Getting ROI Out of Your Email Lead Generation Campaigns

email lead generation campaign roi

Email lead generation campaigns are a powerful method for connecting with your target market on a large scale through a message that matters to your prospects. They take a lot of the guess work out of cold calling. Automation platforms handle the tedious email grunt work for you. And they help you build a content catalogue of valuable materials to help you through the sales process.

At the same time, lead generation email campaigns do require some elbow grease and some expenditures upfront. Getting marketing campaign ROI often feels like rocket science. If you don’t know how to organize all the important elements of a high-functioning lead generation campaign, then it can be hard to see the positive campaign ROI outcomes you’re anticipating.

Four Elements Your Email Lead Generation Campaign Strategy Must Have

There are four elements you need to include in your email lead generation campaign strategy if you want to see your time and money come back to you. These are all marketing campaign elements that we at KLA Group work directly with our clients to achieve.

  1. Expertly written content
    It’s not enough to share the churn and burn content that can be found anywhere on the internet. Your content has to establish you as a thought leader, someone your prospect can trust. You have to prove through the information you’re sharing that you understand what’s going through your prospect’s mind before you’ve spoken with them.
  2. Personalized emails
    There is a time and place for graphic marketing materials. We love them! We even create them. But lead generation email campaigns that work have to be written to feel natural, like a real life conversation. The goal is to start an actual conversation. You start that process by talking to your prospects through your campaign emails as if you already know them.

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3. Campaign Lead scoring
This is where we see companies really falter. Getting through the content and emails feels like progress, but it’s actually only the beginning of your campaign activities. Campaign lead scoring provides amazing insight into which prospects on your list are engaging with your content.

Typically, with the clients we write and manage lead generation campaigns for, we see about 20% of an overall cold list engage at least once with a campaign.  From there, we see about 40% engaging frequently enough to warrant a follow-up call.  But if you don’t perform lead scoring, you’re just spinning your marketing wheels and failing to provide Sales with warm leads to follow-up with – the entire point of your campaign.

4. Follow-up calling
Here is where we see companies fall apart. Many companies view lead generation email campaigns as a replacement to cold calling. Not true.

Lead generation email campaigns – through prospect engagement and your subsequent lead scoring – provide a focused direction to make your warm calling more successful. You still have to pick up the phone. Prospects don’t fall into your lap until your company’s Recognition ROI is in the upper right Expert Status Recognition quadrant. Calling is required.

As with anything worth doing, you’ve got to do lead generation right if you want it to work.  Put these four elements in place to begin to see the ROI from your email lead generation campaigns.

The Importance of Your Email List

Since I first wrote this article, email lists have become a critical success factor for email campaigns. You can write the most engaging email campaign, but your list alone could torpedo your ROI. Here’s what the data shows.

Open and Click-Through Rates

With a good email list, meaning it’s clean and contacts engage frequently, open rates range from 33–69%. Average click through rates on those same lists range from 4–26%. This is a drop since I wrote this post in 2016, and your list is part of the reason.

Cold lists with bad data no longer engage 20% of the time during a campaign. If your list isn’t clean, is an old or purchased list, or contacts don’t really know your company, open rates drop to 1–5% and click through rates drop to below 1%, even 0%.

This data shows how important it is that you maintain a clean list of contacts who want to receive emails from you. You know they want your emails based on their opens and clicks, and you have that data in your marketing automation system.

Anybody who hasn’t engaged in your content in the past 6 months should be removed from your list.

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Email Robo and Bot Clicks

A word about robo clicks, also known as bot clicks. These are false clicks in email campaigns. Due to the number of phishing incidents, companies now have the ability to click every link in an email before delivering it. This is a new development in email security designed by inbox companies. They use scanners that click every link in an email to detect phishing links. These bot clicks can skew your marketing automation data, making it look like you have a high open and click rate.

Some marketing automation systems like Pardot filter out activity like a security scanner so you can see what your real metrics are.

Even if your email system doesn’t filter bot clicks, with a bit of manual analysis, you can quickly remove them from your ROI analysis. Robo clicks happen within minutes, even seconds, of launching your email campaign. What to watch for and filter out:

  • If every email to the same company is opened at about the same time, consider it a bot click.
  • If emails are opened within a few minutes of sending the email, assume they are robo clicks.

Yes, you may have some avid followers who open your emails quickly, but not as quickly as your prospects’ inbox scanner opened it.

Should You Stop Using Email Campaigns?

Now it sounds like getting ROI on your email lead generation campaigns is hard. Well, it is hard. It’s why you hire a marketing company like us to write campaigns, manage your email list, and run your marketing automation. You might be thinking, I should stop doing email campaigns and just run Google Ads or beef up our SEO. (I’d tell you that you should be doing email campaigns and SEO and pay per click.)

Before you pause or stop, consider these email campaign facts.

  1. Email is still the fastest way to get your message out to your prospect and client community. Yes, you can use social media, but are they watching their LinkedIn or does that executive have someone else monitoring their social media on their behalf? We manage social media for many of our client business owners and executives, and they aren’t checking their social media.
  2. Email keeps your name in front of prospects – even from their clutter folder. Prospects and clients scan their clutter and junk folders more frequently now because their inbox security systems push important things to them. When they’re hunting down another email, they’ll see your emails. Even if they don’t open your emails, your name is there, reminding them you’re there when they need you. Consider it an email billboard.
  3. Emailing keeps your list clean of bounces. Your marketing automation flags and removes bounced emails. Sending regular emails removes bounces at a consistent rate. This means when you are calling, you’ll see who has bounced and determine how you want to handle that contact.
  4. Email is the easiest way to respond to you. When a prospect has a need, not only do they remember because they saw your name in their inbox, they can easily hit reply and reach you. No Contact Us form required. No Google search and landing on your competitor’s website. Reply, and they’ve contacted you directly.
  5. Over time, your email list will warm up and results will improve. It will take time, maybe a year. Maybe longer, depending on how frequently you email. As you email consistently, writing engaging emails with good content your list cares about, you’ll build recognition with your prospects. They’ll begin to open your emails and click through.

Don’t give up on your email lead generation campaigns. Incorporate them into your marketing strategy and have realistic expectations. If you’re dissatisfied with the ROI from your email lead generation campaigns, we can help. Shoot me an email at or call us at 303-741-6636, and let’s discuss your situation.

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