What is best practice for a nurture email campaign?

Definition of a nurture campaign, with examples and guidelines that follow H&D best practice for creating nurture emails.

Let's reminder ourselves quickly, what are 'Nurture Emails'?

Nurture emails are meant to educate and nurture prospects or leads.

More educational than most drip campaigns, nurture emails are still a form of email marketing, but often convey the value of a company or teach recipients about subjects that they’ve signalled an interest in.

Nurture emails are great tools for shepherding leads through the sales process until they’re ready and comfortable making an initial purchase.

Source: https://sendgrid.com/blog/your-guide-to-nurture-emails/

Qualities of a good nurture email campaign

  • Builds a relationship with the prospect
  • Adds value by helping the prospect achieve their goals, overcome their challenges, and helps them through their buyer's journey
  • Provides high quality, useful resources and content
  • Builds a profile of the prospect through their actions
  • Always provides a relevant CTA or asks a direct question in order to illicit the desired response
  • To the point, respects the prospects time and values their interaction

What nurture emails are not

  • Newsletters
  • Purely promotional
  • Hard sell, pushy or all about your product
  • Long winded (any long form content should be gated or provided via a link), rambling or irrelevant

H&D Best Practice Guidelines for creating Nurture emails

Subject lines

The subject line and preview text of an email have one job: to get the email opened. That's it.

In order to get your email opened you should leverage the following as a bear minimum:

  • Personalisation:
    Alex, this new blog was written for Marketing Directors just like you
  • Call out the value of the content:
    [DOWNLOAD] Cheat sheet to get more leads in 2020
  • Ask a question you know your personas want answered:
    What are the best 5 ways to ensure happy customers?

Or combine all three!
[FREE GUIDE] How can Marketing Directors improve the ROI of their efforts by 200%?

Types of content

The content you provide in your nurture series must align to the Buyer Journey for your target persona.

Top of the Funnel content: The "awareness" stage, is where people looking for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight and should be included in your welcome email. 


  • Quiz
  • White paper
  • Ebook
  • Checklist
  • Educational webinar
  • Video

Middle of the Funnel: This is the "consideration" stage is where people are doing heavy research on whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them. This content should cover most of your nurture content.


  • Case studies
  • FAQs
  • Comparisons
  • Demo videos
  • Product webinar

Bottom of the Funnel: The "decision" stage, where people are figuring out exactly what it would take to become a customer. This content should come into play towards the end of your nurture series, but also should be the focus of your CTAs throughout the nurture phase - as it's the action you ultimately want people to take to become a customer.


  • Free trial
  • Meeting
  • Demo
  • Consultation
  • Audit
  • Money off or added value
  • Free quote

For more examples of good nurture campaign content, check out: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/lead-nurturing-email-examples

Length and style of content

  • Emails should be no more than 200 words (any in-depth content should be created as an additional offer or blog post and linked to from the email 
  • First two blog posts to be added to content schedule to align to nurture series
  • Paragraphs should be no more than 3 lines. Make your copy short, easy to digest, and compelling to keep reading. Many people find the format of one line per paragraph annoying, but it's proven to keep people reading!

Would you rather read an email formatted like this:

Or like this?

Process for incorporating the 2 onboarding blogs into the Nurture Series

In our Content Schedule Template there are 2 rows specifically for the first two blog posts that are usually included in onboarding:
Reason: our '3 month content schedule' doesn't actually cover 3 months if we count the 2 onboarding posts as part of it.
Benefits: If we align these two initial posts to part or the nurture series, it can and should become our standard to offer these posts in the nurture content as additional value. 
It also enables us to keep our nurture copy nice and tight, with a link to chunkier pieces of content.
And we can of course measure the clicks and engagement for these posts, which is nice to be able to report on, build lead scoring off, etc.
Note: we may wish to hide these rows when providing the initial schedule to the client for review if the nurture series has not yet been defined.