This month’s Ask a Fractional CMO question comes from a B2B leader: “We want to start email marketing. How many leads should we expect from our first email marketing campaign?”
Welcome to another edition of Ask a Fractional CMO, the monthly newsletter where we tackle pressing questions in the B2B marketing landscape. I’m Jen Kelly, founder and fractional CMO at New Initiatives Marketing, joined by Nicole Crozier, another fractional CMO at the company. Today’s question is: “We want to start email marketing. How many leads should we expect from our first email marketing campaign? How many leads can you guarantee?”
This question raises a few interesting points:
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So how do you predict marketing results and what types of results should you expect when you’re just starting out? Predicting marketing results involves gathering historical data, understanding industry benchmarks, and setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). However, if you’re just starting out, you may not have access to past data, making initial predictions more of an educated guess. You should expect variability in your results initially but aim to gather as much data as possible to make more accurate future predictions.
Many of the organizations asking for such guarantees are sales-driven. They are accustomed to measuring success in numbers—calls made, meetings held, demos conducted, and so forth. This numbers-centric focus influences their approach when they decide to transition into marketing.
How does email marketing work to generate leads, and what type of strategy and system would need to be in place to make this happen? Email marketing is about more than just sending out emails. It’s a structured approach that includes segmenting your audience, crafting personalized messages, and using strategic calls-to-action. Furthermore, a marketing automation system is often essential for scaling up your efforts and managing various moving parts effectively.
Companies that have never engaged in any marketing efforts are essentially starting from scratch, without any historical data. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to predict lead generation without an existing database or marketing metrics. Data on marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), average cost per customer, and other crucial metrics are essential for any predictions.
When it comes to email marketing, several factors can influence the campaign’s success, such as the frequency of emails, the quality of your email list, and open rates. If a company hasn’t done any email marketing before, making any guarantees would be not just challenging but irresponsible.
This brings us to another question: Can marketing leads really be guaranteed, and should they be? The straightforward answer is no, leads can’t be guaranteed. Marketing involves multiple variables, from the quality of the data you have to the market conditions you’re operating in. Guaranteed leads might seem like a dream, but it’s a dangerous notion that can set unrealistic expectations and lead to poor long-term strategy decisions.
It’s essential to note that email marketing should be just one aspect of a broader, more comprehensive marketing strategy. Focusing solely on one tactic without considering how it fits into the bigger picture may result in missed opportunities. For instance, if an email campaign isn’t tied to sales initiatives, you could miss out on warm prospects who engage with your emails but aren’t guided through the sales funnel.
An effective marketing strategy doesn’t just look at isolated tactics; it considers the entire customer journey. This journey includes multiple touchpoints where your prospective clients interact with your business. Emails should be designed to guide these prospects through this journey, providing them with the right information at the right time.
The most important lesson from this month’s question for us is: If you’re new to marketing and specifically email marketing, expecting guaranteed leads from day one is not realistic. However, by launching a well-thought-out campaign and collecting data, you can make more educated predictions about your ROI.
Ask a Fractional CMO is the monthly newsletter where you get to ask your most pressing questions around B2B marketing. NIM’s Fractional CMOs Jen Kelly and Nicole Croizier will tackle two questions each month, answering them in their Ask A Fractional CMO video blog and newsletter. You can ask your question now and review answers to past questions RIGHT HERE.
To help you make important decisions around your marketing investment, we’ve created a comprehensive 33-page eBook: The B2B CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World
In this eBook, we walk you through the six most important questions B2B CEOs need to answer in order to build their first marketing team and choose the right marketing model for their stage of business:
You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE
If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email or book a consultation time.
Jen Kelly leads New Initiatives Marketing, Inc., a Fractional CMO & Expert B2B Marketing Team company. Since 2009, our team of senior marketing leaders and expert marketing specialists has been helping B2B CEOs with the strategic leadership and real-world marketing execution needed for practical, long-term results.