Starting Conversations and Building Trust with B2B Prospects Starts with Capturing Their Email Address

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This article presents findings from a NuVoodoo study on how to effectively capture email addresses from business decision-makers. Key incentives include loyalty programs (55%), discounts/coupons (53%), free trials/samples (51%), competitions/giveaways (50%), and exclusive access (48%). Content marketing, while slightly less effective overall, still appeals to 42% and carries low to no hard costs.  The article also provides a series of specific, actionable recommendations for businesses hoping to start a conversation and build trust with likely business decision-makers at the top of the funnel

In June 2024, NuVoodoo conducted a nationwide digital media study of over 3,000 respondents 14 to 64,  1,091 of whom were business decision-makers over the age of 21. The objective of this aspect of our research was to identify the types of incentives that would likely prompt this group to share their email contact information, initiating a top-of-the-funnel customer journey as B2B prospects. All in the sample subset acknowledged being responsible for making at least some of the purchases on behalf of their employer or business.  

While the total sample composition included a balanced gender distribution among all respondents, with an almost equal split between men and women, within the group of business decision-makers, men represented 61% of the respondents, while women accounted for 39%. The survey also captured generational data, revealing that 64% of the business decision-makers were Gen Z and Millennials, with the remaining 36% split between Gen X and Young Boomers.

The major findings of the study highlighted the most effective incentives for encouraging email sharing among business decision-makers. 

  • Loyalty program enrollment emerged as the top incentive, with 55% of respondents indicating they were likely or extremely likely to share their email for this benefit.
  • Discounts or coupons were also highly effective, motivating 53% of business decision-makers. 
  • Free trials and free samples were equally compelling, with 51% of respondents showing a strong likelihood to provide their email addresses. 
  • Competitions or giveaways, as well as exclusive access to products or services, also proved effective, with 50% and 48% of respondents, respectively, being highly motivated by these incentives.

In contrast, incentives such as newsletters (42%), webinars or online courses (45%), and early on-sale opportunities (46%) were moderately effective.  Also moderately effective as incentives were the provision of ebooks, research reports, or whitepapers, which motivated 42% of business decision-makers to share their email information.  While marginally less effective than the top-ranked results, these insights have the benefit of costing only time and brainpower, while giving companies the ability to deliver “free samples” of their industry experience, savvy, and smartness.

How Our Data Can Inform Your B2B Strategy

To generate leads and initiate interactions at the top of the funnel with prospects who may not yet be familiar with a company but are potentially interested in its services or products, businesses can strategically leverage the findings from this study. Here’s how companies can act on this data:

1. Implement Loyalty Programs

Given that 55% of business decision-makers are highly likely to share their email addresses for loyalty program enrollment, companies should prioritize creating and marketing attractive loyalty programs. These programs should offer clear, valuable benefits such as exclusive discounts, early access to new products, and rewards for continued engagement.

Action Steps:

  • Design a loyalty program with tiered rewards to encourage continuous engagement.
  • Promote the loyalty program across various digital channels, including the company website, social media, and email marketing.
  • Highlight the unique benefits and success stories from existing members to attract new sign-ups.

2. Offer Discounts and Coupons

With 53% of respondents motivated by discounts or coupons, companies should utilize these incentives to capture email addresses from potential leads.

Action Steps:

  • Create limited-time offers and advertise them through targeted ads on Google, LinkedIn, and industry-specific websites.
  • Use pop-ups on the company’s website to offer first-time visitors a discount or coupon in exchange for their email address.
  • Incorporate discount codes in retargeting ads to re-engage visitors who have previously interacted with the site but did not convert.

3. Provide Free Trials

Free trials are an effective way to allow potential customers to experience the product or service firsthand, with 51% of respondents likely to share their email for this incentive.

Action Steps:

  • Develop a seamless sign-up process for free trials, ensuring minimal friction for users.
  • Promote the free trial offer through PPC campaigns, social media ads, and content marketing (e.g. blogs, webinars).
  • Follow up with trial users through personalized email campaigns to convert them into paying customers.

4. Distribute Free Samples

Free samples can entice 51% of business decision-makers to share their contact information. This approach works well for companies with physical products.

Action Steps:

  • Create compelling ads on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, targeting industry-specific groups with the offer of free samples.
  • Use event marketing at industry conferences and trade shows to distribute samples and collect email addresses.
  • Include customer testimonials and reviews in digital ads to build trust and encourage sign-ups.

5. Host Competitions or Giveaways

Competitions and giveaways are effective in attracting 50% of respondents, making them a valuable tool for lead generation.

Action Steps:

  • Organize online contests where participants need to provide their email address to enter, ensuring the prize is relevant and appealing to your target audience.
  • Promote these competitions through email marketing, social media, and partnerships with industry influencers.
  • Use gamification techniques to increase engagement and encourage participants to share the competition with their networks.

6. Promote Exclusive Access

Offering exclusive access to new products or services can attract 48% of business decision-makers to share their email addresses.

Action Steps:

  • Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity in your marketing messages, emphasizing limited-time or limited-availability offers.
  • Use email campaigns and retargeting ads to highlight the benefits of early or exclusive access.
  • Showcase sneak peeks or teasers of upcoming products to generate interest and excitement.

7. Content Marketing: Ebooks, Webinars, Whitepapers, Educational Videos, and Other “Free Samples of Smartness”

Although somewhat less effective overall, providing valuable content like ebooks, research reports, and whitepapers still appeal to a significant portion of decision-makers (42%), and sharing expertise to build trust is a time-tested best practice when nurturing prospects through the marketing funnel.

Action Steps:

  • Develop high-quality, industry-specific content that addresses the pain points and interests of your target audience.
  • Gate this content behind an email sign-up form on your website and promote it through LinkedIn ads, webinars, and industry publications.
  • Follow up with leads who download your content with personalized email nurturing campaigns to move them further down the funnel.
  • Consider using location-based marketing strategies targeting industry-specific conventions and tradeshows.

General Recommendations:

  • Personalization: Tailor your marketing messages and offers to the specific needs and interests of different audience segments.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously test different incentives, ad creatives, and messaging to determine what resonates best with your audience.
  • Analytics and Tracking: Use analytics tools to monitor the performance of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize your lead generation efforts.
  • Work with Experts: Engaging companies like NuVoodoo Media Services to turn strategy into practice cost-efficiently, without paying the learning curve “tuition” that results from inexperience or an overstretched staff.

By strategically implementing these tactics, companies can effectively capture the interest of business decision-makers, gather valuable email contacts, and begin nurturing these leads through targeted marketing efforts. NuVoodoo conducts market research, executes full-funnel marketing programs, and builds custom digital products.  To learn more, drop us a line anytime: