As you log in to your computer every morning, one of the first tasks you probably complete is going through your email. This form of communication is a staple in people’s workday, and it’s one of the most universally used marketing tools to date.
But, just because you’re well versed in reading and answering emails doesn’t mean your email advertising strategy is where it could (and should) be. To effectively reach your target audience, you must use your emails thoughtfully — it takes much more than simply typing out a few sentences and hitting send.
Learn how to boost your B2B email marketing with a well-constructed strategy and discover how to build a successful email in this blog.
The Importance of B2B Email Marketing
B2B email marketing is the process of promoting products and services to other businesses via email. Unlike B2C marketing where a company communicates with individuals, B2B marketing is done wholly between one organization and another.
While email is a widely used method of connecting with coworkers and other industry professionals, its popularity within the marketing world has grown exponentially over the years, and for good reason: Email generates a return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every dollar spent, according to Litmus. This ROI is much higher than that of many other advertising mediums.
Because email is so effective, it’s a top choice for many marketers. In fact, Snovio found that 89% of advertisers use email as their primary channel for generating leads.
Here are a few of the benefits a B2B marketer can receive from using B2B email marketing:
Increase Revenue and ROI
A B2B email marketing campaign has the potential to generate impressive results when executed correctly. Email marketing is generally a low-cost form of advertising, even though it does take time and energy to strategize, write, and send messages electronically — especially compared to other forms of marketing.
Personalization is extremely important for any type of advertising, and email marketing is no expectation. You must target specific audience segments and tailor your message based on their specific needs and business problems to create a relevant message for them. By resonating with prospect’s unique desires, you can expect improved metrics like higher click through rates, more website traffic, and increased sales.
Email marketing provides an easy way to utilize these metrics and track the overall performance of your efforts. This allows you to see what’s working and what’s not, enabling you to adjust your strategy accordingly. Stop guessing whether your audience engages with your messages and look at actual data points by using a marketing method that makes reporting easier.
Gain More Leads
An effective email strategy can better reach your target audience and share helpful insights about your company and offerings, leading to better engagement overall. While consumers’ inboxes are chalked full of content, sending valuable information can help you attract new leads, be a thought leader, and increase credibility with your potential customers.
Email is very versatile, and marketers can include free offers, sign-up forms, and other lead nurturing sequences that can capture the prospect’s information. You can use this personal information to build a relationship with them with personalized messaging that answers their questions and gets to the heart of their business problems.
Marketing is focused on your target audience and what they want to receive. But, sometimes advertising efforts are completely one-sided, making it difficult to know if you’re actually having a positive impact on your consumers. Better understand what your audience is looking for by hearing from them directly through customer service surveys, email responses, and data focused on the consumer. And, with messaging customized for your customer segments, you’ll be more likely to receive in-depth responses from your customers.
You can then improve their customer experience by modifying your messaging and delivery schedule based on their responses.
Meet Your Customers Where They’re At
Marketing is all around you, whether you’re aware of it or not. Some forms of advertising are more flexible than others, and email marketing is one of them because it’s accessible and easy to use. Email can be read and interacted with wherever people are, whether that’s on their personal computers, desktop displays, or on their mobile devices. Rather than people seeing your brand only when they drive by a billboard, turn on the TV, or log in to their social media, email is constantly reaching people where it’s most convenient.
Consumers go through the sales funnel as they consider making a purchase. Most people don’t progress from the awareness stage to the decision stage right away — it takes time and research to move to the final step of the process. A B2B marketer can leverage their email marketing strategy to precisely target consumers with content that’s specific to each stage of the buyer’s journey. This provides readers with answers to their questions and delivers the types of content necessary to continue moving down the sales pipeline. By strategically using email, marketers can accelerate this process and move people more quickly to the next step, ultimately resulting in more sales.
How To Build an Email Marketing Strategy
With so many brands riding the email marketing wave, it’s become one of the principal methods of engagement between marketers and their consumers. But, with everyone using email, it makes it difficult to achieve the performance you’re hoping for.
The main problem with having such a great marketing tool available is that it forces your target audience’s inboxes to be an extremely competitive place. It takes a strong B2B email marketing strategy to drive your customers to open and read your email. Although it requires time to create a strong email marketing strategy, it will be the most advantageous first step for you to take. Not only will it guide your email marketing efforts, but it will also be a good foundation for other marketing work going forward.
Don’t lose heart if you haven’t yet built a strategy. It’s never too late to get started. Here are the steps for crafting a successful and effective email marketing campaign:
1. Choose Your Email Tools
Not all email marketing service tools are created equal. It takes careful consideration and planning to determine what the best email service provider for your team will be. This platform will assist with creating, organizing, and sending your emails, so ensure you choose one that will help you accomplish your tasks and meet your goals more quickly and efficiently.
The most important features and capabilities that an email service should offer include:
- Email list segmentation: People in your contact list will have varying levels of interest in your product or service and be at different stages of the buying process. Being able to group various prospects together and target them specifically can make it easier to personalize messaging and produce better results.
- A/B testing: An email service provider that allows for A/B testing is helpful in knowing how effective your campaigns are and adjusting efforts where needed. This lets you send out two different emails and see which one resonates more with the prospects you’re attempting to reach.
- Automated scheduling and delivery: The beauty of an email marketing platform is its ability to tell you the most opportune time to mail the message as well as its scheduling capabilities. Manually sending out emails at the right moment can be time consuming. Let the platform do the hard work for you, giving you more time to focus on other important aspects of email marketing.
- Contact management: You may have a long list of email subscribers, and taking care of that list is critical. Contact management allows you to organize your customers by their preferences and level of interest in your content. It should flag the less engaged or duplicate prospects so you can have more accurate data to measure.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
It would be unproductive and unrewarding to produce quality emails with no target audience in mind. Because every person is so unique and desires different things, it’s vital that you establish who it is that you’re attempting to partner with. This group is the consumers that are most likely to buy your product or struggle with a problem you can solve.
To find your ideal customer, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are you currently serving?
- Who are your competitor’s customers?
- Who would most benefit from your product or service?
After answering these questions, you should be able to hone in on a set of people who have some similarities based on their needs and business problems. Then, make your group more specified by pinpointing demographic information that your target customers most commonly share, such as:
- Marital status
As you visualize your ideal prospects, it’s also essential to note this group’s habits, personal traits, pain points, and attitudes, as these elements will factor into how they make decisions. With your target audience identified, it’ll be much easier to tailor your messages and content to appeal to them.
3. Define Your Objectives and Goals
It’s good to track your email performance based on important marketing metrics, but it’s not enough to determine if your marketing efforts are successful or not. Like any business venture or advertising campaign, it’s essential to know what you’re aiming to achieve and hoping to accomplish through your work. But, rather than saying you simply want more email subscribers or more people to open your messages, make quantified SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound — goals that can be checked off or monitored.
Some examples of SMART email marketing goals include:
- Grow your email subscriber list by 1,200 people.
- Increase email open rates from 15% to 25%.
- Improve your click-through rate by 3%.
- Retain 20% more customers.
- Reduce unsubscribes by 20%.
Reporting on the performance and results will be much smoother if you know what metrics your email campaign is aiming for.
4. Build Out Your List of Subscribers
To have people to send your content to, you need to add subscribers to your contact list. All this requires is people’s email addresses, which can be obtained in a few different ways.
Use Strong Calls to Action
Your consumers should always know what steps you’d like them to take after reading your email.
Accomplish this by using bold action verbs that clearly state what’s expected of them and what they’ll receive in return. For example, “Head to our website to learn more about protecting your digital assets.”
Unfortunately, most customers won’t follow through with a specific task if they’re not interested in the email content. For the CTA to be effective, it must be attached to relevant and engaging content.
Use Free Offers
People love free content, whether that be an educational whitepaper or an insightful blog post. A complimentary offer in exchange for an address is a great way to build up your contact list with engaged consumers. Not only will this grow your reach, but it will also ensure that the people being added to your contacts truly want to learn more about your product or service.
Keep an Opt-In Form on Your Page
Give your target audience the ability to fill out a quick opt-in form at any point when they’re on your website. Keep it located in a sidebar or footer as a permanent element of your landing pages to allow your audience to sign up at any given time when perusing your site. This can make it extremely easy for people to go through the simple subscription process without having to click back and forth between pages.
5. Segment Your Email List
Once you’ve gained a good amount of subscribers, it’s time to segment them for the best possible email marketing results. While most of these subscribers fall into your general target audience, they’re likely all at different stages of the buying process and need different types of content. Enter email segmentation, which makes targeting easier.
This process involves splitting your large list into smaller groups based on whichever categories are important to you. For instance, if you have one group of consumers who’s in the awareness stage of the sales funnel and not ready to buy from you yet, they can be put together in one email group. They’ll benefit most from emails focused on brand awareness and product and service introductions rather than nitty gritty details.
6. Start Writing
After creating and documenting your B2B email marketing strategy, you can get started on writing high-quality emails that are customized to your segmented email contacts.
What’s Included in a Good Email?
You most likely write emails frequently for personal or business reasons. However, B2B marketing emails are unique and must meet specific requirements to be the most fruitful. Here are the most basic building blocks of a marketing email:
- An effective subject line.
- A preview that gets to the point.
- Short but insightful body copy.
- A clear call to action.
It doesn’t take hundreds of words and hours of design work to create a successful email, but there are some tips and tricks that you should keep in mind when writing marketing emails.
Use Actionable Language
People spend very little time scanning an email. In fact, in 2019, Litmus found that the average person only reads a single email for about 13 seconds — and, people’s attention spans are potentially even shorter today. That means it’s vital for marketers to grab the readers’ attention from the very beginning by using actionable words. Prospects should be able to glance through the email and know exactly how they could benefit from your service or product and how to get started.
Focus on the Reader
When consumers read their email, they don’t want to be sold to. Instead, people desire to hear how your brand can help them achieve their goals, fix their business problems, or inform their decision making. Rather than write emails about how great your products or services are, create content that will personally impact prospects. This will ignite more interest and investment in your readers and increase engagement across the board.
Be Clear and Concise
Whether your brand has a bold and confident tone of voice or a lighthearted and conversational one, your emails should be short and to the point. It’s okay to include relevant information that will benefit the reader, but it’s best to use content that will capture the reader’s attention and hold it. That means keeping your message shorter — about 50 to 125 words.
Include Pieces of Content
We’ve already established that people don’t like salesy or pushy language. To get around this issue and still make a good case for your brand, include a piece of content like a case study, whitepaper, or blog that provides as much information as possible to win over your prospects. Then, readers can choose to interact with this messaging if they desire more information, and the content can speak about your company for itself.
You don’t have to bombard your prospects with a daily email, but sending regular messages can be a great way to keep your company front of mind. Whether that be a few emails a week or a handful a month, it’s important to be a consistent source of information for your target audience. Just ensure you personalize these messages based on where your prospects are in the sales funnel and what their business needs are.
Different Types of Emails To Utilize
One factor that amplifies the success of email marketing is the wide array of options available to advertisers. While some forms of marketing are limited to a specific style of messaging, email provides a lot of freedom and flexibility.
Keep your readers engaged with each of your company’s emails by sending multiple types of communication. Here are some of the most popular types of marketing emails:
- Promotional: The main purpose of promotional emails is to raise brand awareness among potential customers. Include coupons or discounts, access to gated content, or special deals on upcoming events.
- Newsletter: These emails are most commonly sent out on a regular monthly schedule and contain company updates, events, or promotional announcements, company blog content, and employee spotlights.
- Lead Nurturing: Messages that follow an automated sequence are considered lead nurturing because they help push prospects through the marketing funnel at an effective rate.
- Survey: Getting feedback from your customers is extremely important, and survey emails help you accomplish this. If you don’t get the desired number of responses, try offering an incentive to complete the questionnaire, like a chance to win a free month of your services, a normally gated document, or any other helpful product-specific asset.
- Welcome: This is often the initial interaction your customer will have with your brand, so welcoming them into a partnership with you via email is a great way to make a good first impression.
B2B Email Marketing Best Practices
Whether you’re sending a cold email to a prospect or are in the process of building a relationship with an engaged customer, it’s important that you always put your best foot forward. Here are some general rules of thumb for email marketing:
Use a Professional Email Address
Your email address is the first thing people see when your message arrives in their inbox. If it’s a suspicious looking email or doesn’t look professional, it will most likely be ignored or reported.
Check for Spelling or Grammar Errors
People won’t take your email seriously if it has mistakes. Ensure your messages go through an extensive editing and review process before hitting send.
Keep Your Closing Simple
Your sign off is the phrase that you’ll leave your reader with. Make it straightforward so it doesn’t distract from the rest of your email.
Utilize CONTENTgine for Your Marketing
Know exactly what content pieces your audience will benefit from by using CONTENTgine, the world leader in content-based marketing. Our team uses a substantial library of B2B content to capture first- party data that tells you what topics your audience is interested in and what problems they’re attempting to solve.
B2B email marketing doesn’t have to be a chore. Get started with CONTENTgine today, and begin engaging with the right people at the most opportune time.