Fundamentals of Successful Email Lead Generation

September 1, 2015

Fundamentals of Successful Email Lead Generation

By Ryan Dinger

Email marketing is alive and well. While omnichannel tactics are a necessity in 2015, email remains a pillar of most B-to-B marketers' client communication strategies. Nick Perricelli, partner development manager at Clickback, a cloud-based software company located just outside Toronto, Canada, recently hosted a webinar on the fundamentals of email lead generation. Here's a brief recap of what he covered.  

What is Email Lead Generation?

Email lead generation is about sending targeted, customized emails to cold contacts who know nothing about your company and converting them into warm, sales-ready leads, Perricelli says. The strategy often involves sending emails to permission-based contact lists, comprised of customers who have fully opted in to your communications. Done well, the emails are meant to engage, inform, and educate readers about your product or service and increase brand awareness.

Best Practices in Email Lead Generation

When sending email to a list of cold contacts, Perricelli recommends following these best practices:

  • Do not send emails from your corporate domain or IP address, as this may jeopardize your corporate email, website, and daily business communications.
  • Keep subject lines under 50 characters to increase open rates. Subject lines with three-plus words are opened 15 percent less than subject lines with two words or less, Perricelli says.
  • In the body copy, speak directly to recipients' interests and how the topic pertains to their business. Make sure the copy is short, to the point, and focuses on facts rather than opinions.
  • Include client testimonials with full disclosure, including the person's first name, last name, and company name. Without full disclosure, a testimonial is meaningless.
  • Send emails on Thursdays to improve open rates, according to research from MarketingSherpa. Conversely, avoid Tuesdays, which tend to be high-traffic days. Weekends typically have a low engagement rate.
  • In terms of frequency, it's crucial to be tactful. A high sending frequency can negatively impact engagement. In fact, studies have shown that more than one-third of email recipients cite frequency as the main reason for unsubscribing. Monthly sends are ideal.
  • Send people to a relevant and targeted landing page, using personalization to help conversions. When collecting information on a landing page, require as few fields as possible. Three is a good limit. The message on the landing page should mirror the message in the email. Consistency is key.
  • Follow up and nurture. A prospect-nurturing campaign can increase leads 50 percent and lower the cost-per-lead 33 percent, according to Forrester Research. Perpetually drip valuable content to contacts with a soft-sell approach, ensuring you're top of mind when they're ready to convert.

"Fundamentals of Successful Email Lead Generation." Ryan Dinger. BMA Buzz. 9/1/15.