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Email leads explained: The what, why and how

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Email leads are one of the most important aspects of email marketing. In this article, we will therefore take a look at:

Email Leads

What is an email lead?

An email lead is an individual who provides their contact information to opt-in to an email marketing campaign.

Gathering email leads is essential to the success of a marketing campaign; the more leads you generate, the more potential customers you can contact to convert into buyers.

Why do you need lead generation?

Lead generation can increase brand loyalty as customers will actively choose to keep in contact with your company for further buying opportunities.

There are two main types of lead generation to take note of:

  • Inbound email lead generation: This involves enticing leads already associated with your company. After existing customers provide their details and permission to receive marketing material from your business, you can generate leads with valuable offers and encourage them to make a purchase.

  • Outbound email lead generation: This involves sending personalized cold emails to individuals that align with your target audience and customer demographics. Unlike inbound marketing, you don’t require permission to contact consumers. Instead, you reach out to them first. This method is also referred to as cold email marketing.

Benefits of email lead generation

There are many advantages that lead generation has to offer.

Here are just a few ways it’s beneficial for businesses that aim to engage customers and establish long-term relationships:

1. Measurable

Tracking the performance of an email campaign is incredibly easy for businesses.

Email is the perfect tool to connect with your audience. It allows you to get creative with your messaging, while offering tangible results to build upon.

You can assess open rate performance, click-through rates and bounceback rates.

Measurable performance indicators enable you to refine your email marketing strategy and make the most of your campaign.

2. Wide reach

Emails are a vastly accepted form of business communication among consumers, and according to Statista, there are over four billion email users worldwide.

This number continues to grow every year.

With such a substantial amount of email recipients to contact, you’re guaranteed to heighten visibility and awareness for your company.

3. The domino effect

Email lead generation provides opportunities for companies to incorporate permission marketing strategies.

Permission marketing makes it possible to nurture email leads so they allow you to contact them through various other channels.

A customer network among multiple channels boosts ROI and enhances the customer journey further.

How to kick off email lead generation

Here are a few pointers to get you started with effective lead generation:

Target the right demographic

This sounds simple, but it’s absolutely essential to the success of your lead generation strategy.

Understand your audience, their pain points and their interests. Make sure to use data where possible to build customer profiles and connect with the right people.

Build a customer profile

Forming customer profiles will allow you to evaluate unique identities for your buyers, so you can make an offer they can’t resist.

You can tailor offers toward specific purchasing behaviors, for example, if a customer invests in your software, offer them a discount for an extension to enhance its features.

Consider automation

Marketing automation is a lead generation tool that can’t be overlooked in the digital age.

With automation, you can speak to customers on a seemingly one-to-one basis.

You can address recipients by their individual occupation, location and age to immediately grab their attention.

Identify your lead magnet

A lead magnet is a piece of material that attracts organic leads to interact with your company.

These usually work best for B2B businesses that want to promote their whitepaper or eBook.

Lead magnets help to boost brand awareness and establish thought leadership.

Tips for a useful, trustworthy lead list

Level up your digital marketing strategy to build a stable email list and generate quality leads.

To achieve better results, consider using the following tactics:

Good lead-generation tactics

1. Customer-first approach

A big mistake marketers make when constructing emails is to focus the content on their company first.

Although it addresses the message quickly, it isn’t a strategic way to engage customers.

Instead, talk about the recipient; what’s a pain point they experience without your product or service? Does it encroach on their everyday lives?

Tap into these frustrations to grab the attention of readers, then explore the benefits and features of your company’s products and services. This will help improve response rates for a stronger lead generation campaign.

A subject line can make or break your opportunity to engage consumers.

Weak subjects will get lost in the sea of emails, whereas a great subject hook will cut through the noise and grab recipients.

These headings require a well-formed creative strategy to spark curiosity and inspire urgency. Here are some tips to strengthen your subject:

  • Adopt a catchy and conversational tone: To connect with your audience.

  • Include personalization: Such as prospect name, age or company name.

  • Maintain relevance: Don’t drift away from the point for click bait purposes.

3. Hyper-personalization

An absolute essential to lead generation; hyper-personalization will connect with individual customers and stand out in an inbox filled with generic messaging.

Personalization yields better results as well. In fact, 71% of customers feel frustrated when given impersonal shopping experiences, and 56% of consumers say they’ll become repeat buyers following a personalized customer experience, per Segment’s 2023 State of Personalization Report.

Since bulk emails are off the cards, it’s time to personalize your email copy.

Make sure to create unique journeys for specific demographics and tailor the content to consumers’ specific needs.

You may want to advertise specific products that provide better convenience to audiences over 30. Or alternatively, use images that hold comedic value to appeal to younger audiences.

4. Keep it short and sweet

Every day, customers and businesses receive marketing emails from companies that ask for the same thing: to engage with something on their website.

And we’re no different.

That’s why you need to do everything in your power to stand out and offer something unique to your recipients. Make note of these tips to provide value to your consumers:

  • Clean and crisp messaging: Short, concise copy goes a long way to entice customers. An easy read makes for an easy sale, as customers are more likely to engage with short but valuable content.

  • Use simplistic designs and animations: Sometimes, less is more. Create unique and intriguing visuals to draw audience attention and stand out — without causing distraction.

  • Utilize white space: White space supports readability, which makes your marketing email much more accessible than emails that use large blocks of text.

5. Use emojis

Emojis aren’t just for social media. They have completely integrated into all forms of digital text communication, so much so, even businesses utilize them to support their company messaging.

Visual aids generate interest in your subject line as they indicate the focus of your email, and they make your company sound more down-to-earth.

However, use emojis wisely.

Using too many emojis in your email can be a detriment to email deliverability as it’s triggered as “spammy” language use.

It can also send the wrong message to customers and make your company appear less professional and reputable.

Follow these best practices to use emojis the right way:

  • Use one emoji toward the beginning of your subject line.

  • Never use more than two emojis.

  • Avoid the use of irregular emojis that may lead to misinterpretation.

  • Abstain from shoehorning emojis; only use them in context.

Should you purchase email lists?

When it comes to purchasing email leads, it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

Purchased email addresses enable you to reach your target audience and build enough recipients to make the most of your sales marketing prospects.

Since there aren’t any laws that prevent you from connecting with recipients from other email lists, you can take advantage of access to new leads and expand your reach to the right audiences.

To gain access to more email sales leads, you’ll require an email lead generator to buy leads for your mailing list.

However, it’s crucial to comply with the legal requirements associated with email marketing. You should:

  • Avoid using false information with exaggerated marketing tactics.

  • Ensure opt-out methods are present and clear in your email.

Do note that purchased leads may affect the quality of your mailing list if you don’t maintain ongoing data hygiene practices. Bad data hygiene often involves:

  • Outdated information.

  • Incomplete data.

  • Inactive accounts.

  • Incorrect data.

Additionally, purchased email lists could result in higher opt-out rates due to the nature of the data collection.

What to do next before email marketing begins

Achieving email lead generation can be difficult for marketers. In fact, according to HubSpot’s 2023 State of Marketing Report, 61% of marketers find lead generation to be the most challenging aspect of their role.

But this doesn’t need to be the case.

Unlock instant results just by taking a few extra steps to boost your deliverability.

Warmup Inbox can boost your email performance and expand your reach. We help boost your inbox’s health to ensure you end up in the right folder.

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