8 Essentials for Success with B2B Email Marketing
It’s no secret that a flooded email inbox comes with the territory of being a B2B marketer. How many emails would you estimate that you send and receive on a daily basis?
By the end of 2022, experts estimate that there will be a staggering 347 Billion emails sent per day worldwide. Between social media messaging, video conferencing apps, and workplace communication tools such as Slack, B2B marketers have no shortage of tools to streamline effective communication. With so many options for engaging prospects, you might assume that marketers have moved beyond using email for high-converting marketing campaigns.
In fact, email marketing is still the single most reliable way for busy B2B marketers to engage with their prospective leads. 79% of B2B marketers cite email as their most profitable online engagement tool, making it a near-unanimous “tried-and-true” approach.
In this post, we’ll look at why email is so effective, and share with you eight essentials that will help your B2B email marketing campaigns be successful.
It’s 2021 – Why Should I Use Email?
While email marketing may seem old-school, it is an important, effective tool for B2B marketers – and a proven tool for business growth. The numbers don’t lie. Marketers have consistently found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, they can generate $44 in ROI.
Aside from that mouthwatering ROI, another reason email is hot right now is due to the pandemic. With more people working online, it means that B2B employees are checking their email more frequently and sending more emails. Email activity has risen by 22%. It remains a safe place where prospects are comfortable engaging with B2B brands.
The B2B Email Marketing Advantages
Email marketing poses several helpful advantages that continue to make it a go-to for B2B engagement. Since 99% of leads and customers check their email on a daily basis, it is one of the most consistent tools for generating results.
The three most important advantages of email marketing are:
- It’s incredibly cost-effective.
- Email is considered non-invasive for first-time interactions with prospects.
- Marketers can simply measure and interpret precise campaign results with the right analytics tools.
These key advantages are why B2B marketers still advocate for email marketing as an essential tool for B2B success, even in 2021.
8 Essentials for Success with B2B Email Marketing
Here are eight essential tips to get the most from your B2B email marketing campaigns, whether they are for lead gen, sales, relationship building, or even sourcing customer feedback.
1. Segment and Clean Your List
A high-converting email list is all about quality. It’s not a numbers game. While vanity metrics may be a tempting end goal on social media, they are a very misleading trap for email lists. With churn rates being very high, it’s more important to have the right subscribers. Cleaning your list ensures that you have an accurate forecast of how engaged your subscriber base actually is.
Segmenting your list by interest level is a great way to deliver only pertinent content that your readers care about. By positioning your message to meet the reader where they’re at in the customer journey, you increase the likelihood that they will read your emails and take the desired action. Since your reader base probably work in different industries and have different job titles, wouldn’t it be nice if you could give them the content exactly how they want to read it?
You should always have a clear objective for why you are targeting a certain demographic with a specialized marketing strategy. When you know the objective upfront, it makes it easier to target the appropriate contacts on your list at the appropriate time. Just make sure to identify a few key personas to differentiate whom you are targeting and increase subscriber engagement (the number one goal of segmenting your list).
There’s nothing worse than sending a well-written email to the wrong person. Make sure that you are validating your subscriber’s emails regularly. If your emails are going to someone else or an incorrect address, it will distort your metrics. To combat this, you will need to integrate an email-cleaning software tool.
Of course, targeting the right person increases your conversion rate. But don’t just target the CEO and call it a day. Instead, make your message resonate with anyone in the organization who receives your email.
2. Follow the Data
Measuring the success of your campaigns is essential to understanding what works and what needs to be improved. If it isn’t measured, it isn’t real. It’s crucial to identify the key metrics that matter when tracking data for your email campaigns. Maybe you have a new website or lead magnet, so new subscribers are your top consideration. Or, perhaps you are trying to increase sales conversions from your email promotions. Whatever stage your business is at, you need to have relevant data that can guide your decision-making.
To find out what that data is, you will need to test it. Everything from what time you send the email, to where you place your company’s logo, should be tested for maximum results. However, look at more data than just the standard opens and click-through rates. Make sure to analyze how many readers are actually making a purchase based on your email to establish effectiveness.
Don’t forget that you can ask your clients for direct feedback on your emails. Word of mouth data often gets overlooked, but sometimes those insights will help you improve your campaign’s efficacy in ways your marketing team may never have considered.
3. Personalize Your Campaigns
Personalizing your campaigns involves much more than just writing your subscriber’s first name in the subject line. Using the data you have (everything from past orders, search queries, and preferences) allows you to create a personalized approach to send them only content they really want.
Focus on improving the customer experience with personalization, and don’t go overboard. Just make sure that you are using accurate data and buyer personas to personalize your emails. Don’t forget to make your content sound like a real, living, breathing human wrote it. After all, if you don’t use a colloquial voice, and only include industry technical jargon, no one will want to read it.
One way to improve your personalization efforts is to ensure that your recipient and sender personas sync up. For instance, don’t have an Associate within the company email a C-suite Executive. That doesn’t have the right personal touch for success in the B2B world. Instead, make sure that both parties (your sender and the intended recipient) have the same experience level or occupy a similar role.
If you get stuck on how to personalize your emails, aim to tie in each part of your email with one of the customer’s main pain points to ensure that it delivers real value. Adding value in email is the biggest contributor to increasing user engagement.
4. Write Subject Lines that Get Opened
Creating an enticing subject line means standing out in a sea of other emails in your prospect’s Inbox. To get their attention, you’ll have to identify a major pain point right out of the gate, or entice them to want to know more. The secret to writing a strong subject line is piquing their interest.
The ideal subject line is short and sweet, no more than a few words (5 max). However, you also want to convey some emotion and appeal to the reader, considering that open rates are dependent on how strong of a subject line you can craft.
Getting subject lines right depends on your audience. The only way to know what they care about is to consistently test your subject lines. By constantly revisiting the drawing board and split-testing open rates, you can find out what works best for your campaigns and what gets the most opens.
5. Create Great Content
Once your subscriber has opened the email, then the challenge of getting them to read it begins. Content that is easy to read and short enough to quickly digest is paramount to your success. At the same time, it is also essential that your content be unique and something that readers can’t find elsewhere. The most successful content presents the audience with brand-new information that makes them scratch their heads, wondering why they’ve never read it anywhere else before.
Every email you send should include content that focuses on your customer’s needs. Your content should feature helpful Q+As, FAQs, industry news, and address pain points with relevant solutions.
One way to increase your success with a B2B email newsletter is to make it easy to share. When other B2B professionals share your content, it positions you as a trusted expert within your vertical. Make sure to incorporate boldfaced headers that call attention to your major bullet points. These help readers on mobile or who are scanning to quickly decide if they want to read the bulk of your content.
6. Expand Your Reach By Including Social
Getting the most mileage out of your B2B email newsletter means continuing the conversation on your company’s social media accounts. To facilitate this, it’s good practice to always add your social media handles to the bottom of your newsletter.
Social media also presents a prime opportunity to attract followers to convert and become subscribers to your email newsletter. Keep in mind that social media is a rented platform with algorithms that may favor your competitors. Your email newsletter is owned by you and is built on subscriber trust. Give them value and leave them wanting to continue the conversation on social media. Be sure to include a strong call-to-action in your email newsletter to draw traffic to your social media platform(s) of choice.
To facilitate seamless integration of email newsletters and social media, it is essential to track and manage your social media. Leveraging the power of social media with a social media management tool ensures that you can easily synchronize your email marketing content with the rest of your B2B editorial calendar.
7. Get in the Inbox
It may sound old-fashioned, but getting permission before you show up in someone’s Inbox is vital. Permission-based marketing means that you have won the subscriber through permission-based methods, such as a lead magnet. Buying email lists bypasses the end recipient’s permission, making it more likely to get deleted or end up in the SPAM folder. Buying lists also erodes consumer trust, so focus on permission-based marketing and double-check that every email you send has the consumer’s best interest in mind.
It’s also important to have a trustworthy service provider to facilitate your email marketing campaigns. Make sure to be selective when you are choosing an email service provider (ESP) because failing to choose the right one could cost you. There are many benefits and drawbacks to be weighed when choosing an ESP, so determine which is best for your company’s unique needs and choose wisely. Also make sure that you are using an SPF record check tool to ensure your emails are authenticated and won’t end up in the spam folder.
The target of every email campaign is to make it into the Inbox and not another – or “Other” – folder. Make sure your company has authenticated its domain. Having an authenticated domain ensures that your emails do not get mislabeled as SPAM and are delivered to the end recipient.
8. Automate Your Campaigns
It’s impossible to manually track every subscriber at every stage of their customer journey. Automating important emails such as indoctrination series or a “win-back” email is a crucial tactic that will improve your success. Setting up an autoresponder to provide timely introductory emails to new subscribers will make them feel at home on your email list.
Capturing necessary social data and increased response times are just two of the many benefits of automating your campaigns. Automation streamlines this process and makes sure that critical data doesn’t slip between the cracks.
Keep in mind that many of the online tools you can use to automate your campaigns will also double as metrics measurement software. This type of software will help you track the success of your entire email marketing strategy.
Email Marketing Has the Highest ROI
Despite the rise of new technologies, email marketing is still hands-down the single most effective method for B2B marketers to reach prospects and generate conversions. Email makes it easy to send content to customers regardless of where they live, what they like, or what brought them to your company’s newsletter in the first place.
With all the customization available to easily segment your list, email marketing reigns supreme as the champion of generating ROI by getting customers off their Gmail account and onto your website’s checkout page. The data is unanimous: marketers find 40x more ROI with email marketing than social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.
With these eight essential tips, you’ll be on your way to email marketing success. Remember to focus on your customer’s needs, and your email marketing campaigns will continue to outperform your other marketing channels.