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2021 Guide to Succeed With Email Lead Generation

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Did you know there are 4.14 billion email users in the world compared to just 3.78 billion social media users?

While some have already given up on email marketing citing it as “out-fashioned”, shockingly 42% of the world’s leading companies consider email to be one of their *most important* lead generation channels.

But, here’s the catch.

With an average person receiving 121 emails per day 🤯 — how can you ensure that your email stands out? Fret not. We’ve got your back.

This post will cover anything from delivering your emails into someone’s inbox down to getting replies. Let’s go!

4 step email funnel from Email Sent, Email Delivered, Email Opened, Email Replied. The Spam Filters is just before the email gets delivered.

1. Email Deliverability

On average, 20.4% of all emails either go to spam or remain undelivered. Out of your past 100 emails sent, it’s likely that 20 have never ever reached your prospects’ inbox 😵

Why Do Emails Usually Go to Spam?

  1. Your IP address has been flagged as spam in the past. Thus, it has been identified and delisted. (Did you buy an email list and spam people?) 😞

  2. Your emails are not targeting the right set of audiences — and thus, people report your mail as spam.

  3. People haven’t given you permission to send them emails. On top of it, you're not giving recipients the option to unsubscribe. So, they again report it as spam!

  4. If you send too many emails at once, it creates a spike and flags you as a potential spammer.

  5. The emails on your mailing list have the wrong domain name or are not working anymore because the person left the company… So your email bounces and every time your email bounces, it builds your domain reputation down. This is very bad.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) wage a serious war against spammers and they identify all of the above behaviors. It’s lethal! ISPs have a DNS-based blacklisted email list based on past activity. And you want to avoid getting into that at all costs. Check whether you’ve been blacklisted here.

How To Avoid Emails to End Up in a Spam Box?

You can only generate leads via emails if your mail actually reaches your prospects’ inbox. To ensure it passes the spam filters, follow these tips:

  • DO NOT SPAM. Duh!!! Match a human behavior.

  • Don’t send more than 50-80 emails /day (that’s already a lot!)

  • Don’t email merge (sending them all at the same time)

I know the drill. You want to send all the emails, right now. But the more you send the more you get into the spam (without even knowing it). => value low number outreaches to get high quality results.

  • No mail merging/blasting. Use a reliable ESP (Email Service Provider) instead of your usual email sending platforms like Hubspot, MailChimp, Outreach or Lemlist. They have an in-built anti-spam tool to help you bypass spam filters while progressively sending emails to a large number of people => avoiding being flagged as a spam.

  • Refrain from using spam words in your subject lines (like “act now”, “clearance”, “100%”, etc.) This can trigger the spam filter and direct the mail to the spam folder.

  • Your subject line should match the contents in your email. If you have used a clickbait subject line, without any reference to the mail body, your mail automatically goes to the spam box. Keywords matter...

  • To test whether your email is spam-proof, use spam-checking websites or tools. You can use this website that tests your mail on various spam filter criteria.

Don’t underestimate this and make sure you have strict guidelines. The higher your email deliverability, the more opportunities you can generate.

2. The Email Opening Rate

Ahh, finallyyy! Your mail has passed the spam filters and landed up in your prospect’s inbox. Now what? They receive 100+ emails every day. You need to ensure that your mail gets opened up — so, it works for lead generation.

In 2020, Campaign Monitor evaluated the average open rate across all industries to be 18%

At The Scalelab we're able to hit the 70-90% open rate mark (See Lemlist report of individual campaigns below). How do we do it? Well that's what we're sharing in this step.

Emailing campaing report with 83% open rate on a campaign of 97 emails.
Results of a single campaign launched in December 2020
Emailing campaing report with 90% open rate on a campaign of 68 emails.
Results of a single campaign launched in December 2020

Be short, simple, snappy!

By this, we mean your email subject lines. 47% of people open emails based just on the subject line, while 69% of recipients mark an email as spam also based solely on the subject line.

So, yeah, those few initial words make a hell lot of difference.

Why does it matter so much?

Because subject lines are the first thing your recipient sees in their inbox. Using it wisely can trigger good responses and eventually, generate amazing results for you.

TIP: 46% of emails are opened on Mobile — so think about how your email notification (with the subject line) appears in a prospect's inbox.

What makes a good email subject line?

1. Be short & clear on your email agenda and convey that concisely in your subject line. Do you wanna schedule a quick meet with someone? Here are subject line examples:

  • Meet next week?

  • Our call this {{Day}}

2. Add humor in your email subject lines by thinking creatively and being relatable. Examples:

  • Are you in space {{firstName}} ?

  • Maybe you like tea

3. leverage fear-of-missing-out (FOMO). Most of the companies use this marketing technique to get their emails opened. This makes the mail exclusive, time-sensitive, and urgent. Like these lines:

  • Last call

  • It’s too late {{firstName}}

4. Use reverse psychology. This is to be used on a follow up as a last resort to get a prospect’s attention. Use it wisely:

  • (no subject)

  • I think this is not for you {{firstName}}

=> actually type “(no subject)” in the title. Since all emails usually have subject lines. Not having one helps you stand out. You’d be surprised by the results. Try for yourself.

5. Ask a question. A question is a call to action for the prospect to reply. Like this:

  • Coffee?

  • Meet next week?

  • Are you joining?

6. Personalize. And we cannot stress this enough. Especially if it’s a cold email. Begin with the person’s name, and they’d be more than willing to give it a shot at reading the mail at least. Write like you’re talking with the other person. Like this:

  • Something for you {{firstName}}

  • I saw this about {{CompanyName}} ?

  • {{firstName}}, is {{CompanyName}} on a break?

All said and done: NEVER overpromise, clickbait, or mislead. It’s about matching your Subject Line with the content. Or you will see an increase in unsubscribe/spam rate.

Send emails at the right time

Research by GetResponse found that Tuesday is the best day to send emails at around 1000 and 1300 (according to your prospect’s time zone).

TIP: Early mornings are also ideal to be on the top of someone’s inbox ;)

The AIDA Secret for Lead Generation

There are copywriting techniques that you can follow to trigger good results. AIDA is one we praise and would like to share with you.

Attention (A)

Catch your prospect’s attention using the subject line and the preview text. (The little blurb that follows the subject line and can be read without opening the email).

Interest (I)

The first line is called a hook-line because it (should) hook your reader to read the rest of the email. It's usually a stat, a fact, a value.

Desire (D)

Attention ✅ Interest ✅ — Now what? Demonstrate your product’s value and how it would benefit your reader. Highlight what’s in it for them. And remember, people don’t have the time. Make it short. Make it quick. Make it apt.

Action (A)

Often overlooked, but *the most-important* aspect of emails — call-to-actions (CTAs). Your reader has gone through the entire mail. Close the email with a powerful, clear CTA that encourages them to take action. Like this:

  • Register Now for our Annual Event.

  • You can sign up for a FREE TRIAL here.

  • Are you free to either Monday or Tuesday

TIP: Ban the "Let me know if you are interested" from your emails and instead use "Are you interested?" . A question, entails a reply. Where a suggestion remains where it is...

Talking about replies...

3. The Email Response Rate

Simple formula 101 — The higher your email response rates, the more likely you’re to generate leads 😉 And to improve your response rate, we recommend to follow:

The Rule of One

This is one of the most basic rule, which states that your (email) copy should revolve around —

  • One big idea

  • One customer

  • One story

  • One specific promise

  • One Call To Action.

More options mean your ideas compete with each other — ultimately, confusing the reader.

Present your reader with one main feature/benefit of your product or service, make it short, and end with one single CTA — the action you want them to take.

Here’s an example that gets great responses at The Scalelab:

Make your emails conversational. Write it like you’re talking to a human and not a robot 🤖

Other than that, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Short is always better than long. No one wants to read so make it easy for your prospects.

  • Focus on 1 call to action. Refrain from asking too many questions or you’ll lose your prospects' attention.

  • Personalize as much as you can. Homework pays off.

And now, we’ll quickly wrap this up with…

Some Quick Tips for Email Lead Generation!

1. Don’t Forget to Follow Up!

Everyone is busy. And, if you don’t remind prospects about yourself, you'll be forgotten.

According to a study, the response rate for 1st email was 18%, 14% for the 2nd, 10% for the 4th. But… the 6th follow-up email received a whopping 27% response rate. Shockingly, 48% of salespeople never do even a single follow-up attempt, while 44% of them give up after one follow-up. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that 👀

TIP: Our email sequences average 5 follow up emails spaced by 2 to 5 days each.

Here are some related best practices:

  • Wait at least 2-3 days before sending your follow-up emails.

  • Send emails on the best performing days and times.

  • Follow up with one liners, for example: “Any feedback {{firstName}}?”

  • Don't stop at 1 follow up.

2. Write creative and humorous emails.

Our clients target C-levels, VPs and directors at large corporations. We’re talking about a 40-60+ target mostly in "traditional" industries. And with humour we’ve been able to generate meetings with companies like Samsung, Emirates, Coca-Cola, Airbus, Randstadt, Royal Bank of Scotland and many other large companies.

You want to stand out? Give yourself the chance with:

  • Personalisable Images

  • Personalised email content

  • Telling a story

  • GIFs (yes they work - but don't overuse)

If you're looking to stand out on email. Some level of change needs to come in, there is no secret.

Let's move away from the standard framework of a plain and overly long email.

Here is an example of how you can make your emails standout (the software we use allows us to personalise the handwritten name on the cup. Yes it’s possible):

3. Proofraed! 😉

“We hekp you optimze you're website for organic trafic.”

🙄 You were giving eye rolls, we know! And you did not care to read beyond the first few words.

We’ll keep it short here: get someone to proofread your email. Test before sending. Always test before sending.

Finally… Wrapping Up!

To (re)state the obvious, your email lead generation campaign will be useless if your emails do not make it to the user’s inbox. if you overlook the Email Deliverability, you can't hope for good results.

Use subject lines creatively to standout on a prospect's inbox (and phone notification). You can think about it as a text message. use it to convey an info that your email will relate to.

Understand what your prospects want. Personalise your emails accordingly, keep it as short as you can and always include a call to action.

Lastly, make sure you follow up consistently.

Email lead generation is not difficult, provided you follow the right strategies. With these simple tips mentioned above, you can get the most out of your emailing efforts.

If you need support anywhere, drop us a line at

Until then…

Happy Emailing (and Keep Generating Leads!)

The Scale Lab

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