Email remains a killer lead generation tactic, despite everything that’s new. And so in this episode, I’ve assembled five great lead generation email examples and I offer seven steps to completely nailing email lead generation.
Here are my seven steps to powerful B2B lead generation, born from those five great lead generation email examples and a bit of thinking. Step one: build campaigns for each segment and divert the traffic to those campaign paths early in their cycle. Two: offer the most valuable, most personalized lead bait you can afford to build. I’ll give you some great examples of that. Place your big ask, whether that’s a sale or an appointment on your thank-you page, for the lead bait. Four: send the promised lead bait in your first email; don’t put it on the landing page. Five: build and send a string of highly-valuable emails that trouble the buyer about the problem you solve. Six: in those emails, re-invite the recipient to the big ask that you had on your thank-you page — with increasing conviction — as you earn the greater right to that conviction, from a very gentle nudge at the beginning to a blunt request at the end. Step seven: transition to recycling if they don’t act on your big ask.
Let me share with you now those five great email lead generation examples and expand a bit on those seven steps. So our first lead generation email example is on The Huffington Post, and the reason that we’re covering this one first is that readers loved it. It was shared on Facebook 1600 times, LinkedIn 173 times, Twitter 600 times, and GooglePlus 21 times. Poor old GooglePlus, it’s still not getting anywhere, is it? Anyway, shared lots of times, so obviously people love it. What they go into in this article (and I’ve got all the URLs in the show notes so you don’t need to pay any attention to the URLs for the moment, I’ve got links in the show notes) is: offer an email newsletter with high-value relevant content, set up triggered emails, segment your email, gate your content, and then they go into lots of specifics. So definitely worth a read, I found it quite good.
Second one I want to cover is from HubSpot and that is an article from Jonathan Pavoni (@JonPavoni). What we’ve got here is again a restatement of the importance of email as a technique for lead generation, but goes quite into understanding who the target is and find that person’s (and here are his terms) “fledgling curiosity” and nurture it over time until it becomes a fully-blown product interest … I like that phraseology, I’m going to use that in the wrap-up notes, I quite like that turn of phrase … And doing that efficiently through automation software. Absolutely. A couple of keys that he covers: the importance of subject line, brevity, imagery, social integration, and a really strong call to action at the end. You’ll see when I do my own steps that I have a particular spin on the call to action, but let me on his content for the moment, rather than my own.
Next one I want to cover is called a “Ridiculously Effective Technique for Online Lead Generation.” Why not, why not. And thank you Peep Laja (I’m guessing, Laha or Laja, excuse me for the mispronunciation, sorry for butchering it). Now it starts with a premise, that if basic webpages only generate one or two percent conversion, then maybe ninety-five percent or more of visitors don’t buy anything, and therefore we need to have something in place for them. Wholly agree with that.
In B2B though, we’ve got a couple of great tools rather than tests and there are two in particular that are offered up here. Let me show you each of those. Here we go, first one is from HubSpot and it’s the marketing grader. It’s still their best lead generation tactic and at marketing grader, if you haven’t used it, just go use it. It’s the coolest tool. What it does is it assesses your website and it sends you a grade email report. Obviously you need to put in your email address in order to get that grade report but it’s highly personalized, super-valuable content. So, so clever. Now TweetCharts does something also very clever, it is a blatant lead bait but it’s valuable. Put in a search query, put in your email address, and they’ll send you a grade report about that search query. It’s just smart, it’s just smart. Love that, and thanks for the very specific lead generation email examples.
Next one I want to cover is called “Top 11 Tips for Email Lead Generation.” Clearly it’s relevant: Larry Chase, well-credentialed marketer and commentator. The content here goes into very specific details about the mechanics. It’s worth a read, I’ll run through a couple of the mechanics. If you use graphics, make sure that you repeat the comment in the text because often graphics are stripped out by the email client. Don’t forget to preview it in the preview pane and make sure that your value prop’s really clear right out front. Keep the message focused, consider a loss-leader (that’s the lead bait we’re talking about), avoid landing pages, and there’s lots more. Have a read for yourself, they’re all quite practical tips, a little less high-level than some of the other articles but worth a read for sure.
And finally, “5 Cold Email Templates That Will Generate Warm Leads For Your Sales Team!” So this is specifically for cold emails and goes on to make some very specific recommendations. And … I worry that the whole tenure of these is all about “Can you please connect me to the right person?” I hate getting those, I don’t know about you, I hate getting them. I don’t think they work, I never respond to them. It’s too impersonal and in fact I’m going to send you off to another article. Again, I’ll put the link in the show notes that I did earlier on cold email templates, which researched others who had written great cold email templates, I’ll include a link to that in the show notes. Couple of articles from myself here that I drew on. I had to build a business case for content marketing (again, I’ll put the link in the show notes); this goes into the difference between nurturing and recycling, and how to build the case for it. “Building Content” and “Best Cold Email Templates,” that I just mentioned.
You can see from that that email marketing remains a really powerful lead generation tactic for B2B marketers. Let me quickly synthesize what I think those five great sources were suggesting to us, give you six basic points that I think they’re concluding, and then I’ll give you my seven recommendations.
Well, the first one’s obvious: email marketing does remain the most effective digital tactic. Secondly, you need a lead bait to secure the right to an email nurture. Send a newsletter … I’m going to slightly disagree with that, only because I hate newsletters, because they encourage you to singe news. It’s really a thought leadership piece. Number four: segment your audience (of course I agree). Number five: nurture the early interest until it becomes product interest (I quite like that phraseology) and follow best practice on layout, brevity, images and personalization.
Well I agree with the lot, but let me split nurturing from recycling and I’m going to reorder those recommendations a bit. I also want to give credit to James Tuckerman from Not-So-Freaky University for planting the seed that I’m about to share with you. We’ve been working on perfecting it and putting our own spin on it, but credit firstly to James for the basics of this outline.
Build campaigns for each segment and divert the traffic early, so that your language on each of the pages and any subsequent email device can be really targeted at them. Secondly, offer the most valuable and most personalized lead bait that you can afford to build. That great example from HubSpot is beyond the budget of most of us, but think about surveys with personalized responses. I won’t recommend what your tactic should be, but it’s got to be the most valuable and most personalized lead bait that you can afford to build. Third, place your big ask (for many of us, that’s a sale; for some of us, it’s an appointment; in my case it would be an appointment typically) on your thank-you page. So I’ve registered to get your lead bait, I go to a thank-you page, offer your big ask straight away. You’ll very rarely get them to convert because they’re probably not ready, but ask anyway. Four: send them the promised lead bait in your first email (again, not on the thank-you page).
Send a string of highly-valuable emails. So, in other words: that first email is great, so what’s the next and next and next? You might do these daily, every two days, but pretty quickly one after the other. A string of highly-valuable emails that trouble the buyer about the problem that you solve. Can’t emphasize that enough. Don’t talk about your product, talk about the problem that you solve and get them worried about that problem.
Number six: in each of those emails, build something to a crescendo. Re-invite the participant to your big ask, or the recipient to your big ask. Do it with increasing conviction, as you earn the right. Go from a very gentle nudge in the beginning to a blunt request in the end. And finally, transition to recycling if they don’t act on your big ask.
Well, I hope you got value from today’s show. I certainly had a lot of fun putting it together. If you haven’t already, can I encourage you to subscribe? What subscribing does is, it makes sure that you’re the first to hear of new articles as we put them together. They happen every week and you’ll get an email or a notification from YouTube. Go to align.me.com/blog or go to youtube.com/alignmeb2b (your choice) and subscribe there.
If you have already: firstly, thank you; secondly, can I ask you to share the love and pass it on to a colleague and invite them to do the same thing? Maybe send them this article. Thirdly, if you’ve done both of those, our thanks. The final thing that you can do is let us know what you’d like us to cover. Use this email address: [email protected] Send us an email, tell us what you’d like us to cover, because I want to keep these relevant for you and I can do so if you let me know what’s relevant for you. Lots more planned for next week, can’t wait. Until then, may your funnel be full and always flowing.
Our thanks this week to:
- Velin Viona for research
- Larry Alton for ‘Email Marketing Best Practices’
- Jonathan Pavoni for ‘Email marketing lead generation’
- Peep Laja for ‘Ridiculously effective technique for online lead generation’
- Larry Chase for ‘Top 11 Tips for Email Lead Generation’
- Steli Efti for ‘5 cold email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team’
- James Tuckerman for his views on lead bait nurtures.
- Hugh Macfarlane for
- Jason Thea for his amazing production
- Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show
- Rev for transcription