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How to Get Leads from Emails-Advice for B2Bs

None of the following advice applies to B2Cs: Emails are an excellent source of leads, but the data needs to be mined correctly. Most marketers only look at click thrus—the people that clicked on a link in the email. While this is an indication of interest, it’s not the only one.

Experience has shown me that the best email leads require a little digging. Instead of just looking at the click thru rate, look at multiple opens. Not all CRM platforms will generate that data. I recommend Constant Contact for my clients for a number of reasons, but mainly because the results report will show, not just the number of times that a recipient opened an email, but more importantly the time and day they opened it. Constant Contact isn’t the only CRM that provides this info—there are others.

Since most of the contacts in any email database will be current clients or prospects that are familiar with your website, they are not likely to click on a link that goes to your website—they already know what’s there. This is especially true if the email supplies just about all the information a reader needs to become interested.

I do recommend making the email content as thorough as possible; make your best business case in the email itself. Look at it this way; it’s a lot easier for a reader to reply directly to an email than fill out a contact form on your website. However, the reality is, most people, even if they are interested, are not going to contact you. They will wait until you contact them.

So create the Open report using the option to “Show all Opens”. Download it, sort it by email address and save it. Then go through and highlight every contact that opened the email more than once. These are your leads.

You can gauge level of interest by looking at when they opened the email. An email that was opened 2X in quick succession was probably forwarded to someone else (a good lead). An email that was opened late in the afternoon and again in the morning is probably someone that started reading the email, saw that it was important and marked it as unread to open it later when they had more time to read it.

Sometimes you will see a contact that opened the email 10+ times. Delete those. That usually indicates some glitch in the recipient’s email system.

The really good leads are people that opened the email more than 2X over the course of several days. Someone needs to follow up with those leads. Hopefully you have a phone # for that contact, but if nothing else, you can send a personal email (not an automated follow up).

I usually send emails out on Thursdays, when research shows the open rates are highest, and schedule a resend to non-openers the following Monday. Then I process the results on Tuesday. What my clients get back is a spreadsheet showing all the openers with the best leads highlighted.

If anyone is keeping track of how many leads your are generating (and I hope they are), it’s important to count these leads as your leads, After you hand them off to sales, they will add their own spin to the leads, knowing how warm or cold many of these prospects actually are. If you hand a spreadsheet to sales with 50 multiple opens highlighted and they only follow up with five of those leads, it’s an issue you need to work out with sales.

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