A go-to guide for b2b email marketing lead generation success

A go-to guide for B2B email marketing lead generation success

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Email lead generation is one of the most effective ways of driving new business. 86% of marketers have said it generates good to excellent ROI.

With a remarkable ability to make a real difference, mastering cold emails involves endless improvements, best practices, and golden rules for success. But before you dive into all the tweaks and hacks, this post will outline all the fundamental considerations you must make to succeed. Each section has links to more in-depth reading if you want to know more.

So, let’s kick off with one straight out of the park: go beyond the inbox with our six advanced email lead generation techniques.

Refine your targeting

The first rule of sales is to know your audience.

The first rule of marketing is to know your audience.

The first rule of email marketing is to know your audience.

You can’t begin to think about building an email list and sending emails to prospects until you understand who you are selling to.

Whether you look at your existing customer base or research new audiences, you must understand who benefits most from your solution. 

Understanding your ideal customers is the first step to success. This includes information about industry, company size, and location. Once you have built your customer profiles, you can better understand how to target them by creating B2B buyer personas

If you want to know more about how these two marketing resources work together to help improve your targeting, messaging and more, check out our guide below.

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Quick guide

ICP and Buyer Personas: know the difference

Find out how to utilise them together for better sales and marketing output

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Once you have these two in place, you can map your market to understand how many potential customers you can reach.

A market map, with a breakdown of prospects, can help with email lead generation.

Craft an enticing opt-in    

Before diving in head-first,  the easiest way to collect data and elevate your email lead-generation strategy is by using opt-in forms on your website. But this is a subtle craft!

Asking for too many details can profoundly affect your conversion rate. Customers don’t want to spend a long time filling out a form – and if you ask for too much, they might leave your page altogether. 

Stick to asking for name and email, and at most, either a job title or company name.

Gather your data

Next, you must build your data, ready to send your email marketing campaigns to the perfect prospects.

Most companies will have an existing list of contacts. Website visitors who have signed up for emails and prospects who have exchanged their email addresses for a whitepaper. Or even users who have signed up for a free trial of a tool.

These prospects can be included in your email lead-generation campaign. But you’ll also want to grow your email list to include new prospects. You’ll need to be cautious here: buying leads and data can be dangerous for your reputation and success, so tread carefully.

A good resource for understanding the different methods of building an email lead gen list is our detailed report on database building. It highlights that more companies are taking the time to develop their own lists. Or enlisting the help of the professionals! 

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How to map your audience

Discover your perfect B2B prospecting database and chart the course to your target audience

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Regulation is tightening up, so ensure your finger is on the pulse. Or enlist a friendly (and award-winning!) lead generation company like Sopro.

Improve technical setup

Don’t let your campaign fall flat before it’s off the ground: consult the tech team before you go any further.

You can spend vast amounts of resources on data, targeting, and everything that comes after. However, your email lead generation will fall flat if your technical setup isn’t on point.

There’s a lot to get right here. First, you’ll need to consider the email marketing software that will be perfect for optimising your campaigns. You’ll then need to avoid spam filters and blacklists. Protect your IP and domain reputation, and ensure you send to verified email addresses and more. And all that’s before you get to the content in your personalised emails.

To dig into the details more, read our complete guide to email deliverability.

Automate your email lead generation

If I’d made Wall-E, the whole film would have consisted of a future robot still sending the perfect prospecting emails to a desolate planet. Complete with witty subject lines and killer calls to action.

Thankfully for us all, I don’t work at Pixar.

But unless your business is at the very early stages, sending bespoke messages to three people a day, you need to send fairly large volumes of emails for a successful campaign.

95% of your target audience are not in the market at any one time – they’re tied into a contract, don’t have the budget, or are happy with their supplier. So some form of marketing automation will be required (and it’s more ethical than an army of unpaid interns).

Automation can take many forms. Whether it’s sending emails based on schedules or behaviour triggered email journeys. Part of this email automation will include dynamic data insertion, making emails feel personal.

Automating your lead generation email marketing strategy can also help with lead scoring. Lead scoring allows you to sort through and categorise prospects based on their overall quality – how likely they are to convert into paying customers.

This, in turn, will enable you to further segment your email list.

Divide and conquer! Deliver groups of emails over time to a specific buyer or opportunities with a distinct area of interest. You will forge higher credibility and trust by serving relevant and highly personalised emails to leads. 

Ramp up the personalisation 

Hyper-personalisation is helping companies set themselves apart from the competition. Data from our latest prospecting report reflects this.

A survey of 377 top B2B sales and marketing decision-makers discovered that 57% of companies rate their personalisation as basic or intermediate. It’s time to step up and stand out. 

From personalised subject lines to email content, there are many ways to make the experience more enjoyable for potential buyers. As well as heightening authenticity and trust. Want a full breakdown of how to elevate your email game through personalisation? Head to our in-depth guide.

Make emails mobile-friendly

The mobile revolution is not exclusively a B2C concern. Smart Insights reports that 80% of B2B buyers use a mobile for work.

Therefore, making email lead generation campaigns mobile-friendly is just as important. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Optimising HTML emails: consider your pre-header text, images, videos, attachments, device detection, button design and placement, and more.
  2. Send plain text emails.

Send multiple emails

Generating leads from email campaigns is not as simple as firing off one well-written message and waiting for the big bucks to roll in.

Piquing that interest will generally take more than one email. Three follow-up emails are optimal before the results drop drastically and you just start annoying people.

77% of our responses come from chaser emails. Sometimes, people need time to think or a little nudge to remind them.

Consider what happens beyond email

You must look beyond email to support your email marketing lead-generation efforts.

Combining other channels with email can boost campaign results. We know that multi-channel prospecting is taking the lead amongst many outbound lead generation strategies. And for good reason! 

Our report shows that more and more companies are using more than one channel for their outreach – and it’s being received well. Buyers are now saying they’re happy to be contacted on an average of 2.8 channels, which has increased 22% from the previous year. 

While you need to refine and improve your lead generation through B2B email marketing, it’s important to integrate other channels. From LinkedIn InMails to personalised direct mail, buyers are ready to receive that marketing material.

Use PPC ads to run remarketing campaigns and direct prospects to relevant landing pages. Use the same campaign design and copy on your social media ads. Display ads can be visual reminders of the campaign, keeping you front of mind.

A captivating headline, perfect picture element, clear calls to action, and a well-informed lead magnet make for the perfect landing page. Need a little help with understanding what this valuable content might look like? HubSpot offers a free and easy-to-use landing page builder.

To get a clear picture of those popular channels and the most promising ones, head over to our State of Prospecting Report for 2024.

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Latest report

The State of Prospecting 2024

An in-depth look at the tactics and trends shaping successful B2B prospecting in 2024

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Sending at the right time

Buyer intent is a newer way to improve email lead gen success. From helping you identify potential buyers to elevating your targeting, personalisation and content, it can help improve customer journeys.

As we’ve discussed, lead scoring is an excellent method to help make the most of sales reps’ time. Getting the hang of sales triggers and buyer intent data can go a long way in helping with this.

Not only this, but buyer intent can also help with your marketing efforts. It’s a great tool to identify what content resonates with your target audience the most.

Making the most of buyer intent should be part of your lead generation best practices. 

An adaptive insight, it can be used across multiple channels to improve your email marketing lead generation success. Leverage social media, optimise calling or even add in gifting. 

The right tech can ensure you are on hand to answer any queries at the perfect moment. If a potential client is browsing your website, intent alerts allow you to fire off a message at the right time.

Monitor results          

Marketing, in general, and email marketing, in particular, is nothing without those results.

And we’re not just saying that: we publish the results of all our client campaigns (anonymised, of course).

Closely monitoring results allows you to prove and improve the return on investment. Don’t be afraid to test and learn. Here are some of the metrics you can track:

  • Deliverability rate
  • Open rate
  • Response rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Lead rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of leads
  • Number of leads qualified
  • Number of closed deals
  • Lead to close rate

Import to CRM

Finally, you want to connect your email marketing lead generation with your CRM to get the most from your campaigns. 

  • Your CRM can automatically send alerts when a call is scheduled
  • Import target companies and contacts, allowing you to monitor all communications in one place
  • Import email prospecting campaign activity
  • Create deals in the CRM when a successful campaign event happens
  • Assign deal owners and lead sources
  • Help you conduct lead scoring to improve your sales pipeline

So, those are just some steps to elevate your email lead generation. This is just the beginning, and you should learn more by browsing our site: plenty of tips and best practices can be found.

Sopro has been revolutionising email prospecting since we started in 2015, with the sole aim of helping brands sell more. Contact us today to discover how we can drive more sales-ready conversations to your sales team. All with our award-winning email prospecting service and beyond… did we mention multi-channel prospecting? 👀

Right person. Right message.
Right time. Right place.

Discover how our multi-channel outreach service helps hundreds of businesses sell more.

Multichannel prospecting