Despite many new marketing tactics, strategies and technologies, email marketing has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective and practical technique to generate quality leads to-date. It remains as a solid marketing tactic for lead generation campaigns.
A study done by Experian shows that $1 invested in email marketing initiatives yields roughly $44.25 return for marketers.
In this blog post, we’re sharing our decade long experience on how we have successfully used outbound email marketing to generate high-quality leads. You can use these exact tips to fill quality leads in your sales funnel. Let’s begin!
INBOUND vs OUTBOUND
Before we can get started, let’s discuss the difference between inbound and outbound email marketing.
Inbound email marketing relies on prospects finding you and subscribing to your email lists. Once subscribed, you are allowed to engage with your prospects and send them relevant content. Some common types of emails sent via inbound email marketing campaigns are newsletters, product updates, courses, and etc.
The biggest challenge and problem with inbound email marketing is that it’s limited to your subscriber list. Most companies don’t have a large opt-in list and therefore struggle with generating leads with email marketing. If you want to drastically expand your outreach to generate leads, you may want to consider outbound email marketing.
Outbound email marketing involves active engagement with any contact lists. You can send emails to non-subscribed contacts directly through emails. Unlike inbound email marketing, this method allows you to engage nearly millions of prospects. If you’re looking to accelerate your lead generation efforts, you should consider using outbound email marketing with MailCickConvert.
Some common types of email messages for outbound email marketing include:
And since we are going to be talking about outbound email marketing in this blog post, the first thing to keep in mind if you want a successful outbound email marketing campaign is to handle purchased lists with extreme care. The way you manage your list will greatly affect the success of your lead generation campaigns.
Purchased or not?
It’s important to note that your contact list is one of the most crucial element to your email campaigns. So how can you go about acquiring a list? Well, there are several options and strategies out there but it all boils down to these three:
OPTION 1: Scraping emails of your prospects.
Most marketers usually do this is by utilising social media platforms like LinkedIn (research a specific company or industry and gather their targets info), or manually calling each company to get your targeted personas email.
Pros: Most data that is gathered is
accurate and updated.
Cons: Since this involves a lot of
manual research, it will take huge
amounts of time to build, update and maintain.
OPTION 2: Outsource
Some marketers outsource the email collection task to freelancers who do the web scraping for you. There are several personal assistant services that specialize in this very task. You can find them on websites like Upwork and Fiverr.
Pros: Cost-effective and will also save time.
Cons: The problem with this option is you have no real guarantee of the quality of contacts you get and you will still need to spend some time to double-check the accuracy of data collected which becomes a little counter-productive.
OPTION 3: List a Purchase
Whether your new to email marketing or an experienced professional, purchasing a list from a reputable data provider is fastest and most convenient way to acquire a cold contact list. However, you must be careful on the quality of the list. A bad list can be the sole reason for an unsuccessful email marketing campaign. If you need help with acquiring a list, you can contact us for pricing.
Pros: Most efficient and effective way to acquire a large list. You also get additional information for each contact such as company name, title, location, employee size and more.
Cons: Most costly option out of the three. There is a-lot of bad lists out there so you have to be careful on who you purchase it from. Make sure the vendor is reputable and try not to go for the “cheapest” vendor.
“MailClickConvert strips out duplicates, spam traps, complainers, hard bounces and more. This process allows your IP’s to remain clean and prevents you from becoming blacklisted.”
WHAT IS SPAM?
and how do you avoid being MARKED as spam?
Well, a simple definition of Spam would be irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the internet, typically to large number of users.
The most common form of spam is email spam which we will be covering further, but the term also applies to any message sent electronically that is unsolicited and bulk. This includes: instant message spam, search engine spam, blog spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, wiki spam, classified spam, Internet forum spam, social media spam, junk fax spam and so on.
First, you have to understand how Spam Filters work. A Spam Filter works by giving your emails a score according to specific pre-set rules that help identify spam practices.
If your email is marked by spam by a recipient, this will greatly affect your sender reputation causing a domino effect that will impact all of the emails you send whether it is bulk or individual. This means that all emails you send out will automatically go directly to the spam folder.
So how do you avoid getting marked as Spam? Good question! Let’s discuss a few tips on how to keep your emails from getting flagged, ensuring your emails are going directly to your recipients inbox.
1. Avoid spammy language
Spam filters analyze the language of your email subject lines and other content to determine whether your emails are spam. Avoid using ALL CAPS, and take it easy with the exclamation points, dollar signs $$$, and words like “free” and even “sale”.
Top reasons for being marked as SPAM
– Hiding the unsubscribe link
– Misleading subject lines
– Not mobile friendly
– No longer interested
2. Provide an easy way to unsubscribe
It is counterintuitive, but if you hide the unsubscribe option, your contacts are more likely to hit the spam button. To them, this has the same effect as unsubscribing, but it’s much worse for you. You don’t need to make the unsubscribe button the most obvious feature in the email, but it should be easy to find if someone is looking for it.
3. Segment your contacts
There are several different ways you can and should segment your email list to avoid getting marked as spam. Start by creating a list of unengaged contacts who aren’t really opening and clicking on your emails. By separating the engaged from the unresponsive contacts, you’re able to get higher deliverability rates for your campaigns which will lead to higher conversion rates.
Do’s and Dont’s
Email Hygiene Check
Now that you have your list ready, your next step is to verify the quality of contacts you have by scrubbing it. A good emailing software like MailClickConvert should allow you to run your cold contact list through a variety of health and anti-spam risk checks on import. This process allows your IP’s to remain clean and prevents you from becoming blacklisted.
Without scrubbing your email list first, you run the risk of damaging your sender score that can negatively affect your email deliverability. Outbound email marketing depends on a verified email database, free of spam traps and inconsistencies.
Don’t “Bulk and Blast”
One very common mistake a lot of marketers do during their first email marketing campaigns is “bulk and blast”. Create a generic message to their entire list and fire away. This will simply not work and never has. Before you begin your campaign, segment your email list based on audience type and create a direct one-to-one personalized message that connects to your target customer and their specific pain points, because content that’s tailored towards a specific B2B buyer persona has a better chance of getting noticed in the inbox.
Remember, these are people who have never heard of you and due to the “cold-call” nature of outbound marketing, only messages that provide immediate value have a chance of getting opened.
THE SUBJECT LINE IS KEY!
Another pitfall that a lot of marketers encounter when running email marketing campaigns is creating catchy subject lines. As the saying goes, first impressions last and in email marketing, this holds a lot of weight.
A carefully crafted subject line is your first impression and without a compelling subject line, your email will most likely get lost in the crowded inbox of your prospect.
Let’s discuss the 5 different approaches in creating an effective subject line:
1. The question
Using a question in your subject line is a great way to make a more personal connection with the people viewing your emails. Examples:
1. Do you really have the perfect gift for your [wife/husband]?
2. How safe is your cloud storage?
3. What is the best way to send bulk emails?
Instead of telling people what you have or how you’re able to help them, ask a question that gets their attention and entices them to learn more. Try to keep your questions open-ended so your reader can’t answer them with a “yes” or “no”.
2. The command
Questions aren’t the only way to catch your reader’s’ attention. Sometimes it pays off to be more direct with your audience, and who couldn’t use a little more clarity these days? Examples:
1. Stop wasting time and money.
2. Reserve your spot for [name of your event].
3. Subscribe to our weekly email.
While you don’t want to be pushy or overly promotional in your subject line, you shouldn’t be afraid to be direct either. Your customers will appreciate it. Additionally, try starting your line with an action verb to encourage a response.
3. The teaser
Believe it or not, people love cliff hangers. And if crafted correctly, the teaser tactic will work really well. Examples:
1. 3 gift ideas for your [brother/sister/uncle/cousin] that you didn’t think of.
2. Learn how to [do something] this summer.
3. Stress-free holiday shopping is possible at [your business].
Think about your target audience. Who are they? What are they interested in? What are the challenges they are facing? Use this information to craft a subject line that teases their interests and gets them to want to read on.
4. The list
Lists make it easier for people to consume the information you’re sending out. They also give you the chance to demonstrate your points in a more compelling way. Examples:
1. 7 must-have metrics for your sales
2. 5 reasons to attend [name of your event].
3. 10 strategies to make your small company look big.
Lists provide content in a snappy, digestible way and create curiosity. Additionally, incorporating numbers into your subject line creates focus, as our brains are naturally drawn to digits. Also, don’t mistake using a list in the subject line as an indication that you need to pack your emails with too much content. Instead, look for opportunities to link out to your website or other online assets from your email.
5. The announcement
Subject lines don’t have to be complicated, especially if the goal of your email is to simply announce something new. Examples:
1. We’re open late! New hours this summer.
2. Come celebrate [shopping day] at [your business].
3. Today ONLY! Save 25% on everything.
Save announcements for when you really have something important to tell people about. Not every subject line is going to offer breaking news.
Avoid making a statement in the subject line that achieves a higher open rate, but does not align with email body content (click bait). This will confuse and even anger the reader as they may feel as if they have been misled. Create subject lines that clearly address your prospects business problems, personalize, and make subject lines actionable.
Experts at MailClickConvert usually create several different subject lines for a campaign and run-it by a team to test out and get feedback. Take your time, quality is what you want. DON’T RUSH IT!
DESIGNING YOUR EMAIL
What’s the secret?
Your prospects are most likely bombarded with tons of emails everyday so if they open your email, you only have a couple of seconds of their attention and a tiny window to convert them.
1. Keep your email concise and engaging. Provide value to your prospects with premium content such as case studies, white papers or testimonials. Anything that you think your prospects can and will connect with.
2. Use images that reinforce your copy. No one will want to read a 400 word email no matter how important or valuable your message is.
3. You want your prospects to not only convert but possibly share your content. The best way to facilitate this is by incorporating social media sharing links into your emails.
4. One of the most important parts of your email should be CTA’s (call-to-action). To effectively move your prospects further into the sales funnel you need educate them on your product or service and the way to educate them is to have them consume more of your content (eBooks, webinars, case studies, slideshares or videos). In your email you need to effectively advertise your CTA. Use action words like: Attend, Download, Register, Read, and Try Now. Give them a next step to take after reading your email, like registering for an upcoming webinar or newsletter.
While not the most attractive of marketing tactics, outbound email marketing is still one of the most effective strategies in moving leads efficiently through the sales funnel. Implement these tactics and you will see your lead engagement take off!
Lets recap what we have just discussed: