What You Need to Know to Make Your Lead-Gen Emails Land

How to Make Your Lead-Gen Emails Land

It’s the age of TikTok. Audiences want to hear your message in the form of 15-second video snippets. Email marketing is something your dad used to use. And email marketing for lead generation — that’s gone the way of fax communication and landlines, no?


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” My grandfather used to say that when faced with technological advances. But the adage still applies to email marketing. Obviously, strategies and tactics have evolved, but the fundamental principles that drove marketers to embrace email around the time I was born are still making it the top-performing marketing channel.

Pressure to generate leads is high right now — spending is down and many brands are looking for ways to drive sales without boosting their budgets. Overlooking email marketing when considering how to generate leads would be a critical error. But slapping together some random copy (or having an AI tool do that for you) and sending it off to your entire contact list isn’t much better. The right email campaign can keep leads flowing without significant effort or cost — but getting it right is the difference between a happy sales team and a waste of time and money.

So let’s talk about how to generate email leads effectively.

How to Generate Sales Leads with Email

“Email best practices? Seriously? This is basic stuff. I’m an experienced marketer.”

I’ve spent a surprising amount of time working with clients convinced email marketing was no longer valuable because their conversion rates had dropped off. And most of those clients have been shocked (and delighted) when a few small tweaks made them rebound. Not convinced there’s something new here? Keep reading then and see if you know as much as you think. 😉

1. Set Realistic Goals

You can’t build a compelling lead-gen email sequence without determining what you hope to achieve.

We all know the goal of your lead-generation emails is to convert prospects into bona fide leads for your sales team. But what does that look like? How will you identify when you’ve generated a lead? Make sure marketing and sales teams are aligned on this. You don’t want to be patting yourself on the back while sales is still grumbling about a lead shortage.

Lead-generation email goals will vary depending on where in the funnel your recipients are but could include:

Clearly define the action you want recipients to take based on your emails, and keep that goal in mind as you craft your campaign. Every aspect of your emails should be working toward your target.

2. Segment, Segment, Segment

A long list of potential clients won’t automatically translate into more leads or increased revenue. In fact, the longer your campaign’s recipient list is, the lower your conversion rate is likely to be. Wait, what?

Your offering isn’t for everyone, as much as you’d like to believe it is. If you try to sell to a broad swath of contacts, odds are high that most won’t convert. Sending emails without segmenting by demographics, behaviours, and buyer journey stage is a recipe for rejection. Aim for small, targeted lists so you can personalize your message as much as possible — and don’t let unsubscribes get you down. People who go to the trouble of unsubscribing from your email list are simply self-identifying as those who were never going to buy from you anyway, allowing you to focus on prospects with real potential.

Did You Know?
Segmented emails drive 30% more opens and 50% more click-throughs than unsegmented ones.

Optimize Email for Mobile

3. Optimize for Mobile

More than half of all emails that get opened are read on mobile devices, and 42% of people will delete an email that’s not optimized for the device they’re receiving it on. Flashy multi-column emails with lots of graphics may seem super-compelling when you build them on your desktop, but they’re killing your conversion rates.

4. Don’t Ignore Your Data

Everyone knows they should be monitoring lead-gen email KPIs. All those clients I mentioned who thought email marketing was dead said so because their data showed conversion rates dropping. And yet, none of them changed anything about their approach.

Monitor email marketing KPIs and make changes based on what your data tells you.

Low delivery rates
Revisit your segmentation strategy or clean up your email list to remove dead addresses or domains.
Poor open rates
Something about your sender address or subject lines isn’t convincing people to click.
Weak conversion rates
Check your body copy and CTA — is your message too long? Is it unclear what the recipient should do after reading?

Every negative stat is an opportunity to improve, and increasing any of these rates boosts your chances of generating leads.

5. Test Everything

Smashing that send button doesn’t mean your work is done. Treat every email you send as a learning experience. You can (and should) A/B test email components to increase your understanding of what resonates with your target audience. Data on delivery, open, and conversion rates can help point out where testing would be most valuable, but you can even start testing before you’ve identified a problem:

And don’t forget to send yourself a test email before launching it into the world (ideally, open it in a few different email clients or on multiple devices). Test emails help ensure your message will look as intended to your recipients.

Did You Know?
Quality assurance, A/B, and spam testing typically increase the ROI of email marketing by as much as 28%.

AB Testing

6. Put Effort into Engagement

The average person receives 121 emails per day. Every day. It takes an exceptional level of effort to engage your email recipients so yours is one they remember. Assuming your subject line was compelling enough to get your message opened, now you need to speak to them so directly that they can’t help but act. How do you do that?

Speak to Them Directly

Greetings that include the recipient’s name are fine and all, but I’ll bet more than half of the messages in your spam folder have your name on them. Personalization in today’s lead-generation emails has to go deeper. Mention their name, title, or the name of their organization in the body text. Refer to actions you know they’ve taken (like reading your blog or attending a webinar) and interactions you’ve had with them (if any).

Offer Real Value

Ensure your message offers real value based on the recipients’ behaviour or stage in the buyer journey. (Sending someone just getting to know your brand a spec sheet isn’t valuable. Neither is sending someone close to conversion a high-level thought leadership piece.) Tailor the content you offer to your audience, and make sure it’s high quality. Never send an email just for the sake of sending one.

Hook Them With Emotion

Make them laugh or make them cry — just make them act. Triggering emotion with subject lines and body text can help boost the likelihood your readers will act on your message. Use language, colours, and imagery to tell a story that invokes feelings of amusement, fear, inclusion, or urgency to create a memorable message that inspires action. Logical arguments in support of your offering are important but don’t forget that 95% of cognition happens beyond our conscious brain in our subconscious, emotional brain.

7. Craft an Actionable CTA

They’ve opened your email, they’ve read your message all the way through — now comes the true test of your email success. Do your lead-gen email recipients take the next step?

Whether or not they do will come down to your call to action. A powerful CTA that imparts a sense of urgency and clearly lets readers know what you want them to do is the cherry on top of your email sundae. But vague messaging around next steps or multiple CTAs can confuse recipients and undo everything you’ve achieved with your subject line and text. Emails with a single CTA can increase clicks by over 371% and sales by approximately 1617%.

Pro Tip!
For best results, your CTA should use language that feels empowering to the reader. “Book a Demo” is a clear, actionable CTA, but it focuses on getting the reader into your sales cycle. “Get Started” conveys the same strong message, but puts them in control of achieving their desired outcomes.

8. Embrace Automation

The ultimate personalization plan would see you manually composing individual messages to every prospect on your list — hardly a scaleable strategy. You don’t have time to give one-on-one attention to your potential leads, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize.

AI copy generation and email automation solutions can help you make recipients think you’re speaking directly to them without requiring you to chain yourself to your desk 24/7.

Text Generation

AI tools that generate email copy can help reduce your workload while still producing highly personalized messages. One caveat: most AI text-generation tools still have significant limitations, so be sure to proofread.

Automated Sends

Most email platforms today let you easily segment lists and send emails based on criteria you set or the actions prospects take, letting you follow up quickly when a potential lead identifies themselves to you.

But isn’t automating lead-generation emails impersonal? Not a chance. These automated tools are helping you increase personalization by letting you reach out with targeted, relevant messages precisely when recipients need them most.

Turbo-Charge Your Email Lead Generation Strategy

Still trying to figure out how to generate more leads? Let the experts at TPM help! We have years of experience helping our clients generate and nurture leads, and we’re always evaluating new strategies and tools to identify the most effective methods.

Check out what one of our clients shared with us recently:

“TPM’s email marketing experts helped us craft nurture campaigns that performed significantly above industry benchmarks, including the two KPIs that we track for success: unsubscribes and view rates. They spent time working to understand our company and its goals, our buyers and motivations, offered clear, helpful guidance on strategy, sequencing and conversion tactics with compelling copy that required almost no editing.

Their knowledge and experience were invaluable to our team. TPM is a trusted resource that I will count on again for future projects.”

Ready to work on upping your lead-gen email game? Contact us today.

Right now, how comfortable are you with the idea of using AI-generated content (with minimal or no human intervention) to promote your business?

How comfortable are you with the idea of using AI-generated content