Driving Lead Gen Through Email Marketing with Mariah West


In this presentation, Mariah West shares three tips to drive lead gen through email marketing. Mariah explains the successful tactics that she has used in order to generate leads via email.


Mariah West is VP of Marketing at ViB, a marketing agency that specializes in driving demand gen for high tech business to business companies. Mariah has worked in B2B marketing for over 15 years and worked with several startup companies. 


“If your goal from email is to generate leads, you need to ask yourself if you’re optimizing the content and the actions in every single email to ensure you actually get leads.” 

“Especially when email marketing, the cost of sending an email is so low, it certainly doesn’t harm to at least try.”

Key Points

Tips around driving lead gen through email marketing:

  1. Have a goal

  2. Consider broadening your target audience

  3. Give to get


Hi everybody, I’m Mariah West. I’m VP of Marketing at VIB. And we’re happy to be here. First time as sponsors at the reptech conference. So thank you for the opportunity to chat with you and share a little bit about our tips around driving lead gen through email marketing. Now, before we get started a little bit about myself, I’ve been in b2b marketing for about 15 years, and that’s given me exposure to almost every facet of marketing.

And I’m also a sucker for startups. So I’ve had the opportunity to work in many startup companies. And that’s really given me some unique insights into the need for fast growth environments. And now I’m VP of Marketing at VIB. VIB is a marketing agency that specializes in driving demand gen, for high tech business to business companies. And what we do is basically we just offer simple and proven marketing services that connect our clients with a community that we’ve created that consists of millions of technology professionals as members and through the kinds of work that we do as an agency, we get the unique opportunity to see how hundreds of software and Tech brands are positioning their solutions, and we send and analyze roughly 25 million emails a month, which is a lot it’s insane so what we did here was we condensed all of the insights we have around all those emails into a quick 15 minute session, where I’m gonna provide you our top three suggestions for using email specifically for driving lead gen. Now you don’t have to be a marketer to get value from the session.

My goal going into this from the get go was that no matter who you are, a marketer, a sales leader, a small business owner, that you at least walk out with one small thing that you can personally try to improve your results. You know, we all send emails every day. So for anyone who wants to generate leads via email these tactics are for you. And I’ve also included my LinkedIn profile here. So you can message me when you try them, tell me how they worked, or even share with me tips of your own. I’d love to hear from you. So here we go. Top three tips starting with tip number one.

When you’re using email for lead gen, you need to let your goal drive your strategy. Now that seems excessively simple. And you may be saying to yourself, Well, okay, Mariah, that’s really obvious but think about it for a minute. A lot of us consider email as a touch point on the brand awareness journey.

But if your goal from email is to generate leads, you need to ask yourself if you’re optimizing the content and the actions in every single email to ensure you actually get leads. And the easiest way we found to do this is first just define what are you trying to get that person to do from the email? And then use that answer to critically review your content and make sure it’s really singularly focused on getting them to do that action. You know, from my experience, a lot of us try really hard to write the perfect email. It’s got to be clever. It’s got to use unique words. And you’re really trying to pack in as much of your story as you can into a couple of lines. And sometimes, unfortunately, that comes at the expense of your goal. If it’s lead gen oriented, you have to ask yourself these questions. Do you have a strong call to action in every email? Or are you falling into the trap of overwhelming them with too much information or too many options? Or are you sharing information or are you providing them something of value that they may actually want to click on? And even if it’s a guesstimate, Do you have an idea of how many downloads you want from each individual email? And that’s unique because most of us have goals for whatever it is that we’re promoting. So if it’s a piece of content or an event, you probably have a goal for that piece of content, but you may not necessarily have a goal for that individual email. So we just recommend that you try to structure it the other way around.

So here are the five things that we recommend you try on that first tip, first, skinny down your hyperlinks to just one, one easily identifiable Call to Action per email. And that also includes your logo in the email, and includes any imagery in the email. From our research up to 20% of your click throughs are on the logo at the top of your email. So think about that. You might be missing out on 20% of your click throughs to your own website. So don’t link that logo to your website, link it to whatever your desired destination page is.

Number two and number three, you’re gonna want to use the action of a language that creates a sense of urgency. So as a very rudimentary example you’ve probably heard before, instead of using something like register, maybe use something a little bit more active like claim your spot. Number four don’t forget mobile. 85% of smartphone users access email via their smartphone. And I have to admit, I’m a perpetrator here. My phone is right here. And I’m one of the people who even when I’m sitting in front of my computer, I’m still checking my email on my phone, especially if I’m working on something else. So make sure that your CTAs display correctly in mobile, take that extra step that extra mile to do mobile testing before you send.

And lastly, and this is a big one for Lead gen. Your goal in a lead gen oriented email is to get them to click through to capture their information. So as tempting as it is, don’t give away all your secrets in the copy of your email. Just give away enough to get them to click to find out more and end up on whatever your desired landing page is. You really don’t need to tell the complete story in the email.

All right, going on to tip number two.

Consider broadening your target audience. Now you are working under an assumption on who your ideal buyer is. It’s based on a lot of experience and is based on a lot of research. Maybe your team has even gone and built really intelligent and well thought out personas for you to attack and all of that is incredibly valuable. We’re not recommending by any means that you abandon any of that. What we are suggesting is to take whatever that persona is, look at the right and look at the left of that persona. And consider widening your mailing list slightly to address people who are in the buying decision process. Because especially for technology products, buying decisions are becoming increasingly distributed. According to Gartner. You might have seen this stat before, for a typical firm with 100 to 500 employees. An average of seven people are involved in those buying decisions. So just imagine how that may change and scale up as you scale up in company size. So, with this tip, all we’re asking you to do is ask yourself, are you being too picky in who you email. Now we’ve put this into practice in our own business, with our clients, and we’ve seen some pretty amazing results.

As an example, one of our customers is a popular cloud infrastructure security platform provider. They were working with us on a campaign and they told us okay, VIB we want you to go after the Chief Information Security Officer CISO. It totally makes sense, right? CISO is most likely the economic buyer or the budget decision maker so they’re shooting high right? But in shooting high they were missing out on critical influencers and potential deal champions who would get more of what I consider functional benefits from the product. So we’ve worked with them to expand their target criteria. And we were able to generate a $75,000 opportunity in 30 days for the client. And this specific example. The deal was done with what I would call an up and coming buyer. It was somebody who on paper had a really kind of benign title, but they became the project owner on a big cloud security project. This tip on considering broadening your target audience is especially critical now because we’re in the midst of what everybody’s calling the great resignation, where so many people are changing jobs. They’re getting promotions, they’re moving jobs. And the data that we use to determine targeting, it might be up to date. So look at the periphery of your primary target persona, and really consider sending your email to those folks as well. Especially when email marketing the cost of sending an email is so low, it certainly doesn’t harm to at least try.

Alright, moving on to tip number three we’re going to quickly here. Tip number three is given to get we have a tendency all of us to over focus email on capturing somebody’s attention. That’s why when you do keyword searches, keyword searches like best subject lines, they have volume because we all want to capture attention. But once you get them to read that email, what are you doing to stimulate their participation? And so this tip is all about don’t underestimate the power of rewarding someone for their time. You know, in b2c, they do this all the time. You get financial incentives for participating in things and buying things, but for some reason in b2b marketing, there’s an implied bias that incenting activity is not identifying a genuine interest from the person.

Now in our experience, that’s just not true. incenting somebody is simply showing them that you value their time, and that you value it so much that you’re willing to put $1 value on the investment that they made in spending their time with you. It’s essentially you’re putting a $1 value on their time. And so if you take this idea and you apply it to your own life, think about how many emails you get in a day, dozens, hundreds, thousands? I know I’m in the 1000s but how many times have you glanced at an email and been interested in it? So for me for example, in my case, maybe it was a marketing survey, but then you mentally or actually physically market for later you say okay, oh yeah, that’s interesting. That’s important, but then you do nothing. And in my case, I actually filed them away in folders that have folders called like ideas for later or to do later. But how many times would you guess I actually go back and reread or do whatever that thing is? And for me, it’s a very small percentage. And for most of us, we never go back to doing that thing. Because the mental thought of Oh, yeah, that’s important. It lasts for like 1/10 of a second and you’re moving on.

Now, let’s say for example, that same marketing survey email I gave as my example, gave me $10 for the 10 minutes I would spend to do the survey.

Now I might write them in there, instead of filing it into a folder, prioritize doing the survey right then and why would I do that? Because I’m being rewarded for completing their desired action and it’s giving me incentive to not abandon that. So think about giving as giving to your target persona, something is just rewarding them for completing their desired action.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a b2b marketer for a long time. So I’m always skeptical of where to use incentives to get the best bang for your buck. But we’ve been AV testing this for years. And for us as a business, it has increased our response rate by more than 3X, and has reduced our no show rate for meetings by over half, because it’s creating that reciprocity factor that doesn’t exist without giving something. So here are our top tips to try different ways of giving. First one is to try offering an individual incentive upfront. So in some research, I was reading an article by Black Hawk research that said 82% of people prefer to receive gift cards over other incentive options. So maybe instead of buying one item to raffle away for 200 bucks, try breaking it down into 20 $10 individual gift cards, so everybody gets something.

Number two, if you’re still skeptical of the monetary, non cash incentives, just make sure that whatever your CTA is, is an actual real job aid. That’s also a way of giving a template, a checklist, a report. These are all going to be a little bit more valuable and then something that’s overly promotional to your brands like a white paper or a datasheet.

Or number three, if you’re promoting an event via email, just consider ways which you can use that event to give back to your prospect or client. Think of ways in which you can create a meaningful two way dialogue that gives them an outlet to really network or get their questions answered above and beyond a static webinar.

And last tip here is when all else fails, if you don’t want to try one, two or three, consider providing them with some knowledge that is new. So something that’s new that’s novel, something that could benefit them, either professionally or personally. Like what we’re doing here today, new tips, new tricks, new statistics are all things that a lot of people seek.

So my time is almost out. We’ve only scratched the surface of our top tips in this short 15 minutes. So after the event, what we’ll do is we’ll send you our Email Marketing Handbook, which is chock full of all of our tips and tricks for enhancing your email marketing results. And I’m also really happy to share that we’re going to be giving away a free email marketing service to everyone, everyone, every business who attends our session today, so expect to see a meeting invite from us VIB to set up your free smart send. And smart send is just the brand name that we give our marketing service and it’s where we will send your email of choice to our community members that matches your ideal customer profile. So I just ask you to start brainstorming what email you want to promote. And we’ll be reaching out to you to get it scheduled. We will do it automatically for anybody who attends the session. But you still have a QR code on the right. You can also scan the QR code if you want to enter for one directly.

So with that, thank you so much for your time. I really hope you’re taking a couple of tips out from this session. And we look forward to helping you in your revenue generating and demand gen goals.