Experts agree about the importance of email in generating leads. According to Marketing Profs, email is still the highest performing digital marketing tactic we have in our tool kits. Marketing Sherpa reports that email is the primary lead generation tool with 81% of survey respondents stating email is their most effective channel for lead generation.
Here are some effective tactics for designing emails that generate leads:
- Subject lines – the best are relevant or personal with the goal of building a relationship, not conducting a transaction. Effective subject lines can also be action-oriented and directive about your content, such as “download our special report,” or “sign-up for this webinar.” Personalizing the subject line might also work. Be sure to test your subject lines, so you know exactly what works best for your product and target customer.
- Brevity – you don’t need to share everything in one email. The goal is to get the recipient to take an action. So, be brief and engaging.
- Design – use HTML and incorporate responsive design principles. Experts recommend using images when possible. Our brains process images more quickly than words, so they can make a point faster. However, keep in mind that educators who open your email using a desktop or laptop computer system will likely find that your images are blocked. So make sure that important content, like your call to action are dependent on images being visible.
- Call to action (CTA) – the call to action should be compelling, focused, and easy to respond to. If you use a CTA in the subject line, reinforce it at the top of the email once it’s opened. Include a button to access a piece of informational content or link to a landing page that offers a video or other shareable content. Make sure your CTA is brief, simple, and clear.
- The offer – this is the most important component of generating leads with email. The value you offer in your content must be useful and focused on the recipients’ issues. The perceived value should be greater than the risk of giving up their personal information.
- Information capture – Once an educator responds to your CTA, be cautious of asking for too much information in exchange. Sometimes first name and email address is all prospects are willing to give you. Most consumers understand what happens when they give up their email address, so limiting the information you require to a minimum can sometimes overcome reluctance.
- Nurture funnel – once you successfully generate a lead with email, there should be a proscribed series of follow-up emails that develop and nurture that lead moving it along in the sales process. Some marketers create autoresponders that provide additional, useful information that adds value for the prospect. Be generous in sharing information. It’s proven to win hearts, minds and sales.
When done well, email can be a strong lead generation and sales channel. The Direct Marketing Association projects that by 2016, 192 billion emails per day will be sent out. With that kind of volume it’s important to make your emails stand out in the inbox. Use the strategies above and track your results. Conveying that you understand your prospect’s situation and that you’re interested in building a relationship, not just selling them stuff, is your truth north for lead generation. For your prospects, it’s all about the value exchange.