Whatever you are doing in business, it is useful to remember the final goal. Looking up profiles of prospects on LinkedIn, creating audiences on Facebook, designing a new website and setting up email autoresponders may involve a lot of work that is technical in nature. At the same time, your goals most likely have to do something with people clicking on your ads, opting into your funnels, responding to your emails and, ultimately, buying something from you and becoming a client. This means that you need not only to think about the technical issues and design but also about selling. The best way to do this is to look at the most effective ways and methods to sell and then replicate these ways and methods in your emails, on your website, and in your ads.
Selling face-to-face is the most effective way of selling because you can address all the concerns of your prospect, explain the value of what you are selling, connect to your prospect on the emotional level and showcase the features and benefits of your product or service in a way that resonates with the prospect. When acquiring leads and selling by email, you would like to accomplish all these things, too, because that’s what you need to achieve for a sale to happen.
Challenges of Email Lead Generation
Most people today get way too many emails. This means that your email messages will be competing with someone else’s emails for the attention of your prospect or customer.
Also, people also often check their emails while doing something else and multitasking. Because of this, your messages really need to stand out to get attention. Finally, when sending an email, you may not know exactly where the recipient of your email is in the buying cycle.
When you are selling in person, you can ask a few questions and quickly find out if the prospect intends to buy now or if he or she is simply learning more about opportunities and getting an education on the subject with no real desire or need to buy at the moment.
With email, you can’t always ask questions directly, but you can and should collect a lot of information about your prospects, and then use this information to sell and generate more leads effectively.
Getting Started With Effective Email Lead Generation: Create a Customer Profile
For people to respond to your lead generation emails, they need to be interested in what you have to offer. You need to know their level of interest and be able to identify where they are in the buying cycle, which is why before you start generating leads with email you need to create a profile of your prospects or customers.
At the bare minimum, you need to know gender, age, level of education, occupation and average income or your prospects. You also need to know if there are seasonality issues or budget constraints when it comes to buying your product or service.
For example, if you are selling an educational product to a school, you know that the buying cycle may be really long. The school may not have the funds in the budget to buy your product right now. It is possible that the school will first need to decide that your product is right for them and that they should buy it and then they will need to allocate funds for it in the next year’s budget. Only then can a sale occur.
When you have a clear picture about your prospects and the buying cycle, you can make intelligent decisions about email lead generation and communications with your prospects and clients.
In the example with the school, while you can still generate new leads, you will probably not be able to close sales quickly, no matter how many emails you write or how good they are. Your priority will be to establish and build a long-term relationship so that a purchase could occur at some point in the future.
Your emails should be very different if you are selling low-price impulse-buy items directly to consumers. However, what stays the same no matter what you are selling, be it a B2B service or a B2C product, is the fact that you need to know who your customers are, how they make decisions and how they behave.
Get the Information You Need to Be Effective
The good news about the Internet and email is that you can collect a lot of information about your customers or prospects. Initially, you may not have all the information about your customers or competitors that you need to generate leads and sell to them effectively. But, in most cases, you can get this information fairly easily. For example, you may offer a free video on your website and when prospects opt-in for the free video, you can ask them their name and offer a short survey that will identify their biggest problems.
When somebody watches your video, you can use software to see for how long your prospects watched it. When prospects come to your website, there is software that will show you what pages they visited and where they are coming from. Having this information, you can craft very effective emails.
If you are using email to generate cold leads, you can still collect a lot of information about them by looking them up on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites. You can also buy mailing lists of people that correspond to certain criteria.
Often, you will have several types of prospects coming to your website or starting interactions with your business. In this case, think about the criteria that make these prospects different from one another and a way for you to get this information. Sometimes you can simply ask for it in your emails, for example, “have you decided what model of the product you want?” Other times, you can allow your prospects to segment themselves. If prospects are coming to your website, you can ask them “what do you need help with?” and then let them choose one out of several answers. Then, craft your emails based on these answers.
Use the Information You Have, Including Names, Locations, Times and Demographic Data
In addition to identifying interests and needs, you may have other opportunities to increase the conversions of your emails. Incorporating the names of your prospects and clients by using email sending software tags such as %Name% almost always boosts readership and response.
It is also possible that your prospects and customers read the emails at certain times in the day. Common times to test are on the way to work (early in the morning), before and during lunch (late morning), right after lunch and in the second half of the day, right after work and late at night. There may also be location commonalities to when your customers think about you such as people wanting a protein shake right after a workout at a gym.
The best way to find these opportunities is to look at a typical day of your customer or prospect. When do they wake up in the morning? How and when do they get to work? At work, when do they usually check email? Are they busy in the morning and have time around lunch and in the afternoon or is it the other way around? What do they do on their way home from work and late at night? Are there places and businesses they visit, including gyms, coffee shops, clothing stores and so on?
Create Automated Follow-Up Based on User Behavior
Once you identify typical problems, wants, needs and patterns in the behavior of your prospects and customers, create funnels based on this information. For every segment of the market that you deal with, there is the best way to convert prospects into customers, to sell various products, and to get them to respond to your messages. Your goal is to find this best way and then make it a part of your automated follow-up system. The main benefit of a system is that it works on auto-pilot day and night. Once you set it up, it will work on its own. All you’ll have to do is get more leads into the system, which is also something you can turn into an automated process.
Make the Interactions Personal
To make your conversions even higher, you can take personalization far beyond using just the names of your customers in your emails by creating personalized landing pages and offers.
Not only can your pages and emails look in a similar way, but they can also have the same call to action, same personalized offers, same countdown times and deadlines, and mention the same personal reasons to respond.
As you can see from the above examples and explanations, reasons to personalize your emails are very simple and logical. They explain why personalization works and why it should be a part of your marketing and selling strategy. Study your prospects and customers. Gather the data you need to be effective and use it to achieve high conversions by generating email leads.