One of my associates is an email programs manager, and he says there's one major benefit to email marketing: your cost per lead is very inexpensive. I've picked his brain about how to effectively target agency decision makers via email to boost sales leads.

The important thing to keep in mind, he warns, is that if you decide to use email in bulk (multiple messages sent at one time), you need to make sure that your campaign is compliant with the laws that regulate email marketing, such as the 2003 CAN-SPAM laws in the U.S.

Here are the top four government-agency email campaign tips we came up with that can help you successfully build relationships:

Start with the Right Targets

  • Find out who the decision makers are by accessing contact lists of key agency buyers. Don't waste your time emailing officials who you suspect aren't involved with the decision-making process. (Onvia can provide you with custom contact lists.)
  • Target officials at the right time. Access historical purchasing information to see when there has been a need for your services or when budgeting has been approved.

Create Meaningful Copy

  • Individually targeted email campaigns can generate nine times more revenue and 18 times more net profit than generic emails
  • Establish the value you will bring to the agency, including the benefits, competitive comparison, testimonials and procedures

Develop a Lifecycle

  • Keep track of when you are sending marketing communications, and how often
  • Adjust the marketing communications to fall in line with the progression of your sales cycle
  • Here is a basic lifecycle chart to help you develop and track your email campaigns:
    • Acquisition (Identify Prospects) – Launch your email campaign to your targeted lists of prospects
    • Persuasion (Engage Prospects / Introduce Sales Opportunities) – Develop follow-up campaigns to reinforce the emails and establish meaningful sales conversations
    • Conversion (Seal the Deal and Grow Revenue) – Establish the contracting opportunity and address the agency's needs and expectations
    • Retention (Retain Current Sales Relationships) – Maintain contact with the agency and address any new agency needs
    • Loyalty / Renewal (Renew Contracts and Expand on Opportunities) – Engage in discussions about contract renewals and ask the agency if they would be a referral or case-study subject

      Provide Calls to Action and Informational Tools

      • Always include contact phone numbers, email addresses, and your company website if you have one
      • Offer testimonials or case studies as part of the campaign
      • Offer referrals
      • Offer samples, if applicable