Why Email Marketing Takes the Lead

Where and how you get a lead, and what it costs to generate and qualify it, should be the prime consideration in how you apportion your lead-gen dollars. We talked with MDR’s Digital Products Manager, Sean McCloud, about how marketers can use email marketing to cost-efficiently and consistently fill the lead funnel for sales.

Q: According to recent stats from the Integrated Marketing Association, the average cost for one email marketing lead is $53. How can I justify that cost per lead?

A. With an “average” email marketing approach, that may be true. But MDR’s email marketing solutions are not average. By flipping the standard email campaign process, we are able to deliver an average cost per lead from email campaigns of $4.50. We do some qualifying upfront in identifying the optimal audience for every email campaign deployed on behalf of our customers.

We also apply our data analysis and modeling techniques to suppress your existing customers, find similar prospective customers, and tailor an audience to fit the exact needs of the campaign. All before you send one email.

Once a campaign is deployed, we follow up our front-end email list preparation by returning a list of email responders with actionable data appended. An Email Hot Leads file contains all the relevant data (including Name, Institution, Job Title, Email Address, Enrollment, and more!) from our extensive educator database for marketers to put to use. Because we are a data company, MDR can deliver detailed information on email leads you will not see from any other source.

Q: Doesn’t emailing to the same list deliver diminishing returns over time?

It can, if you continue sending prospecting emails to existing customers and not expanding your universe of prospects over time. MDR can suppress your current customers up front, ensuring all leads are new customers and of the highest value. MDR can also help you email a wider audience than just your opted-in list. We can identify patterns within your customer base and use them to pinpoint potential prospects. MDR’s database contains 5.5 million educator emails, so there’s plenty of capacity to continually feed your funnel with new educators to engage.   

Q: But isn’t email effectiveness overall going down due to deliverability challenges?

A. Research from deliverability experts Return Path shows that for the Education/Nonprofit/Government sector, deliverability rates are declining vs. the industry-wide average which is holding steady:

However, this is the average and an issue that MDR counters head-on with our expertise in deliverability. It’s also why we offer our Email Response Insight Report service to help emailers identify why their emails are having trouble reaching the inbox. But that’s one of the reasons why so many clients prefer to have MDR handle email deployment: we have an excellent IP reputation as a sender. Email from IPs with a high sender reputation score is accepted at a higher rate than mail from IPs with a lower or unknown reputation score. MDR’s average delivery rate is 96%, well above the posted industry averages.

Q: What about open rates…aren’t those declining too?

This is another common misconception in email marketing. Despite fluctuating average open rates across other industries, among MDR customers, we have seen average open rates remain steady over the past 5 years. Email continues to be the lifeblood of any successful digital marketing campaign.

Q: Deployment is just hitting send to the opted-in list, isn’t it? Do we really need help with that?  

A. Actually, deployment capability and strategy are as important in email marketing as the subject line or the CTA. Aside from our excellent IP reputation, sending prospecting emails with MDR is turnkey and repeatable. We are able to handle hundreds of millions of email deployments to non-opt-in records. And we can launch a campaign within 48 hours so you can tap into a year-round source of new prospects to feed your sales funnel.

Want to learn how MDR can optimize your email marketing program to deliver more qualified leads? Contact us at mdrinfo@dnb.com.

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