Best Practices to Generate and Close Email Marketing Leads

If you’re a CMO or content marketing leader, questions always surface at the end or beginning of a new year as to, ‘What is the most effective online marketing tactic businesses can practice to generate leads? Will email marketing leads still hang on as a top source for lead generation or fall from grace as the go-to channel for marketers?

As an Inbound marketing and growth agency, we understand that the email landscape continually evolves. Your work as an email marketer is not the same as it was a few short months ago. But businesses have grown to depend on the channel, and with good reason.

77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months, email marketing revenue is estimated to reach almost $11 billion by the end of 2023, and 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. (Content Marketing Institute)However, effective email marketing requires strategic planning, proper implementation, and continuous optimization. It requires winning lead-generation techniques to strengthen relationships with your potential and existing customers to close your leads.

Let’s dig into why it’s important to have an email lead-generation strategy to get the best email marketing leads, the best-proven practices that work, and how to design an email that converts your fence-sitting prospect into an action-taker customer.

Why it’s Important to Have an Email Lead-Generation Strategy

An effective lead-generation strategy is integral to your overall marketing plan. It connects you with prospects and customers, boosts brand awareness, and increases visibility.

Email Connects With Your Audience and Builds Relationships

Email gives you direct and personal communication with your audience. When you deliver valuable content weekly, you build trust and credibility, increasing customer loyalty and retention. Email marketing can form the most loyal and long-lasting relationships when done correctly.

It’s important to deliver the content you initially promised. For example, if you promised new tips or strategies to increase organic growth or SEO tips—that is what you need to deliver.

Boosts Brand Awareness

A top-notch email marketing strategy builds brand awareness and encourages long-term habitual interactions. Email marketing will help establish your brand as a reliable source for your consumers when employed well.

When people subscribe to your email list, they are showing an interest in engaging with your brand. This action makes them a valuable lead, and the research backs it up:

66% of consumers have purchased online due to an email marketing message.” (Constant Contact) 

The average value of an email subscriber is $48.87. (DMA) 

Email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. (Neverbounce)Email offers brands the ability to reach their target market and customers routinely.

With Email, You Own the Distribution

You have a direct line to your subscribers with the email list you’ve built. You do not own social media platforms and could lose your followers and readers if the platform closes or decides to shut down your account.

Statistics show you probably want to spend time building your email list . . .

A study found that Facebook organic engagement plummeted to less than 1%. (RivalQ) 

The average newsletter open rate is 21.33%… 20x higher than Facebook post engagement. (MailChimp)

Eliminates Inefficiencies in the Email Review and Approval Process

We’ve all done it. Created the best email and sent it without a second look or validation, and you see a mistake. Ugh.

Email campaign templates and workflows should be part of your everyday strategy. Nothing is worse than putting effort into an email for it to not only fall flat because you hit send too fast but also lose some consumer confidence.

Like it or not, mistakes in emails do not encourage confidence. Your emails help shape how your peers perceive you. Although emails have become less formal, seemingly innocent typos, misspelled names and words, and sentences without correct punctuation can hurt your reputation.

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” We humans make mistakes—yes. But they don’t go unnoticed.

A well-thought-out email review and approval process will eliminate the sinking dread you feel when you see a glaring typo sent with no hope of getting the email back.

Gain Greater Visibility into Your Email Performance From Metrics

The best part of hitting ‘send’ (or having an automated workflow) is the relief that your campaigns are running. Part two is knowing the insights—how’d they perform?

You need to understand the metrics to fuel future growth for your next email campaign.

Another strategy sometimes overlooked because, let’s face it, you’re juggling a thousand things at once is understanding your email marketing metrics. You can look at the basics—opens, clicks, and unsubscribes but don’t stop there. Go deep and measure monetary value from your email campaigns like:

  • Revenue per subscriber: revenue generated/number of active subscribers
  • LTV (lifetime value): monthly revenue per subscriber x average number of months a subscriber stays on your list
  • ROI = (email revenue – email marketing cost) / email marketing cost.

Litmus says, “The better you track, the better you can optimize.”

email metrics

Email Lead Generation Best Practices

The key to email lead generation lies in consistency and implementing best practices. With each email, you need to set a goal. One goal.

Each campaign can address whether you’re trying to convert your email leads into customers or the campaign is more about retaining your current subscribers.

Let’s look at some tips to improve your click-thru rates. Some of our clients experienced up to 9.8% click-thru rate when these best practices were used. And one client saw 162 leads generated in 1 day!

So what’d we do?

We found that by crafting thoughtful email campaigns focused on empathizing with clients’ audiences, all while highlighting the strengths, benefits, and value a client’s solution offers their potential buyers, along with utilizing the latest email tracking technologies, we could help generate leads.

We then set up beautiful real-time notifications so that a client’s sales team can receive updates on which contacts in their database are engaging with these strategic emails and give them a foot in the door to open a conversation and educate their prospects into satisfied buyers.

It all started first with . . .

  1. Targeting the right customers
  2. Having a valuable opt-in offer for them. Communications need to be less ‘sales-focused’ content and more ‘customer-centric’ focused.
  3. With a compelling opt-in form
  4. Optimizing the landing page and making sure the landing pages your emails are directed to are relevant and congruent.
  5. Timely emails are sent. If you tell your list, you will email weekly—email weekly!
  6. Using personalization and segmentation. Email marketers have identified both as a conversion stimulus in email content.
  7. Continuous improvement—review and update your strategy based on performance data. (back to the metrics)

Designing Email for Your Email Marketing Leads

Your content strategy should include designing visually appealing and engaging email templates aligned with your brand’s style and messaging.

designing emails for your email marketing leads

With templates in place, the steps become more straightforward and will help close more leads.

Craft Engaging Subject Lines

Keep the subject line short and make it unique to the recipient. Let people know about your offer.

You must respect their time, so front-load your subject with the benefit. Benefit headlines appeal to your readers because it explains how the information will help them.

For example, use benefits to sell more.

“Save 30 minutes a day by using our social media scheduler.”

“Get x by having y.”

You show your targeted audience exactly how your product will benefit them.

If you’re looking for good email subject lines for your marketing campaigns, Drip compiled 180+ email subject lines from authentic brands and organized them by type, industry, and season.

Create Concise, Short Emails

Emails should be easy to absorb with a quick skim. Bullet points are great to get a message across. Bullet points force you to be more concise and direct.

The number of emails sent and received per day in 2023 is 347.3 billion. (Oberlo)You want your emails to be short and to stand out. Concise emails do three things:

  1. Make it easier for your reader to reply
  2. Increase response rate
  3. Cut down on overall response time

So, nix the unnecessary common filler words and streamline your emails so your message won’t lose substance. Chances are you’re sprinkling in filler words and don’t even realize it.

Look back on an email. How often did you use the word ‘just?’ Who hasn’t been guilty of that?

Use a Relevant Image

Your choice of image should coincide with your product and, more importantly, your buyer personas. Adding custom images will help keep leads interested.

An email with a relevant image will capture your prospect’s attention and move them further down the sales funnel. Embed the image so it automatically displays in the email body.

Emails with embedded images have higher open and click-through rates than text-only ones. Using images in your sales and marketing emails can get prospects to engage with your emails.

Best practices to avoid the spam filter:

  • Choose an image that works on most email servers.
  • Ensure the file size is as small as possible without affecting the image quality.
  • Use alt text for the image. (If your images are blocked or fail to load, including alt text will give your reader context to understand what should be there)
  • Test your email before you send it.

Embedding images will engage your prospects, visually tell your story, and help you close more deals.

Include Social Media Share Links

Use share buttons to allow your reader to share content they find helpful to their audience. Combining email marketing with social media helps improve your visibility to a more extensive network.

However, extending the reach in your emails is considered a secondary goal. Your real goal is to have them take action by clicking on your CTA.

Create Strong, Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Your call to action is a life-or-death moment in your content strategy and efforts to generate leads.

How you craft your email call-to-action will affect your campaign. There’s always something you want your reader to do after reading the content. Email CTAs work by telling them what to do next. A clear CTA will get your prospects to click.

Features of a great call to action include an action-oriented verb that is concise and compelling. A few examples are:

  • Start my free trial
  • Watch it in action
  • Book a consult
  • Book a demo

Infuse your unique value proposition and branding into your CTA copy.

For example, one of Copyhacker’s CTAs is ‘Test drive Copy School for free.’

Here’s the thing: You cannot convert online without clicking one or more buttons. So, even though your button copy is only a few words, you have to choose those words intentionally.

Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copyhackers, shows you everything to consider before you write your button copy and how to give button copy the mad respect it deserves:

In addition, use a contrasting color for your CTA.

Data shows that conversion rates go up when the contrast between the CTA button color and the background color increases. (Optinmonster) 

Back to you on Generating and Closing Email Marketing Leads . . .

Which tip are you going to try first to generate email marketing leads?

  • Create a valuable opt-in offer or lead magnet that works.
  • Slash your wordy email to a concise message your customers want to read.
  • Create a CTA that drives the right moves.

Investing in email marketing campaigns is more vital than ever. And part of the strategy is knowing your email analytics and marketing metrics.
If you decide email marketing campaigns are an avenue you want to pursue to get your foot through your customer’s door faster, let’s talk.

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