What’s the first step in email marketing? Email marketers
often begin with an empty email list and a pressing task: email
lead generation. Building your list the right way takes a little
time and thought, but it’s definitely worth the trouble of
generating leads and building your subscriber list.
On average, email conversion
rates are 40 times higher than social media conversion rates.
The online form of communication is also one of the most prevalent
in the world, with the
number of active email accounts around the globe in 2019
expected to reach more than 5.5 billion.
That said, an email marketing initiative won’t perform well
without a proper strategy and an audience. Email lead generation is
crucial to the long-term success of your email marketing
What is lead generation?
In general terms, lead generation is a critical part of a
marketing strategy that concentrates on
collecting customer information instead of overtly soliciting
or pushing for a direct sale. It’s usually executed during a
potential customer’s first interaction with a brand.
Most lead generation actions happen online these days, but the
idea applies to physical situations too. For example, when you drop
a calling card in a fishbowl at a store’s checkout counter,
you’re participating in lead generation.
You may be wondering how lead generation applies to email
marketing. It starts with getting a subscriber’s email address.
The easiest and steadiest way to do this is to have a
lead capture page on your brand website. Think of this as a
signup sheet for your email list, but with an extra incentive.
Email marketers may offer free downloads, promo codes, and other
bonus content in exchange for signup.
Lead generation draws out details that can turn strangers into
leads, leads into loyal subscribers, and loyal subscribers into
loyal customers. This would be near impossible to do with just
email addresses. You’d need specific information like age,
gender, location, and more to segment your email list and
personalize your content.
How can you implement lead generation in email marketing?
An email marketer that’s just starting out may populate their
email lists with friends or family, but this isn’t a sustainable
There’s no way around building up an organic and genuine email
list that’s genuinely interested in your brand and what you have
to say. Anything less than this can make your email campaigns prone
to mediocre or inadequate metrics.
Below are some tactics you can employ to facilitate and
accelerate effective email lead generation for your brand.
1. Keep tabs on your competition.
This isn’t an invitation to outright copy what your
competition is doing. It’s a simple but effective way to address
gaps your brand can fill, as well as note improvements you can make
in your processes to be better than a similar brand.
Things to monitor include your competition’s copywriting, lead
generation actions, social media activity, and more.
2. Use exit intent boxes and other navigational tools on your
If you have a website that performs well but has trouble
generating leads, you may not be asking your visitors for their
pertinent information at the right moment.
One of the best times to collect information from a website
visitor is after they’ve consumed the content that brought them
to your online home. You may set up your website to automatically
exit intent pop-up box at this point.
This strategy works because pop-up windows create a sense of
urgency. Gratitude after consuming your content may also drive
website visitors to sign up for your email list.
Other website-based tactics include using sidebars, slide-ins,
and top bars as additional navigational options. These make it
easier to add an unobtrusive email subscription to your brand’s
3. Run email drip campaigns.
An is a series of prepared messages from your brand, usually
sent to subscribers at regular intervals via automation. The
purpose is to get subscribers used to your pattern of sending email
messages. This kind of predictability helps build a personal
connection between you and your audience.
These email campaigns can go on for months, keeping your brand
in the minds of your subscribers as you provide them with the
information they want. It can be in the form of a mini online
course, a chapter-based story, or any other subdivided content. All
email drip campaigns end with a culminating conversion point, at
which a CTA or a big ask can appear.
Really Good Emails
4. Offer lead magnets with gated content behind them.
If it makes things more understandable, think of the lead magnet
as a more compelling lead capture page.
A lead magnet sounds exactly like what it is: something that
attracts and lures in potential leads. It’s usually a piece of
content that demonstrates expertise or professional knowledge
offered for free.
As with a lead capture page, something of greater value should
be behind the lead magnet. Along with the lead magnet should be an
ask for a potential lead’s email address and other optional
details to unlock said content. The fact that providing an email
address is tantamount to subscribing to an email list should be
A lead magnet could be a checklist or an infographic, while
gated content should be much more substantial.
For example, Hipmunk uses to travel planning visual as a lead
magnet, and the promise of expert flight advice as the gated
content. Because this campaign is already done through email, the
lead information needed to unlock the content is in the form of
more specific details: home airport, destination, and travel
Really Good Emails
5. Automate your email send schedule.
Automated messages and
trigger emails give you more time to worry about other aspects
of email marketing, first and foremost. You can auto-send emails
upon signup, registration for an online event, purchase of a
product, or some other routine action.
While it may take some creative thinking to use this tactic to
help with lead generation directly, its purpose is to free up your
time so you can work on gathering leads instead of writing and
sending all of your emails one by one.
For example, Dev.to sends out this email upon opting in. It
provides instructions for further interactions between the new
subscriber and the brand.
6. Encourage subscribers to forward and share your emails.
You add a line or two specifically to do this after your CTA.
Something like: “Did you find this email interesting? Share it
with a friend!” will do, with social-sharing buttons underneath.
You may even add a link to forward the email, in case a subscriber
doesn’t know how to do it using their own email client, for some
This method is a way to grow your email list through the help of
existing leads. Like trigger emails, if you do this right, you may
find leads generated even during the most unproductive of your
7. Consider a referral program.
A referral program is to email forwarding like lead magnets are
to lead capture pages. Lead magnets and referral programs are more
efficient tactics that provide more inherent value to existing
subscribers and current leads, while email forwarding and lead
capture pages don’t lure new leads in as much as they just lie in
wait for potential subscribers to pass by.
8. Hold contests or giveaways with relevant prizes.
A word of warning: before adding email addresses gained from
initiatives like these, consider vetting them first. The more
attractive your prizes are, the most likely it is that at least one
person tried to enter the contest or giveaway more than once.
Setting a deadline for joining the contest or giving away a very
limited quantity of a product are definitely tactics that’ll
create a sense of urgency, which may push engagement up. However,
it’s essential to be honest about these details. If you plan to
run a contest indefinitely, don’t list a deadline. If your
limited quantity of items surpasses the number of subscribers in
your email list, it’s definitely not scarce. Don’t start
cultivating leads based on a lie.
Really Good Emails
Lead generation is a foundational marketing concept that refers
to collecting much-needed information on potential customers to
strengthen connections with them and build enough trust to lead up
to a sale.
The idea isn’t so different when applied to email marketing,
although the tactics used to generate leads and grow email lists
may not be as simple as the old “calling card in a fishbowl”
strategy of traditional marketing.
Here are some concrete initiatives you can implement to generate
- Keep tabs on your competition.
- Use exit-intent boxes and other navigational tools on your
- Run email drip campaigns
- Offer lead magnets with gated content behind them.
- Automate your email send schedule.
- Encourage subscribers to forward and share your emails.
- Consider a referral program.
- Hold contests or giveaways with relevant prizes.
You’ve got a whole new batch of generated leads. Now
what? Read up on
lead nurturing and start getting more conversions and
completing more sales.
Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
Everything You Need to Know About Lead Generation