There is a distinct difference between prospecting emails and lead generation email campaigns. While delete barrier rules like subject lines and length are very similar, their purposes are quite different.
In prospecting, your goal is to secure a first appointment with a prospect right now. In lead generation your objective is to use integrated campaigns to create awareness and uncover qualified leads from a targeted group of prospects over time.
Ultimately both approaches uncover leads, and I’ve told you how you want a combination of both strategies to get more customers. But I’ve never shared with you how to tweak your emails for lead generation purposes.
Pardon the oversight on my part. I just discovered the gap as we were categorizing articles for our soon-to-launch blog. So let me give you some tips.
1. Send useful information
Where prospecting emails offer a meeting, lead generation campaigns offer a link. Even if it’s not a “warm” prospect who already knows of you, the people in your target market will appreciate receiving links to useful and informative information. Build your email campaign around an article, ebook or study focused on a trigger event or business issue happening in that micro-segment.
2. Provide an educational offer
Successful and growing companies are always looking for ways to help them retain their competitive position and grow. As you choose which useful information to offer, make it educational, helping your prospects to think about that trigger event or business issue differently. You might include a video of 5 key things to be aware of if they’re struggling with that issue, or a case study about how another company addressed a similar trigger event.
3. Move them through the “buying cycle”
Your educational offers expand the perspectives of your micro-segment’s contacts, educating them as they continue to read or view what you’ve sent. I call this moving prospects through their buying cycle, which is exactly your objective with a lead generation campaign. As prospects engage with your offers, you make them aware of a potential business issue, and then get them to consider how they might address it.
Because you’re the one who is sending the valuable information, educating them at a pace they’re comfortable with, you’re the one they view as the expert.
I love it when clients share that their prospects are becoming disciples of their content. People from their micro-segment are sifting through their blog to learn more and attending webinars they’re hosting. These prospects are steadily moving through their buying cycle with the help of a lead generation campaign.
In prospecting, this is the strategy that’s used early in the sales process to generate a prospect’s interest in working with the sales rep. As you know it can be a long, slow process. It’s one of the primary reasons many sales cycles take as long as they do. Sales reps are doing the education.
With email lead generation campaigns, you’re using the campaign to do the educating and allowing your reps to focus their valuable time on closing sales.
4. Keep it simple
The key to successful lead generation campaigns is to keep them simple. Focus on one trigger event or one business issue. Don’t try to discuss every possible issue you know your contacts in your micro-segment could have. Choose one, and begin with it.
Here’s where the email prospecting rules apply. Your email has to look easy to handle. With only one trigger event, prospects can read the email and determine if they want to take action.
Not every contact will have the issue you choose. That’s okay, because others will. Over time you can begin to educate on a different business issue that will appeal to different contacts.
5. Include just one link
Just as you’ll focus on only one trigger event, include only one link. Don’t be sucked in by the temptation to include a link to a video, an article and an event about that business issue. You can’t speed a prospect through their buying process this way. It only makes it confusing and drags out the buying cycle.
That’s why you’re executing your email lead generation campaign over time.
Slowly draw contacts into following your lead generation emails with good content dripped out over time. As they take time to read your emails and realize they do need to address that business issue, they’ll respond, sending you some high-quality prospects ready for Sales to follow up and close.
If you need to create your lead generation strategy and want help, join us in our 4-part web-based “Developing an Executable
Lead Generation Strategy” Master Series. You’ll create a 6-month plan with expert guidance.