I probably get 5-10 email messages each day from someone basically saying they can offer me a service that I need. Many say they have reviewed our website or "love what we do" or something else interchangeable by recipient and even industry. These messages do not engage my attention or stand out amongst the clutter. They definitely do not motivate me to take any action, other than deleting them.
If you are utilizing outbound marketing to generate leads, how can you stand out from the crowd and generate optimal results? And by results, I mean getting readers/subscribers to do more than just open an email. Here are seven tips that will help you convert more leads into sales.
1. Stay true to your brand.
Too often, email campaigns are generic and fail to convey the solicitor’s branded message. While it’s important to tailor your message to the reader and address their needs, your brand still needs to come through loud and clear. Even if your email is short and to the point, it should always be created in your brand voice and reflect your messaging strategy.
2. Gain and direct attention.
The subject line of the email is certainly important, but getting them to go beyond that will require a purposeful design and compelling content. How can you use design to direct the reader’s attention? By using the elements of motion, size, color and positioning, you can subtly yell at the reader – “HEY, LOOK AT ME!” Here are some specific ideas:
- Placing an element higher in the email is more noticeable than a lower one.
- An element that is in contrast with its surroundings is more noticeable than one which blends in.
- A larger element is more noticeable than one that is smaller.
- Bold and/or italicized font stands out when used sparingly.
3. Never forget that conversion is the primary goal.
You should always be asking yourself “What do I want the reader to do?” Ideally you want them to respond to your Call To Action – to click on the CTA button. That’s what we mean by conversion. The ultimate end of your sales process is undoubtedly more involved, but the immediate objective of an email or ad is always to motivate the reader to want to learn more. You need to open that door.
4. Triple check everything.
Have you ever clicked on a CTA (converted!) and actually wound up on an “Error 404 - the requested URL was not found?” Or, the click actually did nothing. Or it returned you to the same page. Or some other unexpected outcome. It is imperative that you check all of your links to make sure they all work as promised (and continually monitor them to make sure everything continues to perform). This is your first opportunity to deliver on something you promised and a poor impression here takes you out of the running.
5. Make use of urgency.
It’s well known that we tend to want what we can’t have. When something is rare, exclusive or limited, it immediately makes it more desirable and more in demand. Use this same approach in your email marketing efforts. Limit your offer. Make it clear that immediate action is necessary, whether it’s due to a timeline you set or a seasonal/business cycle. Convey a sense of urgency.
6. Get to the point.
We are bombarded with email day in and day out. Zero inbox is a great theory but impractical in the fast-paced business world we operate in today. The best lead generation emails are written understanding that the reader’s time is scarce and you're competing for their attention. No one will take the time to search for your message. It’s your job to package and present it.
- Use bullet points to highlight key ideas. This will help the important takeaways easily stand out from the rest of the text.
- Strategically utilize imagery (a picture is still worth 1,000 words).
- Most important is a clear and inviting Call To Action. It should be just that – a “call” to the reader to do something.
7. Utilize landing pages.
To get the most from leads you generate, you should use a unique landing page designed specifically to convert the lead to the next step and move them into the lead funnel. If you are simply directing leads to your website’s homepage, you are wasting all of the effort that was put into generating the lead in the first place. A well-designed landing page will prevent the lead from being distracted by other messages or information that reside on your website and will focus them specifically on what the next step is.
The key is to stand out and resonate with your audience.
Given the significant shift towards digital marketing and automated marketing solutions, getting a message through to a prospect is becoming increasingly more difficult. Your message must truly stand out and present itself uniquely in order to successfully engage the prospect. This requires upfront strategic planning followed by ongoing measurement and testing of the results of your lead generation program. With deliberate focus and attention, you can optimize your email marketing results and more easily turn leads into satisfied customers. And that is the ultimate goal.