9 Ways Email Marketing Can Generate Leads for Your Business
No matter what industry you’re working in, you’ll need a steady influx of new leads in order to continue growing and offset any existing customers who lose interest in your brand. With that in mind, lead generation is fundamental for the long-term growth of any eCommerce brand.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective ways to leverage the power of email marketing for lead generation. These strategies will help you optimize your eCommerce strategy and bring more potential customers into your sales funnel.
What is Email Lead Generation?
Email lead generation is all about keeping in touch with new leads through an email sign-up form. Users who give you their contact information will be much more likely to stay engaged with your brand and eventually make a purchase.
The more contacts you add to your email list, the more opportunities you’ll have to convert those leads into loyal customers. In other words, your approach to lead generation has a direct impact on your bottom line—particularly for growing companies that are more reliant on attracting new leads.
1. Implement Lead Scoring
Every lead is valuable, but some contacts are more valuable than others when it comes to email lead generation. Lead scoring is designed to give digital marketers an easy way to segment potential contacts and target them based on key indicators of interest.
While every approach is different, lead scores are generally based on a few criteria. These include demographic information, activity on your site, and responses to marketing emails. Without lead scoring, you could end up spending too much money on leads that aren’t as likely to generate any concrete results.
For example, if a lead clicks through on three different emails, you should be doing everything you can to complete the sale. That contact should be a much higher priority than another lead who signed up for your newsletter but never responded to any messages.
2. Craft Better Subject Lines
If you’re sending an email to a friend, colleague, or family member, you probably don’t give the subject line a second thought. However, subject lines are one of the most important elements of any marketing email.
When you send promotional emails to your contact list, you’re competing for their attention with the rest of their inbox. Along with your sender name, the subject line is the first thing they’ll see when scrolling through their messages. Don’t miss your chance to make a strong initial impression and get subscribers interested in the body of your email.
Standing out from other promotional emails should be one of your top priorities when developing new subject lines. Don’t be afraid to utilize emojis, as well as bolding, italics, and other elements that will differentiate your content.
The subject line is also an ideal opportunity to create a sense of urgency. If a reader doesn’t respond to your email the first time they see it, chances are they won’t come back later.
There are specific topics that can create this sense of urgency naturally. For example, subject lines reference flash sales. These can only last a few hours, which will make readers feel like they need to look at your products immediately.
Promotions on limited stock can have a similar effect. The subject line might let your contact list know that only 100 more items are available at a discounted price.
3. Run A/B Tests
One of the key lessons of digital marketing is that every campaign contains at least some room for improvement. Fully optimizing your eCommerce strategies is impossible, but A/B testing can help you get much closer by providing data-driven insights based on real customer behaviour.
In short, A/B testing involves creating multiple versions of the same ad and then testing the results of each variant. You can run the test with a relatively small sample of contacts and then use the results to identify the best option for a full-scale campaign.
Moreover, contemporary email marketing platforms streamline this process, allowing businesses to send and track emails across the web, ensuring comprehensive reach and efficient monitoring of campaign performance.
Running A/B tests manually would be incredibly complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, most contemporary email marketing software makes it easy to set up A/B tests with two (or more) variants and analyze the results based on key performance indicators like click-throughs and conversions in email marketing automation.
4. Leverage Referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most valuable forms of lead generation. You can bring in even more leads by incentivizing your existing customers to refer their friends and family.
Referral rewards are a small price to pay for new leads, especially when you consider that referred leads are four times more likely to make a purchase.
An effective bonus could be something as simple as a 10% off coupon for both the referrer and the new lead. That will give both of them a reason to engage with your brand while helping you take advantage of this incredible source of cost-effective lead generation.
Of course, you can also combine referral campaigns with A/B tests in order to continue improving your tactics. Try testing different incentives to help identity what rewards your audience responds to. For example, percentage discounts, coupons, free shipping vouchers, and exclusive content.
5. Optimize Your Email Design
Today’s consumers might only have a few seconds to read through your emails. Simple yet captivating designs are critical for quickly pulling a reader’s attention after they open the message. Fortunately, you can improve your approach to email design in a few basic steps.
First, make sure to avoid including too much text. Long strings of text should generally be avoided in marketing emails—don’t expect the average subscriber to be interested in reading entire paragraphs. Sentences should be broken up with headings, images, and other visual elements in order to make the message easier to read. This is true, especially for transactional emails, which convey vital messages to the email recipients.
Similarly, the call to action should be clearly displayed with a large button that stands out from the rest of the email. Readers who are interested in clicking through shouldn’t have to spend any additional time looking for the action you want them to take. Remember to confirm that the call to action shows up clearly on both desktops and mobile devices.
Finally, stick to basic fonts like Arial and Helvetica. You might think that unusual fonts will make your email marketing stand out, but they are just as likely to turn readers away. Less common fonts may also cause compatibility issues for some email clients.
6. Keep Your Contact List Safe
Hopefully, you’ll never have to rely on a backup of your subscribers’ email information. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to predict when technical issues could pop up and prevent you from accessing your contact list. To avoid this scenario, use an email verifier to make your email list stronger.
Regardless of the email marketing platform, you’re using, make sure to periodically back up subscriber data to at least one other form of storage. This is one of your most valuable resources as an eCommerce marketer, so don’t put yourself at risk of losing it overnight.
7. Automate Your Email Campaigns
To develop successful email marketing campaigns, you need to offer the right messaging to the right user at the right time. While the word “automation” is often associated with generic, boilerplate content, the truth is that automating your campaigns is crucial for your immediate results along with your long-term scalability.
Automation of the email campaigns can be something as simple as configuring messages to send at specific times. For example, you could set up a weekly newsletter that goes out at the same time every week. On the other hand, automation can also be used to craft much more sophisticated campaigns that respond dynamically to subscriber behaviour.
While every welcome workflow is different, a typical email might include certain common factors. For example, basic information about your brand, a small gift to keep new contacts interested, and a link to your site to learn more or place an order.
Of course, welcome sequences are just one example of email marketing automation. After setting up that basic workflow, you can move on to other sequences for everything from shipping notifications to abandoned carts.
Developing more robust automation tactics will help you keep your readers engaged—all without spending as much time on manual campaigns.
8. Connect Email and Social Media
Email and social media can generate incredible results on their own—but they’re even more effective when used together. Marketing data indicates that customers are 250% more likely to make a purchase when they interact with a brand on three or more channels.
Clearly, cross-channel engagement is one of the most powerful ways to develop your eCommerce strategies and actions.
Connecting your contact list to your social media accounts isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Simply adding a sign-up link to each profile will help you move more of your social followers to your email list. Similarly, putting links to social media profiles in your email signature will move some existing subscribers in the opposite direction.
Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cross-channel interaction. Making that connection stronger will help you achieve even better results. Don’t miss any opportunities to get leads engaged on multiple channels.
9. Offer Exclusive Content
Most new leads won’t be willing to pay or even sign up to access your content at first, so freely available content is vital for lead acquisition. That being said, gated content can be a great way to collect more email addresses (or incentivize any other action).
For example, if a new visitor reads two or three blog posts, let them know that they can access even more valuable posts or a branded podcast by joining your contact list. These users have already shown interest in your posts, so this is a perfect opportunity to keep them engaged with your content.
Of course, maintaining interest in gated content is only possible if you offer something truly unique—readers aren’t going to give you their email address for content that’s similar to what they could find somewhere else.
This means that content marketing takes time to materialize. Utilizing it with email marketing is the key to long-term benefits, but it requires investment—both time and effort.
Email lead generation can be complicated, but you should notice an immediate improvement after using these nine tips.
Keep in mind that the right implementation is different for every brand and audience—analytics and A/B testing will help you identify any weaknesses. With these, you can continue moving your campaigns in the right direction.