Dos and Don’ts – Email Marketing as Lead Generation Tool

MHDG Staff Email Marketing

Email Marketing is an absolutely fantastic way to nurture existing prospects and leads in your marketing or sales funnel, communicate and retain customers of your subscription service, or cross sell previous shoppers to your e-commerce store.

Email Marketing alone is absolutely not a fantastic way to generate brand new leads for your business. In fact, most of the time we don’t recommend cold email at all, as more often than not, it hurts more than it helps unless you really know what you’re doing.

The appeal of cold email prospecting is quite clear. It’s often much cheaper than running paid advertising campaigns, and it’s far easier from a time and resource standpoint to create email content than it is to create an ad, create a landing page and form to capture email addresses, and move prospects through a more robust funnel.

The problem is, because of the low barrier to attempt it, it is treated more as a cash grab opportunity, and there are a ton of shortcuts taken to make a quick buck. If you do think email is an appropriate prospecting channel (notice the difference here between the terminology in prospecting and lead generation), make sure you’re not doing any of the following.

The Don’ts

  • First, temper your expectations. Don’t expect the engagement of any cold email to be anywhere close to the email engagement you get from your opt-in subscribers or contacts who are previous customers. No matter how good your email content is or how clean the marketing lists you’ve acquired are, cold email is still cold email. Think about the amount of emails you’re opted into and don’t open as it is, then consider the cold email you get and how often you engage with it.
  • Don’t assume any list or database you acquire is as targeted as you would expect. More often than not, you’ll find many bounced email addresses on these lists, or worse spamtraps.
  • If you happen to acquire a large list, don’t email them all at once. Take a subset of those contacts and run a test to get a feel for the performance of this cold email campaign.
  • Don’t continue to email prospects who have not opened or clicked a call to action in your email. This is an easy way to get your emails reported as spam and hurt your deliverability.
  • Don’t make your email overly long or complex.
  • Don’t try to close a deal and make the hard pitch. You’re doing email prospecting, not lead generation. You’re unlikely to close a deal with a cold email. Use this as an opportunity to warm them up by offering other relevant content.

The Dos

  • Put considerable effort and resources towards towards vetting any acquired prospects before sending email.
  • Seriously, put real effort in. If you’re doing cold email prospecting, evaluate where the acquired lists are coming from. No matter how good your content is, if your audience is not high quality, you’re wasting your time and resources doing cold email.
  • Consider running any acquried email list through a tool like Neverbounce. While not guaranteed to clear all bounced addresses, it’s a simple way to do a bit of least cleaning ahead of sending cold email.
  • Personalize your content as much as possible, not just a merge field for the prospect’s name, but tailor your value proposition to their business and their needs. The better you target your message to the recipient, the better chance you have of getting engaged with.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your receipients by asking yourself how you’d respond to your own email. Do they resemble an email you’ve engaged with?
  • Use the right tools to send email, 99% of the time, a traditional ESP or Marketing Automation tool is not the platform to send outbound email from.

Need some help getting your email prospecting set up or managing a process to ensure you aren’t going to hurt your deliverability?

Let’s chat.