Business-to-business email campaigns, as a generalization, look and feel the same to me. Many show up looking like long-winded, copy heavy, direct mail solicitations. Some have one giant image with marketing department-focused jargon. Most seem to miss the mark in understanding what may attract the right buyer and how to deliver real value and relevancy to the inbox.
Goals of B2B emailsLet's examine the right approach to ensuring your B2B email campaigns help close the gap on your sales cycle, rather than damaging your new business opportunities.
The goal of most B2B email campaigns is to acquire leads, often accomplished by a white paper, webinar or case study, which require registration to obtain or attend. Make the path to the registration page easy for customers to transition to from the email.
For some high level, business-focused email campaigns, the goal is not to get an immediate click/lead but to get the email read and forwarded to the right person. Think about selling high cost software or IT equipment. Very few people will buy a $200,000 piece of equipment based on one email message. But if done correctly, your campaigns can get noticed by the right decision makers and the real one-to-one dialogue can begin.
Getting the email noticed and read can be a matter of feeding the ego, particularly on C-level messaging efforts. Make sure you acknowledge the importance (real or perceived) of your audience members and their time. Throwing them a bone can help get you noticed.
How to achieve your goalsHere are some best practices in B2B email marketing:
The final touchesA B2B email campaign is a different animal from a consumer campaign. Let's look at the three major differences:
Don't spend countless hours writing flowery prose. Instead, spend time testing the right mix of design, messaging and calls to action.
Your tone should be much like it would be in a face-to-face meeting with your prospects: direct, professional and in a manner that makes your audience want to do business with you. Don't waste your time building up to the pitch -- state why you are sending this message and what's in it for the recipient.
The message should clearly articulate the purpose and value to the subscribers while making it easy for them to identify and act on any call to action. Don't bog them down with too many cross promotional messages or secondary marketing messages. Allow them to scan the email and find out what's in it for them.
Your main measurement analysis should not be based on opens and clicks but on how many leads are generated. Careful attention should be paid to forwards and any additional email subscriptions generated from the campaign. A high open and clickthrough rate but lack of leads could mean you put up too many barriers to capture the lead. Ensure your landing page and relevant gateway pages (for example, the white paper sign-up page) are easy to find and utilize. This may take some coordination that goes outside the realm of a typical email manager.
G. Simms Jenkins is founder and CEO of BrightWave Marketing, an Atlanta-based email marketing and customer relationship services firm. Read full bio.
Not a People Connection member?
We have found that text formats perform better, which is not necessarily intuitive since a lot of HCPs have the latest generation mobile technology, which is capable of a lot more. Perhaps over time, we'll see a change in this trend.mario Oyunlari
here are a few of my strategies:My Keys to B2B Email Marketing Success:1. Time - Do the research and understand when your customers are more likely to read an unverified email like a Thursday afternoon when work has settled down opposed to Monday Morning when you have to compete with high priority emails(iner-company).2."Call-to-actions" - how many do you have for one e-mailer? The best question to ask is what have your past emailers taught you? Best way to start is set up 3 key call to actions that are not in your face like massive red text, all caps, huge buttons. but things like "contact us, RFQ, speak with a qualified sales rep"3. The follow up - Most important aspect of an email marketing campaign is your follow up process. Once your initial email has been sent out go to your "click-through" emails or "Qualified leads" and plan a second action plan. Promote your brand or value proposition.
We have found that text formats perform better, which is not necessarily intuitive since a lot of HCPs have the latest generation mobile technology, which is capable of a lot more. Perhaps over time, we'll see a change in this trend.
Out of curiosity, what are the differences in B.B. styles (since that seems to tbe the main stream so far for corporate mobile devices), or should you simply stick to text only for mobile versions?Obviously with newer more capable devices, you can get away with imagery in an email, but should you?Thanks
Full Summit Calendar | Request Invite
1 The 5 types of terrible networkers
2 The top 4 consumer trends you need to know
3 The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn
4 The best social media campaigns of 2013
5 5 brands that were forced to apologize