The Best Types of Emails for B2B Lead Generation

Email marketing plays a critical role in almost every modern internet marketing strategy, but what messages should you be sending to convert that mailing list into a rich set of high-potential leads? Good marketing using the latest tools emphasizes personalization and the nurturing of good relationships—here are the emails that make that happen.

The Welcome E-mail

This one is usually sent when a visitor opts-in to be a subscriber to your blog, or signs up for a general mailing list. This e-mail should do a few things:

  • Portray a lot of brand voice and tone
  • Welcome them into the community that your brand has created
  • Create opportunities to develop your understanding of the visitor

The first point and second points are simple: this is one of your first two-way interactions with the visitor, and thus it’s critical that you begin the relationship on the right note. For the last point, putting options in front of the visitor such as offers or links to click can give you a lot of additional insight, valuable for later emails.

The High-Value E-mail

If you're using a CRM software like HubSpot that allows you to track visitor behavior, this is a great e-mail to send to someone who has read a couple of blog posts but hasn't downloaded a high-value offer yet. Consider sending them something similarly aligned with what they're reading. Ideally, the language of the offer and other aspects of the content will be well-tailored to suit their market segment and improve closure rates, but even a relatively straightforward alignment of an offer to reading habits can be extremely potent.

In another sense, you should consider your outgoing emails as a display of value. By sending out emails with inherent value—tips, worthwhile unique information, or special offers—you assure the prospect that there’s a good reason to stay on your mailing list and that your company can offer value to its customers. You don’t want customers to perceive every email as a sales pitch and nothing more. If you give the visitor a reason to want your emails, then wanting your offers will follow.

The Download Reminder

If a visitor ends up downloading one of your offers, it's best practice to send them a reminder e-mail with the extra copy of the download. Recommend that they archive the email for their records and for convenience, as access to a reminder email allows them to access it at any time without having to re-submit a form.

This may seem like a minor effort, but it can alleviate a huge number of issues your prospects may experience with your site, now and in the future. This, in turn, means the customer will experience less frustration in association with your company, improving their perception of you, and will create less headaches for support staff, minimizing unnecessary expenditure of time and resources on minor download issues.

The Follow-Up E-mail

When a customer takes action, it’s a huge event in the development of your relationship—which means it deserves a special message. This holds true regardless of the significance of the action, though you can do more with prospects who’ve made larger commitments.

Make sure to introduce or re-introduce yourself, ask questions specific to the offer they’ve taken you up on, and make yourself or your support staff fully available for anything else they may need. This opens up the doors for more conversation about what they need from you, and it’s also a great place to mitigate any chance of buyer’s remorse or complaint down the line—crucial in building positive word of mouth and retaining the customer over multiple actions or purchases.

If your CRM suite has adequate data and your marketing automation is appropriately robust, make sure to fully tailor your follow-ups. Depending on your business model and the value of individual prospects, this may mean automated follow-ups tailored to different market segments or personal follow-ups from members of your sales team. A hybrid approach based on the likely value of a given prospect can also be useful.

The Development E-mail

When dealing with a prospect your data indicates isn’t likely to take action soon, you’ll want to craft and deliver emails designed to move them closer to your prospect ideal. This means personalized content which will develop them in the right direction based on market segment, prior actions, and potential value.

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This can be difficult to nail down if your use of CRM and marketing automation isn’t yet fully matured, as an effective email for nurturing low-value prospects into qualified leads depends in large part upon your thorough understanding of your market, how segments react to your materials, and the breadth and depth of content available for the endeavor.

About the Author: Gregg Anderson

Gregg Anderson

Gregg is principal and senior advisor of 41 Orange.