How you can generate new leads through email marketing

You’ve heard it before: Email marketing is the best channel for marketers when it comes to return on investment (ROI). But is it the best channel for new lead generation?

The answer? Yes. And we’ll tell you why in a moment. 

One question that often gets asked is how to get new lead generation through email marketing. Don’t you need email leads to send targeted emails? Well, yes. But getting an email address from someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re interested in what product or service you offer. 

Many times, people will provide their email because they want something for free. In many cases, that’s where the lead dies. The individual gets what they want, and then they’re gone. 

To make that contact a genuine lead, you must build and nurture your relationship with them. Once you’ve gotten their email address, you can hit the ground running. 

Why email marketing works for new lead generation

Our friends at Campaign Monitor recently conducted a study where they asked their clients where they saw the most significant opportunity for gaining new customers. The overwhelming response was social media and email marketing.

Campaign Monitor example

Source: Campaign Monitor

While social media ranked highest in gaining new leads, email marketing came in at a close second. Sure, while social media is excellent for initial contact, it doesn’t always allow for the lead nurturing and relationship building that email marketing does. 

In fact, when asked, consumers said they prefer to hear from brands via email as opposed to seeing them on their social feeds or in their personal social messages. 

Not convinced? Here are a few stats:

  • Email campaigns are six times more likely to get a click-through than tweets are – Campaign Monitor

  • Facebook and Twitter are 40 times less effective at gaining new customers than email – McKinsey

  • Only 17% of consumers prefer to receive promotional content through social media, while 72% prefer to get it through email – MarketingSherpa 

  • Email marketing drives more conversion than any other marketing channel, including social media and search engines – Monetate

email marketing example

Source: Smart Insights

Why email marketing is ideal for new lead generation

New lead generation is one of the toughest parts of marketing. You can’t market to everyone, so you must tailor your efforts to your given niche. But to get people interested in you, you need to lure them in with an effective campaign. 

Let’s face it: Your new leads aren’t necessarily going to find you while browsing their inbox. Chances are, their first interaction with your brand will be through a landing page online or through a search engine result. 

At some point while browsing your landing page, they should be prompted to sign up for your newsletter or directed to a form of some sort. This is how you’ll start gathering potential leads. 

Notice how we said potential leads, not new leads. Remember, these individuals are simply browsing while they search for something to help them solve a problem. 

For example, while browsing for interior design tips, a consumer may come across the website for “The Spruce.” While scrolling through their blog posts, they may notice the call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the page saying they can enter their email address into the newsletter opt-in and start receiving these tips in their inbox. 

the spruce email example

Source: The Spruce

If the reader decides to submit their email, they become a potential lead. The next step in the new lead generation process is to nurture this lead and encourage conversion from email subscriber to consumer.

Generate and nurture new leads through email marketing

You’ve got people opting into your emailing list, so how should you move forward in the new lead generation process? Email marketing can and will help you move these individuals from potential lead to new lead—and, if done right, convert them to paying customers.

If you plan on taking new lead generation through email marketing seriously, you’ll want to keep each of the following steps in mind.

1. Automate your campaigns

You get one chance to make a good first impression. 

Once your potential leads have provided their email address, make sure you send them a welcome message. The general rule is to send them something within five minutes of the initial sign up

Of course, you can’t send a welcome message to each new sign up that quickly without the use of email marketing software. And thanks to email automation, this process can be rather easy.

Email automation allows you to set up an email campaign that automatically sends your messages as each new lead trips a given trigger. Alternatively, it can also be set to send out messages on a given schedule, much like the example below. 

WANDR email example

Source: Emma

Automation allows your brand to nurture your new leads automatically. No more stress over day-to-day interactions. After all, to stay relevant in a new lead’s inbox, you must stay consistent with your communication efforts (without coming off as spammy).

2. Get permission to continue sending messages

Once your potential lead goes through the initial opt-in process, make sure you send a follow-up message asking permission to send them relevant marketing content. Remember, many potential leads may disappear after they’ve gotten your free offer. To further your new lead generation process along, make sure you send a follow-up message asking if they’re interested in more. 

One clever way to do this is through a double opt-in process. Take this example from Avocode. They ask their new opt-ins to verify their emails before their account is fully set up. 

Avocode email example

Source: Really Good Emails

Sure, the potential lead may choose to ignore the message. But for those on the fence about your brand, this allows them to tell you whether or not they want to continue hearing from you. 

3. Design your email for lead generation

Once your potential leads go through the initial stages, it’s time to start nurturing them. This means you need to capture their attention and maintain it throughout the new lead generation process. Designing for new lead generation isn’t complicated:

  • Create an enticing subject line

  • Follow the subject line with relevant, attention-grabbing pre-header text

  • Include concise copy and encourage a click-through to a landing page

  • Include a clear, actionable CTA

  • Make use of interactive content (images, videos, and GIFs)

4. Use different forms of personalization 

As an experienced email marketer, you’ve heard that personalization is vital to not only the new lead generation process, but also while building and maintaining your relationship with readers. Gone are the days where adding your reader’s name in the subject line is considered enough personalization.

Personalization now needs to be taken to a whole new level. Get to know your new leads. What are their likes? Interests? Who are they as individuals? Gather as much information as you can so that you can later segment your lists into different categories. 

Email list segmentation is essential to creating and sending personalized content to your readers. Prove that you’re paying close attention to them—like Grammarly did in their weekly email. 

grammarly email example

Source: Gmail

This email takes into consideration several facts relevant to the individual user. This is a great way to show you’re paying close attention.

5. A/B test your campaigns

Crafting the best email nurture campaign means nothing if you don’t test it for success. A/B testing your emails allows you to send truly relevant content. You can test two variations of an email, ensuring that you send only the best. 

a/b testing campaign

Source: Emma

6. Optimize for mobile

Finally, make sure you’re optimizing your emails for mobile. With more than half of all emails now being opened on mobile devices, it’s crucial to send messages that can be viewed and engaged with across all devices. 

email example

Source: Emma

Wrap up

When creating your new lead generation strategy with email marketing, and to ensure the success of your campaigns, you’ll want to keep these six steps in mind:

  • Automate your campaigns

  • Get permission to continue sending messages

  • Design your email for lead generation

  • Use different forms of personalization 

  • A/B test your campaigns

  • Optimize for mobile

Ready to take your email marketing up a couple of notches? See what Emma has to offer and schedule your demo today.

About the Author

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our

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