Lead generation is the first and one of the most important steps in the sales process. Without an enticing offer or reason for a prospect to take interest in you, your sales funnel will be closed to them. This is especially true in the B2B space where most marketers use email as their main lead generation tool. This is because email is cost effective, easily measured and is easy to launch.

Many companies, however, think having a great email campaign can replace a good sales person. This just isn’t the case. While email is an effective way to get your message in front of the right people, it’s main purpose isn’t to close deals. Very rarely, no matter how compelling your copy or offering might be, are you going to have a B2B prospect tell you they are ready to buy off a first email. Most of the time it can take 3 – 6 emails before a potential prospect even responds to your offering. Even then, it might just be a simple ask to be removed!

A good email can’t replace a real conversation. That is why the purpose of email is to try and get a prospect into your initial sales funnel. This could mean signing them up for a newsletter, event RSVP, or downloading a special offer you only offer through email. The holy grail of email however, is getting a prospect to agree to a phone call or face to face meeting. This way, you can have your experienced sales person answer questions in real time and hopefully close the prospect or get them started down the path to becoming a customer.

Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our post on Three Email Techniques to Increase Open Rates.