How to cultivate leads by using e-mail sequencing

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As e-mail marketers, we know that benchmarking, analyzing and refining campaigns help us achieve better overall results. We also know that a campaign with an audience of 100,000 and 2,000 total clicks (2% click-through rate) is less desirable than one with an audience of 10,000 and 1,800 total clicks (18% rate), although this campaign has a lower number of clicks.

What about the marketing function acting as a lead generation engine, providing a stream of leads to fill the sales queue? Often, sheer volume is the only key performance indicator for these marketing leads. Why the lack of metrics and actionable insight?

Why the quantity-over-quality approach? Because uncovering similar key performance indicators for leads needs legwork, requiring sales teams to accurately input standardized qualitative data, tracking down leads posthumously through back-end database querying. The good news: We can improve this process without hours of tracking and analysis by using a lead cultivation e-mail sequence.

A series of two or more e-mails, a lead cultivation sequence creates awareness by a lead of your firm or product. It begins with a general communication providing generic information about your company and it should end with a specific message with a call-to-action and/or simultaneous contact from the sales force.

Here are a few basic lead cultivation e-mail sequences:

Informational/Need-specific/Product-specific

Informational/Need-specific/Company-specific/Product-specific

Informational/Industry-specific/Company-specific

These types of sequences can move a lead from lukewarm to hot, or at the very least, disseminate relevant information. Next, consider your audience. What leads are appropriate for them? Ask your sales force to answer the following questions:

Which of your channels results in the best-informed leads?

Which of your channels results in leads who ask the most “obvious” questions?

Which of your channels results in leads who have never heard of your company or brand reputation?

Which of your channels results in leads who have no knowledge about the benefits of your product?

Your best-informed leads should be passed directly to sales, but every other category remains a strong candidate for lead cultivation. Design your campaigns to be two to four iterative steps towards achieving an understanding about your products or your company and set processes to automatically cultivate qualifying leads. You will enjoy a significant lift in lead quality without the commitment of intensive analytics or cumbersome tracking.


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