The Road to More Intelligent Lead Generation with Email


Source: Mailigen (Where this article first appeared)

Ask a marketer to list their priorities in 2017 and most of them would put driving traffic and lead generation at the top.

Hubspot’s State of Inbound report reveals just that with more than 60% of them listing generating traffic and leads as their top priorities in all regions.

Source: Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report — 2017

Capturing a lead — someone who has a potential of providing revenue to your business — however, isn’t an easy job. In fact, for modern day marketers, lead generation is one of the biggest challenges in 2017.

According to BrightTalk, 80% of them report that their efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective.

While an increase in social media penetration and its familiarity has contributed to quality leads and helped sooth down a marketers’ anxiety, it still isn’t close to the oldest and the most effective medium for lead generation: e-mail marketing.

Email has come a long way. According to the Radicati group, we are nearing a worldwide user base of 3 Billion by 2020.

In 2014, McKinsey released a now widely cited study. It highlights that email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers.

These numbers are huge. However, they don’t just put light onto a bigger market to tap in for lead generation, but also serve to be an alarming call to get intelligent and smarter with email marketing.

In this article, we explore 4 ways you can use email to generate and close leads — the smarter way.


At each instant, every person is in a different buying cycle. Moreover, they don’t necessarily have the same root cause backing their decision to purchase from you.

This is where email Personalization & Segmentation become critical to your lead generating email marketing strategy.

Econsultancy reports that businesses who personalize email report a 14% uplift in sales. However, while the commercial case is strong here, only 5% of companies are personalizing their emails.

In an age where an average user receives an average of 121 emails per day, segmented and personalized emails help companies stand out. So how do you do it right?

At the core, it is all about defining your audience based on certain parameters. An important thing to remember is that personalization goes beyond calling people by their names in the email body and subject.

To make full use of personalization, a good place to start is segmenting your list by using Mailigen’s sign-up forms, online surveys, or email activity.

In the e-mail below, Hubspot has segmented me:

  • As someone who has an interest in the courses offered by the Hubspot Academy;
  • Personalized the e-mail with my name;
  • Personalized the email with the content that I’d like to consume;
  • Provided a human face to their business. Notice, I have received this email from Justin Lee and not HubSpot Asia. An important point to note here is that people do business with people.

Other great personalization tactics include making use of dynamic content, dynamic RSS campaigns, location and time, among many others.

Read: Infographic: The Future of Email Content — Alive and Personal


Email automation is one of the most important (and smartest) aspects of email marketing today.

In fact, in a report by Marketo and Ascend2, 91% of the most successful users agreed that marketing automation is “very important”.

Here’s an example:

A user visits your e-commerce website, checks out your product, adds it to the cart and bounces off.

In traditional marketing, the user will still receive emails but they will not be relevant, targeted and personalized. Moreover, these emails are manually driven.

Where marketing automation excels is by triggering emails based on user activity. These emails are part of marketing automation or drip marketing campaign.

In our example above, the user will receive a triggered email informing them about an item in their cart. Few days later, they will get a 25% discount on the product.

Marketing automation enables trigger-driven, behavior-based emails that you create in advance — saving you time, energy, and heaps of money. This makes an email more personal, relevant, and timely — which is at the core of email marketing.

Read: A Beginner’s Guide: How to Make The Most of Email Marketing Automation


If you plan to run email marketing at scale, data will be the crux of your strategy.

Measurement and analytics of your email marketing strategy leads to smarter decision — which in turn increase the overall ROI based on optimizations and changes. So, what are the metrics you should you measure and analyze for intelligent email marketing?

Click Through Rate: Click through rate is a measure of whether or not your email sparked interest in your target audience. It’s important to factor in the various parameters that affect CTR before making optimization decisions.

Conversion Rate: After someone has clicked on your email, the next goal is for them to perform a desired action. This can be purchasing a product or filling up a lead. Whatever the end goal may be, conversion rate tells the story of how relevant is the overall offer. If you are consistently seeing a poor conversion rate, it is important to optimize the strategy.

Forwarding rate: It is vital to keep an eye on the email sharing rate or forwarding rate metric. Forwarding rate determines the relevancy of your email and also the number of new users you can generate. Hence, it becomes one of the important metrics to track.

ROI: There are many ways to calculate ROI and it depends what you want to achieve from your business. On a simpler level, it is a factor of all your investments and the profit you made from it.

Measurement and analytics is critical for an intelligent email marketing strategy. Data driven decisions hardly go wrong.

Read: How Email Marketing Metrics Can Help You To Make Your Campaigns More Efficient


Smartphones are key to a smarter email marketing.

Source: Radicati Group

“By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion”. — The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014–2018”

The growth of mobile as a means of email communication has been nothing short of tremendous.

According to Emailmonday, Mobile email opens have grown by 180%. So, if you are a modern day marketer without a clear mobile first strategy for email marketing, then you are missing out on a lot of leads, customers and added ROI.

With a mobile-friendly email, you ensure consistent communication across devices. A mobile friendly email is tailored to mobile and has elements stacked up in a manner that creates better experiences.

Some of the key elements include shorter copy, using a larger font size and having a distinct call to action .

Here’s a great infographic by Salesforce that highlights key mobile-friendly elements that should be part of your next email.

Read: Best Practices For Email Marketing On Mobile Devices

In an age where Social Media dominates the ad spend pie, email marketing has been a clear outlier. Slowly and steadily, it has become a disruptive channel in terms of return on investment.

Clearly, marketers have taken notice. Which is why an average user receives about 121 emails per day.

So the next time you send an email, make sure your business stands out by practicing smarter and intelligent email marketing. Today it isn’t just a best practice, it is necessary for a successful marketing strategy.

This article was originally published on Mailigen — a ridiculously awesome email marketing platform for all your business needs.

The Beginner’s Guide To Drip Marketing


Source: Unsplash

Amidst a giant social media landscape, e-mail marketing still reigns supreme when it comes to closing prospects into paying customers.

But, how has email survived for so long? And why is it effective?

The answer is in the three value driving features of email: it is personal, cost effective, and drives high return on investment when done right.

According to a study by Mailigen, over 89% of marketers say email is their primary channel for lead generation. Surely, businesses have put faith in email. And the effectiveness of it is living up to it.

Image source: WebpageFx

The future of email marketing may get debated from time to time, but the current statistics point to this: email marketing is not dead. Rather, businesses have increased their spend on the channel because of its high return.

So, how do you strategize an e-mail marketing that turns prospects into customers? There are two ways to do it:

  1. The traditional email blast to all your subscribers
  2. Drip marketing

But what’s the difference between these two ways?

Traditional Email Marketing

You have built a large email list through your strong lead generating social media efforts and content strategy. You have put in hello bars, implemented exit-pop up strategies, optimized your landing pages, and explored other marketing avenues for a lead. Overall, your marketing strategies have ensured a steady flow of emails into your database.

As a next step, you initiate an email marketing campaign. It includes product related news, general information, or updates.

Traditional Marketing — Case #1:

  • Day 1: You visit an e-commerce website and check out the latest Nike shoes. However, you are not sure of the price at this moment so you abandon the cart and proceed with your day.
  • Day 4: You receive an email from the e-commerce store about the latest company news and how they plan to expand their product categories.
  • Day 17: You receive a product recommendation newsletter that highlights their latest spring collection.

While sharing product updates and general information to your customers via an email newsletter or one-off promotion can be an effective way to keep your customers engaged on a higher level, it’s important to develop an email strategy that is personalized and relevant to each customer.

Enter drip marketing.

What is Drip Marketing?

Drip marketing or automated email marketing is a way to put your email campaigns on autopilot. The team at defines it perfectly:

“A drip campaign is a triggered sequence of emails sent on a pre-defined schedule to targeted recipients or email subscribers to achieve a specific result.”

At its core, drip marketing is time-bound, relevant, and tailored to the buyer stage. It also happens to be one of the top email marketing trends of 2017.

Why is it special?

The answer is in the sophisticated ways it lets you communicate with your leads and customers. You communicate with your leads based on their actions (signing up for a free trial, buying a pair of shoes, subscribing to a weekly newsletter) or in-actions (abandoning the shopping cart, no action on email #1, no click on email #4, product unused two months after trial ended). See the example of a drip marketing workflow from Pardot below.

Source: Pardot

From the first welcome message to the closing sales email — drip marketing covers all facets of email marketing on autopilot mode. It is more effective than bulk emails because drip campaigns are targeted and designed for individuals based on their behaviors and actions.

By tailoring your email marketing based on behaviors and actions, you can nurture leads. With the right nurturing, you can move these leads from prospects to customers — covering one buyer stage after another.

Businesses swear by the effectiveness of lead nurturing. We can understand this from the fact that without proper lead nurturing program, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales (Source: MarketingSherpa).

Why is Drip Marketing important?

According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you. Keep in mind, not all of your leads are at the same buying stage. Each lead has unique motivations and needs.

For example:

  • They might have just subscribed to your blog and are in the awareness stage.
  • They just participated in one of your product webinars and showed interest in your latest case study — so they are currently evaluating your services.
  • Or they have signed up for a free trial to understand more about your product before making a purchase.

Source: Hubspot

No matter what buying stage a lead is in, your email communication should be targeted, personalized and relevant to each stage.

With a defined drip marketing workflow, you can move the leads further down the funnel; capitalizing on their behaviors, actions, and personas.

As an example, consider Case #1 from earlier in this post — but, from a drip marketing workflow:

Day 1: You visit an e-commerce website and check out the latest shoes by Puma. However, just like in the previous case, you abandon the cart and proceed with your day.

With drip marketing, here’s what gets changed:

  • Same day: You receive an email that you left a product in your shopping cart along with a link to proceed with the payment. However, you choose not to open it.
  • Day 7: You receive another email from the e-commerce store but this time, they are offering you a 10% discount on the shoes. You open the email, however, you still don’t proceed with buying the shoes.
  • Day 14: You receive an email that the product is on 20% sale. It is in stock only for 24 hours and this is a limited period offer.

In this scenario, the email is relevant, personalized, and invites you to click. You have spread your buyers’ needs over multiple campaigns and a series of emails targeted to their specific needs.

In a nutshell, you tap into your customer’s confidence with every email (drip) until they become purchase ready.

Why does Drip Marketing work?

  1. They are trigger based: Since drips are triggered based, it makes the entire workflow seamless. You can define set periods, actions, and behaviors as a result of which an email is triggered to a user.
  2. They are relevant: From teaching a prospect about the benefits of your product, to informing them about an abandoned cart — drip campaigns bring in incredible relevancy.
  3. They nurture: According to Drip, brands that nurture leads generate 50% more sales- ready customers. Nurturing helps convert your prospects into paying customers — one drip email at a time. This can be an educational drip, an offer drip, a discount drip, or a free trial drip. Behavior defined actions help nurture leads to become paying customers.

Drip marketing works because it keeps your business top-of-mind with your audience. Through timely, relevant, and context-driven emails, a lead has a much better chance of moving through your marketing funnel.

Here are some great examples of drips by

  1. A prospect opens an email and clicks on a link about SEO. You tag her with “seo” and move her into an email sequence on how your tool can be used for SEO.
  2. A different prospect opens an email and clicks a link about social media marketing. You tag him with “social media marketing” and move him into the relevant email sequence.
  3. A trial user creates a new project in your software and you fire off an email about the best way to work with and organize projects.
  4. A customer views your upgrade page but doesn’t upgrade. You follow up via email four hours later with a special bonus (or slight discount) if they upgrade in the next 24 hours.
  5. A website visitor enters his email to download a sample chapter of your E-book about cats. You tag him with “Prospect” and “Cats” and follow-up with a cat-specific sequence of emails.
  6. You’re gearing up for your annual Black Friday sale, so you run a query to find all prospects tagged with “Cats” and schedule an email with a 50% off deal on your newest cat-related E-book.

6 Types Of Drip Campaigns

Highlighted below are the six most common drip emails. Each one of them either educates, engages, or closes prospects based on triggers and behaviors.

1. Re-engagement drips:

These drips are targeted to inactive prospects in order to build back the relationship and develop consideration for your services. Re-engagement drips can be a helpful guide, a latest (and relevant) blog post or a video tutorial to address certain pain points your buyer is having.

Source: Mailchimp

2. Top-of-mind Drips:

Your goal with top-of-mind drips is to occupy a consistent mindshare of your prospects over a period of time. Using top-of-mind drips, you ensure you are touching base with your prospects on a consistent basis.

Source: Anchor

3. Welcome Drips:

Welcome emails set the tone for future interactions with your customers. They are fairly simple to manage, and because of the intent being a soft welcome as opposed to a sales promotion, they receive high open and click through rates.

Source: Quintly

4. Follow up drips:

Send follow-up drips to touch base with users who haven’t tried your product after signing up, or have not been active on it.


5. Product focused drips:

Remember to keep your customers in the loop about new products and updates to your services. You can significantly improve your churn rate by doing so. Content that is useful to share with these updates include: case studies, industry reports, and white papers.

Source: Hubspot

6. Promotional Drips

Based on customer behavior data, you have segmented your database based on buying stage. Recently, you sent them a list of latest movies to watch and book tickets for. They opened the email, but took no action. What do you do?

You set up a promotional drip. With this campaign, your audience gets a tailored offer to help them make a purchase decision.

Source: BookMyShow


According to Radicati Group, 257.7 billion emails are expected to be sent per day by the end of 2020. Looks like email marketing isn’t going anywhere! So, make sure you tailor your campaigns based on your audience’s needs to increase your overall revenue and retention rate.

Originally published on Hearst Bay Area