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How to generate email leads? Tips & best practices

Table of content

Many marketers rely on email as one of the primary ways to generate leads.

But to achieve great results for your business, it is essential to strategize the right way when you first communicate with prospects – for example, to personalize campaigns. You need to treat the email prospect list gathering phase correctly and not forget about segmentation.

In the article, you’ll find info about options for finding leads, learn how to boost email lead generation via email marketing, and more. The full list of content is below.

By the way, do you plan a cold email marketing campaign?

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What are email leads?

Email leads are the email addresses of prospects interested in your email content and product. The main options to generate email leads are collecting contacts via opt-in forms, optimizing the current newsletter, and sending cold email campaigns to new prospects.

Where do leads come from in email marketing?

  • Email lead generation via content link clicks
  • Website clicks
  • Replies to your messages
  • Through event registrations

You provide links to blogs, guides, and templates on your website. People read the content, learn more about your solution, and can register/request a call later.

Get prospects through website clicks

You refer to the main page or product pages in the email signature. They read your newsletter for a while, enjoyed it, and, at some point, were ready to consider your solution.

Generate leads via replies to your messages

Recipients like your lead generation email example and want to know more, want to arrange a meeting with you.

Get potential customers through event registrations

You promote your event via a newsletter or cold email campaign. Recipients register and move down the funnel. Attendees learn more about your expertise and product during the event. They can then be interested in trying it.

How to get email leads & their data for launching email campaigns?

  1. B2B databases
  2. Lead magnets
  3. Social media groups
  4. Purchased email lists (a risky tactic)

B2B databases for finding email leads

There are tools/platforms that legitimately amass emails from publicly available sources or generate them based on company email patterns. Besides, the software verifies the email list to avoid high bounce rates and spam traps.

GetProspect Email finder is one of them. This is one of the best B2B databases in the market, with thousands of valid email addresses and business mobile phone numbers.

  • To start using it, you need only to sign up and head to the Search section.
  • You can use a free subscription with 50 valid emails to test this platform.
  • In the GetProspect B2B database, you can create a targeted email list with 17+ filters, including the website technology they use, job title, company headcount, location, and LinkedIn profile keyword.

You can also use the data enrichment feature if you already have a list of names or companies you would like to work with.

Take a look at the short video below to learn how to use the database effectively:

What are users (from G2) saying about the GetProspect email marketing database?

Note. The downside of this source is that people aren’t always happy receiving unexpected emails. However, if you segment your prospect lists before mailing them so that your emails are as personalized as possible. In that case, your lead-generation email campaigns are unlikely to get negative feedback or be marked as spam.

Lead magnets

Lead magnet is the most common way of acquiring contacts for email marketing. You provide prospects with something of value in exchange for their email. Examples for B2B organizations:

  • Free tools
  • Reports — industry research, typically with fresh data points
  • Guides — unique insights in a format larger than a blog post
  • Templates, checklists, cheat sheets, infographics
  • Events
  • Free courses
  • Newsletter
  • Free trial and demo
  • Free audit

How you can distribute the opt-in form to find the email leads:

  • place on your website as a pop-up or banner, blog, and other content marketing efforts such as podcast, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

  • advertise on social media,

  • share in communities (including social media comments and groups) under relevant discussions,

  • guest on podcasts or YouTube shows where a host will mention the link,

  • link in guest articles,

  • pitch the link to a well-known newsletter.

Important.  People misspell and enter one-off email addresses to get your content. So we recommend verifying your email list before sending a campaign. You can check each email sales leads list separately or embed the email verification API on your website.

The pitfall: If the content is barely related to the problem you solve and your product, you will collect many low-qualified leads who are only interested in getting the freebie and barely care about your business. Even your perfect email sequence won't help in this case.

Email lead generation in social media groups

This is an ideal method to find leads and increase the response rate of an email campaign among prospects which should definitely be in every email marketing strategy.

Why? Looking for lead lists on social media can be just as effective as B2B databases. For example, you can find tens of thousands of leads on LinkedIn, as there are more than 900 million people from more than 200 countries registered there.

To get the relevant prospects you want for email lead generation on LinkedIn, you can launch a search by group. This can be done as quickly and automated as possible with the LinkedIn Email Finder extension.

For example, let's say you need to find Inside sales experts or those who use or are going to use GetProspect, Salesforce, and Pipedrive for example. Simply find the group where the target audience lives and go to search by group and run the search.

  • Start to generate leads - sign up for GetProspect and add the extension to your browser.
  • Next, go to the needed LinkedIn group, click on the extension icon, and select the profiles you want to save your leads or write the number of pages of leads you want to save.

Buying email lists is a risky tactic

Traditional lead lists for sale imply extensive databases of one and all. One who buys email sales leads wants to get as many emails as possible quickly.

But remember, sending the same marketing email to everyone is an obsolete and dangerous strategy.

You can sort out the list into segments. Don't forget that the list provider not necessarily guarantees the data is updated and emails are recently verified.

Сheck your email lists for validity. You can do this with the GetProspect Email Verifier (200 credits free of charge for checking email addresses are accrued monthly).

Bear in mind. By purchasing such lists, you won’t have exclusive rights to email marketing leads. Other list buyers will also send their campaigns to the same recipients. The prospects will be flooded with pitches. As a result, low open rates will drive up the cost per lead, even if your content is well-written.

Email lead generation best practices

  1. Humanize: stop sounding like a marketing email
  2. Segment: personalization for small groups
  3. Watch deliverability to reach more email leads
  4. Brainstorm subject lines to capture the attention
  5. Be an assistant in the email body and seller in signature
  6. Make it clear what recipients should do next
  7. Experiment with sending times
  8. Balance frequency for getting email leads

Humanize: Stop sounding like a marketing email

One of the ways to make your email inspire trust is to show there are real humans behind the mass campaign. Here are some of the practical ways to do it:

  • Be wary of marketing cliches. Research your inbox, and write out the phrases that make the emails feel like they are selling something. And don’t use them. Example messages: «we are the best option», «limited time offer».

  • Stop using «Sir». First of all, it's been used too often, and it's becoming irritating. Secondly, it assumes the gender of the recipient, which may not always be accurate or appropriate. It's important to use gender-neutral language whenever possible to be inclusive.

  • Make your email leads laugh. Joking establishes a connection between the two. Prospects are likelier to engage with your message even if they know nothing about your company.

Example 1:

Example 2:

  • Notice the elephant in the room. Cover any doubts readers may have related to the topic you talk about, your niche, company, job, etc. You should speak up if something affects a person's decision and no one is discussing it. A vivid example of the tactic is the Postmark article comparing alternatives.

  • Share personal information. Example from SparkToro.

Segment: Personalization for small groups

When sending a cold email lead marketing campaign, we recommend having narrower groups. They don’t expect your email, so it should be as targeted as possible. Examples of groups:

  • health tech startups raised a series B round

  • organizations that just hired a CMO

  • businesses that are using a particular CRM

Bonus tip: segment based on the website technology they use

Use GetProspect tech filter to get a list of leads who use your competitor software or software you integrate with

Segment by tech

In email marketing campaigns, where recipients know your brand, you can have broader segments. For instance, based on:

  • Location

  • Revenue

  • Employee count

  • Website activity

  • Email engagement

Tip: be careful with over personalization. Don’t mention too personal nuance to avoid sounding creepy and frightening potential customers.

Watch deliverability to reach more email leads

Email deliverability is the percentage of emails that reach the prospect’s main inbox. In degradation order, recipients are less likely to see emails when: they land in the Promotion or Social folder → Spam folder → the email is returned to your mailbox.

High deliverability doesn’t help with conversions directly. Here is how it influences: more people will open your email → read → click → buy.

Ways to improve and maintain good deliverability in lead generation email marketing:

  • Ensure that your email list is clean. In case of a cold email campaign, keep your email list in the verification tool as GetProspect, so invalid contacts will automatically be removed from your list. You can also use integrations and API to keep your emails valid in other databases. Also, set up your email tool to delete inactive accounts.

  • Use several accounts and domains. Allocate the email contacts across the accounts. For cold B2B email lead generation, there are stricter limits of up to 50-100 emails per day per account.

  • Make it easy to opt out. Prospects may block or mark your mass email as spam if they cannot find how to unsubscribe from your sequence.

Senders typically include a link that lets recipients unsubscribe. Alternatively, you can ask recipients to reply «Unsubscribe» to your message. Unsubscription responses will increase your reply rate while enhancing your email reputation.

An even better way is to give your email sales leads several unsubscribe options. For example, let them choose to receive emails of only certain types, reduce the number of emails they get, or offer temporary unsubscription.

  • Be careful with links, media, and attachments. Email providers consider heavy emails unreliable.

  • Choose the right software. Besides good reviews, pay attention to typical use cases of email software. Sending cold emails needs a more advanced deliverability setup. It will be unsafe to send direct emails from software for newsletters.

Brainstorm subject lines to capture the attention

A subject line is the face of your email, and it can help you increase the generating leads with email marketing if done right.

People choose what they click on and explore further by subject line. Less frequently — by the brand name and email first lines. Check if your B2B  lead generation email marketing follows these subject title practices:

  • Understand what your prospects care about. If you are in contact with customers and customer insights, you will know what can potentially hook your prospects.
  • Collect feedback from prospects and users. Or at least from colleagues.
  • Test the best options before a mass campaign. You'll be surprised by how elusive your opinion can be.
  • A subject should relate to an email body. Clickbait lead generation emails’ titles will boost opens rather than lead generation.
  • Keep the length under 40 characters. Long subject lines will be cut on mobile devices.

Here are some great examples that I (a content marketer) recently clicked on:


Cold email:

Here the emoji caught my attention.

Be an assistant in the email body and a seller in signature

Your primary mission in any content (email including) is to help your audience. Take into account the buyer journey stage and support their success. Ideally, with your product :)

Examples to cover in the lead generation emails’ body:

  • Describe a solution to a typical problem for their job in bullet-point format. It can be a feature launch, or a set of existing features on the platform, or a case study, recent blog, or guide. You will link it so they can learn more.

  • Research fresh industry numbers and include your product data among them if possible.
  • Use your email signature as space to link your website, and mention your achievements and top clients.

Make it clear what they should do next

Call-to-action is the part that motivates engagement → email marketing lead generation. Depending on an email goal, you can call your readers to… try your product, read or watch your content, register for an event, etc. To make recipients click:

  • Make CTA sound like an easy and fast process rather than cumbersome and long.

  1. Check cold email examples
  2. Launch an email campaign
  3. Find valid emails for free
  4. Try searching without extra pay

  • Clearly explain where they end up clicking a button or link once. Don't confuse potential customers with inaccurate suggestions like.
  1. Discover opportunities today
  2. Elevate your approach instantly
  3. Open Pandora's box
  • Experiment with wording to catch attention in your email marketing B2B lead generation. Go beyond «request a demo», «try now».
  • Test what CTAs will get more clicks.

Experiment with sending times

Consider your buyer persona's typical routine. If they work with a lot of communication, they are likely to get your email at any time of the day. In case they tend to spend hours in deep work, you will try hours before or after work.

Normally people check their emails in the morning. That’s why many researchers recommend sending lead-generation email campaigns at 10 a.m., your reader’s time zone.

We advise against blindly adhering to the most popular email-sending times, as other marketers are also aware of this life hack. Consequently, recipients may receive numerous emails simultaneously. For instance, I received seven emails from seven different brands within a two-hour window, with some arriving nearly simultaneously, while none were received earlier in the day.

Some recipients may simply don’t see your emails in the pile of other newsletters. By experimenting with times + regularly sending in different times, you can uncover when most readers will see your message at the top of their inbox.

Balance frequency for getting email leads

It's an obvious point, but more emails ≠ more leads. Even the opposite is true. People are likely to unsubscribe from a newsletter bombing them with (even helpful) emails. When you see many emails from the same brand, you, at some point, stop noticing them. It is comparable to banner blindness.

Tailor email marketing for lead generation frequency to your audience and product peculiarities. The most common frequency is weekly.

Some subscribers may appreciate getting emails several times a week, while others may prefer a biweekly or monthly newsletter. Identify if it is relevant and makes sense for your niche. You can also check the email engagement. For example, it might turn out that people engage with every second email, so you will cut the sending amount twofold.

Seasonal products and services change their email lead marketing frequency during the year. Organizations selling to technical audiences see it reasonable to send emails bi-monthly and pack the most value inside. This is due to the segment's sensitivity to spam.

Summary about email lead generation

  • Use B2B databases and email finder extensions to find leads for a cold email campaign.
  • Don't forget to segment your prospect lists and personalize each email campaign.
  • Experiment with lead magnets to grow your newsletter subscription.
  • Be really careful with finding leads by purchasing email lists.
  • To advance email campaign efforts: humanize your message, watch deliverability, brainstorm subject lines, be a friend in the email body and seller in signature, clarify what they should do next, experiment with sending times, and balance frequency.

About author

Vlada Korzun

I have +4 years of content marketing experience, mainly in B2B. Have an amazing journey from legal tech to sales tech. I worked a lot and gained positive business numbers with social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit for lead gen and brand awareness.