If you send emails from your Gmail or Yahoo account to too many people at once, or your emails contain content that is thought to be spam, your email address and entire IP location could be blacklisted as a spam address by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). That means that every email you’d send in the future could go straight to the recipient’s spam folder, even if it’s not a marketing email. Email marketing services monitor the final destination of your emails. They take steps to make sure that emails aren’t marked as spam and protect you from becoming blacklisted by the ISPs.
Email marketing is an important marketing tool for any small business. Let’s get that on the table up front. Although it may not be as glamorous as social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, it has proven to be more effective for delivering conversions and higher ROI. When small businesses are looking for a cost effective, shareable, measurable form of marketing, the benefits of email marketing place it right at the top of the list.

A big thank you to all the business owners who shared their best tips for winning customers. Hopefully, you found one or two new business lead generation ideas that will help you improve the quality and quantity of leads entering your sales pipeline. If you have a great business lead generation idea that we haven’t already shared, please share it with our readers in the comments section below.
In fact, many small businesses are showing a renewed interest in email marketing as a way to reach their customers with relevant, personalized messages at the right time—without needing permission from the internet’s increasingly restrictive gatekeepers. Plus, email has seen consistently healthy growth in global users with no signs of slowing down.

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.
In contrast, organic reach for Facebook pages has been declining since 2013, as the platform continues to focus its News Feed on promoting content from friends and family. Similarly, climbing the search rankings in Google is only getting harder, with advertisements and answer boxes resulting in a noticeable increase in no-click searches, especially on mobile. More than ever, if you want to reach your customers on these platforms you may be forced to pay—and those costs are increasing.

For example, a local design school could send out emails to let them know about their new design class that has a limited number of seats. Many of their customers and potential leads may have missed out on this opportunity to attend the class, had they not revisited the website in time. The design school then can fill all the seats more quickly, instead of waiting for reservations to trickle in.


An open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails in a campaigns were opened by subscribers. A standard open rate is 20%-30%. You will notice your open rate is usually higher when you’re first starting out. Your subject line plays a big role in your open rate, too—the more compelling the subject line, the higher the open rate.

Customer's Choice:   Non-Incentivized:  Our Most Responsive and Re-ordered Solo Ad.  Your Solo Ad is sent out to 10,000 of our most responsive customers.  Your email will be sent out to our viewers who have want to receive emails for various services, products or business opportunities.  Your solo ad is delivered to the recipients contact email address.  We have had customers report over 20 new signups and/or sales from one Solo Ad!  
With these emails, it's less about the beauty, and more about the clarity. The most important formatting tip for these types of emails is to arrange the information in a simple and helpful way. Once you've nailed your formatting, it's simply a matter of highlighting the most critical information associated with each offer or update so its messaging is crystal clear to everyone.
For instance, if you have a sale going in a particular outlet, then you can send the email notifying about the sale only to the people living in that area. This gives you the full control of what you want the customers to see rather than using the same marketing content for all the audience. Segmentation helps in ensuring the higher conversion rates since it allows you to personalize the message according to the needs of the audience.
Why is email marketing important? Compared to the many marketing channels available today to reach your target audience, email is the most effective channel for capturing attention, as well as engaging and connecting with prospects and customers to drive sales and revenue. No other channel is as successful at building strong customer relationships as email marketing.
Diluted Call-To-Action: Due to their format--a compilation of information--newsletters can be overwhelming and ignorant of a specific call-to-action. If you include a series of blurbs or article summaries, the attention of your recipients will most likely be spread across these tidbits of information as opposed to staying focused on a certain element. Of course, you can address this by prioritizing the most important information at the top of the newsletter and include a clear call-to-action after/alongside each block of text.
Direct mail is the electronic equivalent to the familiar advertising that’s sent by way of the post. Instead of collecting names and addresses, direct email marketing lists collect names and email addresses. It’s also possible to buy or rent a list of qualified recipients from an email service. Such lists can be tailored to your needs: You can obtain a list of people in a certain age group, profession or geographical area, If this sounds complex, you may want to consider outsourcing your email marketing campaign to a qualified and experienced service.

“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.”

Being able to target your audience solves all the inherent problems of non-targeted marketing. Gone are the days of placing an advertisement on television, on a diner placemat, or in a periodical with no control of who will see it. With email marketing, you have more control who sees it by segmenting your contacts list based on their lead status, demographics, location, or other data points. Targeting emails ensure that your audience receives content suited specifically to his/her needs. Customers and business owners benefit because you can customize a message for each customer depending on a segment to foster a higher conversion rate.


Email marketing is, quite simply, using the tools of email to deliver advertising messages. The vast majority of Internet users have email accounts which allow them to receive an almost unlimited number of messages instantly. According to a survey conducted by Pew Internet, 82% of U.S. adults use the Internet, and email is one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for marketers to connect with customers.
“One suggestion I offered my newer agents was to go to the mall or shopping center during the holiday shopping season and hand out business cards attached to a candy cane to everyone walking by. No need to wait in line to see Santa to get a candy cane. Spread a little Christmas cheer with the candy canes and hopefully pick up a new client or two for the new year.  Everyone loves a candy cane at Christmas!!
Whether you are hosting a small private function, a large-scale international tradeshow, or an executive-level webinar, event marketing needs to be an integral part of the lead generation mix. After all, events are a critical component of an outbound marketing strategy. Essentially, events offer you the chance to define your brand, clarify the solutions you provide, and establish personal connections with participants. And while they provide you with an invaluable opportunity to engage with prospects and customers, events also give attendees the chance to interact with each other. As every marketer knows, there is no better advertising than the direct words of a satisfied customer. Events also provide a venue to deliver speeches and content that convey your company’s thought leadership and raise your perception in the eyes of buyers.  Compared to other marketing tactics, events are more likely to quickly turn a prospect into a strong lead. As a lively, interactive, educational forum, events position your business as a trusted leader in a field of many.
For example, email marketing services like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign allow you to track your open rates, read rates and click-through rates. Since email is the preferred method for business communication, special attention to these rates are required for small business lead generation. In addition, these platforms have some great training for b2b lead generation best practices.
Transactional emails are the messages that get triggered by a specific action your contacts have taken and enable them to complete that action. For instance, if you are signing up for a webinar, you will fill out a form and then receive a transactional (thank-you) email, which gives you login information in order to join. If you are using a double opt-in, people will receive an email asking them to click on a link in order to confirm their registration.
The world of promotional emails is changing as consumers become more leary of this type of email content. The world continues to grow in technology and available information, and consumers are being made more aware of when messages are overly promotional. The task then is to offer a good mix of engaging emails (how-to content, informational content, etc.) and promotions.
Within these roundup emails, it's a good idea to use an image paired with a headline, a brief summary or introduction, and a CTA for recipients to read more. This simple format will allow you to use visuals to attract the reader to each article while still giving you the ability to feature multiple articles -- without sending a super lengthy email.

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.”
Deciding which customers receive which emails is a way to give marketing messages relevance. Larger companies will use email to push multiple different products, updates and offers. Matching the message to the customer leads to higher sales and greater levels of customer satisfaction. Email marketing software makes it easy for companies to segment their email delivery based on criteria that they establish.
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer's action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications' primary purpose must be "to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender" along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging.[3] Triggered transactional messages include dropped basket messages, password reset emails, purchase or order confirmation emails, order status emails, reorder emails, and email receipts.
It's Timely: Study after study shows that email response rates decline over the age of the lead. In his Science of Timing research Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, discovered that there is a positive correlation between subscriber recency and CTR, one of the key metrics of engagement. You need to use lead nurturing campaigns to take advantage of this dynamic.

Email marketing benefits your business by allowing you to optimize your content and messaging for the greatest effect. With list segmentation, demographic targeting, and testing, your can identify the best strategy, tone, and content for your target audience or even and niche markets within it. Pay attention to the results of your email campaigns and use this data to create an even better campaign next time.
The first benefit of email marketing is that email integrates easily with other marketing channels. For example, you can repurpose content from your email marketing campaigns into quick and effective social media posts to multiply your reach, without having to reinvent the wheel again and again. Data collection, sharing, and other features are also typically maintained with email, which makes for accurate and uninterrupted tracking and measuring.
If every subscriber on your list turned into a customer, you’d be in small business heaven. Unfortunately, that’s probably never going to happen. However, you can increase your sales by focusing the right email campaigns on the right people. The secret to doing this is email list segmentation, a process that enables you to nurture each of your list subscribers with the right message at the right time, eventually moving each through your funnel to becoming a customer.
Deliverability: Try to push through a bunch of bulk emails at once, and your mass email will likely land in a spam filter or get bounced back. Mailgun solves that problem by using dynamic algorithms that adjust to things like Google’s handling of your emails and your growing sender reputation. This helps make sure your email campaigns actually land in your customers’ inboxes.

It's Automated: Once you set up lead nurturing, emails are sent out automatically according to your schedule as new leads come in. This leads to a high return on a low investment. You might launch the campaigns and forget about them, but the emails will be doing the work for you, helping you qualify leads and push them down the sales funnel faster.
A very easy technique for generating B2B leads from your website is to use “exit detection”. When you suspect a visitor is about to exit your website, you give them a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA can be anything of value to your target market. For example, let’s say you are an e-commerce website. You can offer a coupon code that expires in 24 hours. Or perhaps you sell business consulting. You may offer a free 1 hour introductory session, but your visitor has to sign up right now.
“So saying the solo ad went well would be an absolute understatement! On the opt in side I only receved 35% opt in, which is okay since it was a brand new squeeze, but the great part was I got a sale which made me a total of $565!!! $67 of that is going to be monthly. $497 of that was from one of the high ticket upsells on the back end. So like I said, I would say that went very well.”
No other marketing form is as easy to share as is Email Marketing. The audiences or subscribers can easily share the deals, offers, or promotions with their friends and family by just simply clicking the forward button. Also, the subscribers who are sharing your content act as your brand evangelist who introduces your brand to a new market and in this way your brand gets more exposure and credibility.
Create a new campaign within the mass email platform and create your message following directions provided with the platform. Typically, you can copy and paste if you've already created a pre-written message in Microsoft Word or other writing software. You may need to add pictures, borders or logos in order to make your mass email more attractive. This is especially true if you're sending a newsletter or something similar. The instructions are basically the same if you're using email distribution software, though these programs typically have a word processor built in.
Email marketing is, quite simply, using the tools of email to deliver advertising messages. The vast majority of Internet users have email accounts which allow them to receive an almost unlimited number of messages instantly. According to a survey conducted by Pew Internet, 82% of U.S. adults use the Internet, and email is one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for marketers to connect with customers.
In order to sell, you need to convert and the key to email conversions is to nurture them using content. Like #2 above, the key lies in email list segmentation however, it helps to know what type of  content to use at each stage of the sales process. Once you nail that, your nurturing efforts will be much more effective and, your overall conversion rates will increase.
Knowing what works is great. You can continue building on previous success. Equally as important is to recognize where you can improve. While it’s easier (and more fun) to focus on the positive, acknowledging where you can make adjustments will improve your products and services. With email marketing software, it becomes easy to gather such data by tracking conversion and click-through rates.
It’s easy to test, optimize, and continually improve your email-marketing results. Which subject lines, preheaders, calls to action, headlines, content marketing messages, and email template designs resonate most with your target audience? With the right email testing and optimization strategy, you can quickly improve elements of your email campaigns to achieve substantially better performance results and higher ROI.
Less Consistentcy: With newsletters, marketers generally stick to a specific schedule. For instance, you might create a weekly newsletter that goes out on Tuesday mornings. Or your company might be sending a weekend newsletter summarizing information published throughout the week. With dedicated sends, the schedule is less clear and, potentially, less consistent. You might use dedicated emails when you have published a new offer (which might be sporadic). Even if you decide to maintain a specific schedule, your subscribers might not realize it or expect communication from you because there is no clear connection between the separate sends.

Mark Sallows is a writer for Fit Small Business specializing in sales and marketing topics. Before helping other small business owners, Mark was co-founder and CEO of a successful digital publishing start-up called Turtl. Mark has also served as a non-executive director in several early stage media, marketing, and tech businesses. Before this he was an early stage venture capital investor for a global investment business. Mark lives in New Forest, a scenic area in Southern England.
One of the great things about email marketing is that it can easily integrates with other marketing channels. For instance, you can take email marketing content that has performed well and develop several social media posts from this content without having to start from scratch. Or you may use email marketing to promote a social media contest, helping to bring more traffic to your social pages.
According to IBM Marketing Cloud, the mean global hard bounce rate is 0.47%. A hard bounce is an email that’s returned to the sender because of an invalid address. If the email does make it to your intended recipient, they still have the option to report the email as spam. If you’re consistently marked as a sender of spam you’ll hurt your deliverability rates for all subscribers.
Exact ROI: There is a very specific investment in sponsorship emails--you know how much you are paying the vendor. Now you only need to track the results you are getting (visits, leads, sales) in order to determine what is your return on the cost you have paid. Knowledge of the exact ROI will help you fit in your marketing budget and build accurate marketing reports at the end of the quarter.

Your leads and customers are more likely to read and take action on your marketing emails because many of them are looking forward to receiving this type of communication from you. In fact, according to Marketing Sherpa, 72% of U.S. adults prefer to receive email communications from companies. This is compared to only 17% of U.S. adults who prefer communication through social media channels.
At Optimizely, we’ve seen our partner co-marketing channel bring a tremendous amount of value for effectively driving net new qualified leads from our website and in other venues.  These in-person and online events have driven us thousands of leads at a low cost and also have added benefits of expanding our brand to new markets and strengthening our overall partnership strategy.

Content works for us as a lead generation strategy, for a few very specific reasons. If you’re going all in on using content marketing as a primary lead generation tactic, you’ll need to put just as much time to content promotion as you will to the actual creation of it—because if none of your prospects every see your content, it’s not doing anything for your business.


To make sure everything is formatting correctly, click Send me a test email to receive a sample message. Toggle to Gmail and check the message. If everything looks good, return to that dialog box and click Send Emails. You’ll now see EMAIL_SENT next to each contact in the Merge Status column of your spreadsheet. If you want to perform another mail merge from that same spreadsheet, remember to delete that text from the Merge Status column of each recipient you want to email again. 
The amount of contact information that you collect can quickly add up. It easily goes way beyond the subscriber’s name and email address, and keeping track of all that data in a separate spreadsheet is time-consuming and cumbersome. Email marketing services automatically manage your contacts and organize their data so that you can access it faster and easier.

Nutshell allows for 500 emails to be sent at a time. Email providers (such as Outlook or Google) apply additional restrictions to the number of emails you can send at once, as well as daily email sending limits. If you are running into email failures, try reducing the number of emails you are sending at one time from Nutshell to around 100 recipients. Read on if you are trying to send hundreds or thousands of emails at a time on a regular basis...
Birthday/Holiday Emails — Sending birthday or holiday wishes to your subscribers is a great way to keep your organization top of mind. And because of the fantastic targeting, these emails tend to get a remarkable response. To send birthday wishes, you would have to collect date of birth information on your sign-up or subscriber profile forms. By also including a special offer or coupon in these emails, you can help boost interest and possibly new sales, as well. According to a study by Experian CheetahMail, birthday emails generated more than two times the revenue of bulk mailings to the same customers.
These automatic emails should make the CTA big and clear. Keep in mind that the CTA should link to the direct offer -- NOT to the form. In these emails, simply thank the reader for their form submission, and give them what you promised, whether it be a link to the PDF of an ebook, instructions on how to activate their free trial, or the coupon they requested. Furthermore, don't overcomplicate the appearance of these emails. The reader isn't looking for additional information, but rather the offer or content they already know they redeemed.

Setting up your account usually takes just a few clicks. In most cases, all you need to do is to enter your email address and choose a monthly plan. If you are not sure which is the right email marketing software for you, it is advisable you request a free trial. Some platforms offer free trials to all new users. Just be aware that they usually ask for your credit card details. This means that once the free trial period is over, you will be billed for the following month unless you cancel in due time.


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.
After 90 days of inactivity, the outlook is not good. If someone goes three months without purchasing, the odds of them returning to purchase are not great. Though, this is definitely dependent upon your store and industry. Some stores simply have a long sales cycle. Just be aware that you will probably start experiencing diminishing returns at 90 days.
Undelivered emails - poorly designed emails may not get delivered. Emails that use certain spam keywords in the subject heading or content of the email are likely to be filtered out by email software and internet service providers. If you don’t keep your marketing lists up to date, you will find incorrect email addresses mean your messages won’t reach the right person.
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
3. The “sliced bread” approach: LeadPages’ head of marketing automation, Chris Davis, coined this term after thinking about a very simple kind of marketing: grocery store samples, in which shoppers are given a taste of something (like a slice from a loaf of bread) to inspire them to buy the whole product. The first chapter of an e-book, a mini consultation, or, if you’re in software, a free limited-functionality app account could serve as your first slice of bread.
As a company, we developed software that solves the problems of search in Windows and Outlook for large enterprises. Native Windows search is not very good, and when there is a problem, many people vent about it on social media or blog about it on their own blogs. To help us generate leads and to find the people that would benefit from our product, we actively monitor social media for several different “pain points”.
25 awesome tactics straight from the experts! Thanks for putting this together, Mark. Small businesses don’t have to be chained to adapting shady lead generation techniques as these strategies work when done right. There’s a robust CRM out there that won’t break the bank (free, even). You can integrate it with your current phone system using a 3rd party integration tool like Tenfold, as we did. Our CRM, phone system, lead gen tools, and many others work seamlessly together. It provides us access to all the relevant info in a single easy-to-use dashboard.

If you do use your own email provider, you will create your message and input the email addresses just as you do for your everyday email. This is the only way to send email for free forever, but it's also the least effective and can cause problems associated with spam email (see Resources). Take a look at the email broadcast software available as well. Email distribution software can be just as effective as a mass email program.


Using this technique we’ve been able to increase our private launch conversion by 200%. The code is readily available and can be implemented by a web programmer in hours. Be careful about being overly aggressive, meaning don’t show the CTA each time the visitor visits your website. This can become annoying. Most available exit detection plugins are smart enough to track whether it’s the same user within the same session and adjust accordingly.
You’re probably already investing time and resources into marketing to potential customers. But are you also thinking carefully about how you build relationships with vendors and partnering businesses? Email gives you the ability to maintain communication with all of your different audiences so that you can build the relationships you need to be successful.
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