Only 25% of your leads are sales-ready. In addition, a whopping 50% of your leads are qualified but not ready to buy from you.

So, what do you do with those qualified but reticent leads to turn them into customers? Lead nurturing, of course!

1.) Emails That Educate
If you send only one lead nurturing email, the educational email is the one to choose. Educating your prospects is a crucial step in closing a sale, and one of the easiest ways to shorten your sales cycle. Use lead intelligence to display your value, and teach them about the things they want to know based on their on- and off-site behaviors. What did they download already? What pages on your site do they visit most frequently? What are they tweeting about, and at whom? If you’ve had a conversation with them, what are their pain points? Focus on one topic per email, and educate them over time as they move through your sales cycle. Remember, these emails shouldn’t be overtly salesey, but should correspond to your product and service offerings that solve their problems.

2.) Emails That Get You Two Connected
The more ways through which you and your prospect are connected, the better chance you have of closing the sale. Send lead nurturing emails that invite them to subscribe to your blog, connect on LinkedIn, follow each other on Twitter, and any other places you both live in the web. The more interconnected you are, the more you become a part of your prospect’s daily life and increase the opportunities to impress them with your content, solutions, and brand.

3.) Emails That Offer Your Offers
You’ve created content and built a sales force — make use of it in your lead nurturing! Give your prospects a chance to reconvert by sending offers that correspond to their stage in the sales cycle. For example, prospects that just subscribed to your blog are probably in the top of your sales funnel; you need to figure out which topics they’re interested in, and if they even have the potential to become a customer. So don’t send them, say, a free trial offer. Instead, take a look at their site behavior, see what topics interested them most, and nurture them with offers related to that subject matter. As they become more engaged with you and your website, you can use that information to send more targeted offers that move them further down the sales funnel.

4.) Emails That Help Them Improve
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, everyone’s looking for something that will make them better. Better at their job. Better at their hobbies. Better as a person. Send lead nurturing emails that speak to these personal goals. Position these emails around showing ROI, convincing their boss of something, getting promoted, impressing friends and family, losing weight, or whatever it is that motivates your prospects every day. Asserting yourself as someone who can make their lives better makes you their ally and helps establish the trust you need to turn them into a customer.

5.) Emails That Re-Engage
If prospects have fallen off the map — either they click through your emails less frequently, or they aren’t responding to your sales team as much — send them something to re-engage them with your company. People love giving feedback, so ask your subscribers for feedback on things like email frequency, content quality, and subject matter to see if there’s something you can alter to better suit their needs. Best case scenario: you get the knowledge you need to better customize your prospect’s emails. Worst case scenario: your prospect either doesn’t respond or opts out of your emails, acting as a list scrubbing mechanism that only helps your email marketing efforts by weeding out leads who wouldn’t have been a good fit for your products/services anyway.

6.) Emails That Are Personal
Every lead nurturing email should be personalized — that is, tailored to your prospects’ actions and behaviors — but some of them should also be personal. Not all lead nurturing emails have to be automated; think outside of the lead nurturing track and consider when an email from you, a member of your sales team, your founder, or even an engineer or support rep, might help you close your sale. This is particularly helpful near the end of the sales cycle to help address any of the issues that have been plaguing the prospect.