Checking your email is one of the first things you do when you get to work, right? It’s only natural; 91 percent of consumers check their email at least once a day. Brands often exploit this habit as an opportunity to supplement their email marketing strategy to drive lead generation. After all, email marketing is considered the top ROI driver by marketers today. Professionals are even planning to significantly increase spending on this lucrative sector moving into 2019 as 44 percent of marketers say its effectiveness is steadily improving.
Why is email marketing so important in the first place?
Email marketing can be one of the strongest aspects of your digital marketing strategy; it’s the chance to build relationships with leads because you speak directly to them at a time convenient for them. It’s also a great way to get your content in front of a large number of audiences. According to Emarketer, the people who use email in the U.S. will grow from 77 percent to 80 percent by 2022. With so many people using it, it’s a great investment as well – For every $1 spent, email gives back $44 in ROI and offers the broadest reach past social media. Social media may be a great tool for brand awareness but if you’re looking for more concrete results, email marketing drives more conversions and sales due to its greater engagement, the abundance of valuable content and personal reach. Emails are some of the first pieces of content your consumers interact with each day and it’s what helps keep your customers interested in your brand resulting in conversions and sustained loyalty.
Why should you optimize your email marketing for lead generation?
Even though MarketingSherpa says email marketing is the most used lead generation tactic, there are ways brands can make their email campaigns less-than-effective.
As a brand you want to be part of the emails being welcomed into someone’s inbox every morning to drive leads towards your site, collecting information and, ultimately, driving conversions; this is a result of effective lead generation optimization. Ineffective optimization leads to unimpressed, uninterested and unsubscribed consumers who send you to the Spam folder.
So how do you prevent your brand from coming in cold and being banished from their inbox? How do you drive leads to not only engage with your content but become invested in your brand?
By being prepared.
Here are a few ways to optimize your emails to garner lead generation:
1. Offer A Quid Pro Quo
Give your readers content they’ll be excited to learn about in exchange for information (a.k.a. Gated content), for example, an infographic, e-guide or white paper. HubSpot consistently produces high-quality and pique-interest resources in exchange for contact information from people directed from their emails, furthering their lead generation. This gives you permission to engage with them in the future and gauges their interest in your brand or service.
2. Test Your Emails
Consider A/B testing your emails. What may work for one audience might not work for another. Create two versions of your email with one differing characteristic. For instance, you might use the same body content but change the subject line. Then, monitor both emails to see which performs better. This will help you determine what works best for your audience. The more you can learn from your mistakes and successes, the more strategic you can be about future campaigns.
3. Deliver Consistent Content
Consistent email content will position yourself as an authority and leader in your industry (given that it has high-quality content such as articles, tips & tricks, etc.), making your brand more trustworthy and memorable in the long term. Take a look at Brain Pickings; one of the most subscribed newsletters in email marketing and consistently sends out thought-provoking content every Sunday morning to its consumers.
4. Segment Your Lists
Targeting your message to specific audiences is a proven way to get better results with lead generation efforts. MailChimp reports recipients are 75 percent more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. Look back at your data and define what makes sense to each segmented list. Then tailor the message to each audience for better results. You can segment them by buyer persona, content topic, past purchases and even sales cycle stage. Mini Bar Delivery exemplifies this by segmenting their audiences into the personas Wine Lovers, Cocktail Enthusiasts and Beer Buffs to cater to their content to each persona based on their preference for alcohol.
5. Find the Best Time to Send
Rather than using the same statistics and research every other marketer uses to gauge when the best time is to send your emails, step back and gauge your audience’s habits. What are they like? When is the best time for them to receive content from you? Mini Bar Delivery proves again to be an example of great lead generation optimization by targeting their emails right when their audience is getting off of work or when “Happy Hour” starts. Don’t be afraid to test and experiment with different times to see what resonates with your consumers.
6. Optimize For Mobile
Emarketer reports 81 percent of all emails are opened or read on smartphones and will continue to increase by the end of 2018. So it’s safe to say when people check their email, they'll be reading them on a small screen. Adjust accordingly and make sure everything is optimized for readability; Campaign Monitor even reports emails that display incorrectly on mobile may be deleted within three seconds.
7. Link to a Landing Page
By directing to a landing page you deliver the information they were looking for without the distractions that come with website and blog traffic. Users can lose their place and get lost throughout your website, leaving them confused and ready to give up. Avoid this by making sure you guide them all the way from your well-crafted email to your carefully-designed on your landing page.
8. Understand Where Your Leads Are in the Funnel
This is why segmenting your lists into a sales cycle stage is so important. You have leads coming in from multiple phases of the customer journey. Some may have downloaded an e-guide because they’re curious about your company; others may be ready to convert. You will produce better results if you understand where all your leads are and catch where they are in the customer’s journey.
Optimizing your emails is the difference between being welcomed into your consumer’s inbox every week or being sent to their Spam folder. This guide plus expert advice from the campaign strategists at UNION can help you turn carefully-crafted emails into converted leads and data-driven results.