A great deal has been written about the use of e-mail. What once was a main channel of communication with clients and prospects has now become a challenging, yet still very effective, way to deliver your companies business solutions to clients and prospects.
Setting up a successful e-mail campaign is easy but setting up a successful lead generation e-mail campaign requires you to be strategic, with your process design.
When designing your next campaign, be careful to avoid a design that leads to the following reactions from your prospects:
- Clicking away, overwhelmed – If you send an email with too many graphics, your eye doesn’t know where to rest, and each graphic screams out a different message, offer or discount. Streamline your emails to avoid confusion.
- Not knowing what the point was – Sending an email that is vague and doesn’t add value can leave consumers confused. Be clear and concise with your message and direct it to pain points prospects could be facing.
- Confused on why they are getting an email from you – You may send an email that has your name included, but the person receiving the e-mail may not be sure how they got on that particular list. Be sure to include information on the solutions you can offer for prospects challenges.
- Disregarding the email as not bringing anything of value to them – Sending an e-mail telling people only about why you (or your company) are awesome doesn’t mean anything to consumers. It doesn’t matter whether the recipient is an entry level worker, manager or business owner, everyone is looking to overcome some problem. Create an e-mail with content demonstrating added value for the customer, show them how you can solve a pain point or a problem they face. Offer a solution.
And the list goes on and on. You’ve likely seen every iteration of poor email marketing.
If email is so tricky to get right, you may be wondering why you should bother with it at all. The fact is, email is still one of your most reliable channels for reaching your target audience and generating leads. Experian found that for every dollar you spend on a quality email campaign, you’ll get $44.25 in return. Sounds like it’s worth the trouble to do it right!
To create a high-quality email, develop email strategies that result in lead generation and a healthy return on investment (ROI).
Here are some smart ideas for boosting your lead generation with email marketing:
Make it Short – Send short emails, don’t be afraid to focus directly on the point, people will thank you. Everyone is busy and wants to feel informed after just scanning their email. So, make sure that you say what’s relevant, and offer a direct link to a landing page where people can choose to read in more detail what you are trying to communicate (make sure it is all about them, not you).
Link it to a Landing Page – Consider linking your email marketing to a landing page specifically designed to support the campaign. A custom designed landing page can help to trigger conversions as it only has the information relevant to the specific prospect/client and based on the stage they are in their buying cycle.
If your clients are directed to your website homepage instead, they will face many distractions which will not help move them to the next step in your sales process, or encourage them to consider buying what you are selling.
Work on Your Subject Line – Your subject line is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaign. No matter how great the content of your e-mail is, no one will open it if your subject line does not offer a value or benefit. Be sure to test different subject lines. Also be ready to use different subject lines for different segments of your audience and for people in different stages of their buying cycle. It’s important to know your audience well enough to understand what appeals to them. After all, what’s the use in creating an amazing email if nobody clicks on your message to read it?
Offer Something Special – If you want your email marketing to have a positive effect on your target audience, offer them something special and unique to them. Consumers won’t want to open an email that will give them all the same information that they can find somewhere else.
Create a Drip Campaign -This is one of the most important concepts in email marketing. You should not design a one-time e-mail event; you must nurture a lead toward conversion through strategically timed emails with relevant information. Use a consistent theme and growing elements of urgency as the emails continue. You may want to create a promotion for new customers that has a limited-time element.
Consider creating a newsletter as part of your drip campaign (sent a minimum of four times a year).
Sending an email with tips and articles related to your industry to your email list can be a value add for consumers as long as the newsletter is educational and not salesy.
Creating a newsletter complete with quality valuable content is good for your business in two ways:
- You will be seen as an authority, which will boost the trust that your target audience has in you.
- It will ensure that people remember your brand and portfolio long term.
The Value of Personal Contact With Telemarketing
The days of buying an e-mail marketing list, loading it into your CRM and sending unsolicited e-mails are over. At best you can expect poor results and see no ROI. But worse, with legislation like CAN-SPAM and advances in email filtering, these antiquated tactics can get your ISP blocked and prohibit you from sending emails at all.
Instead, you need to be ready to invest in building an opt-in list and maintaining it as “fresh and clean”. Make sure people on your list are prospects who anticipate the communication because of the high-quality relevant content that they know will be delivered to them.
In business to business environments, using telemarketing to build a marketing database and keeping it fresh and clean is an option every marketer must explore. When designing your next campaign, remember that purchasing decisions are often a “team sport”. If your product is a high-ticket item and your sales cycle is longer, you most likely must communicate your value proposition to a number of people who together evaluate and select their vendor/solution of choice. Do not neglect influencers, make sure to communicate with them just as often and present them with the value proposition they care about most. While the CFO may care most about cost savings opportunities, the CIO and the technical team may care most about the latest and best technology, and the CEO may care most about the ROI. Trying to target a single decision maker will not produce the results you are looking for.
The real question becomes, how do we engage with thousands of individuals who are at very different stages of the buying cycle? Additionally, how do we deliver these individuals relevant content in a timely, yet non-invasive manner? The most efficient way to accomplish this is through utilizing functionality built into marketing automation software. But remember if you load your CRM with garbage, you can expect poor results.
Just as your email isn’t a one-time event, it’s also not occurring in isolation. Following up with call center agents is an effective way to find out more about the contact, ease them toward conversion and address any concerns or questions they may have (in real time). It makes a valuable partner out of a relatively impersonal approach of email, because it focuses on building a relationship through conversation.
Contact center agents can assess in real-time whether the contact received the email and was able to open it, or whether it may have landed in a spam folder. While you wouldn’t want to follow up after every email, it’s a good idea to use telemarketing to help you build quality opt in e-mail list and to touch base with a contact if they sign up for your emails.
For example, if you were a marketing manager at an IT consulting firm you might design marketing efforts targeting different job functions like the technical buyer, the financial buyer and the end user. Additionally, you might design marketing campaigns for topics like data security, scalable infrastructure and system backup.
As the marketer, you’re able to create and schedule these emails in advance, allowing you to more efficiently craft cohesive communication that will be highly valuable to your audience. Then once your marketing campaigns have been developed, you can quickly and easily place people into these correspondence streams either manually or based on user behavior triggers with valuable information from call center agents.
This consistent and highly relevant email communication helps you build credibility and trust with prospects. Additionally, it keeps your brand top-of-mind for when decision makers and influencers are ready to select a solution.
Segment and Personalize
Like an acquaintance that hugs when a handshake is more appropriate, an email that throws in a first name can be a little disconcerting. Instead, try segmenting your email list by a variety of factors, such as age range, job title or company size, and imagine writing an email to an individual person within that segment.
Run promotions with that person in mind and then feature them in a drip campaign. Using buyer personas helps you connect with real people that are receiving your emails.
Utilize a Clear Call to Action
Make sure your contacts know what the point of your email is, and what you would like them to do next. This means you have to have a clear sense of what you’re trying to accomplish with each email in your drip campaign. Are you trying to first invite them to subscribe to your blog or download an eBook? Maybe next you’d like to see them check out a content piece that demonstrates your expertise on a particular topic relevant to their job function. Then you may be directing your email reader to click on your product page, where they’ll see a limited-time promotion being advertised.
Once you’ve established what your goal for each email is, it’s much easier to direct your contacts and “tell them” what they should do next. It will also help you avoid sending an email that either clutters the screen with way too many graphics and too much text or sending one that seems to say nothing at all.
Don’t Forget Mechanics
The content of your email is critical, but there are a couple of housekeeping issues that you should prioritize before you embark on your first drip campaign.
- Mobility: If you’re not optimized for mobile, you’re wasting your time with an email campaign. Consumers open and read 60% of their emails on mobile devices. You probably don’t relish the thought of missing 60% of your target audience.
- Permission: This is the tedious part, but you need permission to send marketing messages to contacts, so create strategies that invite your audience to receive emails from you in exchange for access to a valuable resource (something they value). Make sure whatever form you set up is simple, and that you include an “unsubscribe” button on your emails (it’s the law).
Give Them a Reason to Reply or Better Yet Contact You Directly
When you design an e-mail campaign that is relatable and when you present a persona people want to do business with, you are more likely to have prospects who are ready to engage. There’s one thing still left to do; provide them with an irresistible reason to reply or contact you directly.
You may have impressed or “wowed” a viewer with your effort, but that’s not always enough to warrant a response. Remember that people are busy, and change is intimidating. Even if they’re interested, it’s human nature to procrastinate a decision. This eventually ends with you being lost in the pile. Go the extra mile and provide a reason for viewers to respond.
Email marketing is still one of the most reliable ways to reach your target audience, and with the right strategies, it can provide a healthy ROI in the form of lead generation. To learn more about creating a successful drip campaign and integrating it with personal assistance from telemarketers, contact us at Blue Valley.
We specialize in smart marketing strategies, integrated and stand-alone telemarketing and email campaign management that deliver measurable cost-effective results. Simply put, we will use any and all of our resources to return the highest level of lead generation to you.