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.
Lead-Nurturing Emails — This type of email helps you move a lead through your sales funnel, while cutting the amount of time required by a sales team to educate prospects about your services and products. Lead-nurturing emails should be short emails with the main purpose of driving prospects to take action on your website. Click here for more information about setting up a successful automated nurturing or drip campaign.
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.
To get even more engagement from your post, don’t include a link within the actual update. Right now, LinkedIn is favoring content in the feed that’s free of links (indicating promotion of something), so mention in the last line of your update that the link to your post where people can read more will be in the first comment—and just paste it in there after posting the update.
Focus on regular communication with content that’s interesting and relevant to your audience. Are you a real estate agent? You can discuss topics like DIY home projects, how to landscape on a budget or even financial tips on down payments. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible so that anyone who feels compelled to reach out can do so quickly.
Many email newsletter software vendors offer transactional email support, which gives companies the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. There are also software vendors that offer specialized transactional email marketing services, which include providing targeted and personalized transactional email messages and running specific marketing campaigns (such as customer referral programs).
Co-marketing partnerships have been our most efficient business lead generation idea by far. Each time we partner up with another company to create co-branded content, we get 2x promotion and 2x more leads. Out of all types of co-marketing partnerships, we’ve seen the most ROI from webinars, as they generate the most leads and require less preparation or input from different teams (e.g. design, development). Plus, you’re often able to present the same or similar content to different forums, which saves even more time.
Email Newsletters – These are regular emails that are sent to a list of subscribers who have chosen to receive updates from a company. Newsletters usually don't have explicit sales messages, but try instead to build a relationship between a customer and a brand. They often have a conversational tone and contain news and information that will be of interest to the customer. The goal is to keep a customer connected to a company even when they are not buying anything.
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The low cost and relative ease of carrying out an email marketing campaign means that it is a tool that is accessible to almost any business. A small mechanic's shop can put together an email list and then send out coupons for oil changes or brake jobs. The scope and sophistication of these campaigns may not be as great as larger businesses, but that doesn't mean they won't be effective.
When it comes to marketing your business, it’s important to be where your consumers are. Email use is thriving and is used by 95% of online consumers. 91% of consumers reported checking their email at least once a day (Exact Target). In fact, it’s not uncommon for consumers to check their email dozens of times each day. Using email marketing to promote content and your products and services is a great way to drive more traffic to your website and is a highly effective tool for nurturing leads through the buying cycle.
Create a sense of urgency. Give customers a reason to act quickly, rather than let the email sit in their inbox. In the example above, the dates of the promotion are apparent. Use active language as well. To tie in with a seasonal promotion, this email from Banana Republic Factory injects a little personality into their CTA language, encouraging readers to “hop to a store.”
However, as email marketing developed as an effective means of direct communication, in the 1990s, users increasingly began referring to it as "spam", and began blocking out content from emails with filters and blocking programs. In order to effectively communicate a message through email, marketers had to develop a way of pushing content through to the end user, without being cut out by automatic filters and spam removing software.
One element that continues to drive the effectiveness of email marketing is the availability of high quality, relatively low cost tools and service providers. Services such as MailChimp, Get Response, Aweber, iContact, Constant Contact and other quality service providers offer a wide range of email capabilities and pricing options. This is a very competitive market and small businesses are the beneficiaries of a growing list of new features and capabilities offered by email service providers.
While are thousands of lead generation ideas out there that can be tailor-made to suit your business, the key to success is constantly testing and optimizing new strategies to find what works best for you. With a combination of the above ideas (and hopefully the addition of some of your own creative ideas) you’ll elevate your lead generation efforts, and its results, to the next level.
Bulk e-mail system: unlimited lists, unlimited recipients and no recurring fees: Why pay for each contact or email sent? Keep as many email contacts as you wish in your database, and use a bulk e-mail system to send out your e-mails as often as you need, without constantly worrying about how much you are spending. Sending out a small mailing to some hundreds contacts or a large one to 20.000 people have the same cost: a single bulk mail software system license of 99 Euro / 129 Dollars.
Due to the immediacy of email, a business can start seeing results within minutes of its emails being sent. A 24-hour sale is a brilliant marketing ploy that can be utilised by email, as it creates a sense of urgency and convinces subscribers to take immediate action. Businesses typically have to wait weeks until they see sales come in as a result of print or broadcast campaigns and, even then, how can they be sure what was responsible for the purchase?
Instead, consider aiming for “green light benchmarks,” a concept created by Ramit Sethi. Once you’ve reached a certain threshold, you can give yourself the “green light” to move on to something else for a bit—there are always bigger fish to fry when growing a business. Sanocki recommends the following benchmarks for most of your promotional and lifecycle email campaigns:
These are just a few examples of how a brand can use on-event email campaigns to extend the dialogue with customers and personalize their experience. When using on-event emails, it’s easy to “set and forget” them. But because these emails offer a tremendous amount of opportunity for additional sales, it’s important to review their performance among your customer base on a regular basis. If certain emails aren’t doing well, make sure to revisit them and refine their content.
Press releases are a marketing tool underutilized by most small businesses. A press release is typically associated with print publication, such as newspapers and trade magazines, but can be used by small businesses to communicate with customers, informing them of a particular new inventory item or promotion. Unlike a newsletter or catalog, press releases focus on one message and are designed to inform readers and entice them to visit the business online or in person.
Another key benefit of email marketing is that it’s easy to see where you’re going wrong. Most email marketing software will allow you to track open, click-through and conversion rates, making it simple to spot how a campaign can be improved. These changes can be made almost immediately too, whereas print or broadcast advertising requires quite a bit of effort to alter.
One of the most successful tools in the email marketers’ toolkit is segmented email lists. This means dividing your contacts according to their age, hobbies, location or other factors so that you can send more targeted emails that relate more closely to their interests. Segmented emails have an open rate that is about 15% higher than non-segmented emails and a click-through rate that is over 100% higher. One study found that more than 50% of all revenue is generated by segmented emails. Having all of your customer information in the same place as your email program means that you can apply segmentation based on almost any feature you like. Never mind targeting your customer base by age or demographic, with an email marketing platform you can send emails according to whether or not your recipients opened your previous email or how they joined your email list. The more targeted and relevant your emails are, the higher your click-through rate and user engagement will be.
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One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is that email allows you to personalize your messaging and offering to reach the right audience at the right time. Not only can you use segmentation to ensure that readers are getting the most relevant and effective content, but you can also address readers by name and speak directly to them. Your email subscribers are more likely to respond to content that seems like it was written just for them. In fact, according to HubSpot, emails that include the first name of the recipient have higher click-through rates than those that don’t.
Cross-Sell Recommendation Emails — Use customers’ purchase histories to create email campaigns with information about other products you sell that they may be interested in purchasing. For example, if a customer recently bought a smartphone, you know he or she may also be in the market for such accessories as cases, covers, and screen protectors. One study showed, for instance, transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20% higher transaction rates than those without them.
Next to guest blogging yourself on different sites, try inviting one of your audience influencers to write a guest blog on your site. Just like you guest blogging on another site, you can give them a backlink and a platform to increase their audience. If you really want a famous person on your site, you might even consider paying her or him for writing a guest post. The goal is that you get a quality article and most likely the influencer will share it with their audience.
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.
Email can accommodate almost any message a marketer wants to send. For instance, UrbanDaddy.com, a nightlife website, ran a highly successful email marketing campaign by including large, eye catching images in the header of the email. The images were geared toward a young male demographic and gave the email context. They encouraged the reader to scroll down and engage with the sales messages contained in the body of the email. (See also Targeted Marketing)