Email lead generation: Cold spam or steak dinner?

This week we’re continuing our rundown of the top 6 (and 2 worst) B2B marketing strategies for generating sales leads. When we’ve covered all eight strategies we’ll reveal which have proven to be the best in order of effectiveness and which ones, well, haven’t. 

We’ve helped our clients including Nasdaq, IBM, Hyatt Hotels, Intrado engage with small, mid and large enterprise organisations.

They’ve gotten into Apple, Disney, Gap, Amex, eBay, Deloitte, Ford, Google, Nike, Loreal, Fedex and countless other big names. That’s at the executive level, so CEO and COOs, whose calendars are booked months in advance. We know how to engage them so they’ll want to talk to you in the next few days. 

Today, we’re going to be looking at the pros and cons of email marketing, but over the course of the next couple of weeks, we’re also going to be looking at:

  • Events and conferences
  • Referrals
  • Talking on stage
  • Telemarketing
  • Webinars
  • General content marketing


Cold email marketing may not sound like a go to for B2B marketers, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Key to success is making sure you’re not feeding prospects spam. What you send should be so far removed from it, there can be no confusion between the two. If you can master that, you’ll  be taking clients out for steak dinners and closing deals in no time.

There are lots of advantages to B2B email marketing, but there’s three crucial ones – targeting, scalability and the amount of time c-suite execs spend on email platforms. 

The scattergun approach of SEO, PPC, social media marketing, marketing at conferences and events and especially content marketing, are taken out of the equation. 

With the right data you can identify exactly the people you want to do business with, at the right time. You can customise your message and make it really personal and intimate. If you’re sending a well crafted email from one executive to another, that can be really powerful. 

Email is scalable because data on prospects is virtually unlimited. 

The reality is, 84% of professionals say that email is their preferred method of communicating for business (Hubspot survey). We can’t get through the day without it, even if we could be using it a bit less. C-suite execs are no different. Check out our blog on how much time execs spend on email.

So, what’re the cons? Well, it’s expensive to do it properly. You have to be able to source good data, which isn’t cheap. GDPR is very difficult to navigate, as are other compliance laws around the world. You need to be able to write engaging copy that gets the tone of your pitch just right. In order to dispatch emails at scale you also need the technology and capacity to follow up on the responses. Check out or blog on using sales development reps (SDRs) to learn how to nurture sales leads to meetings. 

Something else you need to watch out for is, especially if you’re outsourcing, is how the company you’re working with defines a lead. Check out our blog on the subject here. 

The leads you get from email marketing can also be more difficult to close than from referrals or speaking on stage at events, but since they’re often more numerous, that can balance things out.