As a marketer, you will definitely want to use email marketing as a lead generation channel given the positive ROI it generates almost every time and being one of the most cost-effective marketing channel around. I am breaking this post into a 3 part series so that I am able to add more value.
Here is how you can use e-mail marketing for lead generation
Choose a Good email Marketing Service Provider
This is a very critical first step, because if you don’t have a good email marketing service provider (ESP), your list won’t be of much help. Here’s why, because in email marketing, your e-mail getting to the inbox of your recipient is key, and if you don’t have a good ESP, this becomes elusive.
Having a good email marketing service provider ensures that you are able to reach your audience’s inbox, you are automatically able to filter bad email addresses, have good templates built in for use, you have an easy to use interface and provides reporting to make intelligent judgment in improving your campaign performance.
We will do another post on “How to Choose a Good email marketing service provider” to detail out the features and also recommend a few providers.
Build a List
Once you have signed up with a good ESP, the next step will be to create your strategy of building a good email list to target with your newsletter and offers. This is not going to be easy, if you are doing it for the first time. We are talking about creating a fresh list of optin (someone who has given permission or opted to receive your e-mail). It is difficult because you don’t have any prior relationship with your audience and you need to build that.
Here is how you can do it.
Generate Traffic To Your Website and Use A Sign-Up Form
You will need to ensure you create high quality content, offers on your website, optimize it for search, promote is with SEO, SEM, Social channels and get people to sign-up to receive your emails.
Purchase a List and Use a Separate Domain than Your Main Domain to Target This List
Easy way out? I am afraid “No”
You might get providers who sell you e-mail lists, but this is not “YOUR” list, meaning you do not have permission to send them your offers. Though many of these providers claim to offer you opt-in data still targeting a purchased list can really backfire.
Before trying out a purchased list, I recommend going through the e-mail laws in your country, “CAN-SPAM” law being the industry standard for being compliant.
To take care of anti-spam law / legislation for your country/target group, take an alternative domain to differ between emailing the trusted ‘in crown’ and prospects. Your mail domain should still be emailed via your premium domain. The latter via an alternative which carries the name of your organization, but then slightly different. As an example, your company is called ‘bestbuy’ and normally you use the ‘bestbuy.com’ email domain. Now you take ‘bestbuynews.com’ as an email domain to stay away from your feared blacklisting and stuff and ensure your email domains run from different IP’s.
3rd Party Newsletters
While there may still be some situations where sending to contact with no prior relationship is valid, it’s becoming increasingly frowned upon and high-risk. My recommendation would be to find potential partners/vendors who will send an email on your behalf (a dedicated HTML blast or eblast) rather than give you a list to send to on your own.
Work with partners that have permission to send third party offers or messages your offers to their lists. They already have a pre-established relationship with the recipient and permission to send them messages.
Alright, so we have made some progress, we have chosen a good ESP and we are building up a good list to target.
In part two of this post, we will continue with List building and I’ll also discuss ways to get great response from the list, importance of testing, critical e-mail matrices to watch out for and how to optimize your campaigns for best results.
All the best!
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