It’s not really up for debate.
Email is the single best platform for generating leads, nurturing customers, and making consistent sales.
I know… THE best? Really?
That’s a big claim.
But it’s backed by some big data.
According to Email Mastery, email has an ROI that pays back $40 for every $1 spent. Compare that to other marketing channels, like SEO, display ads, catalogs, keyword ads, etc…
The winner is pretty clear.
But that’s not the only evidence of email marketing’s prowess.
More than half of people check email in the morning before they even check text messages, phone calls, or social media. And in 2019, there were 3.9 billion active email users, compared to just 1 billion Instagram users or 330 million Twitter users.
More importantly, email is a marketing channel that you own.
You can message them whenever you want, as often as you want, and you can direct them to any landing page you want.
In fact, many email marketers believe strongly in the $1-per-subscriber rule, which states that you can make an average of about $1 per subscriber per month.
Growing your email list, then, should be a top priority.
But how do you generate email leads consistently?
Well, doing so is actually pretty systematic (it doesn’t require much creativity). You can just follow the below techniques.
But first, let’s take a look at some inspiring examples of effective email lead generation.
3 Inspiring Examples of Effective Email Lead Generation
We can talk about how to generate email leads until we’re blue in the face.
But until we look at real examples, it’s all just hypothetical 🙂
So I reached out to a few friends with awesome email lead-gen strategies, took screenshots of their landing pages, and asked them to share their conversion rates.
To start, let’s take a look at one of our most successful ClickFunnels webinars of the last 12 months.
(We love using webinars to generate leads!)
With this webinar, we’re attracting email leads with a simple promise — to reveal the biggest differences between the 1% of ClickFunnels members who’ve joined our Two Comma Club and the 99% who haven’t.
Naturally, that’s appealing to online entrepreneurs.
And the conversion rate speaks for itself, averaging 30% over the last 12 months.
In fact, we didn’t run the variation you see in the above screenshot for very long because it only had a 10.87% conversion rate.
Here’s what the variation looked like…
What’s the difference?
Well, the only significant difference is that we added a countdown timer to the higher-performing page.
Pretty crazy that a bit of urgency can increase the conversion rate from 10% to 30%, huh?
But webinars aren’t the only way to generate email leads.
Jacob McMillen, a freelance writing coach, offers a free course as his “bribe to subscribe”.
And he’s getting a conversion rate of 5.69%, which is solid for a website homepage. In fact, this page has had more than 41,000 visitors (mostly through SEO) and converted 2,345 of those into email subscribers.
The more lead magnets you examine, the more you’ll realize that the most successful ones offer to solve the target market’s most immediate problem… for free.
In the ClickFunnels example, that’s giving ambitious entrepreneurs a proven blueprint to growing a 7-figure business.
For Jacob McMillen, that means giving his audience a free crash course to grow their freelancing business to $15,000 per month.
And for Email Mastery, it’s offering marketers a free 7-day course to master email marketing.
This page has a 21.78% conversion rate.
But it’s not just about what you offer. It’s about how you offer it (consider how a countdown timer took ClickFunnels conversion rate from 10% to 30%).
And that leads perfectly into our next topic of discussion.
Here are 9 techniques for generating email leads and turning those leads into paying customers!
1. The Lead-Gen Sales Funnel
Generating leads is hard work.
Or at least, it used to be.
Not long ago, the primary online lead-gen strategy revolved around building a website, adding some contact information, and hoping for the phone.
Mostly, this was met with crickets.
That’s because websites just don’t convert very well.
This is due to something that’s commonly called “analysis paralysis.” Essentially, multiple studies have proven that humans are really bad at making decisions when they have a lot of options.
And if there’s one thing that most websites have… it’s a lot of options.
That’s where the sales funnel comes in.
Where a website gives people lots of different choices, each page of a sales funnel is built to drive people toward taking the action that you want them to take — maybe that’s opting-in to your email list, or taking a free trial, or giving you a call.
Unsurprisingly, sales funnels convert way better than websites.
But there are different types of sales funnels for generating email leads.
There’s the simple but effective squeeze page funnel, where you can offer visitors a free gift in return for their email address.
This is extremely effective for generating leads consistently through your website. And the more appealing your “bribe to subscribe” is, the better results you’re going to get.
Ultimately, try to build a lead magnet that solves your target market’s most immediate problem for free.
Here’s an example from Zager Guitars…
And here’s an example from the blog you’re currently on…
Additionally, here are some ideas for different types of lead magnets that you could create…
- A free ebook
- A free online presentation
- Giveaway entries
- A free crash course
- A free consultation
- A free trial of your service
The most important criteria to consider when deciding on a lead magnet is: does the lead magnet attract your target market? Does it appeal to them? Is it darn-near irresistible to them?
It should be!
Also, the squeeze page funnel should be easily accessible from most pages of your website so that, no matter where visitors land, they have an opportunity to subscribe to your email list.
(This can also present itself as an exit-intent popup)
The other type of lead-gen sales funnel you can consider using is the application funnel. This is perfect if you’re wanting to get more detailed information from your leads.
And you can use a webinar sales funnel to generate leads with an online presentation.
All of these are effective — it really just depends on how you want to generate leads.
However you do it, the first step is to build a sales funnel that attracts your target market and converts them at a reasonable rate.
How are you going to build a sales funnel?
With ClickFunnels, you can choose a high-converting sales funnel template (don’t worry — we tested it), customize it with our drag-and-drop editor, launch, and start collecting leads and building an email list right away!
2. Email List Trade-Offs
It’s no secret: a lot of other businesses, blogs, podcasters, and influencers have already built large email lists that are full of your target market.
What if there was a way to attract those people to your email list?
Well, you can!
And there are a few different ways to go about it.
One common strategy is to do email trade-offs. Essentially, you send an email to your list that’s promoting an influencer’s products, services, or free “bribe to subscribe.” Then they do the same for you.
This is a pretty simple strategy that just requires some intentional networking.
To get the most success (AND to make influencers more likely to say “yes” to the trade-off), create an offer that’s super helpful and attractive.
You might even create an offer that’s 100% exclusive to that influencer’s audience.
Alternatively, you can outright pay an influencer to mention your offer within their email or you can give them affiliate commissions.
The other way to do an email-trade off is by getting multiple influencers to participate in a giveaway.
Imagine, for instance, that you’re trying to attract people who are interested in personal development.
You might reach out to 5 other self-help influencers with sizeable email lists and ask them to participate by giving away their favorite self-help book and promoting the giveaway to their audiences — then, in the end, you and the influencers who participated get to add those new leads to their email list.
I did this a few months ago and here’s how I pitched it (with a pretty good response rate!) to influencers…
I have an idea for email-list growth that I’m wondering if you’d want to be a part of.
Here’s my thought.
5 people with platforms (you, myself, and 3 others, for example), commit to donating our FAVORITE personal development book for a giveaway.
Then all 5 of us promote that giveaway to our email lists and social platforms.
But entering the giveaway requires opting into all of our email lists (just a single opt-in).
At the end of the giveaway, we all get a copy of the email addresses of the people who entered the giveaway.
The benefits would be…
1. Growing your email list.
2. Getting to reward your current subscribers with a fun giveaway.
I would also DEFINITELY recommend that you build out an immediate and automated email sequence that leads to one of your products for once those emails are added to your list.
Is this something you’d be interested in?
l think it could be a fun way for all of us to hit our goals!
Let me know your thoughts 🙂
3. Guest Blogging & Podcasting
Another way to attract other people’s leads to your own email list is by guest blogging or podcasting.
That is, writing guest posts for other people’s blogs or being a guest on other people’s podcasts.
The great thing about this tactic is that you can generate leads and showcase your expertise.
You’ll want to make sure, though, that you include a link back to your own sales funnel or lead magnet so that people can subscribe to your list.
For guest blogging, this can be in your bio and maybe within the content itself (if the publication allows for that). For podcasting, just mention the URL at the end of the episode and put the link in the show notes.
Here’s a list of 65 business blogs that accept guest posts, and finding podcasts is as simple as looking through iTunes and reaching out to hosts of podcasts that you’re interested in pursuing.
According to PointVisible, this was an extremely effective guest posting pitch (you could also modify this for pitching podcasts)…
4. Seinfeld Emails
Marketers sometimes don’t like to talk about it.
But you know what a good strategy for growing your email list is?
Sending great, consistent emails.
There’s a bit of magic that happens when you commit to sending your leads emails every day or every week at the same time.
The best (and easiest) way that we’ve found to do this at ClickFunnels is by sending what we call “Seinfeld Emails” — essentially, these are daily emails about “nothing”.
Check out the video below to learn how they work!
Sending consistent high-value emails gives your email list the fuel it needs to grow.
Your subscribers will think about your content more often, they’ll share it with their friends more often, you’ll have more opportunities to “hit the mark”, and they’ll even buy more often.
This is simple advice.
But it’s extremely important.
5. Promotional Sites
Did you know there are sites that are dedicated to helping organically promote new websites, products, and services?
There are a lot of other sites as well.
In fact, here’s a list of 50 different places where you can promote your business.
Different platforms will drive very different results.
But this is definitely worth trying if you haven’t already.
When Email Mastery launched in May of 2020, for instance, they listed their site on Product Hunt, got 970 upvotes, and almost 1,000 new subscribers!
6. Linking Other Channels to Your Lead Magnet
Email should be at the core of your marketing efforts.
That doesn’t mean you should be totally inactive on social media or YouTube or relevant forums… it just means that all of those platforms should point people back toward joining your email list.
Your profiles, bios, and pinned tweets should all drive people toward your primary lead-gen sales funnel.
What does that look like?
Consider It’s All You Boo — a personal development site — as an example. The site’s homepage promotes Nadalie’s (the site’s founder) current lead magnet, a free year-review workbook that collects email leads.
Her Twitter account also points people toward this workbook in her bio and with a pinned tweet.
The same is true for her Pinterest account…
Look — building a following on other social media is great and it can definitely help grow your business.
But as we talked about at the beginning of this article, email leads are far more valuable and easier to control than leads on other platforms.
As often as you can, then, drive social media followers and YouTube audiences toward your lead magnet with simple CTAs.
That way, everything points back to your email list.
What’s The Best Email Lead Generation Software of 2020?
What software should you use to build your email list?
Well, there are a few different types of services to consider.
There’s the Email Service Provider, for which you have a lot of different options. An ESP allows you to send emails en masse to a large audience without getting penalized. It also allows you to organize emails with tags, create automated sequences that send when triggered by a specific action, and lots of other cool stuff.
Some of our favorite ESPs are…
However, while those tools are helpful for managing, organizing, and communicating with your email list, they’re not particularly efficient at helping you grow your email list or generate leads.
That’s where ClickFunnels comes in.
We specialize in helping entrepreneurs build sales funnels that systematically turn visitors into leads and leads into paying customers.
And they work — we’ve tested them, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world are using them, and hundreds of people have built 7-figure online businesses because of them.
It’s not magic, it’s science.
(But it’s a little magical)
Want to learn more about how our lead-gen system works?
And by the way — we have integrations for all the ESPs that we mentioned above. This means you can generate leads like clockwork and contact those leads… seamlessly.
BONUS: Free Email Lead Generation Template
Want a free sales funnel template for generating leads online?
These templates have been tested thousands of times by ourselves and online entrepreneurs around the world.
And they’re getting crazy results.
And here’s an awesome video from Peng Joon — a Two Comma Club member! — with 5 tips for creating a high-converting lead funnel. Consider his advice as you’re building your first email funnel!
Ready To Build an Effective Email Lead Generation Strategy?
Your email list is your most powerful marketing asset.
And if you generate leads and grow your email list consistently, then your business will grow as well.
Fortunately, email lead generation isn’t all that difficult.
It’s really just a matter of doing a few things well.
As we’ve discussed in this article, you can use sales funnels, email trade-offs, guest blogging and podcasting, Seinfeld emails, promotional sites, and inter-channel linking to grow your email list.
And when it comes to using the best tool for the job, ClickFunnels is the undeniable frontrunner.
Try us out for free by clicking below!