Before you can even think about launching an email marketing campaign, you need to build a list of email subscribers. There are a couple of ways to go about list building. Regardless of the approach, the idea is always the same — you want to get your marketing messages in front of people interested in what you have to offer.
These people are called email leads. In this article, we’ll answer all the common questions regarding email leads, including:
What different types of leads are there?
Where do you find email leads?
What’s the best way to build your mailing list?
Let’s jump right in!
It’s difficult to give a precise definition of an email lead, due to the fact that they can be divided into several different categories.
You’ll most often run into definitions of a lead that highlight the fact that the person opted in to receive emails from your business. While this definition is accurate, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. It only covers one type of lead — the so-called warm/hot lead.
Warm leads are those who have expressed interest in your business through a specific action that involves willingly providing you with their contact information. It goes without saying that nobody’s just going to give you their name and email address out of the blue — you need to offer something in return.
That something is referred to as a lead magnet in online marketing. It can be anything from a free trial or a discount to a PDF report or a case study.
Regardless of what your lead magnet might be, it needs to provide your target audience with value, and it needs to be free.
The lead magnet also needs to be closely connected to your business, in a sense that it needs to cover the same topic your business revolves around.
If you’re in the weight loss industry, for example, you’ll want to create a PDF report that talks about the problems your audience is facing and offers potential solutions. It can be something along the lines of: “How to get rid of stubborn belly fat in 3 easy steps.”
Weight Loss Lead Magnet Example
Image source: Buylandingpagedesign.com
Inside the PDF report, you can share a few simple exercises that your target audience can do at home without any equipment. Then, you can tie in the topic with your business and mention how they can get even better or faster results with your solution — whether it’s a keto diet, a food supplement, an exercise video course, or whatever it is you’re selling.
By giving them value for free — technically, in exchange for their contact information — you’re showing them that you genuinely want to help them solve a problem. This approach will make them much more receptive to your offers in the future than if you tried shoving your products down their throats from the get-go.
Put simply, a warm lead is someone who:
Opted in by filling out the form on your website and left you their contact information in exchange for the lead magnet
Expressed interest in your business
Expects to receive promotional offers from you via email
Regardless of the facts that warm leads engaged you first and that you know for sure they’re interested in your offers, you shouldn’t start spamming them with promotional emails as soon as they give you their email addresses.
The best approach is to nurture them first by sending them valuable content before you start pitching your products and services.
Apart from warm leads, businesses have the opportunity of engaging cold leads as well. These are the people who haven’t previously engaged with your business in any way and are completely unaware of what it is you do and what products and//or services you’re offering.
If you’re new to the world of email marketing, you’re probably wondering why anyone in their right mind would send emails to these people.
In the B2C (business-to-customer) industry, this is a huge no. You don’t want to send emails to people and have them wondering who sold their email address to your business. Even if they do happen to be interested in your products, they’ll be put off by the fact that you started spamming them out of the blue.
In the B2B (business-to-business) industry, however, cold emailing is completely legitimate. The main reason for this is the fact that most companies publicly display their business email addresses on their website and B2B social media, and they expect to receive business proposals from companies they haven’t talked to before.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to cold leads is that you’ll need to take a fundamentally different approach to your email campaigns. Although you’ll be emailing businesses who may find your product or service useful, you’re still making an assumption.
Unlike with warm leads, you don’t have clear confirmation of the leads’ interest. On top of that, you’re a complete stranger who found their way to their inbox. This implies that you will need to introduce your business in your outreach campaigns and explain how your offers can help the reader grow their business and scale their profits.
Everyone knows that your agenda is to sell a product or service, but you shouldn’t be too blunt about it. Instead of boasting about how awesome your product/service is, you should tell the reader what it can do for them and their business.
Focus on the benefits rather than on the features, and don’t try to hard sell. Simply tell the cold leads what your offer is all about and give them an opportunity to learn more. You can offer them something like a:
Free consultation call
The third type of leads is marketing qualified leads — people who are the most likely to become customers. They are the people who are at the bottom of your marketing funnel and need a gentle nudge to take that final step and make a buying decision.
Both warm and cold leads can either be marketing qualified leads or not. The distinction is based on the leads’ behavior and engagement with your business:
What emails they opened
Which CTAs they clicked
Which website pages they visited
Advanced email marketing tools include lead scoring options and can give you valuable insights into what stage of your marketing funnel each lead is in. This knowledge is crucial since it allows you to segment your lists and send everyone the right marketing message at the right time.
When someone’s one click away from buying your product, you wouldn’t want to keep sending them generic emails that promote your blog, for instance. What you need to do is convince them that your product is the solution they’re looking for and, if necessary, make the buying decision easier by offering a time-limited discount.
Email Lead Types
Marketing Qualified Leads
Leads that have opted-in to receive your emails, thus directly expressing interest in your business and offers
Leads who have not heard of your business and/or offers, but are a part of your target audience
Leads you know are close to making a buying decision, based on their online behavior and engagement with your business
Now that you understand what email leads are, we can move on to talking about where you’re going to find them.
There are three ways to go about building your mailing list:
Buying email leads
Capturing the leads yourself
Using email finders
There are quite a few websites that advertise “email leads for sale.” These are typically marketers that are running their own blog and using lead capturing to generate email subscribers. One of the ways in which they monetize their business is by selling email leads to other companies and individuals.
While most of them offer a ton of cheap leads for sale, we would strongly advise against buying someone else’s leads. While buying and selling people’s personal information such as name and email address isn’t illegal per se under the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s neither ethical nor effective.
There are a number of reasons why buying email leads is always a bad idea:
You’ll be violating GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) consent rules
You might not be able to send emails to the list you’ve bought
You’ll be viewed as a shady spammer
Your sender score might drop
You have to understand that, if you opt to buy email leads from someone, you’ll be sending emails to people who haven’t given you their consent. They opted to receive emails from the person you’re buying the list from, but not from some random entrepreneur or affiliate who they’ve never even heard of.
If you’re sending emails to subscribers in Europe, you’ll be in a world of trouble if you haven’t captured the leads yourself. All email correspondence in Europe is governed by GDPR, which states that you need explicit consent from each subscriber — which must be given by them checking a box and opting in to receive your emails.
In other words, you will be violating the law and can be held legally liable if you send emails to bought mailing lists.
Even if you’re not engaging subscribers in Europe — and there’s absolutely no way to know that with bought email lists — you’ll come off as an annoying spammer. People don’t exactly appreciate it when a random marketer pops up in their inbox and starts spamming them with promotional emails. You won’t exactly give off a great first impression since the leads will know you’ve acquired their email addresses through some shady or borderline illegal activities.
Most reputable ESPs (Email Service Providers) won’t even let you send emails to addresses you’ve bought. Even if you opt for a non-reputable one, you’ll still run into trouble with deliverability.
The fact is, you don’t even know if the email addresses are real in the first place. There are tons of scammers out there selling bogus mailing lists. Even if every single email address were legitimate, who knows how long ago the people subscribed to that marketer’s list and what the lead magnet that got them to the opt-in was.
Most email list vendors are actually affiliate marketers or Internet “gurus” who build their lists by promising people that they’ll get a “proven formula” for building a six-figure online business. You can imagine how these people will react when you — a complete stranger — start promoting them random products.
If you’re thinking about buying email lists, the only advice we can give you is — don’t. You’ll be wasting both time and money, and this practice will surely spell the end of your business, sooner or later.
The best way to build a mailing list is to capture the leads yourself. Granted, this isn’t the fastest way to grow a large list of prospects, but it is by far the best option. You’ll know that every single subscriber is interested in what you’re trying to sell and has agreed to receive promotional emails from you.
This way, you’re not sending your emails to a bunch of random people or to fake email addresses, but are directly engaging your target audience. You’ll have a much easier time converting the leads you’ve captured yourself than you would if you were emailing cold leads.
We’ve already touched upon lead capturing in one of the previous sections — you need to create a lead magnet and offer it in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses. A lead magnet can be anything that provides value, is relevant to your target audience, and is connected to your business in one way or another.
After putting together a lead magnet, you’ll need to create an opt-in form using a tool like OptinMonster. The form will feature fields that require people to input their name and email addresses before they can click the “download” or “sign up” button.
After they opt-in, you should send them a link to your lead magnet or, if it’s a discount, with a discount code.
The form can be placed anywhere on your website — on your homepage, as a banner on your blog, as a floating bar, etc. You can use a pop-up to get your lead magnet in front of your website visitors while they’re browning your site. Alternatively, you could create a landing page that your target audience will visit by clicking a link in one of your paid ads.
If you’re in the B2B industry, there’s a solution that combines the best of both worlds — getting a bunch of email addresses fast and doing it in a completely legitimate way.
If you’re looking to build a sizable list of cold leads and start an email outreach campaign, our email finder will be a real life-saver.
This powerful tool lets you find thousands of email addresses in minutes. All you need to do is import a list of your contacts, including their first, last, and company names (or domains), and the tool will automatically pull their email addresses for you.
If you haven’t done any “scouting” and don’t know what companies you want to target, you can always use our data enrichment software as well. This tool lets you find leads from over 15 million B2B companies.
You can leverage our extensive database and smart filtering to find thousands of leads according to their industry, company size, and job title. This way, you’ll ensure that the cold leads you’re reaching out to match your buyer persona.
The best part about these two tools, as well as other email marketing software we offer, is that they’re fully white-label. You can add your company name, logo, and brand colors to the software and resell it under your own brand!
So, not only does Sell SaaS provide you with the tools to grow your B2B mailing lists quickly, but it also gives you the opportunity to create an additional revenue stream and skyrocket your profits.
There are no special reseller licenses you need to buy or any other additional expenses. You can get started today for free, become a Sell SaaS partner, and start reselling right away!
For every sale you make, you’ll get to keep between 60% and 80% in commissions. The best part is — you get to choose what price you want to resell the software for, and you don’t have to worry about any of the technical details. We’ll handle everything from setting up payment links to providing customer support to your clients.
If you want to optimize your email marketing efforts, maximize your ROI, and skyrocket your profits, here are a few other popular software solutions you can both use and resell.
Powerful White-Label Software You Can Use and Resell
Become a Sell SaaS partner and start generating passive revenue online today!
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.