7 Tips for Lead Generation with Email Marketing

Illustration by Pooja Jadav via Dribbble

No matter how good the rest of your email marketing campaigns are, it won’t matter if you can’t get leads into your sales funnel. Bringing in new customers is just as important as maximizing lifetime customer value when it comes to the long-term success of your business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 7 powerful tips for driving lead generation through email marketing. Improving your lead generation strategies will have a significant effect on performance at every other stage of the customer journey.

#1. Optimize Email Design

Email design is obviously fundamental to success in email marketing, and even small changes can have a surprising impact on your email performance. Contemporary consumers already receive more emails than they have time to read, so it’s vital for digital marketers to make a strong first impression.

Your top priority when designing emails should be to eliminate waste and filler in order to focus on the most important content. One of the most common email marketing mistakes is over-designing emails, which can make messages more difficult for subscribers to read quickly.

Once you’ve reduced the body of the email to as little text as possible, look for ways to break up that text and make it easier to skim. Long paragraphs will only turn users away, so try to avoid putting more than two or three sentences in a row without any other visual content.

Keep in mind that the call to action should be visually conspicuous—you want this to be the first thing a reader notices after opening the message. At least one call to action should be visible above the fold so that users don’t need to scroll down to see the CTA.

Commerce for mobile is becoming more relevant every year, and mobile devices now account for over 40% of all email opens. Streamlined email design is even more important when it comes to increasing conversions on smartphones and tablets.

#2. Craft the Perfect Subject Line

Email design can help you increase click-through rate and conversion rate, but the body of a message can’t do much when it comes to maximizing opens. The subject line is the most important element that users can see before they make the decision to open your message.

Developing subject lines is particularly complicated since email clients will flag your messages for language that’s associated with spam—think things like “ACT NOW” and “SPECIAL OFFER” that oversell the promotion without providing any concrete details.

Instead, make a point to focus on the call to action without using sales-forward language that could trigger spam filters or make your email appear too generic. Give readers just enough information to pique their interest and motivate them to learn more by opening the message.

#3. Leverage Lead Magnets

Laverage Lead Magnet
Illustration by Saskia Hannon via Dribbble

With most users already dealing with email saturation, you’ll need to offer a unique value in order to get their contact information. Lead magnets are one of the most reliable methods of increasing your subscription rate and generating more leads into your sales funnel.

One of the most common lead magnets is gated content, which is only available to users who have subscribed to your email newsletter. This could come in the form of an e-book, guide, video, or even recurring content—for example, you might offer one free blog post per week and a second blog post that’s only available to subscribers.

Users who are reading your content are already interested in what you have to say, so exclusive content is a natural way to generate further engagement. Closed Facebook groups are an increasingly popular lead magnet for brands that want to maximize engagement on social media as well as email.

#4. Automate Your Emails

Email automation was once a relatively niche field for larger organizations, but it’s now an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes. Running manual campaigns is simply far too inefficient to be a viable strategy for any digital marketers in the current landscape.

With email automation, you can configure large volumes of emails based on specific triggers, allowing you to target users at the right time without sending the messages yourself. Once you set up these workflows, you can focus on other areas of your business and let your email marketing provider take care of the rest.

Current email marketing services offer thorough automation tools, making it easy to set up complex sequences in just a few clicks. A strong welcome sequence is a good place to start—when a new user subscribes to your newsletter, they should receive a message that thanks them for their time, provides more information about your brand, and opens the door to further engagement.

#5. Start a Referral Program

Building trust is a major challenge for any business. Word of mouth marketing is a highly efficient way to find new leads due to the additional credibility that comes with a personal recommendation—people would rather hear about your brand from a friend or family member than from a paid ad.

While some referral programs focus on sales, it’s typically easier to simply ask your existing subscribers to tell people they know about your newsletter. A minor referral reward is a small price to pay for the benefits of a new email subscriber.

Along with being cost-effective, referrals are also a relatively hands-off method of increasing subscriptions. In other words, you’ll save both time and money by building a referral program that brings in leads while you continue to optimize other areas of your approach to lead generation.

Setting up a referral program on your own can be complicated, but you can also leverage referral software to facilitate this process and automate reward distribution. These platforms typically charge a base rate along with a commission for sales, but pricing structures vary widely from one service to another.

#6. Optimize Through Split-Testing

Optimize through split testing
Illustration by Angelbi88 via Dribbble

Marketers naturally gain a sense of customer preferences as they work with a particular audience, but the reality is that data offers cold, hard insights that aren’t available anywhere else. Gathering data about your own successes and failures will help you tweak your approach over time and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Split-testing, also known as A/B testing, is the process of creating multiple variants of the same ad and comparing their real-world results. Running an A/B test with a small sample size before the full campaign will give you more information to go on when designing the final version of each email.

If you’re stuck between two subject lines, for example, just run a quick A/B test and see which one leads to a higher open rate. Some digital marketing platforms even allow users to change several elements of the same email for multivariate tests.

Marketing is a never-ending task, and A/B testing is the best way to ensure that you’ll continue improving through each campaign. It’s important to test based on a metric that’s related to the element you’re changing—while open rate makes sense for subject lines, for example, click-through rate is likely more relevant when it comes to your call to action.

#7. Move Leads Across Channels

Brands that have an email newsletter and a social media presence should do everything they can to engage users on as many channels as possible. Campaigns that involve at least three channels generate nearly 300% more sales, underscoring the need for omnichannel engagement.

To move leads from social media to email, make sure to include a link to your newsletter in your profile on each social media channel. You can also schedule posts to remind customers about your email content or advertise your lead magnet—both Twitter and Facebook make it easy to post convenient CTAs that minimize friction for your audience.

On the other hand, you should also be trying to move existing email subscribers over to your social media profiles for even more interactions. A straightforward way to encourage cross-channel engagement is to leave a link to each of your profiles at the bottom of every email—this generally goes right above the “unsubscribe” button.

Another common tactic involves gathering user-generated content on social media and then sharing the best results with your email subscribers. This can be combined with contests and giveaways to maximize outreach and receive as much user-generated content as possible.

For example, you might offer one entry for tweeting your hashtag, another for posting an image of your products, and a third for sharing the giveaway with their friends or followers. You can then include the best content in an email to your subscribers, letting them know about the contest and giving them an additional reason to follow your social media profiles.

Regardless of your current digital marketing outlook, bringing more leads into the fold is always a good thing. Every new lead you attract gives you another chance to grow your brand and make even more sales. These tips will help you attract more high-quality leads and maximize your email outreach.

About the Author!

Alex is a digital nomad and a writer for Omnisend. When he’s not writing content, you can find him reading, learning a language, or exploring the natural beauty of every location he visits.

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