Most businesses could follow a thread directly from the number of leads generated to number of sales made… annual revenue… year-over-year growth… all of it.
Leads are potential — each one represents an opportunity to make a little bit more money and expand a little bit further.
More leads means more potential means more success.
And email marketing is probably the best medium for lead-generation.
Let’s start by talking about why that is.
The Value of an Email Address
Let’s imagine that instead of building an email list, you focussed on getting Facebook followers on your business page.
Maybe you ran some ads and pulled it off!
You now have 10,000, 20,000, maybe even 100,000 followers!
But there’s a problem.
Facebook doesn’t want you to be able to reach those followers for free — they want you to pay to reach them. In fact, with every year, Facebook has actively decreased your ability to reach your followers on the platform without paying for it…
It makes sense with the Facebook business model (they make money through ads), but it’s a bummer for marketers and entrepreneurs.
Or at least, it forces us to build our audiences elsewhere.
Most other social media platforms are just as bad. If you’re a business trying to reach your target market, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Pinterest, YouTube… they all want you to pay to reach your audience.
Not just the first time… but even if those people are already following your page.
And let’s not even get started on the tendency for those platforms to ban accounts or restrict posts and ads that they don’t like.
An email list is your own — you can send whatever you want, as often as you want, to whomever you want.
There’s no gatekeeper monitoring everything you do.
For that reason, email marketing has an average ROI of 122%, which is four times higher than any other digital marketing channel, according to LYFE Marketing.
That’s why you need an email list — because it’s simply the best way to generate leads and make sales in today’s world.
(By the way, you can build an email list with ClickFunnels as well as build sales funnels to generate leads!)
And here are 7 best practices to get your email marketing strategy off the ground.
1. Bribe People to Subscribe
If we met on the street and I asked you for your email address, would you give it to me?
Imagine that you know next to nothing about me — you’re not even sure why I want your email address.
Yeah. Probably not.
You’d be worried that I’d spam you with random stuff that you don’t care about.
But now imagine that I approached you, introduced myself, and said that you seemed like an entrepreneur looking to generate leads and that I’d discovered a secret to lead-gen in my own business — and that, “if you give me your email address, I’ll send it to you.”
That’s a little more persuasive, right?
Although, if you’ve never met me before then you would probably still be hesitant to give me your email address. But imagine that you had met me before and you knew I wasn’t just some crazy person off the street.
Now you’ve transitioned from wary to genuinely interested… and maybe you would give me your email address.
The point is, people won’t give you their email address just because you ask — they need a reason… or as we like to call it, a bribe.
Online, there are many different ways to bribe people to give you their email address. You could offer…
- A free eBook
- Free access to a live event
- A free trial
- A free course
- A free checklist
… or anything else that’s free and appealing to your target market.
Email Mastery, for instance, offers a free course to “master email marketing in just 7 days”…
On the sidebar of this page you’re on, we offer multiple “bribes to subscribe”…
And Carrot — a website builder for real estate investors and agents — has a lot of different free resources to capture people’s email addresses.
If you want to capture email addresses from people in your target market, then you need a bribe of your own — something that will be so appealing that they can’t resist.
- What is my target market’s most urgent problem?
- How can I help them solve that with a free resource?
Then create that resource and build a simple sales funnel to collect people’s email addresses and deliver the resource automatically to their inbox.
(We recommend our Reverse Squeeze Page Funnel)
You can drive advertisements to that sales funnel to grow your email list. You also might consider putting that bribe-to-subscribe in the following places on your website…
- Exit-intent popup
That way you can collect leads from the organic traffic that your website receives.
This is ground zero for building an email list — offer something valuable to your target market for free and in return, they’ll happily give you their email address.
2. Master Your Subject Lines & Preheaders
In the previous section we answered the question, why is someone going to subscribe to your email list?
Now we’re answering the question, Why is someone going to open your emails?
Naturally, they’re already motivated to open the first email you send them because it contains the bribe that they requested.
But what comes next?
How do you keep people interested in your emails?
To start, there’s a lot to be said for delivering as much free value as possible in your free bribe-to-subscribe. The more valuable that resource is, the more valuable people will expect your emails to be.
But beyond the rapport you’ve built with your subscribers, there are only two things standing in between your emails and your target market — the subject line and the preheader.
Before someone opens your email (or doesn’t open your email), that’s all they can see — about 41 characters worth of subject line and 70 characters worth of preheader.
If you’re going to succeed at email marketing, you’ve got to learn how to convince people to open in under 200 characters.
So how do you do it?
There are really only three different ways to get people to open your emails.
Curiosity is a powerful emotion. And when you’re trying to get people to open your emails, building curiosity is extremely effective.
This is something that Rachel Pedersen — the “Queen of Social Media” — does really well with her subject lines. Check it out…
To create curiosity with your subject lines, take a few steps back from what you’re offering or what you’re talking about and ask: What’s the fundamental lesson here?
Is it to…
- Beat burnout…
- Generate more leads (in less time)
- Reach 7 figures (without hustling)
- Get skinny (without dieting)
All of which would make great subject lines.
If you boil your message or offer down into its simplest and most basic form, you’ll discover subject lines that create curiosity and increase open rate.
If you build rapport with your subscribers — if you become known as someone who delivers value in every email — then your audience will open your emails just because they’re from you.
And they trust you.
This isn’t really for writing compelling subject lines, but it’s a reminder to always provide as much value as possible and to only make promises that you can deliver on.
Email Mastery points out, for instance, that David Perell — an influencer with a 52% open rate — only ever uses the same two subject lines for his weekly emails: “Monday Musings” and “Friday Finds”.
“In other words, 52% of his subscribers aren’t opening because he has creative and compelling subject lines (even his preheader is usually just random text)… they’re opening because they trust him.”
Offer Something Awesome
The last way to use subject lines and preheaders to increase open rate is to simply offer something that your target market wants…
- 50% off select items now!
- Want my copywriting swipe file?
- Here’s my top sales funnel template!
- This is free… FOR NOW
These types of subject lines tap into your target market’s unique desires and as long as you’re able to deliver the value you’re promising, they’ll also learn to trust you.
3. Email Every Day
That piece of advice might make you uncomfortable: email every day? Really? Won’t your subscribers get irritated?
Well, if your subscribers are engaged with your content — and if your content is valuable — then no they won’t.
In fact, they might even be thankful that you’re emailing them every day.
This is something that Russell Brunson swears by. Here’s how he explains in DotCom Secrets (you can get your free copy of that book over here)…
“I know a LOT of people get VERY nervous about how often they email their lists. I used to feel that way, too. I used to email once a month, and my response rates were horrible. So then I started emailing twice a month. And guess what? I more than doubled my income.
Then I decided to email once a week, then twice, then every other day, and what I’ve found now is that if I don’t email my list every day, I lose money every day. I strongly recommend emailing every day, and if you do this with the ‘Seinfeld style’ I’m going to show you now, readers won’t get annoyed because they will be so entertained.”
The “Seinfeld style” that Russell refers to is described in detail in his book.
It essentially consists of telling a story about something going on in your life, tying that back into one of your offers, and including a CTA for that offer.
It’s simple and effective.
And like Russell says, if you’re not emailing every day, then you’re probably losing money.
4. Create Follow-Up Funnels
If someone visits your website and subscribes to your email list, that’s a great start… but it’s not the ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal is to turn that subscriber into a customer — someone who regularly buys from your business.
Emailing every day is an important part of that process.
The more offers you make to people, the sooner and more consistently you’ll strike a chord and land conversions.
But there’s one other key piece to this process — we call them follow-up funnels.
A follow-up funnel is simply a series of emails that get triggered when a subscriber takes a specific action — abandons their cart before purchasing, does or doesn’t attend a webinar, or purchases a product.
These emails are engineered to get the subscriber to take a specific action.
That action might be purchasing a product, watching a replay of a webinar, or signing up for a free trial.
Whatever the case, follow-up funnels are very important for conversion rate.
You’ll notice that almost all of our sales funnel templates include a follow-up funnel process as well…
That’s because there’s no such thing as a sales funnel that converts 100% of convert-able prospects on the first go-around.
A ton of sales happen during the follow-up process!
To learn more about building follow-up funnels that turn leads into customers like clockwork, pick a free copy of Traffic Secrets.
And you can build an email list and follow-up funnels right inside of your ClickFunnels account!
5. Use Personalization
Personalization in email marketing can be a good way to grab people’s attention and ensure that you’re sending relevant content and offers.
On the attention-grabbing side of things, this might mean including people’s name in your emails or specifying other demographic information — this will have to be done through an ESPs (Email Service Provider’s) tagging system.
Or it could mean sending emails and offers that are specific to the subscriber’s behaviors…
A lot of this will depend on what information you have access to and how well you can organize that to be able to send personalized emails en masse.
But it might be worth considering.
Just check out some of these stats from Campaign Monitor…
- 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
- Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
6. Build a Referral Program
What if you could get your subscribers to tell their friends about your email list?
And what if, at virtually no cost to you (or very low cost), your subscribers’ friends would sign up to your email list?
Wouldn’t that be convenient?
If you send high-quality emails, this will happen naturally to some degree… because your subs will tell their friends.
But by building a referral program, you can boost that word-of-mouth potential.
What’s a referral program?
Well, you simply promise rewards to your subscribers if they get a certain number of friends signed up for your email list or for your service.
This is partly how Morning Brew has grown their daily email to a staggering 2.5 million subscribers…
One of the marketers at Morning Brew, Tyler Denk, writes,
“While the referral program obviously doesn’t account for all 1.5 million subscribers we have today (we began pursuing paid acquisition in early 2018), it does account for over 30% of our total subscribers and is the ‘secret sauce’ that makes our growth flywheel spin. It’s helped turn readers into evangelists and evangelists into walking advertisements. It’s the ultimate 1 + 1 = 3 scenario that makes all of our acquisition channels X times more effective.”
You might consider doing something similar — offering your subscribers rewards for getting their friends signed up.
7. Create a Swipe File
What’s a swipe file?
It’s a folder where you collect all of the marketing emails that inspire you — emails that do a good job of catching your attention, keeping your attention, or converting you into a customer.
Then when you’re creating emails of your own, you can go to this file and find subject line ideas, content ideas, and even offer ideas.
We highly recommend creating a swipe file for yourself — all of the best email marketers have one.
(In fact, you can get our leads funnel swipe file for free over here)
To create a swipe file, you’ll need to subscribe to some email lists that consistently send out high-quality marketing emails.
Start with subscribing to all of your competitors.
Then here are some additional recommendations…
Generating leads is a critical part of growing your business.
Without leads, you can’t make sales, you can’t build long term relationships with your customers, and you can’t grow a sustainable business.
And as we’ve shown, email marketing is the best platform for lead generation.
You can use the 7 best practices above to get started. And click below to download our free lead-funnel swipe file.