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  • Writer's pictureToucan Insights Staff

How to Generate Leads through Email Marketing?


Having a well-defined email lead generation process in place can positively influence your bottom line. 

Emails are a great tool to convert a potential customer into a paying client. The key is to provide relevant content on each phase of the marketing funnel.

To develop this approach properly, you'll need to build up an email list from the ground up. Therefore, many business owners opt to outsource their email marketing to a dedicated agency.

Before sharing some best practices regarding email lead generation, it is important to know what this concept entails.

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How to Generate Leads through Email Marketing?

What is Email Lead Generation?

Email lead generation is the process of attracting and converting new leads into paying customers via email marketing. 

Here is the general line of thought on what this looks like:

  • You request that prospects provide you with their email addresses.

  • To persuade them to convert, you provide them with an appealing lead magnet like a special discount, or a report, to name a few.

  • After this, you should stay in touch with your prospects by sending them emails on a regular basis.

Your email list is your most important asset for your email lead generation process.


Not only is the number of addresses important for your email lead generation strategy, but the quality of these leads is also crucial to ensuring that a higher percentage of people are genuinely interested in your offering.

Therefore, you should avoid buying email lists from the internet at all costs because these addresses might not be from real people plus they neither agreed to be on your email list nor showed interest in your offerings. 

People who would perceive your emails as intrusive would certainly not be interested in your content.

As important as email lead generation is, it is key to first have a complete understanding of what makes up a good and convincing email.

Knowing which types of emails (e.g., reminder emails, newsletters, event invitations, etc.) to send at which frequency or understanding which marketing goals to set for your business is crucial to succeeding with email lead generation.

Here are 7 best practices that aim to help you to build an email list with high-quality leads.

Toucan Insights | Digital Marketing Checklists

1. Email Drip Campaigns

At its core, an email drip campaign is a sequence of emails that builds up from the previous one. 

They usually start with a welcome email to thank your newly subscribed person and to give them a taste of what they can expect from future messages. 

After that, you can follow the 80/20 rule, in which you share your knowledge via information-filled emails 80% of the time and send out promotional messages for your new products and services 20% of the time. 

The second type of email can offer discounts or other incentives or discuss product bundles.

On the other side, most of the time you want to share valuable information, like giving unique industry insights to your leads or answering their most important pain points and questions.

Regarding the frequency of your posts, you can experiment with how your customers react when posting once a week, once every 2 days, or once per month, for example.

2. Email Automation

Many business owners underestimate how much time and effort it takes to write, schedule, and post every email by hand.

Automating these processes will give you more time to test and optimize your copy, images, structure, and other elements of your email to improve the conversion rate.

You can use certain actions as triggers to send emails at the right time to your customers, for example, when they: 

  • Sign up for your email list.

  • Register for your webinar.

  • Buy a product.

  • Subscribe to a service.

When one of these triggers occurs, your customers will receive a response email. This is a fully automated and highly focused approach that saves you a good amount of time.

3. Gated Content 

Especially in the B2B market, most content is only made available when consumers share their contact information with the specific company behind the gated content.

Hiding content behind a digital wall is often used for content like white papers, videos, ebooks, product demos, or case studies, to name a few.

Putting up a so-called lead capture wall for your content gives you the opportunity to reveal the most interested users who can join your email list.

This is a good way to build up a good-quality list of leads, as they are more likely to be interested in your content by subscribing to your email list.

However, if your goal is to gain brand awareness, then you should probably not gate your content because fewer people will see your valuable content that way.

Toucan Insights | Digital Marketing Checklists

4. Use the FUGI method

Understanding human psychology and applying it to your advantage can go a long way.

FUGI stands for:

Fear of loss (F):

Make it clear to your customers that if they don’t sign up for your email list, they could miss out on great discounts, free content, and other incentives. 

People tend to leave their details more often when there is something to lose for them compared to possible gains.

Urgency (U):

Let your offer be available for a limited amount of time. If people have to think fast, they are more likely to act on impulse and sign up for the limited offer.

Greed (G):

If you present your leads with a very appealing deal that can let them save a good amount of money compared to other deals, then they are more likely to join your email list.

Observe what your competitors are offering to their customers and try to provide a better deal.

Indifference (I):

If your leads are still not reacting to your emails after implementing all these techniques, then it's probably better not to send them more messages. 

It is best to acknowledge that, no matter the effort, some people are just not interested in buying your offerings. The best you can do here is stop sending them emails before becoming a spam sender in their accounts.

5. Split testing

As mentioned before, testing your emails to see which aspects can be improved is key to increasing the conversion rate of your lead generation process.

The way you should do split testing is by selecting one specific element in your email that you want to test (e.g., the subject line, images, call-to-action button, your main text, the structure of the email, etc.).

The reason why it is better to split and test the different parts is that you want to accurately measure what change could improve your conversion rate. 

This way, you can target the most impactful changes and spend more time optimizing them instead of testing various elements without having a clear objective in mind.

6. Give incentives for word-of-mouth actions (e.g. referrals, shares)

This method is more effective the larger your existing email list. 

By giving away exclusive discounts or deals to current customers, it is more likely that if they are also happy with your services or products, they will recommend them to their acquaintances, thus boosting the number of your subscribers without much effort.

7. Use social media channels to grow your list

Add call-to-action buttons to your social media accounts to promote your free content, upgrade, or exclusive discount when signing up to your email list.

Additionally, by using tools like Facebook marketing tools or X marketing tools, you can advertise subscribing to your email list to a broader audience.

You can also directly add opt-in forms or sign-up buttons to your fan pages to make it even easier to subscribe to your email list.


Once you have reached the point of having a large email base with high-quality leads, the biggest part of your work is already complete.

Serving these leads with valuable content and nurturing them through each buyer phase is crucial to converting your leads into paying customers.


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