In the new digital marketing world with many different ways to advertise such as Google PPC, social media ads and bots, email marketing is still the best way to generate leads for your business.

59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective revenue generation channel. Why? Because it works. According to different studies including Campaign Monitor, every $1 spent on email marketing produces an outstanding ROI of $38.

Now that we know how beneficial email marketing can be for your business, let’s focus on how to actually generate leads from it.

Step 1- Build an email list.

A list is a collection of emails that potential prospects and clients have given to you. It is the foundation of any email marketing campaign and one the most valuable assets your brand can have.

Getting them to share their contact information with you is all about giving them something they need in exchange for it. Whether you are following an organic content marketing strategy or paid ads, you will want to “bribe” them into signing up for your list.

Case studies, new research, templates, workbooks, and free ebooks and courses are great examples of treasured content that you can offer to your audience. They will give you their email address so that they can receive it and become part of your network.

These artifacts that you are giving for free are also a useful way to filter your clients. For example, being willing to read an ebook on a specific topic shows a high level of interest in your expertise.

Step 2- Onboarding sequence.

After they receive their gift, you should start the process of onboarding them into your list. The first few emails are critical and will define whether your leads want to hear more about what you have to say.

You can automate this process so that every lead goes through the same sequence of emails. Tell them more about who you are, what you do, and what they will get out of your emails.

Step 3- Create a relationship.

Once the onboarding sequence is finished, you should now keep communicating with your leads through periodic emails. Building a personal relationship with your email list is very important, and it will ease the transition toward selling.

Step 4- Sell.

Having a large email list is useless if you don’t ever get to sell to them. Ideally, you’ll have a group of engaged readers who consume your content and think of you as an expert in the industry.

There are different ways to monetize your list: you can generate page views to your blog posts, sell banners in your emails, rent out your list to other individuals/businesses, or even sell your own products and services.

What’s the takeaway?

Email lists have the advantage of being the only communication channel that you own and it’s not ruled by algorithms. Building an active email list will create a constant stream of leads to your business.

Marti writes about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Find him with coffee and a laptop while traveling back and forth between Barcelona and Charlotte. Connect with him on LinkedIn.