Transactional Emails – These are emails that are sent out after certain actions trigger them. When a customer buys a product or makes a reservation, emails are sent out confirming that transaction. They legitimize online commerce by giving customers a way to prove they have bought something. Transactional emails often also contain new sales messages. Studies have shown that transactional emails are opened 51.3% of the time, while newsletters are only opened 36.6% of the time. Knowing that they have a captive audience, marketers will often try to insert new sales pitches into emails that are not explicitly for selling. For example, airline reservation emails often ask if you would like to upgrade your seat for a fee.
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Customers engage with transactional emails such as order, shipping and return/exchange notifications at a much higher rate than they do with promotional and branding-focused campaigns. It is clear from the total open rates that customers open transactional emails repeatedly. The exceptionally high open and click rates underscore the opportunity for companies to cross-sell products and services to highly engaged customers through transactional emails.
As marketers and startup founders, the pressure is always on us to deliver qualified leads into the sales department or through the sales funnel. We all understand the importance of lead generation – it’s coming up with fresh and effective ideas that can sometimes be tricky. Hopefully the above items gave you some fresh ideas to keep that sales funnel growing.
Companies can build campaigns centered around events they are hosting or sponsoring to build their brand persona and engage with their customers. Highlighting philanthropy is an easy way to capture the hearts of consumers while subtly persuading them to further patronize their business. Most email marketing platforms have themes and templates for invitations, follow-ups, reminders and thank-you email. Not only can businesses maintain an organized guest list and manage ongoing communication without hassle, but they can also highlight how they are affecting their community, creating brand loyalty among their subscribers.
If you’re already using physical or digital eBooks as a lead generation idea for your brand, then taking a few hours out to record an audiobook version of your already existing content is a very high-impact way to reach not only more people who are not currently within your sphere of influence—but to offer up another, potentially more exciting content medium for your existing audience to digest your book.
The biggest thing I have learned from A/B testing is the effectiveness of a pricing page in the lead generation process. Many B2B companies oppose pricing pages because they want visitors to request further information, and fear they will lose opportunities. In my lead gen efforts, I can confirm that total inquiries may go down a little bit, but public pricing pages have eliminated many leads that shop only with price as a decision factor.
“With LinkedIn, you will find that people respond and interact with outreach quite differently. While a cold email is a much more direct sales pitch, a LinkedIn engagement is much more of a conversation. With LinkedIn, people use the chat feature just like they would Facebook Messenger or texting. Many people even have the LinkedIn app on their phone which sends push notifications directly to their mobile device. This makes outreach via LinkedIn, it's own separate channel that is worthwhile for any B2B sales team to explore.”
Everyone loves a compelling story, so if you can find a notable one from a staff member, customer, or even your own business and life, consider using it as a topic for a newsletter. Maybe a customer used your fitness products to lose 50 pounds, or you could share what originally inspired you to start your business. Whatever the story is about, it should be both interesting and relevant to your brand.
In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.
While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.
Sometimes the best business lead generation ideas and well established, but simply done well. I created a targeted list of potential prospects in my niche. I reach out to them personally via cold email to start a conversation and determine if my design studio may be the right fit for them. It has resulted in new clients as well as helped me build my email list. The key is to research each of your prospects thoroughly and send them a fully personalized email.
Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.
All this time spent not focusing on your business is lost revenue, and a lost opportunity to connect with your customers on a personal level. One of the most significant advantages of email marketing for small businesses is the efficient use of time and budget. Designing a professional email marketing campaign is not complicated, or time-consuming. Sending emails to many subscribers is also still cost-effective.
“Lead generation is about personal connection. At our office, we have created out “Top 50 program” where we designate the top people in our network who have the greatest potential to bring in one piece of business. From there, we look to meet with our contacts once a quarter face-to-face to learn more about their lives and develop a deeper relationship with them. We also host exclusive parties and events which we invite out “Top 50” to including movie nights, parties, etc. Leveraging your network is a great way to generate leads and in order to get those you need to build strong personal relationships with them.”
Design: With newsletters, the layout becomes a much more complicated task than it is with dedicated email sends. You’ll have to spend some time deciding on the right placement of images and text, alignment and prioritization of information. Thankfully, there are a bunch of websites out there to help you with these efforts. MailChimp, for instance, offers a package of 36 basic, flexible templates you can use to get started.
One of our most successful business lead generation ideas is blogging because it’s a great way to keep your website fresh and it builds up your visibility for Google keywords. The B2B sales cycle is often longer than the B2C one, so blogging is also great for building trust in your brand and helping to nurture leads through your sales pipeline. But don’t write blog content that only speaks to your potential customers, write it for other experts in your industry and then reach out and encourage them to share your content. A simple message to a blogger in your industry can do wonders for your SEO. For instance, “Hey, I enjoyed your recent blog post about X. It inspired me to write a similar piece about Y. I would love to get your feedback – here is the link.”
Review platforms generally have a strong presence in organic search, making them a great opportunity to expand your brand presence and get noticed by the right people. When you encourage users to leave reviews on a third-party platform with strong SEO, you increase the chances of being found by qualified prospects in search -- without paying a dime.
This consistent outreach translates into people more easily thinking of your business when they need your services. The key word here being, “consistent,” not, “irregular.” If you email your network once or twice a year and it’s only ever to promote your business, you’ll likely see very low engagement. There’s not much in it for them, only for you.
Increase engagement by bridging the divide between your different channels. By providing in-email functionality that connects to your website or app, subscribers have the freedom to interact with you on their preferred device. For example, LinkedIn sends a CTA email when you receive a new LinkedIn invitation that is personalized and prompts the user to confirm the invitation.
Every marketer has their own favorite lead-generation tactics, and you probably won’t have the opportunity to try every single one of the above ideas. There are, however, 4 aspects of lead gen in particular that we at LeadPages have found effective for nearly every type of business. Download our 4-Step Lead Machine video tutorial to see them in action:
The next step is to import your email recipients into the spreadsheet. Click Add-ons > Yet Another Mail Merge > Import contacts from a group. A small window will open with a drop-down menu of all the contact groups in your Gmail account. You can also go into Gmail, and create a new group with all the contacts you want to include in your mail merge. Then repeat the steps above and select this group from the drop-down menu. Click Import contacts, and those contacts will populate your spreadsheet.
Email is often the lifeblood for new content. If you use content marketing to educate current customers and reach new ones, consider including that content in a regular newsletter, or have new content sent out automatically over email, through RSS. When you’re able to make the investment, consider creating content that provides additional context for your new or updated products (e.g., grooming tips for beauty products).
When using pay-per-click advertising create a plan with budget expectations and performance targets such as cost per lead and cost per sale. If after three months, with AB testing to refine and improve, you’ve not gotten below those targets then pause to reconsider the channel. A good benchmark for cost tolerance per sale is to invest up to 25% of the lifetime value of a customer account. This will get you moving in the right direction.
Most email marketing platforms offer a basic automation system composed of triggers and accompanying emails based on customer actions. Businesses utilize these platforms to automatically send detailed thank you or confirmation emails after a product has been purchased, a service has been completed, a user filled out an important form, or new users have subscribed to their blog. Automation can also further personalization by triggering customer-specific emails for birthdays or specific purchase anniversaries.
For example, what’s an R0 F0? Well, it’s someone who has never ordered but just joined your email list. How about an R7 F10 M1000? That’s probably a loyal buyer: 10 orders which total $1,000, the most recent being a week ago. And an R400 F10 M1000? Unfortunately, that’s a former loyal buyer, a “defecting customer,” who’s very far along in the customer lifecycle curve. She’s slipping away and hasn’t bought in more than a year.
Human spam filters are even more complex. No one can tell you exactly what makes someone click the spam or abuse button, but there are some general rules. You’ll want to avoid buying lists or sending emails without explicit permission, being vague about when you’ll email, hiding the unsubscribe option or making the process of unsubscribing unnecessarily difficult, or leaving unengaged, inactive leads or customers on your list (though, you can and should eventually mount a reactivation campaign for those inactive leads).