Email marketing continues to be a powerful and cost effective marketing tool for companies of all sizes. According to Forrester, a global research firm, email volumes will surpass the 840 billion messages mark by 2013. With email becoming the preferred mode of communication, companies are opting to use email marketing as part of their sales and marketing strategy to extend their reach and increase their sales.
However, not all email marketing campaigns are created equal. Companies focusing on the B2B market have unique challenges when compared to their B2C counterparts. Given that the B2B sales transaction typically has a longer sales cycle and requires the approval or input of several members within the organization, email marketing requires more than free shipping or a coupon code.
Here are 10 tips for creating effective B2B email campaigns.
1. Define the Objective of Your Campaign
Is your campaign geared at acquiring new leads? Renewing interest in past leads? Or nurturing current relationships and building loyalty? Before you even begin crafting your campaign, be sure to answer this critical question. This will allow you to create an effective campaign focused around the campaign objective.
2. Segment Your Audience
A big mistake many B2B companies make is to bulk their audience into one category. A better strategy is to segment your entire customer list into a variety of categories. This segmentation allows for custom emails according to criteria such as job functions or user preferences.
3. Create Custom Emails
Another familiar pitfall of email campaigns is the mass email approach. Rather than creating a one-size fits all email campaign, customize your emails and messages to appeal to your particular audience.
4. Offer Value and Industry Knowledge
Your email marketing campaign should offer value and help establish your company as an industry leader. Downloads, webinars and digital assets are a great way to keep your email subscribers engaged.
5. Make Subject Lines Inviting
Just like B2C marketers excite email recipients with engaging subject lines that get right to the point, B2B email campaigns should use subject lines that invite recipients to click the open button.
6. Use a Trusted Sender Name and Address
From early on children are taught not to talk to strangers. Sending your email campaign from an unknown email address has the same effect. Make sure you’re your emails are sent from a name that is easily recognizable.
7. Integrate Social Media & Encourage Sharing
In the era of all things social, you should encourage sharing and integrate as many social media platforms as appropriate for your particular business. If you already have a presence on social platforms, integrating it into your email marketing campaign is simple and worthwhile.
8. Encourage Security and Trust
Another factor that is often ignored by B2B marketers is the trust factor associated with their messages. Assuming that everyone knows and understands your policies is wrong. Instead, make sure you add explanatory text to your email campaigns regarding subscription options.
9. Monitor Activity & Subscriptions
A critical mistake that B2B marketers often make is to stop at the first try. If your first email campaign was not successful, make sure you monitor activity and subscriptions to understand what went wrong. Understanding the activity and behavior of recipients can provide useful insights into your audience and what interests them.
10. Have Active Lead Management
Email marketing should be included in your general lead management process. Any potential leads should become part of your general pool of leads. Automated and personal follow-ups will ensure lead nurturing and help turn a simple inquiry into a sale.
As the use of direct mail marketing continues to decline, email marketing continues to grow thanks to its low cost and high ROI. Effective B2B email marketing campaigns can build brand awareness, aid in lead acquisition, increase customer loyalty and grow sales.
From customizing your messages to monitoring activity, email marketing offers flexibility and transparency beyond traditional marketing tools.
Still need help? Contact OneIMS 1-888-ONE-IMS1 for strategic marketing consulting to help you create effective, integrated marketing campaigns.