Lead generation and management are… difficult, to put it lightly. For many B2B marketers, generating high-quality leads is one of the biggest challenges they have to deal with. B2B companies usually try to use a variety of techniques to generate as many high-quality leads as possible, but not every marketing tactic is treated equally.
In fact, the most popular digital marketing strategy used by B2B companies to generate leads is actually email marketing (78% of companies use it). Indeed, it can be incredibly effective when used correctly. Hence, here’s everything about how to manage more leads with B2B email marketing.
#1 Compile A List of Prospects
The first (and very obvious) step is to compile a list of prospects. The effectiveness and success of your entire B2B email marketing campaign will depend on how good your mailing list is, so it’s worth spending some time compiling it. Here are some tips on how to create and manage this list:
- Find a trusted company to get a list of prospects or do your own research. To avoid getting scammed or buying a list of poor quality, it’s important to choose a company that has a history of providing high-quality lists of leads. Alternatively, you can search for potential leads on your own.
- Check the list for any issues. Ensure that all of the information is correct and up to date (to your knowledge), that leads match your target audience profiles, and that leads in the list aren’t the ones in your own database.
- Break down your list into different categories. Such target audience segmentation will allow you to personalize your emails instead of sending the same exact email to every single prospect. The more segmented your list is, the more personalized your emails can then be (and the more engagement they can get).
#2 Utilize Automation
Throughout all of your email marketing activity, it’s absolutely necessary to utilize automation in some capacity. This can be done from the very beginning (when you are still working on your list of prospects) and up until the end (when your leads have transformed into returning customers). Here are a few tips on what you can do:
- Automate emails for each segment of your audience. But if you need to get to an even deeper level of personalization, send out emails manually to the select few leads you are working with.
- Use merge fields to personalize automated emails – but use them sparingly. Providing too much personal information in every email you send will seem weird and could potentially turn leads away.
- Treat automation as a tool, not a magic solution. In email marketing, automation is a given, but that doesn’t mean that simply using it all the time for everything is the best solution to all your lead generation problems.
#3 Define Content Guidelines
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with email marketing is starting anew every time you write an email. Email marketing should be treated just like any other type of marketing – it needs to be consistent. This is why you have to define content guidelines for your emails before you start creating them. Here’s how to do this:
- Choose your brand voice and stick to it. For B2B companies, it is important to adopt a professional tone and position themselves as an authority and a leader in their respective field.
- Create a visual brand image. It should be directly connected to your brand voice, but it also has to correspond to your visual branding up to this point (e.g. your brand logo, website, product design).
- Discuss the usage of elements of persuasion. Your emails will likely contain statistics, social proof, and other forms of persuasion tactics, so it’s worth discussing this part beforehand.
- Think about formatting. Different emails will have to be formatted according to their purpose. You can create templates for every type of email you will be sending (e.g. welcome emails, transactional emails, invitations, etc.)
- Set quality standards for every type of content. Do this for every type of content you will be using in your emails. For example, the quality of the photographs you use as well as the amount of jargon used in the textual part of your email.
#4 Focus on Email Deliverability
Perhaps the worst thing that can happen during email marketing is getting blacklisted and sent to spam. That’s exactly why you want to avoid this by focusing on email deliverability. Brook Greene, an expert from the best online writing services site, explains it this way, “There are certain factors that determine how likely your email is to avoid spam. Paying attention to these details can help you get through to every inbox.” These factors include:
- The Results of Spam Authentication Tests: To avoid landing in the spam folder, you have to get through spam tests and filters like Domain Keys Identification Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).
- The Law Compliance of Your Emails: You should also comply with spam laws such as GDPR, the CAN-SPAM Act, and others.
- The Quality of Your Email Service Provider: Ensure that the one you chose guarantees high email deliverability rates.
- The Scheduling of Your Email Campaigns: Experiment with the time when you send your emails and choose the best day of the week and time of the day for it.
#5 Experiment with CTAs
It goes without saying that your emails need to have a Call to Action mentioned at least once in them. However, what kind of CTA you choose to include, the way you word it, how many times you include it, and where you place it can determine the effectiveness of your entire email campaign. This is why it’s a good idea to experiment with your CTAs regularly and try out new ways to use them.
The best thing you can do is personalizing your CTAs for every segment. Depending on the relationship you have already established with a lead, a higher or lower commitment CTA will work better with them. It’s usually impossible to know what your lead feels towards you, but you can make reasonable guesses and test different CTAs until you find something that works for a particular segment.
#6 Test Before Sending Emails
Speaking of experimentation and testing, it’s not enough to only do that with your CTAs. Instead, test your emails as extensively as you can. Consider working with focus groups for this or even getting a consultation with an expert. But at the end of the day, you should still run A/B tests with your actual target audience and actual leads from your mailing list.
Test different elements of your emails to find which parts need improvement. For example, you can start with subject lines and end with email design. The more you test, the better you will know your audience and how they respond to certain things you place in your emails. All of these findings will be useful both now and for your future campaigns.
#7 Track Email Performance
Last but not least, it’s crucial to keep in mind that email marketing doesn’t end when you have sent out emails. You should actually continue tracking their performance and analyzing these findings. While it may seem similar, this process is different from testing because you are actually sending out campaigns already. You are working with the final product rather than trying to alter your emails.
That being said, tracking email performance can be used both for lead generation and for planning future email campaigns. After all, the data you collect is still quite valuable and can and should be analyzed and used appropriately.
To summarize, using B2B email marketing for lead generation is probably one of the best things you can do. Not only is email marketing one of the most efficient types of digital marketing, but it is also the perfect choice for anyone struggling to set up an effective B2B lead generation strategy. Use the tips in this article to help you get started and begin generating your own high-quality leads.