In the universe of business-to-business email marketing a well defined strategy is the difference between success and failure. Today, we will discuss the importance of having a structured approach to ensure the success of your marketing venture by showcasing what you should do in your B2B email marketing campaign in order to drive up your sales.
Whether you are a veteran marketer or a newbie looking to fulfill your marketing aspirations, the importance of email marketing cannot and should not go overlooked.
Email Marketing is King
You may be wondering why it is that you need to define a strategy for your email marketing campaigns.
With over 4 billion users worldwide, email is one of the predominant forms of communication in the modern world.
But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at some number, shall we?
- The global email marketing market value is over $7 billion USD
- Over 300 billion emails are sent and received worldwide every day
- +60% of small businesses reach clients through email
- +85% of B2B marketers say email is their preferred free distribution channel
Fun fact: Most emails are opened on Friday
Email marketing is without a doubt the most cost-efficient method of reaching your clientele. Especially in the B2B spectrum, in which logic and clear mutual benefit are the foundations of a successful relationship. Email is an easy, fast and effective way to communicate with your B2B clients.
In that sense, lead nurturing goes hand in hand with email marketing. If someone is on the fence of whether or not to do business with you, email marketing can be the last small push they need to be fully convinced. Knowing how to lead prospective clients down your sales funnel is key for the growth and long term success of your business.
The return on investment (ROI) of a strong email marketing campaign is high. It is possible to achieve 4100%+ by playing your cards right. Or rather, planning ahead and sending your emails the right way.
How can you too achieve such an astonishing return?
We will share some of our tips, with which your B2B email marketing campaigns are surely to improve.
#1 Get an Email Service Provider (ESP)
The first step for you to reliably send emails to actually get in league with a service provider for your email related purposes.
It is important to use the right tools for the right job, and you should look into turning the rollout of your campaign as automated, clean and simple as possible in order to guarantee a stress-free campaign start.
Luckily, there is ample offer for such services, with a wide range of configurations and features.
Take your time and research the tool that is right for you.
#2 Know what you’re aiming for
Determining your key performance indicators or KPIs will help you set out your objectives so that you can establish clear goals for your B2B email marketing campaign and define your strategy on how to achieve them.
Some of the KPIs you should consider for your campaign resolve around interaction with your email, such as open-rates or click-through rates (CTR).
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much return do you want from your campaign?
- How much engagement do you expect from your email campaign?
- How can you track and measure your performance?
When you determine well ahead of time where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, the process becomes much less clouded and you can now streamline your campaign much more effectively, eliminating impulse from the equation, leading to a more coherent decision process.
#3 Clean your list before sending out your B2B email marketing campaign
Cleaning your email list is probably the most important step. Why?
It is the single most efficient way to catapult your ROI into the highest possible value. Every cent you spend on an undeliverable email is lost money, hurting your percentatual return and your reputation.
You can learn more about the importance of reputation here. (LINK SCORE)
Cleaning your list isn’t only meant to protect you from bad reputation or wasted emails, it also serves as an empowering tool for your campaigns, as it actively allows you to confidently make the best use of your Email Service Provider and focus on what’s really important for your B2B email marketing campaign, the content.
Speaking of which…
#4 Personalize and Segment
Your B2B clients have different needs and profiles. It’s important to customize your clients’ experiences accordingly.
Make sure you’re not trying to sell snow boots to someone living in the desert.
We’ve addressed the importance of communicating clearly that there is mutual benefit in being in business with you, it is important to make sure you know that your value proposition goes towards your clients’ needs and wants.
In order to do that successfully, you will need to identify the various needs of your clients and separate them accordingly - this is the process of segmentation.
In segmentation, it is important to know your clients’ motivations, pain points and the nuance of their specific market of operations.
Taking the time to properly segment your B2B email marketing campaign can drastically increase your return on investment.
Personalizing your emails is also very important, there are various tools that allow you to give your emails a personal feeling, such as adding your clients’ name or adjusting the message directly to their company, in a fairly automated manner, which implies almost no extra work and will give your campaign a unique touch.
#5 A/B Testing
A/B testing is a very simple but effective method to compare two different versions of the same thing, and measure how well they perform against each other.
It basically consists of sending version A or B of your email, at random within a previously specified segment, and voilá, you get an immediate comparison which allows you to see which version is better and why - so put on your best science outfit, you’re about to run some tests!
I cannot overstate the importance of A/B testing, while it may seem relatively inconsequential to your email marketing campaign, the importance of the measurements this testing method allows you to obtain are of a critical nature.
Did you know that companies that consistently apply A/B testing to their B2B email marketing campaigns can consistently achieve the highest ROIs?
Coincidence? I think not!
#6 Optimize and Automate
Automating your B2B email marketing campaign will come with huge benefits, mostly in the form of time. Time you can now spend focusing on your approach, content and relationships with your clients.
Having your lists automatically updated and verified, for example, is exactly the kind of optimization that helps an email marketing campaign to succeed. Not only will this process reduce the overall costs of conducting your marketing operations, it will also allow you to take a step back and take a good look at the big picture as your campaign unfolds.
Finally, you can relax and look at those KPIs demonstrating your hard work!
Another big topic is optimization. I would like to place particular emphasis on mobile optimization. Making your emails’ design mobile friendly is critical. Almost everyone has a smartphone and uses it to check their emails. Obviously, you can’t leave optimization just at mobile. Optimizing your email for every imaginable format, screen-type or platform is a must-do in the modern world.
Never be the marketer that sends out an email that when opened looks like a creature straight out of a H.P. Lovecraft novel!
In order to succeed you want to think ahead.
So think ahead!
A well constructed follow up email is the basis for continuous interaction. Create that experience in which the client is happy to see your email arrive, he’s now looking forward to receiving your updates.
This is called user-behavior-triggered campaigns. Basically, when the user meets a certain criteria or performs a specific action, you trigger a series of events that complements it.
These actions or criteria can be anything from making a purchase to visiting a page frequently enough on your website.
Whatever the trigger is, you need to make sure that you follow up on it, ideally showcasing the very value proposition the client was looking for in the first place.
It may take some work to identify which actions should be considered triggers or not, but there is a lot of advantage in doing so because of the improvement you will see in your engagement metrics.
#8 Don’t overlap campaigns
You don’t want to pester your B2B clients with campaigns on top of campaigns.
This is why creating a roadmap (again, thinking ahead) is important when defining your email marketing strategy.
More often than not you will be dealing with long sales cycles from your B2B clients. Awareness of the timing of these cycles is crucial for when you make your value proposition known to them again.
Not only will mapping out your campaign timeline help in keeping everything organized and running smoothly but also allow your B2B clients some time to breathe between interactions.
This is important because of relationship management, I spoke earlier of the importance of a good relationship in your B2B connections. Roadmapping your email campaigns allows you to deliver your emails at just the right time, maximizing their effectiveness.
#9 Quality Content
This may be coming in last, but is definitely one of the most important parts of your email marketing campaign.
We receive a lot of emails everyday.
So how can you stand out from everyone else?
The first thing someone sees when they receive your email is the title. Your email title needs to quickly capture the attention of your client. Short and sweet is the best approach.
Don’t write a title that your client will quit reading halfway through.
Your header and email content should also go straight to the point, don’t use too much text or descriptive paragraphs, synthesize your message and use visual aid to complement and emphasize the most important parts of your email.
Need the client to go through a link? Give them a big button to do so.
Want someone to know you’re having a 50% off deal? Make sure that’s the first thing they see.
Never overlook design.
Leading your readers’ eyes to the most important parts of your message can be a difficult task and requires some planning to achieve, but the rewards for doing so outweigh the effort by multitudes.
The content of your email is definitely something that you should spend some time brainstorming about.
Quick best practices rundown
Be on the lookout for your best day to send emails, each market has a different response and for some areas Mondays are completely chaotic, while for others Mondays are relaxed and stress-free. Use the segments you’ve created to determine which day is your day!
What about sending time? Early morning, mid afternoon?
Don’t neglect the effect this can have. For me at least, getting takeaway suggestions near lunchtime has definitely been more effective than at any other time of day.
Lastly, have the option to opt-out of your emails visible and easy to access. It can hurt a bit when someone decides they don’t want to receive your emails anymore. However, making that process easy will undoubtedly help with your relationship.
So, let’s review what we learned.
Email marketing campaigns are great for your B2B needs, they have the highest ROI you can find in the industry and if that doesn’t speak for itself, nothing will.
B2B Marketers agree on the importance of a well structured email marketing campaign.
To succeed, remember to implement some of the tips we discussed on this article
- Get an ESP that suits you
- Define KPIs, strategize on how you’re going to achieve them
- A/B Testing - Science!
- Personalize your message
- Segment your client base, know who you’re addressing and for what
- Automate - Email machine goes brrr!
- Optimize - Your clients need to be able to read your email, whichever device they use!
- Follow up successfully
- Mapping = good strategy
- Content Quality > Content Quantity
- Keep best practices in mind
That’s all for today! I hope you find that these suggestions help you achieve your goals in your B2B email marketing campaign.