There is hardly a business that does not depend on lead generation. According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their #1 goal. Why not? Lead generation is where your sales cycle starts and if you focus right at the initial stage, the rest of your cycle remains intact with qualified leads.
Every marketer is focused on getting more leads. While there are many ways to get them, some may give successful results instantly while others may cost little more to get those results. With so many brands competing for the same customers, finding those revenue-generating-leads has become a challenge to the marketers.
If you have a successful lead generation strategy in place, your sales funnel will be filled with quality leads and the path from awareness to the action of sales cycle becomes easy.
Email marketing is the ‘most effective’ as well as ‘most easy’ way to generate more qualified leads. Ascend2 iterates this in their Lead Generation Survey stating that creating content and marketing it via the email channel is the most effective tactics used to generate better quality leads.
Most Easy Lead Generation Strategy:
To plan a successful email marketing strategy, you need to consider various factors like marketing, trends, technologies, data, new methods etc. Now that you know what to do, let’s take a look at how to do it.
1. Effective newsletter
A newsletter is a traditional way of promoting your brand and staying on top-of-the-mind of your customers. But what most of the marketers miss is to make them more relevant and informative to the customers. Most of the newsletters are overtly self-promotional when in fact they should be quite the opposite.
When you craft a message, it is necessary to keep the audience and their interests in mind. Build the content of newsletters based on customers pain points, their interests, frequently asked questions. You can also refer to most resonating newsletters (based on web analytics and social media metrics), which you’ve sent in the past and design accordingly.
2. Drip Campaigns
Triggered emails are automatically activated when someone takes a specific action, like, filling a form, downloading a whitepaper, or place an order. These emails should be tailored to a segmented audience based on the action.
But over time, these subscribed audiences tend to unsubscribe from the list. That is a warning to correct your email marketing strategy. While autoresponders (or drip emails) remind customers that they have subscribed to the email list, too many emails a week might persuade them to unsubscribe.
It is imperative to keep well-timed autoresponders which remind customers of your brand but not displease them. Weekly once sounds good, but it would depend on your business and industry. Test your emails and unsubscribe rate to decide on the frequency of emails. Also, test on the time and day of these autoresponders for better open rates.
3. Gate your content
Once you have your content ready, you need to decide if you would place in the email or add additional steps for the user to access this content. Gating your content can provide you a list of better-qualified leads. It goes way back to a pre-internet era where magazines published ads urging readers to write a free report or to request a product sample.
Today, we use a link in emails to landing pages where people should enter their information, usually name and email address, in exchange of a white paper, PDF, report, link to free webinar etc. You might think that gated content like this can result in decreasing leads but research has shown that people perceive this sort of content to be more valuable than if they had received it without registration.
Gated content results in more qualified leads and you can also gauge what interests them based on the PDF or report that they downloaded. So now with leads’ contact details and interests, you can follow a better lead nurturing program.
4. Make your emails sharable
B2B magazine states that 64% of marketers say email is their most effective lead generation channel when targeting new customers. Because a good email helps customers to share it on their social network which in turn increases your brand visibility.
So how do you make your emails sharable? Below are few ways to do this (but not restricted to):
- Embed pre-formatted tweets in emails
- Add a signup link to your email for quick access
- Include social sharing buttons so people can easily share on social media
- Include an icon for email formatting
Segmenting your audience is very important for building up unique conversations. It allows businesses to precisely reach customers with specific needs and wants. Segmentation increases relevance thus affecting open and click rates.
There are multiple ways you segment your audience. Based on:
- Demography (age, sex, income, nationality, ethnicity, education, religion etc)
- Psychographic analysis (social status, lifestyle)
- Behavior (Brand loyalty, user behaviors)
Or based on actions, like, when customers:
- Open your email
- Sign up
- Click on CTAs in email
- Click-through but don’t turn up on the landing page
- Perform no action
Based on the above segmentation, you can either re-send your emails, send follow up emails or remove them from the list.
6. Calls-to-action (CTAs)
CTAs are used to increase the engagement of your readers and perform actions that you would want them to. It’s either included as a button, a link or text line. When a reader clicks through any of the calls to action, they lead to a landing page that has more information for the reader to furnish in order to get access to the offer mentioned in the email.
When you decide to include multiple CTAs in your email, make sure that you set up that CTA on the top, which prioritizes your desired course of action from the readers. If your main call-to-action falls way below, you might lose on as many as 70% of readers.
Also, multiple CTAs should either lead to a single landing page or should divert readers based on the prioritized actions. For instance, you have an upcoming event and you want to increase the audience. So, you put the event CTA on the top of the email and your social page CTA below.
7. Match your email with landing page
The content in your email should match the content on the landing page, in terms of headline, copy, look and feel etc. If your email is talking about your upcoming event and you want readers to click through and register themselves for the event, but your CTAs lead them to social network landing page - that’s a total mismatch.
Based on your goals, make sure you match the content with the landing page so that you make the reader's journey as simple as possible to receive what they expect. Having your reader complete the action is a very important step for your email marketing success. It’s essential to follow few steps:
- Don’t clutter your landing page
- Have a clear call-to-action
- Don’t ask too many questions
- Think like the customer
- Match the offer in the email
- Include tracking tools to see which emails and landing pages are performing better
8. Mobile friendly emails
Every time you send an email, remember that most of your audience is going to open your message on their phones or tablets - not their desktop computers or laptops. There are many studies that indicate this - 51 percent according to Litmus, 66 percent according to Movable Ink. So, to overlook a mobile-friendly email is a big mistake.
Make sure that you compose short subject lines because most of the mobile phones in portrait mode only show 40-60 characters of the subject line, including spaces. A large portion of readers decide to open the email based on who it is coming from and subject line, so it’s imperative to use catchy subject lines.
Keep your emails under 600 pixels wide and use a large font size to make them more visible on mobile phones. And before going live with the email, make sure you test it on multiple devices.
Let us know your email marketing best practices to get better-qualified leads.
Rohit Prasanna brings in about 14 years of digital marketing experience and has been an advisor to software start-ups in the mobile and SaaS areas. Before getting into startups, Rohit worked in various marketing, and product management roles at Unisys, Dell, and IBM. Specialties: Digital marketing, building and growing companies, marketing, business development, M&A.