Email marketing experts love to say email doesn't work for customer acquisition but rocks for customer retention. That can be true when you think about a promotional email going out to a list of people who've never heard of the emailing company asking them to become a customer. As inundated as people are with email and wary as consumers are of email messages from unknown marketers, it's not surprising that few consider email a customer acquisition tool.
But, it can be, if you do it right. Email marketing can be an amazing tool for lead generation, which is the first step in customer acquisition (and leads to customer retention).
The key ingredient is an offer that matters, a useful, relevant, helpful, appreciated something, whether it's a whitepaper, ebook or tip sheet.
After you've determined your offer, the following is our recommended approach when using email for B2B lead generation. This requires a little more sophistication because it segments based on behavior, but the investment is well worth it:
- Start with a relevant offer that resonates with your target audience (high perceived value)
- Build a clear, effective landing page, and make sure you optimize it
- Craft several emails:
- Initial email with the offer
- Follow up email sent to those who do not click through and download your offer
- Thank you email that links back to your site and asks for feedback from those who do click through and download
Keep in mind that this is - you hope - the beginning of a relationship, so you want to earn their trust. This takes us back to the initial offer once again. If you promise more than you deliver, you'll lose their trust before you have earned it. You want them to appreciate the product you have given them, to value it, and to value you for making it available to them, which makes them receptive to hearing from you again!
Then, you can use email to convert them from prospect to customer, one interaction at a time, and finally, for customer retention.
It all starts with the offer. Make sure it's relevant, with a perceived high value.
Source: The ClickMail Marketer