Email marketing has been around forever, and it’s certainly not going anywhere. That’s because it works. How well it works is determined by a number of factors.
In this post, we’ll cover those factors and what you can do to generate more leads.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid grip on the basic success factors for email lead generation.
How to Generate More Leads Though B2B Email Marketing
1. Your Contacts
The first and most major factor in email marketing success doesn’t have anything to do with your marketing, your content strategy, or what software you’re using.
It’s the contacts you’re sending to.
Ideally, you know as much as possible about them, so you can tailor your message specifically to their individual needs.
With email lead generation, though, you’re using cold contacts, so that doesn’t really work. Instead, you should ensure that your contacts are of high quality.
That means purchasing your list from a reputable data provider that aggregates their contacts instead of scraping them.
Without going into too much detail, scraping is gathering email addresses from around the internet. It’s indiscriminate and results in all kinds of garbage data. Not only that, but even the real addresses you get are effectively useless. You have no idea who they are, whether they’re even remotely your target audience, or anything.
If you’re unsure where to get a reliable list from a reputable provider, drop us a line – we can refer you to some excellent ones.
2. Email Content
Once you have a solid list of good contacts to send to, it’s time to start working on your messaging. There’s a wide variety of ways to approach this, but you should follow a couple rules of thumb:
- Keep it brief and to-the-point. Your campaigns are cold, and you’re asking your contacts to take time out of their day to read a marketing message from someone they’ve never heard of. Don’t waste their time.
- Don’t hard-sell immediately. Your contacts are at the very top of the marketing funnel. Bottom-of-funnel calls to action, such as pushing for a purchase, typically won’t work very well.
- Talk about benefits, not features. Recipients don’t care what awesome features your product has, sadly. What they’re interested in is how they can benefit from it, so focus on that.
There are many nuances and strategies involved in creating truly effective email marketing. If you’re looking for more details on creating awesome content for your campaigns, check out this guide on cold email copywriting.
3. Landing Pages
If you’re trying to generate leads with email campaigns, it follows that you need a way to collect those leads. Some marketers just assume “if they’re interested, they’ll reply to the email.”
If that’s your approach, you’re guaranteed to be missing out on leads.
Some people may reply to your emails, but it’s much more common to provide a call-to-action that leads to a landing page.
On your landing page, you can provide additional information and a form for your contacts to fill out. It’s a great way to sidestep people’s aversion to replying to marketing emails and provide them with more information all at once.
The trick with landing pages is that they need to match up with the email that leads to them. When someone clicks your email’s call to action and the page opens, it should reinforce the same message from that email.
If it says something different, talks about a different offer or product or benefit, the reader will stop and wonder if they’re on the right page.
It causes friction, in other words, and you want their transition from email to landing page to filling out the form as smooth and frictionless as possible.
For more details on building top-notch landing pages for your email lead gen campaigns, check out this post.
4. The Technical Side
Even if you have a great list, rock-star content and landing pages, your campaigns won’t generate any leads if they don’t reach inboxes.
Just like the content side of things, there are a lot of different factors that influence your inbox rate. The biggest one to know about is called sender score (also called sender reputation).
It’s a score that you get from each ISP (internet service provider), and it’s used to judge how trustworthy your emails are.
If you don’t follow best practices, your score will go down. The lower your score is, the more likely your emails will end up in the spam folder instead of inboxes.
The tricky part is that it’s all too easy to damage your sender score. For example, if someone reports your email as spam, that hurts your score. If you repeatedly get hard bounces on your sends, that will also damage your score.
Hard bounces are what happens when you try to send an email to an address that doesn’t actually exist.
Basically, anything that signals your emails might be spam will reduce your sender score. Conversely, when people engage with your content, that tells ISPs that your emails are legitimately interesting.
This comes back, in part, to the quality of your list. If you’re sending to people who have a real interest in your offer, they’re more likely to open and click on it, which helps your score.
If your list is low-quality, you’ll end up with more hard bounces, spam traps, and generally unusable data, plus low engagement and even spam complaints. All of which means your score will go down, and your emails will end up in more spam folders.
Which means less engagement, and makes it hard to get that score back up.
There’s a whole lot more to it than just that, and it’s important to have a decent grasp of it before you start sending campaigns. To learn more about it, read our post on how to send mass email successfully.