Email Marketing: 5 Tactics to Generate and Nurture More Leads

So, you’ve set up an email sign-up landing page. Time to pat yourself on the back and let the leads come in, right?

Nope! You’re just getting started.

You might think lead generation stops at email signup. But you’ve gotta think about nurturing those leads early on: Guiding them to the conversion you want—like a purchase or subscription.

Clear and useful emails will not only help you bring leads through the pipeline but also prime them to become customers. It’s time to learn about lead generation in email marketing and five ways you can improve it.

What Does Lead Generation Look Like in Email Marketing?

Lead generation in email marketing focuses on nurturing the leads you capture in your email list.

Email’s a great place to practice lead nurturing. While general email blasts have an average 3% click-through rate (CTR), lead nurturing emails have an average 8% CTR.

Why? A well-crafted lead nurturing email is hyper-relevant to the reader’s stage in the buying process. It’s harder to make a general email blast feel as personalized since it goes out to everyone on your list.

5 Ways to Improve Your Email Lead Generation

Follow these five tips to captivate your leads with your emails:

1. Tailor your lead gen emails

Your subscribers sign up for your emails for different reasons. So, you’ve got to segment your audience into groups based on their interests and behavior to send emails that matter to them.

This process—segmentation—is one of the most killer strategies for email marketing. It can improve your campaign revenue by as much as 760%.

Email marketing uses the same types of audience segmentation as landing page marketing, including:

Let’s see what that last type of segmentation—behavioral segmentation—looks like in action.

HubSpot used their automatic unsubscriptions process as a form of behavioral segmentation to create a resubscription campaign:

Image courtesy of HubSpot

HubSpot gives those readers that fell off in their email engagement the chance to get back into the lead pipeline. Qualified leads will decide to re-subscribe, while leads with a low chance of converting will get out of the picture.

2. Provide quality resources

Email lead generation is all about taking your customers through the conversion funnel. As they go through the funnel, your subscribers start with basic knowledge about your business and end with a purchase. During the earlier, more awareness-focused stages of the funnel, you’ll wanna use an informative approach over a salesy one.

As you inform and build trust with your top-of-funnel (TOFU) customers, you’ve got to provide resources they can’t find anywhere else. Research what resources your competitors are sharing through email, and brainstorm:

  • Unique content: What topics haven’t your competitors covered that your customers could benefit from?
  • One-of-a-kind angles: If you work in an industry that often covers the same topics, what angle could you put on those topics to give a new perspective?
  • New formats: Could you offer information in a brand-new format, such as a podcast, video, or webinar?

BrightWave, an email and CRM agency, shared a webinar on a topic marketers don’t talk about often: dark mode.

Image courtesy of BrightWave

With the pandemic changing the ways people shop and work (“this period of disruption”), they saw an opportunity to teach customers about this developing topic.

3. Don’t distract from your main ask

Each of your lead generation emails should have a main call to action, whether it’s to read a blog post or buy a product. When you keep your emails focused, it’ll become easier to track your emails’ effectiveness and direct readers to the action you want them to take.

After you decide on your primary ask, your email content should lead the reader to it by:

  • Putting your call to action front and center: Put your email’s main ask in the first section. Follow the rules of visual hierarchy to make your call to action link or button stand out through color or size.
  • Keeping other asks to a minimum: Plenty of emails link out to multiple pages—try to limit these extra links when you can. They’ll distract from your primary call to action.

Look how this Wealthsimple email makes its call to action clear:

Image courtesy of Wealthsimple

This is all of the main email content—two quick paragraphs, a colorful call to action, and two benefits. While this email could convert a subscriber to a customer, the info contained can also build authority for leads who still need nurturing.

Editor’s note: Minimizing distractions from your call to action is also a great way to improve your email conversion rate.

4. Reduce form friction

If you decide to use a form in your email, make it as simple as possible for subscribers to fill out. Stick to three to four fields at most and test your form on multiple email clients to reduce friction.

In a meta example, this Litmus email about forms in email keeps it simple:

Image courtesy of Litmus

This email form has four fields, and three of them are drop-downs. So, the person filling out the form only needs to type their email and make a few clicks. Submission’s a snap!

5. Write for skimmers

Your subscribers have a lot of email to read through every day. Make your copy easy to skim for folks who want to get to the point.

Follow these tips to make your email more skimmable:

  • Keep your paragraphs short: Email paragraphs should have three sentences at most—anything longer starts to look like a wall of text.
  • Preview your emails on mobile: Your copy will look denser on mobile than on the web. Give it a quick look in mobile mode to see if you need more line breaks.
  • Share the most important info first: Use an inverted pyramid model that puts your most critical points and call to action first.

You could also follow Casper’s lead and use a list format:

Image courtesy of Casper

Casper highlighted a few facts from an article in a list format that keeps each item to a sentence. Skimmers get to see the most important tidbits from the article and decide for themselves if they want to click through to learn more.

Bring More Leads Into Your Email Pipeline with Optimized Landing Pages

Before you can generate and nurture leads with your emails, you’ll need people to join your list in the first place. Your landing page will need to follow the best practices for earning email signups to build a healthy lead email pipeline. Structure your landing page with:

  • A layout that frames your call to action
  • Copy that clearly explains what to expect from your emails
  • A benefit-focused call to action
  • An incentive like a lead magnet

And once you bring more leads into your inbox, you’ll have to wow them with a great post-click experience. Discover how Unbounce can help you build email marketing landing pages that turn clicks into conversions.

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About Josh Gallant
Josh is the SEO Lead at Foundation Marketing where he oversees the creation and execution of search-driven content strategies for B2B brands. He's a self-proclaimed spreadsheet nerd who loves all things SEO, content marketing, and fantasy football (with multiple data-driven titles to his name).
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