Paid Email Programs: Extend Your Reach and Get More Leads

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An integrated lead generation strategy should include paid email programs, or sponsored emails sent to high-quality targets. They broaden your reach, attract new customers, and build your database.

Choosing a reputable paid email vendor and getting a good return on your investment are two potential pitfalls. Use your email programs wisely and avoid potential pitfalls.

Gain Trust

First, consider which industry publications are known for timely news and insightful commentary. See if they offer sponsored email programs. They probably have an organic list that speaks directly to your audience if you send emails through a well-respected organization in your space. This means that your audience already trusts you and may even look forward to your emails. So your affiliation validates you.

Targeted Sends

Most companies that offer paid email programs allow you to target subscribers by:

  • Target audience: Target by title, industry, and other factors.
  • Topics: What interests your audience? Many vendors allow you to target based on previous lead engagement.
  • Region: In a geo-targeted campaign, have your vendor segment by region.

As you write copy for your paid email program, keep in mind that recipients may not know who you are, so branding and clarity are critical. Strive for bold visuals, a clear call-to-action, and concise copy.

Selection of Vendor

When choosing a paid email vendor, many factors must be considered. Choose a reputable vendor. People will associate you with spam if you choose a spammy company.

Here are some steps to avoid this snare:

  • Look at a vendor’s media kit: most vendors have one online. Take a look at the kit to find out more about the lists.
  • Call: Discuss program details, success metrics, and payment. Plus, building a relationship makes negotiating easier.
  • Ask about data replenishment: How big is the vendor’s database and how often is it updated? Do they regularly clean their database to ensure their list still wants to hear from them? Keep an eye on a vendor’s new name percentage.
  • Determine pricing model: Some vendors charge per lead, others charge per thousand individual sends (or CPM).
  • Negotiate: Be very specific about your metrics and goals. Negotiate with vendors based on results.

Keeping Costs Low

Paid email programs can be costly, but there are alternatives. Consider a cost-sharing arrangement with a reliable partner. If you co-created content, you could find a vendor with a database that both partners use. If you plan to share leads, make sure your landing pages say so.

Consider swaps. You may be working with a vendor who shares your target demographic. What if you send them an email and they send you one? Trading often reduces costs.

Important Tips Before and After Sending

When you’re ready to send after negotiating with your vendor, keep in mind:

  • Have a plan B. If you expected 500 new leads but only received 200, make a plan to fill the void.
  • Don’t be afraid to reuse content. Even when sending to the same database, only a small percentage of recipients actually download/read the asset. It’s okay to send the same email twice, but not the same asset.
  • No dupes. Especially if you’re using a vendor with a similar database, you want to avoid duplicate sends. Use a service like Optizmo to avoid duplicates. Send Optizmo your list and your vendor’s list, and get one list back.
  • Get a makeup drop. Sometimes your send doesn’t go as planned. Demand that the vendor resend your email.
  • Re-evaluate: Re-evaluate your program after a few months—your results may have changed.