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Email Lead Acquisition: How to get qualified emails and convert them

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Emailing is still a powerful tool for marketers, your email list can be your greatest asset as long as you acquire them correctly and you make sure they are qualified. Don't spam your prospect with low-quality content and take care of your list and nurture them.

In this article, we will walk you through implementing a complete Email Lead Acquisition strategy. You will learn about:

  • The different way of getting emails
  • How to validate your list with an email validation tool
  • How to nurture your prospect to convert them

A quick history of emails

Emails have been part of our lives for 70 years!

Emails have been part of our lives for 70 years!

Some may say that email is dead and social media is replacing it as a means of contacting your lead and prospect. It couldn't be more wrong. Despite the rise of social media, SMS marketing, and other channel, emails are here to stay. It's an integral part of 94% of adults' routine, they open their mailbox at least once a day!

  • The first email ever sent was in 1971.
  • Seven years later, in 1978, the first spam was sent!
  • Hotmail is launched in 1996. In a short amount of time, emails were widespread among people.
  • In 2004, Gmail is on the market, which makes emails even more widespread.
  • Now 2020, 300 billion emails are sent every day and this number keeps increasing

We can say that emails have replaced letters and it brought a new way of communicating. It's part of the daily life of millions of people of all ages, indeed 84% of 65+ years old still use them.

How to acquire emails?

Now that we established that emails are still relevant and more important than ever, we will see what kind of strategy you can use to collect them.

Email Lead Acquisition Ads

Lead Generation Ads are paid online advertising that offers users the opportunity to enter their personal information, such as emails, directly into the ads, which is then passed on to the advertiser. When users click on the ad, a form appears without them having to leave where they are. You greatly reduce friction on your lead generation process.

Marketing engineering

This is a little less know, "Marketing Engineering" is a term created by Professor Gary Lilien, a Research Professor of Management Science at Penn State. Basically, it is the use of scientific data to make an accurate marketing decision.

For example, HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform for businesses offered a free service targeted to professionals and businesses. Their tool enables you to create nice-look signatures for your emails. In exchange for your email, you can get the tool for free. Once you start using their email signature tool, you start to discover other paid HubSpot tools.

Customer Support

Contact Form

Offer free help to people wondering about your services. For example, if you have a slightly complex product, prospects may have a question before they buy. Offer them support on your website via a contact form. Make them leave their email so you can contact them back later. If you want to add their email to your email marketing list, make sure to warn them beforehand, you have to comply with GRPD law.

Chatbots and Livechats

You can also use chatbots and livechats which is more efficient than a contact form. Indeed, people are 7 times more likely to contact you via a chatbot than your contact page. Users want to have immediate answers so they're happy to find this little pop-up at the right bottom of the website. Moreover, chatbots can be automated, all the prospect information can be sent to your CRM and your chatbot can notify you by email or on your favorite channel (Slack, Teams...) when someone needs information.

Chatbots with integrated email validation

However, people like to interact with chatbots and have fun with them, which is totally understandable, but you wouldn't want to waste your time with them because they are unqualified. For this, at Ideta, we integrated Zerobounce's API which enables our chatbot to make sure the email is given by the user actually exists! Validating emails greatly improves your conversion rate down the line and you don't waste any more time chasing fake leads.

How to process email?

Now that you know how to get emails, you need to make sure that all the emails you accumulated are valuable. After all, your marketing effort is useless if you send it to a dead or fake email and nobody reads what you have to say.

Validating your lead

It's incredibly important to validate the email addresses that you're receiving, especially during this pandemic where we've seen the invalid rate increasing. Around 22% of your list will go bad every single year and 31 billion emails are bouncing every single day. Thing is, bounced emails are really bad for your reputation as a sender, which is quite important if you don't want to end up in spam.

Reaching the inbox

You should focus on getting on your lead's inbox, indeed even if you have a million subscribers to your email list, if they go into the spam folder it is just a million paperweights. They're not useful and no one's going to read them, your conversions will be bad. Reaching the inbox has a lot to do with your reputation as a sender.

Your reputation will determine if your emails go into the inbox or the spam, it determines its deliverability. You can check out the different factors here, but one of these is your bounce rate.

How does email validation work?

An email validation system will go and verify if the inbox of the email does exist. It establishes a connection with the mailbox and checks if there is a real recipient.

Zerobounce offers an email validation service that lets you validate 100 emails per month for free. You can validate your email in two ways:

  • With a bulk function, you can submit large files and it will process them provide you back with the status.
  • Or you can do it in real-time via their API. Their API can be built into anything, like a chatbot for example.

Clean your email list

You should clean your list at least once per quarter, as we demonstrated, purging and keeping a clean email list is important for your deliverability. That's why you should also clean it before any new email campaign you're putting in place.

Once you have a really low bounce rate, your chance of getting into the inbox greatly increases. Then, you can focus on your marketing and conversion.

Moreover, if your bounce rate is higher than 2% you absolutely need to validate your list because eventually this will tarnish your sender reputation and you'll stop getting into the inbox.

To recap, you should clean your list:

  • Once per quarter
  • Before new campaign
  • When your bounce rate is higher than 2%

How to use emails?

You should stop thinking about email in a transactional way, your email should be a free product, you need to make your emails valuable for people who read them. Develop your marketing strategy for each list and target it correctly.

Build your audience

Emailing was the original social network, you should make it easy for your reader to share it. Keep an eye on your forwarding rates. Did your reader forward it to their colleagues or friends? If they do, your content must be good and they want to show it to people they know. Those people may also subscribe to your newsletter and forward it to their friends and so on.

However, for a good relationship with your audience, you need trust.

When you sign them up for a newsletter or else, you should make it perfectly clear that they will receive an email from you. For example, if you offer them a PDF report in exchange for their email add a checkbox that says "I'd like to receive your newsletter!" or something along these lines. You shouldn't mislead them because they will unsubscribe and this reduces your sender credibility.

Choose the right tool

Even if you are just starting out, choose a tool that can grow with your needs and revenue. Platforms like MailChimp have excellent features for small businesses and can be quite powerful for bigger company too. Some tools like Campaign Monitor can also warn you when your bounce rate is too low so it protects your deliverability.

It's also important to choose a tool in which you can have insight into data. Sometimes, you will want to test out sending emails on different days or even hours, your tool can help you figure out what variable is the best.

Keep perfecting your brand's identity

In many ways, keeping a consistent brand's identity through your text is the harder part of emailing. Your users don't want to get emails from faceless brands, they want to feel connected to a real human being. Write your newsletter and send your emails, as if you were sending a note to a friend. You can still be professional and talk about work in a human, entertaining, way.

Grab attention with a killer subject line

Writing a good subject line is an art as well as a science. You should test out different subject lines to see what will work the best for your subscribers. Some tools, like CoSchedule, have a subject line tester that will tell you whether you are using words that are spam triggers or not.

For your subject line, you should:

  • Keep it between 5 to 7 words
  • Evoke an emotion
  • Don't use business jargon
  • Use power words
  • Create stress or delight, don't keep it neutral
  • Match the tone of your email, don't lead people on with your subject line

Write crisp copy text

There is not a set rule about how long or short your copy should be, focus on creating good, valuable content and people will read it. However, for the first section of a newsletter, you should keep it short and impactful. A long first section will lower your click-through rate.

Then, for the rest of the email, write interesting headlines and break your text into chunks. Don't sell your product upfront, downplay your pitch first, give value to your reader. Then, once they reach 80% of your copy, you can start talking about your product and what you want to sell.

Use good pictures and images

Don't put images just to put an image, you should use them to communicate information, it should support your copy. You can use your own shots, take your smartphone and take a genuine picture, this is better than stock photos of random people at work. Authenticity matters a lot more than production value.

You can also bring a little movement with a gif, or you can link out a still image to a video.


Now you know how to get emails, validate them and how to use them to bring value to your business.

  • Create a strategy that brings valuable emails to your list. Don't trick users into getting in your list if they don't want to.
  • Validate your email and keep your sender reputation high.
  • Make your newsletter valuable for your audience to reduce bounce rate and increase conversion

If you want to know more, check out our webinar of Email Lead Acquisition! We go more indepth on strategy you can use to get emails, what is email validation and why it's important and how to make your email memorable.

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