How can you use email marketing to promote your business? The key to success with email marketing strategy lies in understanding the difference between B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing strategies.
You need to remember that people who are interested in your products or services will be on the lookout for sales or discounts, so offering these would have a negative effect on your business.
In this article, we’ll cover some tips that will help you to create an effective email marketing strategy for B2B (business-to-business).
Effective Email Marketing Strategy for B2B
What is your goal?
Before you can create an effective email marketing strategy, you need to know your end goal. For example, do you want more people to open your emails?
Do you want more clicks on a certain call-to-action? Whatever it is, state that upfront. People will respond differently depending on what they’re trying to accomplish, so clearly stating your objective helps everyone involved.
When it comes time to decide whether or not a certain strategy worked, defining your desired outcome up front makes it much easier to determine what worked and what didn’t.
Where do you want to send them? Another important aspect of your strategy is figuring out where you want people to go after they open your email.
Maybe you’re trying to drive traffic back to your website, or perhaps promote a piece of content. In either case, make sure it’s clear what exactly someone should do when they see your message.
Who are you targeting?
One of the first steps in creating a great email marketing strategy is finding out who you’re targeting and defining your ideal customer.
Unless you have a significant advertising budget, don’t send bulk emails to every single possible lead—especially if your product or service isn’t relevant to them.
You’ll only annoy them, and risk coming off as spammy. Start by building a detailed list of personas that describes what kind of person you’re looking for (or type of company), their demographics, where they work, etc., so that you can tailor your messaging accordingly.
This might seem like extra work at first glance, but it’s well worth it if you want people actually opening and engaging with your emails.
Defining your ideal customer gives you more credibility in their eyes, and makes them more likely to take action.
Reach out to your potential clients or customers before you even start marketing. The most effective way to do that is through connections, so look up people in your industry who you already know and ask them if they’d be willing to introduce you.
If that doesn’t work, reach out through LinkedIn and connect with people who have worked at a company similar to yours.
Just make sure when reaching out that you are genuinely interested in their story, not just getting them on board with a project down the road.
Once you’ve developed some relationships, add those people as contacts in Salesforce. This will help keep all of your information about them in one central location so you can always refer back if needed.
Then it’s time for outreach!
Create a list of content ideas
Whether you’re coming up with your own content or curating content from other sources, it’s important to create a list of ideas.
Having a brainstorming session is one way to do that, but if you are working on something specific, taking out a piece of paper and starting at A-Z is another.
Once you have all your ideas written down it will be easier for you to see what can be done with them. Seeing them all together will also help with prioritizing your most likely assets.
You might find that while they aren’t new ideas they are presented in a much more interesting way than you would have thought about them yourself!
This step is very important because it’s going to allow you to not only be more creative with your content but also help you figure out how and when you want each piece of content published.
Set Goals and KPIs
When you build a funnel from top to bottom, it is important that you set goals and define key performance indicators (KPIs) at each stage.
In other words, every part of your funnel should have clearly defined goals and KPIs. If you do not know how many customers visit a certain stage in your funnel, or how many customers purchase something after visiting it, then it is likely that you will lose money.
How can you optimize your email marketing strategy if you don’t know where people are dropping off? The answer: You can’t.
KPIs help ensures that every part of your funnel is tracking toward revenue growth, which in turn helps determine when there are breakdowns or leaks along your sales process.
Therefore, make sure that you have goals and KPIs in place before you start implementing any type of email marketing strategy.
Develop your email list
Start building your email list with a sign-up form on your homepage. You’ll want to ask users what they are interested in hearing more about, so they can opt into different categories.
For example, if you sell fitness equipment and apparel, you might offer three or four different boxes that list types of articles—the latest technology trends; weight loss tips; recommendations for gear; etc.
Then make sure each piece of content has an opt-in call-to-action (like subscribe) at the end so users can add themselves to each category.
Here are some examples of call-to-action emails:
- I want more tips on losing weight or I want fitness gear recommendations.
- Sign up to get my free report: The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Lose Weight.
- Get my free guide, How to Set a Weight Loss Goal That Actually Works!
Your email list will grow faster if you add value to every piece of content you publish.
If you can get people to open your emails and click through, you’ll start collecting contact information that you can use for future marketing campaigns.
You can also offer exclusive discounts and other perks only available through your email list.
Set up autoresponders
When someone opts into your email list, you want them to get value right away. One way to do that is with autoresponders: automated emails that deliver a series of content over time (such as your newsletter).
If a new subscriber hasn’t opened any of your previous emails, send them one or two introductory emails immediately; over time, send fewer and fewer messages until it’s just one per month.
And don’t forget about re-engagement: Send relevant offers and ask open-ended questions regularly in order to remind people why they signed up.
If you don’t have a lot of content ready, write it as you go. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to cover every topic; just provide enough value to keep your list engaged.
For example, send subscribers one brief tip each week (perhaps a tip related to something you plan on mentioning in your longer weekly newsletter) or ask them questions about topics they would like to learn more about or see covered in future content.
Send the Right Emails at the Right Time
If you want your email campaigns to be effective, you need to send them at a time when recipients are most likely to read them.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea not to send emails early in the morning or late at night, as both periods tend to have low open rates.
As far as frequency goes, there’s no one right answer. Some experts say that it’s best not to email more than once per week (with maybe an extra blast on launch day); others recommend four or five times per week; while still others say that daily emails are just fine.
There isn’t a definitive answer here; you’ll have to do some testing and see what works best for your business.
But as you’re thinking about your own strategy, keep in mind that more is not always better.
Depending on your market and list size, there may be diminishing returns when it comes to email frequency, so once you’ve got a basic formula down—one email per week or month, with a spike on launch day—it can be helpful to scale back rather than increasing intensity.
It takes some trial and error, but eventually, you should find out how many emails people want from you and at what times they want it most.
Once you have that number of emails per week/month figured out pick a time that is best for your target audience.
Measure Results and Improve
The job of a marketer isn’t just to send emails but also to monitor and improve. As your business grows, keep track of how many people open your emails, click on links within them, or unsubscribe from your list.
And don’t be afraid to make improvements based on what you find. This is often where businesses fall down with email marketing: they simply don’t understand their own data.
With a little bit of practice, though, you can quickly develop an eye for tracking email-opening rates and statistics that matter most in relation to your business goals.
This can help you keep track of all your email marketing efforts, improve them over time, and continue to get better results from your efforts.
Is email marketing effective for B2B?
There’s little doubt that email marketing is a powerful force. In fact, marketers say it’s their most effective marketing tactic.
And according to research by CMO Council and SiriusDecisions, email delivers an average of 122% ROI.
That puts it far ahead of social media (22%), direct mail (19%), and print advertising (5%).
So, if you want your business to get maximum bang for its buck, your best bet is email marketing.
How do you attract a B2B customer?
You’re at a networking event, and you meet someone who might be a good connection for your business, but first, you need their business card.
You put it in your pocket, check your phone, and realize there are no more new emails. Your lead is gone—and so is that potential customer.
If only you had given them some incentive to add you on email… Just because most people use social media doesn’t mean everyone does.
And plenty of people don’t have any social profiles at all—they may prefer private messaging (iMessage), texting, or other communication channels instead.
While email marketing is a legitimate strategy, many businesses forget about one big detail: Not everyone responds well to advertisements.
If you’re selling business products and services, your best bet is to incorporate marketing emails into your overall content strategy.
Send out weekly blogs that serve as valuable tips, share info on new products or services in every announcement e-mail, etc. (Remember: People will be more willing to open and click on emails if they feel like they’re reading something of value.)
If it doesn’t work, remember that there are plenty of options when it comes to sending out newsletters.