Staying on top of the right email marketing lead generation techniques is everything for many of us B2B marketers in tech.
In fact, in our recent B2B marketing trends study, 83% of you said that email marketing is the most important marketing channel in your current strategy. To put things into perspective, email marketing is at the top of the list.
But an email marketing strategy is nothing if it doesn’t effectively generate and activate leads.
Here’s where it gets a little problematic.
In a recent compilation of the latest lead generation statistics, we saw that 42% of B2B marketers say they allocate a low budget to email marketing.
With problems like overstuffed inboxes, declining open rates and low marketing budgets allocated to email, what else can us B2B marketers do?
What email marketing lead generation techniques are we missing out to generate a steady flow of high-quality leads?
I hope I can help. In this blog, I’ll share some email marketing lead generation techniques to tackle the problems we’re facing today. But before I get into the details, let’s get on the same page about what email marketing lead generation really means.
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What is email marketing lead generation?
Email campaigns have been proven to be a strong B2B lead generation strategy — you’re likely already knee-deep in an ongoing, always-on email marketing motion.
However, let’s press pause and rethink email for a moment.
An email lead generation campaign is more than just writing a catchy subject line, adding some interesting copy, and then hitting the send button. It’s more than just pushing out a series of sales pitches to sell a prospect on the value of your product or service.
Email marketing lead generation techniques focus on attracting potential customers and gathering their contact information. It’s the first step in the email marketing funnel where the goal is to expand your audience base.
This typically involves:
- Capturing leads: Using sign-up forms, or lead rental services and vendors to collect email addresses and basic information about potential leads.
- Initial engagement: Sending welcome emails or introductory information to newly acquired leads.
- Broader targeting: Communicating with a wide audience to identify those interested in your products or services.
But remember, with the email marketing lead generation techniques I’m about to cover, the goal isn’t to sell a prospect on the value of your product or service immediately.
That’s done over time by gathering information and making contact with the lead through an automated pathway, and then ultimately through a personal connection if needed.
That’s email marketing lead nurturing.
Discover the latest trends and statistics — and the key actions B2B marketers and leaders need to take today.
Is email marketing lead generation and lead nurturing the same?
If you’re wondering, it might help to think of email marketing lead generation versus email marketing lead nurturing as separate strategies.
Email marketing lead nurturing is more about developing relationships with your acquired leads over time.
It’s more personalized and focuses on moving leads through the sales funnel toward a purchase decision. There’s much more personalization, brand building, and conversion optimization involved.
You’ll want to clearly define the overall vision of your strategy and make constant improvements where needed to optimize the journey that each lead takes until they reach the close. This involves leveraging every B2B lead generation tool available to consistently optimize your strategy over time.
8 proven email marketing lead generation techniques
With that said, it’s time to move on to the fun part.
If anything, using the right email marketing lead generation techniques is what I would really focus on, to ensure an inflow of qualified leads that are receptive to my subsequent lead nurturing efforts.
So how can we get there?
Below are my top 8 techniques to help optimize your email marketing B2B lead generation strategy.
1 - Use compliant lead lists
A purchased lead list can give you a head start when building your lead generation strategy. But if you don’t use fully compliant lists, you risk harming your sending domain which could lead to quality leads not receiving your emails in the future.
If you go this route for lead generation, you must ensure the list is compliant with all the opt-in requirements.
Buy only from trusted vendors. A good way to figure out who those are is by looking at the source of their contact data, using the “party” model.
Focus on vendors who provide zero-party data. This means the paid lead has freely given their data to your business.
Third-party or second-party data acquisition such as scraping can result in low-quality leads and non-compliance.
2 - Monitor domain reputation
Domain reputation affects your email’s deliverability and whether or not it goes into the recipient’s inbox or directly to the black hole of their spam folder.
Domain reputation is like a credit score and is used by ISPs and mailbox services. It represents how your domain is seen in the eyes of these services and dictates how they deliver the emails you send.
A low score and trust rating can hurt your deliverability or even make it impossible to get a positive ROI. So ignoring this key metric is not something you want to do.
Google’s postmaster tools are free to use so that’s where you should start if you’ve never checked your domain reputation before. Google is the second largest email provider, so staying within their good graces should be a top priority for any email marketer.
For newer businesses just starting their email lead generation efforts, make sure to start slowly and ramp up over time. A new domain suddenly sending out email blasts can harm its reputation.
Other tips to maintain your domain reputation are to watch out for spammy subject lines. All-caps headlines and obvious phrases like “BUY NOW” will quickly harm your reputation.
Also, make sure to prune your email list regularly. Some domain reputation services use spam traps, and sending emails to these traps will harm your reputation. Regularly remove outdated email leads and those who have unsubscribed to keep your list fresh.
3 - Properly segment your leads
Not all leads react to the same offers. Highly personalized emails that connect to where the lead is in their journey are key to maximizing conversions and actions. Segmenting leads also helps with the following.
- Increased open rates
- Increased click-throughs
- Increased conversions
- Higher ROI
- Reduced unsubscribe rates
- Spam avoidance
Determining your segmentation strategy goes back to properly defining your goals for your email campaigns.
One way to help with this is through an email survey. Sometimes the best way to understand your leads is to simply ask them, and a survey can do just that. This way, you can also get more abstract information like their interests and goals.
I call these “enriched” data points.
And if you’re wondering about uptake, attaching a survey to an offer usually does the trick.
This ICP worksheet could help you approach personalization and segmentation with more structure. 👇
4 - Don't skimp on content quality
Gated content is an excellent way to grow your email list. But remember: the content must be worthwhile.
Like, for example, a data-rich market research report or well-written guide chock-full of valuable information that will help your audience overcome a relevant challenge.
With punchy assets, I always like to turn to B2B content syndication platforms that can help to generate top-of-funnel brand awareness and leads.
For people already in your database, you can gate content with an additional ask, like details about their organization or whether they’re currently in- market for a solution like yours.
You can also offer this content ungated, but factor their activity into your lead score.
For example, if someone engages with a mid-funnel asset, that might indicate they’re ready to be introduced to a salesperson or begin receiving messages about setting up a demo.
5 - Nail the first touchpoints with creativity
Now that we’ve talked about how to bring in leads to your email channel, let’s talk about engaging them with a solid first impression.
I’m talking about copy!
Here, let’s cover 3 areas:
I – A subject line that hooks
Imagine you’re at an industry event and spot a prospect you’ve wanted to chat with for quite some time. Several of your competitors are nearby and eager to chat with this individual.
You need a good opener to grab and hold their attention long enough to spark their interest and ensure a future conversation.
A subject line is the digital equivalent of an icebreaker — a catchy, intriguing statement that will pique recipients’ interest enough for them to open your emails.
And here’s one best practice many marketers disregard: your subject line should be short. According to Convince and Convert, 82% of successful email marketers say their subject lines do not exceed 60 characters.
II – Captivating, reader-friendly copy
A great subject line might hook a reader, but an excellent copy will keep them engaged until the end.
As with design, though, less is more. Instead of attempting to cram in as much information as possible, focus on highlighting the key details and keeping your copy concise, with a balanced branded touch.
After all, an email is just an invitation to take action — there’s no need to get verbose. According to a study by Boomerang, emails between 50 and 125 words drive the best response rate.
I know body copy is such a broad topic, so here’s a template that might help:
📖 Psst, get more to this template with the full ebook: Lead Generation Trends That Matter in 2024
III – Clear and compelling call-to-action
What do you want a contact to do after reading an email? Sign up for a webinar. Download an ebook? Schedule a demo.
Whatever the case, you must ensure your CTA is obvious. Remember: your buyers are busy professionals with overflowing inboxes just like you. If you don’t make it easy for them to take action, there’s a good chance they’ll move on.
6 - Always test, analyze, and trust your data
With B2B email lead generation, you’ll likely never hear why someone chose not to open your email or follow your link. Your only insight into your potential customers will be by carefully studying your analytics.
This means you have to try different methods, offers, and funnels and use A/B testing to see which have the best responses. This may seem tedious, but small percentage gains in open rates and click-throughs translate into much higher ROIs in B2B lead generation.
It’s not uncommon for marketers to fall into the trap of believing they know what customers want, even if it goes against what the data shows. If a lead generation isn’t showing the results you want, determine if it can be salvaged with some fine-tuning. If the metrics don’t improve, you have to ditch it.
Beyond just fine-tuning, some demand-generation strategies can simply go stale after some time. A great marketing idea will often only work for so long before it burns out and loses effectiveness. By constantly adjusting and improving, you can avoid this demand generation “burnout” and have more consistent growth.
In the end, email lead generation is partially a numbers game, and successful lead generation strategies look for every available edge. This means constantly fine-tuning your strategy and trusting your analytics.
7 - Optimize email cadence through analytics
Now, what happens after your leads respond and your email lead generation campaigns are performing?
You follow up with a strategic cold email cadence. Maybe even a multi-channel one, like the one that Shay Berman shared recently during a webinar.
Send an introduction email to your prospect.
Send a LinkedIn connection request.
Follow up with an email to schedule a call. If the call goes to voicemail, follow up with another email.
Send an email that includes a resource, such as a blog post or whitepaper.
Send a personalized Linkedin video message that addresses any objections or questions they may have raised in previous interactions.
Follow up with an email to schedule a call.
Follow up with a final email that offers a limited-time discount or incentive to encourage them to take action.
While this is bleeding into the topic of lead nurturing, I want to emphasize the potential for optimizing your email cadence here. Because email sends should neither be one-off nor follow a rigid structure.
As a small primer: email cadence and email frequency are two separate things. Your cadence is the timing between emails or when the lead performs a certain action, such as filling out a form or signing up for a free offer. The frequency is the number of emails sent, but it’s just a component of the overall cadence.
When it comes to optimizing email cadence, there is a sweet spot to be found and it can be different for each industry and product category.
To begin defining your cadence, you need to start by clearly defining your goals for your lead generation emails. Is the goal to set up a phone call with a lead? Is the goal to get the lead to sign up for a free offer or trial?
Different goals will require a different cadence. Setting up a phone call may require a faster cadence after an email is sent or opened. Free offers or trials can be less time-sensitive and intermediate emails can be sent justifying the value of the offer or trial.
The key to discovering the sweet spot is through A/B testing and analytics. Drops in open rates can suggest an issue with the frequency or your overall cadence. Too many emails and they go right to the spam folder. Too few and the lead may have forgotten about your offer and has moved on to another vendor.
The only way to find the balance is by carefully tracking your analytics and testing different cadences.
Check out the on-demand webinar, on how to craft the perfect B2B cold email, campaign, and cadence, if you want more great tips on this topic.
The perfect cold email campaign and cadence do exist.
Hear how Shay finds the right balance between what to say in each email, how frequently to touch base with your cold prospects, and more tips to optimize for conversions, in this on-demand webinar.
8 - Find a trusted email marketing lead generation partner
Of course, building a list can be challenging. And in some cases, you may begin to saturate your database and need to get your message in front of new audiences.
This is where a demand generation partner comes in handy.
By working with a service like ViB Emails, you can tap into a community of millions of professionals who are verified as in-market for the products and services you sell.
A great partner will handle all the heavy lifting to ensure your message gets to the right people at the right time.
So what makes ViB Emails different?
- Engaged leads: Our audience? A millions-strong community of tech professionals who are interested in exploring new technologies like yours. They come from zero-party sources, precisely segmented, and have a track record of conversions.
- Easy targeting: We’ll curate a list of targeted prospects for you from our engaged ViB Community, so you can skip the tedious list cleaning or filtering process
- No domain reputation risk: We send out your email via our ViB Community domain that community members already know and trust.
- No-fuss set up: Getting started is all about sending us the email you want to amplify, sending us your ICP, and we’ll do the rest. Engaged members who click through your email then become your leads.
Email marketing lead generation is a highly effective tool for driving new demand, nurturing existing marketing-qualified leads, and ensuring your sales team has a steady pipeline of buyers ready for a good conversation. By using these eight techniques, you can quickly increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
Ready to expand your reach? Learn more about ViB Emails.
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That means a steady stream of targeted leads for brand building, webinar registrations, content downloads, or any other marketing campaigns.
But I hear you! ViB Emails has a unique approach to email marketing lead generation that prospects aren’t always familiar with.
Let us help. Chat with the team to get a personalized walkthrough of our powerful email lead generation service.
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