Why Great Creative is Essential to Email Lead Generation

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Daryl Colwell, MediaWhiz
Daryl Colwell, MediaWhiz

Every good marketer knows that to generate leads he or she needs a robust database. And a good call-to-action. And a means of reaching the potential customers in that database in a timely and efficient manner.

While those ingredients alone won't necessarily improve your lead generation campaigns, they will set the stage for the one tool that is a must-have in any online marketer's arsenal: email.

But how do you ensure your emails stand out from the crowd? In an age when consumers and business prospects receive hundreds of emails a day—some great, some OK, and many just plain awful—the standard prospecting email won't cut it anymore.

What you need is great email creative. It's what helps turn an immediate delete into a potential prospect.

When developing your email creative keep in mind that not all lists are created equal or worth the same.

Say, for example, you are a credit card issuer that's looking to acquire new customers. You want to make sure you reach out to different audiences with different messages and cards. If you are mailing to a group on a fantasy football list, you want to message those consumers with an opportunity to get a card with their favorite team's logo on it. You could also message a sweepstakes to win a trip to the Super Bowl or detail how they can earn enough miles to fly to one of their team's pivotal road games.

If you are reaching out to a list of future brides, you might want to focus on cash back on house-wares, or earning miles or points to redeem for that crown honeymoon destination.

These lists are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they prove a point. You don't turn on ESPN and see ads for diapers and perfume. You see relevant ads that the audience is interested in viewing. Email marketing is no different.

The key to effective email marketing creative is determining the anatomy of the list and sending consumers the appropriate and most relevant message/offer.

Email inboxes are highly cluttered these days. It's important to make sure your email stands out with a great “from” and “subject line.” If you're a big brand, or you have a highly relevant offer or product, make sure that is illustrated in the “from” line. Make your “subject line” splashy by promoting a savings or unique proposition to the consumer. And always personalize the message where you can in order to capture the consumer's attention.

Once the consumer opens the email, make sure the creative follows what the “from” and “subject line” promised. Consumers will quickly delete your message or unsubscribe to your offer/list if you falsely advertise in the subject line.

To stand out from the crowd and ensure your prospecting email performs its intended function—prospecting for new clients and furthering existing business—start with great creative. It's the key ingredient to email lead generation success in the digital age.

What are some of your ideas for ensuring high-quality email creative?

Daryl Colwell is a vice president at performance marketing agency MediaWhiz, a Matomy Media Group company. He can be reached at dcolwell@mediawhiz.com or follow him on Twitter at @dhcolwell.

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