special pricing about to expire

When used judiciously rather than sleazily, time urgency incentivises subscribers to bite instead of forever procrastinating.

Sprinkle relevant offers into your nurturing storylines. Make them logical next steps readers crave rather than random asks.

The Subscriber Nurturing Feedback Loop

Creating subscriber journeys isn’t a “set it and forget it” deal. To transform awareness into sales, you need to optimise nurturing flows based on feedback continually.

Key Metrics Informing Strategy

Go beyond vanity metrics like open and click rates. Analyse engagement plus conduction to connect insights to strategy:

  • Webpage dwell time signals content resonance
  • Offer acceptance shows beliefs aligning with purchase needs
  • Nurturing stage completion rates indicate transition trigger efficacy
  • Ultimate conversions demonstrate the narrative-shaping impact

Let Data Guide Your Hand

With actionable intel established, conduct regular nurturing audits assessing what’s working then optimise based on evidence:

  • Double down on high-performing messages and pathways
  • Revise or remove low-interest content missing the mark
  • Re-map journeys when completion rates signal belief adoption issues
  • Test new narratives, offers and sequences to improve results

Continually optimising through data analysis and testing is how to keep your finger on the pulse of evolving subscriber needs long-term.

With a systematised improvement process, you can start subpar and then rapidly refine journeys delivering sky-high conversions.

Wrapping Things up

Let’s round things out with crystal clarity on why subscriber nurturing is no joking matter:

When you ACTUALLY nurture, you no longer scratch your head wondering why conversion rates suck even though you educated your subscribers.

When you challenge rather than pander, suddenly higher open rates aren’t some far-off pipe dream requiring endless template tweaks.

When you align offers with transformed beliefs instead of untimely pitches, you cue amazed head nods from business partners at your sales spike rapidity.

True nurturing is about crafting captivating narratives deliberately designed to systematically migrate readers from limited beliefs to passionate brand evangelism.

It takes effort. Empathy. And creativity. But the rewards of loyalty and conversions explode exponentially when you …

  • Research until you truly inhabit readers’ worlds.
  • Map the exact points where their views must shift for purchases to happen.
  • Architect cohesive story systems targeted specifically to transform at those breakpoints.

And optimise relentlessly until the numbers make you grin ear to ear.

So are you finally ready to stop “sorta trying” nurturing amidst your current mediocre results?

Or will you continue making every excuse under the sun as to why you still can’t be bothered to put in the work required here?

The choice is yours. But consider this tough love a pivotal nudge to start owning the nurturing game once and for all today. You absolutely can do this. But only if you want it bad enough.

Found this article helpful?

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Rahul Choudhary

Rahul Choudhary

Founder, Beef Up Media

With almost 6 whole years of experience in the online marketing world & specialising in email marketing + funnels, I’ve seen most – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

My goal?

Try to share as much of my knowledge & experience as possible.

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media. ↓

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