Email marketing is increasingly challenging as lead generation method, as more and more email services seem built to reject approach attempts and protect the account holder from the thousand random spam messages landing in inboxes.
In case you're cooking (or overcooking, like me) a B2B direct emailing campaing with the purpose to generate leads, here are the ingredients you should have on the table before geting your hands into the task:
Accurate selection of companies, refined through the segmentation process, according to relevant criteria (industry, size, revenues, profitability, location...);
Preparatory call (a.k.a. interest qualification call) to ask about the interest in what you have to offer, verify who's the right person to receive your message and ask for permission to send your message;
Make way! - direct personal email address of the targeted person, as in email@example.com , to deliver your message straight under the eyes of the interested person;
Human touch in From field - send your emails from a real person's account, instead of using some generic email address, as more than half of the decision to open an email comes after reading who it is from;
Catchy Subject, ideally shorter than 10 characters (measured to have best open rates), straightforward and to-the-point. Don't ruin the taste by overselling or misleasding the reader;
Great punchline for the first paragraphs displayed in the Reading Pane;
Compelling content, adapted to the recipient's job title, with direct, short sentences, sprinkled with numbers and finished with a call to action - yes, here is where you tell people what to do!
When I'm saying catchy subject / great punchline / compelling content, there's nothing marketing-y about them, I like to stick to the facts and use the client's perspective;
Your direct personal contact data - if you're pushing to generate leads, the first step is building a relationship with the decision maker you're approaching;
Well-built landing page, that includes a call-to-action, a short and simple contact form plus video content to introduce your company.
Keep in mind that what you spend days planning and cooking has exactly 4 seconds of examination before being deleted or read.