How to Craft the Perfect Email for B2B Lead Generation

By Ingrid van der Walt - April 11, 2014

Email marketing is a powerful weapon in your lead generation arsenal. In fact, email marketing has been said to be able to generate a 4300% return on investment if done well.

Did you see that key word? Yup. IF!

Inboxes are overflowing with hundreds of emails vying for attention. For any level of success, marketers have to construct emails that their audience will want to engage with. While there are the factors such as timing and frequency to consider too, let’s have a look at the actual email content and how to optimise that for the best chance of being opened and interacted with. 

The Winning Recipe for a Perfect Lead Generation Email

Craft a Compelling Subject Line

Consider your subject line of your email as the ‘first impression’ of a meeting. You have only a few seconds to deliver a good one. The structure and content of your subject line is what is going to prompt the reader to either click to open or click to send to trash. Make sure it’s the former by:

  • Keeping it snappy – no more than 50 characters
  • Omitting all spammy words
  • Including personalisation where possible – first names and localisation information are powerful triggers for opening

Scan your inbox and look at email subject lines. Note those that appealed to you and those that remain unopened. You’re bound to find the ones you opened had common characteristics as mentioned above. It is equally helpful to glance over your junk or spam folder and note the subject lines there, making sure to avoid a similar fate.

An often overlooked area that helps to increase your click-through-rate is the ‘from’ field. Consider this as an element of your subject line as they are read together. Including your real name and company name helps the reader to instantly recognise you as someone they are in fact looking to hear from and adds a human element.  

Present an Awesome, Relevant Offer

Segment your database and craft an offer relevant to your target audience. Matching your offer to your audience’s needs greatly increases acceptance of the offer.

Present the offer in a concise manner, highlighting the value to the reader. Copy should be kept to a minimum and they should be able to understand what it is you’re offering in just a matter of moments.

  • Bullet points 
  • Work well
  • To highlight
  • Specific value

Including an image that is relevant to your offer can help to support your message. We’ve found that using an image of a printed book with our eBook title helps readers to visualise it as a tangible item and therefore increases our click-through-rate.

Imagery should be used with caution though as many email readers automatically either block or strip images. Ensure that your offer message is not lost should the image not be available. In other words, don’t include the wording of your offer wholly in an image.

Have a Clear Call-To-Action

Keep your reader focused by eliminating multiple calls-to-action that dilutes attention. Having a single, clear CTA within your email will ensure they know precisely what it is they should do next to take up your offer.

Strong action orientated words work best. Depending on the offer at hand, use words like ‘download’, ‘join’, ‘sign up’, ‘book’ or ‘claim’ to move the reader to the next step in the process.

Use Mobile Friendly Design

48% of emails are opened on mobile and if your emails are not optimised for mobile, you are losing valuable opportunities to reach leads.

Using responsive design is the easiest way to ensure that your emails are mobile-proof, as the design will adapt for the screen size the email is being read on.

Bear in mind that mobile users use their fingers to ‘click’ and therefore your CTA should be big enough to cater this and have sufficient space between them so as to not confuse links.

Include Social Sharing Function

As any inbound marketer will tell you - social media and email marketing go hand in hand. Encouraging readers to share out your content to their social networks will extend your reach beyond the email recipients and therefore potentially increase lead generation substantially.

Test, analyse and refine

By testing the various elements and analysing the impact, you are able to continually improve your email marketing results. Determine what works best for your audience and adjust your emails accordingly. And then test, analyse and refine again! And again!

What kind of results do you see from your email marketing efforts? Are there any pointers I missed? Please let me know in the comments.

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