How to Use Email to Get More Leads


email marketing for lead generation

Does email marketing for lead generation really work?

In business, marketing experts caution against putting stock in a “magic bullet” solution or anything that sounds too good to be true. Well, at least if those experts are on the up-and-up.

But, there’s a bit of a secret weapon that you likely already have at your disposal: your email list.

[Don’t worry if you don’t… There are ways to build up your email database.]

Email marketing for lead generation is an extremely effective way to connect with your customers and potential customers. In fact, I’d argue it is the most effective way. That encompasses the amount of time, money, and resources you are required to input.

Why Does It Work So Well?

To answer this question, we first need to look at why other marketing channels often don’t work as well.

A lot of the small businesses we work with at Crackerjack rely heavily on word of mouth marketing or networking referrals. Don’t get me wrong, those methods can (and do) work.

But, think about all the effort you have to put into that approach? You might spend hours trying to keep up with your networking circles with little or no return. And, what happens when the referrals dry up? This isn’t unheard of, especially if you’re operating in a smaller market.

Even though many business models have been able to reach a wider audience with online offerings, you still have to put in the work to get in front of those people.

Another strategy we see is that coaches, consultants, and small business service providers put all of their eggs into the social media basket. Social media can be tempting to turn to. But, the reality is that only a small percentage of people are actually seeing your post. Maybe 10% at the most.

Some small business owners think paid advertising, like paid search, is the ticket. After all, you’re putting money down so you get something in return – right? The problem is, there’s also a lot of work that goes into such campaigns. They often take time to gain traction, but if you don’t have the budget for that, you could just be wasting money. Plus, you’ll want to do some extensive keyword research, which many small business leaders don’t have the bandwidth to complete.

I don’t want anyone to get discouraged by these insights. When applied as part of a strategic, methodic marketing plan, they can support your overall growth goals. Yet, as stand-alone tactics, they cannot compare to email as a lead generator.

Email Marketing for Lead Generation Statistics

Let us count the ways in which email marketing rises to the top. First, some stats:

  • 99% of email users check their email every day
  • 58% of users check their email first thing in the morning – before they open social media or look at their news
  • 59% of people say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions
  • 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months

Email is also super cost effective. For every one dollar you spend, you’re able to generate $42 in return. That’s pretty significant! Oh, and remember the (maybe) 10% of followers seeing your social media posts? The average open rate for email is 25%. That means one in four people are giving your email a chance.

Also, email allows you to have one-on-one conversations with your customers and potential customers. You’re speaking directly to them, and they can, in turn, communicate with you. Just make sure you provide them the means to do so! For example, you might say, “Simply reply to this email for more information,” or include a link to where they can fill out a contact form.

Before you get started, it’s important to know that not all emails serve the same purpose. You want to make sure you’re using the right email for your potential customers’ needs.

Email Marketing for Lead Generation

Here are four of the most common types of emails you might consider in your email marketing efforts.

1) Welcome Emails

When someone signs up to stay in communication with you and your company, you definitely want to make them feel welcome. This is a great opportunity to tell recipients a little more about yourself and what you do (aka: how you can help them) – but without being too pushy or salesy. Some example subject lines might be:

      • Welcome – Glad to have you on board!
      • Hello! We can’t wait to get to know you.

2) Nurture Emails

Once you have someone on board, don’t forget about them! Nurture emails help you (gently) stay in contact by offering helpful information. They can be slightly promotional, but not too heavy-handed. Perhaps you offer your freebie or link to an informative blog post.

      • Here’s something we found helpful… Maybe you will too.
      • Did you hear the latest about [XYZ]? (specific to your industry)

3) Promotional Emails

Got an offer you want to extend or you’re inviting your customer to an event you’re hosting? Perfect! You may benefit best from using language like, “Don’t miss out!” or “For a limited time only.” One word of caution, though. Make sure if you’re including an offer code that it works. Test it thoroughly before hitting send.

      • This deal won’t last forever!
      • We’d hate for you to miss out on this amazing deal.

4) Re-Engagement Emails

Sometimes, a portion of your email list becomes less responsive. It happens to the best of us – no matter how clever our email messaging is. It’s a good idea to send out a targeted message to that cohort to regain their attention. A good way to do this is to ask for feedback. You open the door in a non-promotional way and allow them to engage with you on their terms.

      • Could we ask a favor?
      • We’ve missed you – just hoping you are well!

A Note About Unsubscribes (They’re Not as Scary as They Seem)

With any of these, don’t be afraid of someone unsubscribing from your email list. That actually benefits what’s called your “sender reputation,” because the internet service providers recognize that you’re only deploying emails to those who actually want to hear from you.

And an unsubscribe is better than sending your email to spam – by a LONG shot!

Finally, Best Practices for Email Marketing for Lead Generation

The more you can adhere to email marketing best practices, the more engagement you’ll see. That’s because certain email platforms have different “rules” – and might block your email or send it directly to spam if you don’t play by those rules. For example:

    • Avoid using deceptive subject lines. You can find some key words to avoid here
    • Ensure all of your recipients have “opted in” to hear from you.
    • Make it easy to unsubscribe. Per the CAN-SPAM act, you are required to provide this option.

A few more tips that don’t necessarily have to do with spam, but are standard within email marketing include:

    • Subject lines should be kept under 60 characters, and some experts recommend 41 to be the “ideal” length
    • Preview text (don’t forget the preview text!) should be between 35 and 40 characters
    • Make sure to optimize for mobile. This is pretty standard nowadays, but it’s always a good idea to test your email to see how it appears on a smartphone. 42.3% of people will delete an email if it’s not optimized for mobile. 
    • If you include a call-to-action (CTA) in your email message, avoid using an image. Instead, use a text link or a “button,” which many email sending platforms provide in their templates.

Email Marketing for Lead Generation: A Competitive Advantage

If your ultimate goal is to get more leads, which leads to more sales, which leads to more revenue, then email marketing is definitely a top priority. By being consistent with your email deployments, you’re staying in front of both your customers and potential customers. If your competitors aren’t doing this, guess who is more likely to come to their minds first?

Are you ready to start using email marketing for lead generation? Get Your Free SuperCharged Email Editorial Calendar!

Email Marketing for Lead Generation

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Sylvia Anderson

Sylvia fashions herself a “content chameleon,” having dipped her toe (okay, whole leg) in the pools of various genres and mediums. Her ability to adapt her voice to copywriting, social media, screenwriting, non-fiction children’s books, blogging, podcasting, and poetry makes her a “Jane of All Trades” when it comes to the content scope. Raised on a dairy farm in rural Minnesota, Sylvia has since become an official Angeleno–residing in Los Angeles, CA for the last 15 years–where she *attempts* to stay cool (but enjoys being able to run outside nearly every day). When she’s not writing, running, or watching sports, she delights in the company of her two fur baby kitties, Mac and Cam.